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The Picky Eaters Parents Club

The Picky Eaters Parents Club – written by Bre Strobel.


“This isn’t what I want! I’m not eating it,” my five-year-old, Clarabelle, shouts as soon as her plate hits the table.

Rory, two, cries as he looks into his bowl of chicken tikka. He hates broccoli, I know, but I also know he loves the tikka masala sauce. It’s just been so long since we’ve made them eat what we were serving for dinner instead of their own separate meal.

“I hate our kids! I hate feeding them!” I scream at my husband as I walk back into the kitchen, “They’re going to go to bed hungry, and then they won’t sleep!” 

I slap food into our own bowls.

I can tell he’s ready to make them something else, but we both stop and remind each other of our goal: the kids will eat what we serve them. It’s three weeks into COVID-19 isolation, and we just bought and moved into a new house all at the same time. So we were in survival mode for a minute. And now we have a bit of undoing bad habits to address.

close up photography of a baby
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

When my daughter was 6 months old, she was failure-to-thrive, which means she was not only tiny for her age but had actually lost weight since her four-month checkup. It turned out she had silent infant reflux, a condition that causes the stomach acid to come back into the esophagus without the characteristic constant spitting up that normally indicates reflux in a baby. Which is why it took several months and weight loss (and many sleepless nights, and hours of crying per day) to get a diagnosis. A month later, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety, which probably comes as no surprise.

All this to say, from the beginning, feeding my daughter was a stressful affair. As we introduced solids she was put on a proton-pump inhibitor to stop her stomach from producing acid. We had a strict no-sugar policy, which was bent immediately on finding that ppi medication tastes like baking soda and therefore needs a sweet syrup in order for a baby to acquiesce to consuming it.

As my daughter grew, as much as we had planned to do baby-led-weaning and only give her the healthiest foods, feeding times became a lot more about ensuring she would learn to enjoy eating, period. They were also about fattening up her tiny body, so we had to lean on purees fortified with fatty oils. 

Ingesting anything had become such a painful transaction for her, we had to be careful not to give her food that would upset her stomach or push things that she didn’t like, just to make sure she would in fact eat. 

Her weight issues only fueled my anxiety, and on more than one occasion food ended up on the wall and floor by my own hand. I distinctly remember pinto beans flying everywhere as the plastic plate I had thrown hit the wall. Clarabelle, 18 months at the time, was less concerned about my anger outburst, satisfied to know she wouldn’t have to eat that food.

As my daughter phased out of her medication and entered toddlerhood, I needed another way.

After a recommendation from a stranger in a mom group, I started following Janet Lansbury on Facebook. She posted something on trusting even the smallest kids with their eating by “keeping it breezy.” This method was supposed to encourage a positive food association and allow for bodily autonomy. By not placing a burden of “eating everything on your plate,” kids were trusted to fill their bellies only to their capacity and no more, encouraging food-regulation and portion control before it needed to become a bigger discussion.

And isn’t that what we all want for our children?

So my husband, Garth, and I took a new approach to feeding our toddler. We decided we would start feeding her what we were eating more often, and that when she didn’t want to eat it, we would stay calm and say, “Ok, I can see this isn’t what you wanted. I know that if you are hungry you will eat it.”

The key was to communicate that there is nothing else if she decided not to eat what was served.

Sometimes we’d find that she really didn’t like what we had offered. But we also noticed that sometimes, she’d just have an idea in her head of what we were going to have that night and wouldn’t eat what we served even if it was something she liked. And other times she was simply feeling oppositional and asserting her will. Where I had once thought that my job as a mom was to out-stubborn her in my own stubbornness, I was learning that really what I needed was consistency in my response. 

The more I worried about her weight gain or thriving, I’d find myself begrudgingly make her Mac-n-Cheese or Spaghetti O’s just to make sure she would eat. And the more I gave in to my anxiety and desire to keep things easy, the more often she would assert her will, the harder it was for us to get her to eat what we wanted her to eat instead of what her toddler palette wanted. So it was important for us to stick to our boundaries. And every time we figured out our boundaries and got consistent with them, we would find peace.

