A new mommy's mishaps, mayhem, and majesty

Friday, February 18, 2011

money, money, money

If there is one thing that is guaranteed to keep me up at night, it is money- and the lack thereof.

Perhaps it is not so much the fact that there is simply not enough of it in my life so much as it is that I do not have in my posession at this very moment the amount needed to pay off all of our debts immediately. Really, I shouldn't be too anxious since, thanks to our 13 pound little tax break, our tax return was big enough to wipe out almost two of our monthly bills, which puts us ahead of schedule with our snowball plan. Since we are withholding taxes from our paychecks at a higher rate, next year's return should be pretty nice as well. But when it comes to how we can best spend it, I feel like I am on a see-saw: should we use it to wipe out the rest of our debts, or make a down payment on a house? Since I have a year to stew on it and allow our bills to decrease, I suppose it depends on how much we get back, how much we have left to pay off, and what the housing market looks like at the time. If it is bad, then I imagine we will keep saving until it is better.

I feel like I'm on the same teeter- totter when it comes to paying bills down faster. I am a big fan of just throwing a huge chunk of money at the bank and watching the balance drop considerably. unfortunately that requires patience, of which I have little when it comes to money. Should I just keep making minimum payments and throw the rest in savings until there is enough to wipe out a bill? or snowball payments gradually until everything is paid off? likely our savings wouldn't really increase all that much. I want it paid off ASAP, but I have also learned from hard experience that it is not wise to pay bills off faster than your family can afford to, because it starts the cycle over again.

I want to be free from debt when I finally finish college. I'm really grateful for the progress we've made so far. we've been married for a year and a half, and almost 3/4 of our debt is gone. Ok, so almost all of it so far has gone towards Matt's mustang (which we don't have anymore and have continued making payments on for the last 10 months), but it is still faster than I imagined possible. And we have been incredibly blessed in the process- moving into a decent apartment, having a healthy little girl, good employment, and many other things. Still working on an AFFORDABLE decent vehicle, but at least we have more than one running auto right now.

I have a hard time planning for the future. It is hard for me to sit and be patient, and allow goals which require an extended amount of time to be accomplished to happen. So in a desperate attempt to convince myself to be patient, I just need to relax. Time will pass, and it will never come back. So it is time to make the most of the time I have right now.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Considering my Lily

When Lily was in the hospital right after she was born, I was a wreck. It had been weeks since I had a good night's sleep, and at least 5 days since I'd gotten more than a few hours worth. Add that on top of going through childbirth, and I was an emotional time bomb. I was hoping to get at least some rest the first night she was there, but Matt got off of work at 12 a.m. and decided it was a brilliant (not!) idea to share the hospital bed in the room with me (since it is a smallhospital, a bassinet was wheeled into one of the patient rooms where Lily lay on her bili lights), I was hoping he would decide to go home and get some rest since he had to work the next day (unfortunately, the big longwall move at the mine was going on, which meant no days off for 3 weeks. We were lucky he was able to get the time off when she was born). I needed rest, badly; and the whole time I was in the hospital, he was, too; I needed time to be alone and cry privately.

The next day, Lily's bili levels had started to rise again and she would need to stay another night. I was completely burned out. I asked my mom (who was visiting from CA for a few weeks) to stay with her while I went home and rested. Then I went home and cried. The weight of it seemed too much for me. this was the first time I had been more than a few feet away from my baby. I was still adjusting to her not being inside of me anymore. She was soo little, and needed so much attention and care right now. I felt like a horrible mom for letting her get dehydrated, even though that wasn't really my fault. Neither was her jaundice. A song by Roger Hoffman popped into my head that made me feel better:

Consider the lilies (lilys) of the field- how they grow (it made me smile to imagine a bunch if little
Anne Geddes babies dressed as flowers in a field). Consider the birds in the sky, how they fly... He clothes the lilies of the field (He had certainly done that; thanks to the welfare of others we had more than enough clothes for our Lily), he feeds the birds in the sky- he will feed those who trust Him, and guide them with his eye.

The last verse got me- Consider the sweet tender children, who must suffer on this earth, the pains of all of them He carried, from the day of His birth. He clothes the [Lily]ies of the field, He feeds the sheep of His fold, and He will heal those who trust Him (certainly in need of that!) and make their hearts as gold.

Yep, that did it- the tears started flowing. After some praying and a shower, I finally got what felt like the best sleep I'd had for awhile- in my own bed, with my own pillow (note to self: do NOT forget pillow next time I travel an hour to give birth. It happened all of a sudden so there was no time to remember it.)

The next morning, Lily was released, and we took our little flower home, who is doing fine. But the song still brings tears to my eyes, and is a comfort to me when I need to hear it. The reason I am posting this, however, is because it reminds me of a friend in similar financial circumstances who is having a baby soon, and of how I hope they receive the same blessings we did, and of how the Lord was able to clothe, feed, and heal our Lily. We received everything we needed.