Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's Time to be Honest

I bit off more than I could chew. There. I said it. I can feel the pressure lifting . . .

Shall I share a little background? In typical Julie fashion, it's slightly long winded.

You might know that we are in a slightly odd stage in our married life. Usually you go to school before children, and often, before you are married. However, Jesse only recently (past 3 years) learned where his passion lies, and how he is gifted. So we are doing things backwards and doing the school thing married, and with 2 children. Overall, life is still fairly normal. But the biggest adjustment we've had to make has been our finances.

Some of you can relate I'm sure. Imagine trying to budget for a family of 4 when the Mom stays at home with the kids, and the husband works part time, and attends school full time. Yeah, it can create some problems. I'm not telling you this because I want sympathy, not at all! I'm just telling you what our daily reality is.

Thankfully, 5 years ago our church paid for us to go through Financial Peace University with Dave Ramsey. That course is one of the building blocks in our marriage. We will be forever grateful to Cornerstone Church for sending us through the class. We learned how to budget, live within our means, create a small nest egg and get rid of debt. We've been debt free for more than 3 years!

Now back to the family of 4 with a part time income . . . . going to school costs money. Living daily life costs money. Like I've said before, I jumped on the coupon wagon out of necessity. And I'm still on it because I'm saving more and more money each week. As I began to learn how to coupon, I saw a blogging niche I thought I could fill. Helping people match up coupons with good recipes. So many crazy couponers out there live off of $35 dollars a week, but they eat rice and beans and frozen casseroles. I couldn't do that! 5:30 is seriously one of my favorite times of my day. I look forward to the time I can start preparing supper almost every day. No lie. What can I say, I enjoy cooking.

So I thought I would give my hand at blogging for income. I wasn't expecting much, just a little extra cash flow would help. I started The Coupon Cook. And quickly realized that I bit off more than I can chew. I fully believe that I have the creative juices to run something like it. What I lack, is TIME. Jesse and I have been talking a lot lately about how we are going to make life work, where we can make cuts, how we can do it without taking out loans, etc. All the while, we are keeping in mind that our 2 young children are that: YOUNG! If these 2 kids are the only 2 we have, these next few years while Jesse is in school is it! I only have a few years to really pour into them and train them before they go off to school and start learning more about the world. (Yes I realize the training doesn't stop after age 5, but those first 5 years are HUGE for so many areas of development.)

So as I considered all of the ways I can contribute to my family income, I quickly saw that I'm not going to have time to do all of them, AND be the Mom and wife I need to be. Currently, I work super super part time for The Upstream Collective and the Skybridge Community. It's something I really enjoy being a part of. I also am hoping to teach group Spanish classes for children from our home this school year. Right now that involves getting out into the community, and networking with organizations that could put me in contact with interested parents and kids.

I plan on continuing to post on this blog about my couponing journey. I know a lot of people who are getting into it too so I hope I can be a source of help and possibly humor as I mess up quite a bit! But I am going to stop posting on The Coupon Cook. All 15 fans on Facebook will be disappointed I'm sure. :)

God has been pressing into me these past few weeks as I've tried to figure out ways to generate income from home. The biggest lesson I'm learning is that I really am in a prime place in my life to learn to trust God for my basic necessities. Where in the modern day American Christian church do we get to trust God for the basics? Hardly ever! We often times don't really act like we need God for much besides emotional pick me ups and spiritual hugs. God is there for that, but He's there for so much more-if only we'd let Him. So I'm going to be a good steward of the financial resources he has given us, and trust Him with the rest.

Ahh, my load feels so much lighter already.


J. et K. said...

My comment got deleted, but it's important so am going to re-type :)

I think you are making a very mature decision. I really respect you for it. You're an awesome mom and wife, and I look fwd to learning more from your example. So wise and humble to not use ALL your gifts just b/c you can, but instead humbly choosing to focus them on your husband/kids as God leads...


kpjordan said...

Julie...I'm sure God is smiling...because now He can do what He wants for you. I learn much from all 3 of my daughters.

Jenny said...

Julie, you are so sweet and such a wonderful mama! You made the best decision for your family. The little bit you did post about couponing taught me so much. Pour into your kiddos....we both know that they grow up when we just blink. God *will* provide your basics. Remember when Tom quit his job? God provided. NExt time we talk I'll tell you how our grocery money literally came from no where. I love you!

Anonymous said...

Julie -
I SO needed to read this post!
I was starting to think you were crazy amazing (for running a coupon blog on top of doing the whole coupon "thing" on top of everything else)... and I was a big loser!
Thanks to you and a friend of mine, I am going to attempt serious couponing. I shall look forward to tricks/stories on THIS blog and applaud you for giving up the "Coupon Cook" blog.
But I agree - you TOTALLY have the creativity to pull CouponCook off --- someday!) :)
Britt :)

Beatriz said...

I´m so proud of you, amiga, you are a great example, not only in the way you lead you life but on the way you are able to stop and think what´s best.