The babies, they don’t actually want control. They don’t know what to do with it.

“I know it’s not what you want, but it’s what we’re having tonight. I know you’ll eat it if you’re hungry,” became our nightly mantra. Some nights it worked right away, and sometimes it took half an hour of pouting and tears before she would take even one bite, but we weren’t budging. And we found through this method that she likes roasted broccoli, Indian spices like curry and garam masala, and that she prefers raw green bell peppers over fried.

We even found a trick for serving desserts. Growing up, Garth and I both had to eat the food on our plates before we could have dessert. The problem with that is, if you’ve served your child more than their capacity for the night, you’re teaching them to overstuff themselves. 

With Clarabelle, we noticed she wouldn’t eat anything on her plate if she knew dessert was coming. While we didn’t want to fuel a need for instant gratification, we also wanted to teach her to delay gratification herself. Or else, what, always keep dessert a secret, even at events? That seemed like a much harder tactic. So we started putting dessert on her plate when it was available, telling her that when she finished it, she wasn’t getting more. We’d even offer that she could eat it first or last, but that it’s all she was getting. And if she needed more food in the end, it was not going to be more dessert.

By her fifth birthday, we noticed she was saving her dessert for after she was done eating her meal. Her brother, who had just turned two, was upset when he noticed his sister’s cake after finishing his own.

“Ah, you ate all your cake, and she’s saving hers for after she’s done eating,” we said.

And that decision, waiting until she was satisfied with her dinner before moving on to dessert, was exactly the result we had waited for. 

girl in yellow shirt holding brown cake
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

When we visit family or have some sort of big change, like when we bought our house this spring, we find ourselves bending the rules while we operate in survival mode. Our parents don’t always trust that if you don’t make the kids exactly what they want, they’ll still eat. And sometimes, even when we’ve been consistent, the kids still need to assert their power. Seeing as they get three solid meals and two snacks each day, we know that if they miss one meal they won’t starve. So if they really dig in their heels, as unpleasant as it is, we prove to them that their power only lies in how much they fill their bellies with what’s offered and not over choosing what we serve.

Another benefit is that as they grow, they’re learning to try new things. They’re learning that it’s ok to eat something you don’t like to eat, because it’s beneficial to your body whether you enjoy it or not. And I can’t think of a healthier way to build their autonomy and positive food experience than letting them be unafraid to try new things, even if they end up not liking it.

When we hold our boundary, even after messing up for awhile, the kids will eat if they’re hungry.

They might learn that they like mango. And maybe even salmon.

And after half an hour of crying and screaming (maybe some from Mom too), they might stick a rebel finger in the tikka masala sauce and lick it. And upon tasting the sauce, they might finish their broccoli. Though the quinoa goes largely untouched, they don’t go to bed hungry after all.

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Mommy Bloggin

Privilege and Ignorance

Privilege. I had to check how to spell it on Google. That’s how unfamiliar it is to me. 

I grew up in an all white, rural community. Middle class. Typical nuclear family. 99.9% white. Christian school district. 

I married.

I live in an almost all white, rural community. Middle Class. Typical nuclear family. 99% white. Christian school district. 

In my community, you notice the people who are different because there aren’t that many. It’s a novelty. 

I am almost 30 yrs old. I have never faced my own privilege. I have never had to confront my ignorance. Racism is something that I’ve never given much thought to because it’s never been something that affects me personally. 

Then, Minneapolis, a city 4 hours north of me, exploded.

I read that by not saying anything at all you are assumed to agree. That by not verbally objecting, you are allowing the discrimination and injustice to continue. I have always felt like I am the most unqualified person to say anything. I have no idea what it is like to be anything other than white and privileged beyond belief. 

But I do know what it’s like to be in a situation where someone could have spoken up and changed my outcome. When I was raped, it wasn’t in secret. Both times, there were witnesses who could have said something to make it end; who could have stepped in and saved me from the pain. I now hold them just as accountable for my pain as the person who raped me. 

I know what it’s like to go to the police and say it’s your word against theirs – you have no case. No one who witnessed my rape would come to my defense. No one would advocate for me. 

