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Friday, May 22, 2015

.:Debt free living, a trip and a heart that is stuck:.

How can I start this?  So many months, almost a year now, since I`ve wrote something on this blog!
You see, my mother tongue is French, and I love writing in French, so I have a French family blog and I usually write on that one.  
I don`t know why, but there is something about the English language that let me express more my feeling.  It was for that reason that I`ve started The Blessings in our Lives` blog a year ago.
I love writing.  I love putting in words how I feel.
We`ve been well, all of our family.  Aaron is now in university and Keila and James in school.  
What have been occupying our days this last year?
Haïti & paying off our debts!



Since last September, Ken has been travelling quite a lot to Haïti for his work.  He trains the teachers at a new vocational school.  
When we can, we hop in with him and go!
Awwwe!  I can`t explain to you how my heart is stuck!  It`s stuck, stuck, and stuck!  How can I get rid of that feeling of wanting to go back again, and again, and again??  Those children, those smiles :-)
I bet you`re asking how I can get there since we are on a debt free mission?
Well, it goes like this... Ken`s work pay for his trips and that is normal.  I pay for my trips and the kids trips by working very hard at my small Norwex business and by making and selling bread.  Yes!! That`s it!  
Since Ken`s salary was already destined to pay our debts, I decided I will work out a way to bring myself to that place and bring my kids with me.  
This is call a goal,  a focus for me.  Because it`s hard, sometimes it`s hard to work from home at a direct sales business.  But, did I told you my heart was stuck?  This is the reason why I`m doing this.  Because I want to go back.. back to those poor people, back to be a help to them, back to help them find a way...

That`s it for now, Have a great weekend everyone!  God bless!

Nancy

Saturday, March 22, 2014

.:What about debt free living...?:.

 
 
There is one thing I would like to write about today... One thing that has touched our life a great deal in the last two years.  One thing that I am passionate about...One thing that people don`t really often talk about but something I think should be talk about more because there are so many people affected by it...  That thing is DEBT.

Last 2008, Ken`s job position has been cut off.  The year after, our family income was cut in half.  He then decided to go to university and for the next 2 year, we lived as university students with a family of 5.

It was tough... especially to change the lifestyle we where used to have. 

As you can imagine, with a family of 5 there was a lot of "emergencies" and guess what... our normal thought was that we had no choice than to use the credit card and to repay it when we could...  But that didn`t work out...

On March 2012, for Ken`s birthday, I bought  the book The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.   After reading it together we decided  that we wanted to become debt free.

This was a huge step for us and this meant a lot of sacrifices, but the Bible verse "The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender" really gripped our heart and we knew that this is what we wanted and needed to do.

The first step was to cut our credit cards...which we happily did... Second was to do a budget plan and put $1000 aside for the emergencies, and 3 was to attack those debt with intensity which we DID!

Together we sat down and we did a budget.  I have to say that we had to do this several time until we did it right but it was worth it.  This meant deciding how much we had to put aside for the Lord, groceries, clothes etc. every pay.  We started to use the Envelope system and pay cash for everything.   That meant that when the clothing envelope was empty, we had to wait until the next pay to buy an item...

  All the little extra we had, we dump it on the debts. When we had our income tax refund, we didn`t buy a new couch with it... we dumped it on the debts...
 
 It meant that if we earned a little bit of extra money, we didn`t went to the restaurant with it.. No!  We dumped it on the debts...  and when Ken worked very hard and brought in extra money, we didn`t plan a vacation with it... No!  We dumped it on the debts.  It means driving an old car and putting money aside to buy one cash.  It means saying no to Tim Horton`s coffee every day... If you can understand this saying....  We said NO to wants and YES to needs.  Because there is a difference between wants and needs.

We started to pay the little amounts first and then attacked the big ones.  When one amount was paid, we put the extra money from that payment on the next amount.  It kind of did like a snowball effect.

Guess what...?  After a while, slowly but surely, this huge mountain called debt started to melt...  One goal was met and then another one...  When one goal was met, we put that extra money on the next one and on and on...

We lived and are still living on a very tight budget and it is sometimes hard, but with God`s help, we can now say that we are very close to our goal of being debt free except our home mortgage. This means no car loan, no student debts, no credit cards debts...We are so excited!!  Paying off the mortgage will be included in our next goal which is baby step 4,5 & 6 in the Dave Ramsey`s method.


The reason why I decided to write about this today is because sometimes, I am wondering if there is other families in the same situations...  Other families that are struggling with having more months at the end of the pay.  We want to encourage you and tell you that with the help of God, there is a way out.  For this you will have to to say No to "wants" and get intense.   There is a lot of other families on the same path to freedom.  We are here to testify that it works and we would be very happy to help you if ever you need someone to talk.


Get started with Dave Ramsey`s Budgeting Money Makeover  here
Get coaching everyday  Here
The book is sold  Here (We bought it at Chapters)

Blessings,
Nancy
 

Monday, February 24, 2014

.:Packing a box:.

