Apr 12, 2016

What We Did With Our Tax Refund

Taxes. Doesn't that word just make you groan? Seriously, who likes taxes? Well, it turns out this year, I do.
My husband woke up early on Monday morning, his day off and did the taxes before I was even awake. (Thank you TurboTax.) He then came and plopped into bed next to me around 9 am. (Did I mention that our kids were staying the night with their grandparents, so we had the whole morning to ourselves? Yes, it was amazing.) So he tells me he did the taxes and then makes me play a guessing game on how much we owe. Woohoo, fun, right?
I guessed several thousand dollars because that's how much it usually is and then he smiles and says, "Nope. We are actually getting back $200." What!?! Now, that's something to wake up to.
Last year, we started a savings account and set aside money every month where we don't even see it so when taxes roll around we will be prepared to write a check to the government. (Because not being prepared to pay your taxes or any bill that you owe is stressful when you don't know where the money is going to come from.)
But now, this year, he's telling me we have $3700 that we get to keep. Oh my, the possibilities. The fun we could have.
What would you do with $3700? What did you do with your tax refund?
I knew right away that $1008.11 had to go to pay off the unexpected insurance bill that was due in 2 weeks. But the other $2700. What were we going to do with that amount?
We weren't expecting to be able to keep this money so the possibilities were endless. We could fix up part of our house; I've been wanting new flooring. We could put it towards a couple vacations we are planning to take this year. We could buy a new camera lens I've been wanting. My husband wants a shed and a tool bench. We could go shopping at Target, now that would be fun.
Or... we could pay off a big chunk on our debt.
Now, that may not sound like a lot of fun to you. But becoming $2,700 closer to being debt free sounds amazing to me. We are wanting to live debt free and find financial freedom in our lives, marriage, and family. (We are Dave Ramsey fans at my house!) We want to live this way so we can give more, be stress free of how we are going to pay our bills, and to be good stewards of what we have been given.
A couple years ago, we really attacked our debt and we were able to pay off my student loan completely. And now, we are ready to say goodbye to Jonathan's college student loans. He has two loans that are equal to $14,000. So yesterday, we signed in online and sent over $2,700 to them! Our goal is to pay off $3,300 more dollars this year and get rid of one of those loans. And then continue working towards paying off the other $8,000 loan within that next year.
So while I still think going to Target with $2,700 would be all sorts of fun. Come on ladies, who's with me on this one?! I am so thankful that we were able to pay off a big chunk of money towards debt and be that much closer to living debt free.
What do plan to do with your tax refund this year?

Apr 6, 2016

Loving Myself Right Now

Y'all. I am way overweight. Actually, obese. Blah. That word sucks. I've struggled with weight for years and years, actually for over half my life now. It's been one yo yo diet after another. Giving up. Starting over. 5 pounds here or there. Losing. Gaining. I've done it all. Except...
Except after all these years of dieting, I have failed to love myself.
So while I want very badly to gain health by losing weight, I now know that there isn't a magic # on that stupid scale when love starts. No matter what size I am - a size 4, 14, or 24 - it doesn't matter if I don't love myself. I have to be kind, loving, and positive.
I can take steps to care for myself now. That might mean putting on make up, wearing jeans, or looking in the mirror and saying, "I am beautiful." It starts today though.
I have so many reasons to love myself. I have so many reasons to be kind to myself and quit being mean. I am worth it. I am worth the effort and energy it will take to gain health and choose love. I am a child of God, and I am beautiful.
I am choosing to stop waiting until I am at that perfect size to love myself on the inside and outside. For I fear if I don't start now then I might never start.
Today every time I look in the mirror I will say out loud, "I am beautiful." Because I believe if I say those words enough times I might start believing it and acting like it. Will you join me?

Apr 5, 2016

Gray

Where did all my color go?!
I am so gray. I am so tired of being gray. I dress in all gray every day. My attitude is gray. My personality is gray. My energy is gray.

I don't want to be gray anymore... I want to have and be color!

And I am excited to have turned a corner and be on my way to find color again.

What is color?
It's loving myself. It's loving my life. It's being alive and awake!!
It's enjoying these precious kiddos! It's living my life.

It's MORE than just surviving!
I am no longer content with my discontent.

I'm awake and I'm going to find and create the joy and laughter in my day again!