While this is 1 billion percent not at all the same as systematic racism and the injustice that people of color are facing every moment of their lives, it gives me just the teensiest glimpse into what it might be like to feel like the system is set up for your failure and gains from your demise.

I read a Facebook post by a white woman who is married to a black man. When they go on runs together, she runs behind him so that people won’t think he is chasing her and call the police. There was a post by another woman whose husband had police called on him because he was filling up her car with gas and an elderly woman at the pump next to theirs was worried about her being *trapped* in the car. I read stories of mothers who are terrified of allowing their sons to drive alone because if they go too fast or too slow – they could be considered suspicious and pulled over for no reason other than the color of their skin. I have read story after countless story of people who are guilty until proven innocent simply because their skin color isn’t *right*.

My heart is BREAKING. I hold my son and cry thinking about the woman who is scared to let her children leave their home. I hug my husband tighter, thankful that I will never have to know what it is like to be fearful for him just living life, but also terrified for the woman who doesn’t know if her husband will return from a trip to the store.

I don’t know what it’s like to worry about whether or not your husband or sons will get pulled over or murdered just for being a person of color. I have no idea what it’s like to live in a community that is stuck under the system that a broken and corrupt government created to keep you * in your place *. I will never know what it’s like to be a mother who knows their beautiful children have started life miles behind the starting line just because you are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) . I never have to experience these things because of my privilege.

But that doesn’t mean I have to be ignorant anymore. I will no longer scroll past articles on racism and white supremacy as though they don’t affect me. I will no longer pretend that politics that favor white people are acceptable. I refuse to stand by while people are making racist jokes and laugh nervously so I don’t make a scene. I will work to educate myself on racial inequalities and injustice so that I can raise children who are woke. We will be a family who will advocate for others. We won’t stand by silently. 

As I begin to wade into educating myself on these issues- I’ll give you occasional updates. I am by no means qualified- but I am praying that by no longer being silent, I can make a small change. I encourage you to do the same. 

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Home Schooling Mommy Bloggin

‘I Didn’t Sign Up For This’ – Distance Learning

Before we begin – I want to let you know that I have written this post 2 previous times. Had it completely done – and it disappears. So my thought is that it’s some good stuff that Satan doesn’t want you to know. God wants us to support each other – even if just from across a computer screen- so that we can build each other up and NOT BE ALONE. With that in mind – know that I am going to hit the PUBLISH button as soon as I am done writing it this time. I won’t be saving it as a draft or editing it later. Errors be darned, I’ve got to share these encouraging words with you!


In the last 6 weeks, I have seen parents go from cautiously optimistic to full no cares given mode so rapidly. On March 15th, when we found out Iowa schools would be closing for *Two Weeks* – most parents took it as an, “oh this will be fine. Two weeks break will be like Christmas.* Some families even put up there Christmas trees again. But just like a family holiday, everyone got sick of it pretty quick – desperately wanting things to go back to normal. but that wasn’t going to happen. We soon found out that school wasn’t coming back this year – and now there’s are murmurs of it continuing this way into the fall.

This is no longer fun or *novel* for most families. It has become a time of desperation and survival.

I was added to a Facebook group pretty early on that one of my sweet friends started that is meant to encourage families in the midst of Social Distanced life. Its become a place for moms to lean on one another in desperate times call for extra boxes of wine and sarcastic memes moments. I am also part of homeschool groups that are up in arms that we DARE call this social learning homeschooling.

But you know what, I see you mamas. I see you just wanting the best for your kids and for your family. I know that you are trying to survive. Trying to teach your kids while working and keeping your house in an acceptable state of cleanliness. I know you are worried about the future. We all are.

So I decided to bring together a few of my friends – teachers and homeschool moms – to share some of their best wisdom and tips with you. You have got this, Mom. Were all in this together.

Faith Worley

Homeschool Mom And Alumni

Want to know a secret about your kids? They are capable. They are curious. They are clever and creative.

God has gifted them from the beginning with specific traits and talents that He wants to use to bless both your child and the whole world. Realizing this, and realizing the truth of my own kids’ capacity to thrive has been the anchor and motivator of our homeschool journey.