 
Two weeks ago, our friends came here to help us pack a box for the Philipines.  I was so amazed at how many things they could fit in that box :-)
 They put stuff in the shoes, put the clothes in rolls, push and moved stuff around...
 Put Teddy in a bag...
And vaccum sealed it :-)
 
We needed a heavy man to put pressure on it while they tape the box and, Aaron was the best candidate for that :-)  So happy that my big boy has been feeling better for the last 4 weeks!
 
 (I'm still trying to find a way to get those last pictures bigger...)
 
Hope you're all having a great week!
Blessings,
Nancy

Friday, November 29, 2013

.:Little man:.

We have company today!!
A busy smiling little man
Who puts a smile on everybody's face :-)

 
 
 

Hope you're all having a great day!
Blessings,
Nancy
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

.:Cooking with MY GIRL:.

Keila had no school today so, me and her have been cooking all day!
She did 24 loaves of bread and together we did 36 dipped pretzel sticks.
And... I have to say... those pretzel sticks are sooo tempting!!!
Deliciously delicious :-)


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It was a long day but a wonderful day because I LOVE spending time with my girl!


Blessings,
Nancy
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

.:Good morning:.

In case you're wondering where I am....
I'm busy
Please pray for us.
And, if you need a verse today...this is one of my favorite...

 
Blessings,
Nancy

Friday, November 15, 2013

.:I am in need of a heart transplant every day:.

Yesterday, I've got a message from Halifax, to let us know that Aaron's files where officially  send to the Sikkids Hospital in Toronto.  That is where we are going to see the doctor.  
 That is a great blessing! 
Last week, we received an email from the Doctor telling us that he will contact us for an appointment as soon as he get Aaon's files.
Here's a video about Sickkids...

There was a message in my inbox this morning... It came from a mother's heart.  She is also part of the Cardiomyopathy Foundation's connect group.  Yet I don't know her personally,  I felt compelled to meet her and give her a hug.  Her message went directly to my heart.  She has experienced real trials, real sufferings but, today, she has encouraged me greatly  and reached my heart without knowing it.  Here's what her message said...

I am a mommy to four sweet blessings. (We had a fifth who did not receive a heart transplant in time.) Our youngest is a heart transplant recipient. We school them at home, and I feel stretched pretty thin at times. There have been many times in hospital rooms, and at home, when I just don't feel like I can make it. 


Forgive me, but I must share my heart, unashamedly, however politically incorrect.
( If God is offensive to you, you might want to delete this now. I think that most parents in our positions are past worrying about that silliness like that anyway. ) Living with life and death struggles
every day can make us understand that there is someone bigger than us holding us up. I am in
need of a heart transplant every day.

Spiritually speaking, I have a weak, sick, worn out heart,
and I am in need of a replacement daily in order to have the
strength and health to face the day, and care for my precious family. Luckily, the very
  God who created me is in the business of heart transplants. And He renews me continually.

 Our lives can be so overwhelming. They can feel isolated and lonely. They can be scary and uncertain. They can hurt-indescribable hurt that can threaten to crush the very will
out of us. But God does mercifully provide above and beyond  what we desperately
  need not just to survive it, but to live it richly! In daily spending time with Him through His Word in Bible reading and prayer He fills me, comforts me, strengthens me, instructs me, renews me. Whether we received the physical heart transplants we prayed for or not, He has faithfully renewed my spiritual heart and filled it with joy that blankets every detail of the life He has put me here to live. (Ezekiel 11:19 And
  I will give them one heart, and
  I will put a new spirit within you;
  and I will take the stony heart out
  of their flesh, and will give them  an heart of flesh:) 


He has given me rock solid security in His love for me, and
His faithfulness to plan every detail of my life for my
ultimate good. I need not question His wisdom in taking my children home, or in sending illness into our lives. He owes me no explanations, but  He has graciously proven His goodness to us through every moment. He has turned tears of despair into tears of joy, He has turned doubt into trust and security, meaningless into purpose, confusion into understanding.

 So my priority in caring for myself every day is above all else, to spend time with the Loving Father who  both created me and sustains me. This is more important than any of the other good things I can do for myself. Before I exercise, feed or rest my body, I exercise, feed, and rest my spiritual heart. Before I look to the wonderful family, friends, and care givers that He  has provided for support, I go right to the source, God Himself. ( Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.) (2 Peter 1:3 According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge if Him that hath called us to glory and virtue. )

 I cannot put my kids first unless I have put our Father even before them. He does not take my attention from them, He enables them to selflessly serve my family. He does not require me to give to them until I am empty, He calls me to be filled to overflowing with His boundless riches that I can then be poured out for them-without ever being empty!

 (Isaiah 55:1-2 Ho, every one that thirsted, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money: come ye, buy, an eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore
do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfied not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.) I don't believe it was any mistake that God called Jesus "The Bread of Life",  and "Living Water". It is because He knows we need Him more desperately than we need even physical provision.

 I have no intentions of preaching,

I humbly and prayerfully share my "tip" in hopes that someone
will be encouraged and strengthened in the same way that He
does for me. If God has filled you, I would love to hear
how. 

 Amanda
Have a great day!
Blessings,
Nancy