Just Go For It

My husband says, "Just go for it. Don't overthink it." Hello, I thought he knew me.
I am such a planner and a rule follower, that so many times I find myself unable to JUST DO for fear of making a mistake or not doing it well. I like to do things right.
And then also, I can't help but think, why am I even attempting this? Every time I sit down to write something my baby cries or one, yet usually all of my other children need something. This has got to be the worse possible time to try to start a blog.
But then again, maybe it's the perfect time to start. Right in the middle of the chaos. Finding... no, creating, something just for me. A place to invest in myself. A place to find rest.
So here at The Restful Place, I don't want it to be about right or wrong. I just want it to be. Maybe that's not the best growth strategy plan for a blog. But I think it just might be the best growth strategy plan for me right now.
So Lord, use this little online piece of land as a place to grow me. I always want to keep You as my focus. Becoming more like you everyday. Cover me in grace, because I know I need a lot of it each day.

What are you doing today to invest in yourself?

Apr 4, 2016

5 Ways to Rock Your Passion

Have you ever been really excited about something? I mean like really, really excited? Me too. And you know when you feel like you're about to burst if you don't tell someone like NOW? Me too. And then you spill your heart out with all of the excitement and passion that's inside of you and you just know they are going to be jumping up and down and want to join you because it's the best thing they've ever heard. Me too. And then all that person does is just looks at you and says, "cool." Then they precede to change the subject to well, anything else, and you are let down, hurt, and confused. Me too.
How could they not be as excited about it as you are? Well, chances are they are that excited - but just not about the same thing as you are.
Here are 5 ways to rock your passion when others don't join you:
  • Remember that God gave YOU that passion. You have an unique personality and an unique purpose. Use all the enthusiasm to stay on track and to reach the goals that you have set for yourself. Chances are you have that desire because God wants to use you. So let him.
  • Don't judge others for not having the same passion as you. For example, if your passion is health and fitness, don't be mad at your best friend who doesn't seem to care and wants to go get ice cream with you instead. Your friend cares about you; they just don't get fired up about sweating and lettuce. You still can and should hang out with your friend, just choose a healthy yogurt option instead.
  • Ask others what their passion is. So your friend isn't into health and fitness, but the chances are she does get excited about something. Ask her. And listen. She might love reading books or drawing. And while you may not be passionate about that you might have it in common or even learn something new. So stop and listen. Be genuinely excited for other's passions just like you want them to be excited for you. Plus, you both are a step ahead of the game by knowing what your passion is and feeling alive even if they are different. The world doesn't need us all to be the same they need us to be alive.
  • Find others who relate and have the same passion as you. So, if your passion is health and fitness like the example I gave above join a gym and an online community (like Weight Watchers Connect) where others understand and join in on your excitement. Where you both get excited about kettle bells and a new quinoa recipe you found. You're not alone. Be encouraged by others and encourage others by finding somewhere you relate and can contribute.
  • Have fun and be committed. Ok, so you feel disappointed because you just shared your heart and everything inside of it and the other person's eyes didn't flicker with excitement. It's OK. This is YOUR passion. It's what makes you feel alive. Have fun being you. Be committed even if you feel all alone. Work hard for big results. Believe in yourself and your passion. And plus, you can kinda do an "I told you so" victory dance as you do you.
I believe God has made each of us unique and given us each desires that fit our personality and our purpose. The world needs you to feel alive. So find your passion. And just do it.
A few things that I am passionate about are my family, my faith and church, encouraging women, wives, and mothers, reading, losing weight, and finding financial freedom. And that has led me to blogging. I am passionate about blogging about my passions.
If you are needing to find a community to relate with on any of these things, I invite you to join me. Because I "get it." I get that being a mom is the most rewarding and yet exhausting job there ever was. I get that we need some alone time to be able to breathe. I get that at the end of the day when you don't feel like you have enough energy to even brush your teeth, yet your husband wants some kisses. I get being overweight and wanting to lose weight so you can get off the couch and onto the trampoline with your kids. I just get it. I get it women, wives, and moms. I want to be here for you. I am passionate about these things. And I am passionate about finding for myself and giving you, a place to rest.
So the next time you can't wait to shout to the rooftops something that lights you up and gets you excited. Remember, don't be hurt that the people hearing you don't join in on your crusade. If they care about you, then know that they are so happy for you and want you to succeed. Take a few minutes to stop and ask them what their passion is and give them the same attention, excitement, and listening that you want. Find a place to connect with where you can relate, like here at The Restful Place. Be committed to your passion and have fun.

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