My biggest job is to be an observer and supporter- asking questions like: who are you, my small person, and how do I equip you to grow and flourish in your glorious person-hood? Where do your passions lie? What are the skills and tools and knowledge that I can give you to help you grapple with and overcome the challenges your life will bring? How do I show you the richness of Christ’s love for you so that you can’t help but carry that healing love to a hurting world?

This is an education for the parents just as much as it is for the kids, and though it’s not easy work, I trust that it will produce something beautiful and useful.

“All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.” Isaiah 54:13

Jennifer Lang

7th Grade ELA

We miss our classrooms, our kids and the routine it brought. We know you are doing YOUR very best, and no matter what that ‘best’ looks like, you are KILLING.IT.

Be kind to yourself – this is an unprecedented time in our world, and you are doing great! Don’t look to social media to try and emulate what someone else is doing. That might be fabulous, but it also might be unrealistic for you.

Trust me, EVERYONE is struggling, so even if their social media looks like all roses, they are trying to get through each hour as well. Establish a new routine if you need more structure, and if doesn’t work – scratch it!

Something is better than nothing (I know this personally when it is a struggle to get my own 3rd grade daughter to do work!). You’ve got this! Keep the faith, and when you’re struggling, remember your kids love you unconditionally, just like we love them unconditionally. YOU are their glue.

Emily Baxter

First Grade

The stress and uncertainty you are enduring is something every teacher empathizes with you. We know that this is hard, and we appreciate you. Here are 5 things we want you to know.

1. You’re doing good. – I promise you will not academically hurt your child. Anything is helping them. Don’t feel like you have to sit and do school work or worksheets for 8 hours a day. That’s not what we do at school. Keep doing the best you can, you’re doing good. 

2. We appreciate you. – We want more than anything to be the ones working with your child. We are so thankful you are there to fill in our shoes when we can’t be.

3. Reach out. – We miss your child more than you can imagine. We want to hear from you. We want to help. Please reach out to us, for anything! Let your child email us. Let them send us video messages. You may think it’s too much, but we soak up every sweet message and moment. 

4. Read. – If the worksheets are too much, the websites are too confusing, the computer is not working properly. Simply read. Read with your child. Read to your child. Have your child read to you, a sibling, a pet, a stuffed animal, whoever. Just get their eyes off a screen and in books. Foster a love for reading. 

5. Love them. – As a teacher, we love each and every student who enters our classroom. We provide a sense of stability, safety, and love. Please do the same. Keep them safe. Feed them well. Ask for help if you need it, we are here to support you. But most importantly, love them. 

Alisa Olden

Preschool

Parents are a child’s first educator! They know their child better than anyone else! If parents can set a good example of foundational skills, the academic skills will come.

Some great first things for a child to see/learn are positivity, perseverance, emotional control, problem solving skills, inquiry, delayed gratification, vocabulary, and self-help. These are all easily learned through basic daily routine and play.

Talk to and with kids…all the time…talk! From birth, tell them what you’re doing, what you see, how you feel, what you wonder, how you’re going to fix something, why you changed your mind…this can help children’s brains make sense of the world around them. When you’re outside, point out the wonders of nature. Inspect bugs, pull weeds and look at the roots, jump in the puddles, dig in the dirt.

Try to name your child’s emotions, more than just happy/sad. If you see them frustrated, nervous, skeptical, worried, excited, name those too! Emotional intelligence is more important now than ever before, plus, this can give them the words to explain their feelings to others which can divert tantrums or over-stimulation. Play with open/ended toys: blocks/legos, balls, costumes, crayons…see what they come up with or create. Discuss their ideas and allow them to be wacky, crazy, unrealistic.

Read to them, if nothing else, READ! If you’re tired of reading a book for the millionth time, talk about the pictures instead or ask questions about the story, or make up a new story.

But most of all lead by example. Let them see you reading, counting how many grapes you have, measuring that board, apologizing, hugging, caring about others…they need to see that, be involved in that, to learn it.

And never forget: Love them, hold them, hug them, listen to them, look in their eyes, get down and play with them, if even for a second.

Melanie Zorr

Homeschool Momand Former Preschool Teacher

Right now, the best thing you can do for your child(ren), give them grace. Give yourself Grace. Some days, you are going to rock this homeschooling thing. Other days, you are going to plug kids into a Wild Kratts marathon on PBS and that is OK. There will be tears. There will by smiles. It will be OK. For a child under 5, don’t expect more than 20 minutes total of actual sit down schooling (Lots of things can be counted towards schooling).

 Elementary aged school children should expect anywhere between 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours of homeschool MAX. High school students shouldn’t take about 4 hours in a day MAX. Right now, all of my children are missing their friends and struggling with getting along.

We have had more tantrums and more fights than normal. With each tantrum, I have the kids take some time to calm down and then I assess their needs.

My 8 year old and 5 year old are really struggling. We have been cuddling more, playing games more, reading books more. We go on walks to get out of the house. We move school outside on really gorgeous days.

Long story short, give yourself Grace. Give your kids Grace. God has got your back and it will all be OK. Hugs to you momma (and Poppas!).

Jill Rassmussen

Third Grade

Stop, take a deep breath and relax. Your sweet little one is going to be okay. We are all in this together. Don’t sweat pushing your kid to do school related things all day. If they are stressing about it, you likely are too and it’s not worth straining your relationship.

The only thing I have told my kids that I recommend doing during this time is READ, READ, READ. It doesn’t matter what you read, just read! Read inside, read outside, read on your trampoline.

Find what works for you and spend at least 20-30 minutes a day reading. I pray that my kids are getting to spend quality family time together and it doesn’t have to be school related. Take a hike, bake something, go on a bike ride, etc. These are all practical things that leave lasting memories on your kids.

Whatever this time is bringing you and your family I pray that you and your child will feel God’s loving presence through it all. Praying for you all during this crazy and uncertain time!

Categories
Mommy Bloggin

Respect the tiny human

My 4 yr old taught me how to organize her clothes.

“Here Mommy. Skootch over and I’ll show you how to do it. I don’t really like it the way you are doing it.”

She likes her clothes hung up in order – short sleeves, long sleeves, jackets and sweaters, dress (by sleeve length), then skirts. She showed me how she like her leggings and underwear folded. And she folded all of her jammies herself because, “I like them just like this mom, and I can do it myself because I know how.”

Friends – this is not the first time we’ve had this conversation while putting away laundry. It’s just the first time I’ve actually listened and done it how she asked. Rather than my way – which is “For the love of all things, hang it up and be done with it.” I hate laundry. Organizing is NOT my strong suit but I do see value in it.

I also found value in listening to my child and respecting her need for organization. I can’t even tell you the number of times that she has told me, “Mommy, thank you for cleaning.” “Mommy, I really like it when things are organized.” I have heard it so often but for some reason (probably because I‘m selfish), “I always heard them as Great Job Mom!” But today I heard it for what it is. A tiny human telling me that she has likes and dislikes. Who functions better in her daily life when things are a certain way.

Today, I realized that most of our arguments and meltdowns stem from the two of us not seeing eye to eye on how to organize things. Mostly me – expecting her to know what I want from her. And to be really honest – I’ve not set things up in her spaces to make her very successful at organizing to her standards. I would melt down too if I wasn’t equipped with the tools I needed for my everyday life.

It’s true – my child is a little unique. She’s got some quirks. I mean, how many 4-year-olds do you know who enjoy folding laundry and enjoys making lists as a hobby. She basically schedules her entire next day at bedtime the night before. But I think the lesson I learned (while learning how to hang up the clothes) can be applied to any family.

Let’s think of it this way:

You LOVE it when you start every morning with a cup of coffee. You don’t just love it, but you’ve learned over time that you actually function better with your cup of coffee. It’s not the caffeine really – it’s the warmth of the liquid in your mouth and the smell. Oh and those little puffs of steam that bounce from the cup to your face as you take your first few drinks. It’s the experience. Your day is made better by it.

But here’s the thing – you have always had the coffee shop down the street make it for you. Well, the shop closed down and there’s not another one within an hour’s drive. And you have NO IDEA how to make a cup of coffee. You try to use a few of those fancy tools you’ve seen them use at the cafe but they are all just out of your reach and there are no instructions so you just fail. And every morning from here on out, you wish you had coffee and your life seems to be subpar without it. You feel like the day is a fail before you’ve gotten out of bed. Every day, for the rest of eternity, starts off with a fail.

BUT! Then someone sees that you are struggling. They see you just need coffee. But they don’t do it for you – they teach you how to do it yourself. They give you the right tools to make your own coffee. You never have to be without your blessed cup of joe ever again.

That’s how I feel like it is with kids sometimes. One day, we just expect them to do things by themselves. Whether they are 4 or 14 – one day we just want them to do things without our help. We expect them to just know things. But if WE didn’t teach them how to do it, if we didn’t EQUIP them with the tools it takes to do the jobs we expect them to do – that they have come to rely on – then haven’t we just set them up to fail?

Or maybe it’s like my sweet 4-year-old – she wants to do things in a way that I am not very good at. She wants them BETTER than how I do it. But that doesn’t mean I am not capable of teaching her and equipping her with the tools she needs to live a super-organized life. Maybe I’ll have to buy her a few baskets and a label machine. But I can 100% help her. It’s my job. It’s biblical.

When Jesus said to go and make disciples – He didn’t just say, “Alright, good luck. Peace out!” NO! He has spent years with his original 12 disciples teaching them over and over again how to share the gospel. He showed them through His actions and gave them the tools and knowledge they needed to do it themselves. He was there to answer their questions and to guide them in their choices.

Then, when He left them – they were more than prepared to take over and do it without Him. AND THEY DID! They spread the gospel all over the world – it’s how we still have the gospel message being shared today!

So… I’m just throwing this out there – maybe we should all try to be like Jesus. Let’s raise our children the way He raised up His disciples. Lead by example. Equip them with the tools they need. Share our knowledge. Make sure they understand what they are doing. And then let them DO IT!

Until Next Time,

Emily B.

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Mommy Bloggin Word Of the Year

Health: Cutting the Card

Jacob has been telling me for years that he wants to do Financial Peace University with Dave Ramsey. YEARS. I never thought he would actually get the ambition to do it. I never thought there would be a day that I was like “YEAH DUDE, LET’S DO THIS!” The thought of it literally brought fear and dread to my insides. (More on THOSE feelings in a bit.)

Maybe you’ve heard of Financial Peace University ( FPU ). It’s where in the first class, you are told to make a budget and see what you can cut out to pay off your debts. Cut until it hurts. Then the next thing you have to do is CUT UP YOUR CREDIT CARD IN FRONT OF THE CLASS. I am not joking. This is a thing. That people gladly do! *eye roll* They must be in some serious debt if they are willing to cut up their credit card and make all these sacrifices; at least, that’s what I assumed.

About two months ago, Jacob signed us up for an FPU class. I was shaken to my core guys. It was about the same time that I realized that I wanted my Word Of the Year to be health. Health in all areas of my life – including financial health. But honestly. I didn’t really think that finances would be one of the MAJOR changes I was making this year.

So when he told me that WE were doing this starting in January – I laughed a little. He then told me, “I’m serious about this and I need you to do it with me. We have to do this together.” I immediately felt like I got punched in the gut. A wave of really weird emotions hit me, but I couldn’t explain them so I pushed it away and focused on my big issue.

“We aren’t going to cut up the credit card, are we?!” He reassured me that we wouldn’t be. That we needed it. That we pay it off every month anyway so it wasn’t a problem for us. We would just skip that part.

Except, friends – it had become a problem.

When we first got the card (my first one at the age of 23 – we were married) we had a nice, low limit. Super easy to pay off every month. But now, 6 years later – they had raised that limit for our ‘good payment history” and we had pushed right up to it. It kind of hurt to pay it off – so we didn’t. It’s not that we couldn’t, it just stretched us a bit thin.

Week one of FPU happened and they want us to make a budget of what we think we spend in a month. Man you guys, we aced that one. We know exactly what we spend on our needs and living expenses. But for some reason – we had a whole lot of money spent that I couldn’t account for. I started to feel those feelings again. That wave of emotion kept hitting me. And that’s when I realized it – it was guilt.

Now, this isn’t the first time I realized I spend too much money. A few months ago, I looked around my craft room and became physically ill when I realized how much money I had sitting on those shelves in unused supplies. But my solution then was to get rid of most of the craft supplies. – I thought that would solve my guilt.

Then I did it with my closet – all this unworn clothing. I’m sure a donation place would LOVE this stuff because I don’t wear it. In the last six months, I started becoming super aware of the number of things ( guilt ) I had accumulated.

And during week one of FPU, it all clicked together that I am the reason we have a lot of unaccounted-for spending. I am the reason our home is cluttered with – guilt. But I was still determined to do this whole process without cutting the card, besides what would cutting up the card actually do? I have the numbers memorized and programmed into my Google pay.

So I started watching my spending and what I found in the span of 3 days horrified me. Social Media is/was more than just a time drain – it’s a money drain for me. I found myself clicking on ads and adding things to a cart before I realizing I had done it. SO MANY TIMES IT WAS DISGUSTING.

Now its week two of FPU and my sweet husband still says were not cutting up the card, we will just watch our spending. I already know that I have very limited self-control, but maybe he’s right. Maybe we can do this without cutting it up. Then – Dave Ramsey (although I’m pretty sure God said it to me because of how it felt and Dave doesn’t know my name and Jacob says he didn’t hear this part) said – and I’m paraphrasing here – When you spend cash, it hurts. When you spend on a credit card – it only hurts a little But when you spend money on your phone, it’s like a game. You never see the money leave. “Emily, you have a problem. Emily, don’t just cut up the card, CANCEL THE CREDIT CARD. You can’t do this on your own.” (See? I’m pretty sure Dave Ramsey didn’t call me out by name in the middle of a prerecorded video.)

But God did. You see, a few months ago at church there was a special prayer service. I was literally on my knees before the cross begging God to change my spending habits. Begging Him to make us financially stable. But NOT JUST stable, I wanted to have enough money that we wouldn’t have to stress about it at tax time. That we would never have to worry about the credit card payment or house payment. I wrote it all out, cried over it and laid it at the cross.

Are you starting to see the correlation here? You know the best way to not worry about a credit card payment? Don’t have a credit card. You know the best way to make us financially stable? Me not spending money on worthless, guilt-filled clutter. Know the best way for me to stop spending all the money? CANCEL THE CREDIT CARD!

*facepalm*

So when God said this to me – I felt a HUGE wave of relief flood over me. It was a way out. A way to stop myself before it became a problem.

Did you know that finances are one of the leading causes of divorce? Also, one the most argued about topics in marriages. By getting this problem of mine under control – I would not only be helping our financial health but I would be helping our marriage health. Talk about a huge win for the Word of the Year and OUR LIVES! This is potentially life-changing, friends.

Heres the thing. I‘m not naive. I know that this is going to be hard. It’s probably going to hurt – growing always hurts. Not only am I willing to do this, I am excited about this. I’m excited to take a barrier out of home, out of our marriage. I am PUMPED that I am going to learn how to stop throwing my money away. My kids are going to learn healthy money habits from me. My husband and I are going to have stress free conversations about our cash flow.

Freedom is calling friends. And I am running towards it. Thank you JESUS!

Proverbs 6 :1-5(TPT)

My son, if you cosign a loan for an acquaintance and guarantee his debt,
you’ll be sorry that you ever did it!
You’ll be trapped by your promise
and legally bound by the agreement.
So listen carefully to my advice:
Quickly get out of it if you possibly can!
Swallow your pride, get over your embarrassment,
and go tell your “friend” you want your name[a] off that contract.
Don’t put it off, and don’t rest until you get it done.
Rescue yourself from future pain[b]
and be free from it once and for all.
You’ll be so relieved that you did![c]

Until Next Time,

Emily B.

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