Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My heart is a theme park

This is so sad. My own blog address is no longer on my drop down screen! It has been exactly one month since I have updated so if you're actually reading this you are such a sweet friend to still check in with us! I promise I will be better in the future!

Soooo much has happened in my heart and life since the last update and I really do feel like I've been on a roller coaster. I guess the biggest thing has been finally arriving at the decision to resign from my teaching position and become a full time mom! My last day was today and it felt pretty surreal (but tomorrow we go to the beach so all is ok!).
This has been such a struggle for me...not because I don't want to stay home with my child, but because I didn't think it would be financially possible. I still get REALLY freaked out when I start crunching numbers. This is a huge step of faith to reduce our income to ONE teacher's salary! I know so many do this and do this well, but it is so scary! I have to say though, that in the midst of all my fear and doubt, God has poured out His kindness to us and has made it clear that this is what He is calling us to. And apparently Josh listens better because he arrived at this conclusion a long time ago.....WAY before me! I have had so many conversations that have just confirmed to me over and over that this is what I need to do. I guess it's just a little harder not knowing the joy on the other side of this. I have to trust all the moms that have told me how worth it it is. (and by the way, if you're reading this and bouncing a little one on your lap at the same time, please feel free to include any advice you might have for me!)

So, from a rookie to those of you that are out there on this journey a few steps ahead of me (or a lot) please respond and tell me your story. How did you reach this decision and how has God proven faithful to provide even when it didn't work out on paper (my worst fear)? And feel free to include any budget-cutting tips or things that you have found to be helpful in sticking to a very modest budget. Also, please share this blog with other women you think could offer insight (I'm desperate, people).

I know that I serve a faithful God and that He will provide and equip us for anything He calls us to. I have to remind myself of that often or ask others to, but He has comforted my heart and confirmed His calling to me. Thank you to those of you He has used to remind me of that! It was pretty scary handing in my classroom keys and shaking my principal's hand today and then I think to myself, "Seriously, Dana. How much security did you really think you had in that job (or any other job) anyway?" My security is not in a job or paycheck or account balance...it's in the God of all riches and the One who provides my every need anyway....whether it comes in the form of a paycheck or not. This has been good for my heart to really feel my need for Him. I get so comfortable so easily and I should know by now that sooner or later He will graciously yank me out of that!

So, keep checking back (now that you know I will be here at home more) as I will be tracking my journey and keeping you updated. Also, I will try to get some preggy pictures on here soon. I am getting huge! (you should see my feet and ankles....it's pitiful!) I can't believe that we are only 7 weeks away from our due date (Aug 4th). That sends me into a tail spin....I don't feel ready AT ALL!!!! And, for the record, I think this is going to be a precious, little boy..... this child is VERY active!


Kelly said...

What a great post, Dana! Congrats on being done!

I'm so glad you and Josh have come to this conclusion...and that he was so patient with you as you struggled. Thank God for patient husbands, right?!

Hmm...advice...pray. Trust Josh. Trust God. I know it sounds trite...take one expense, one day, one challenge, at a time. Don't look down the road too far if it will make you nervous. Plan your meals. Invite people over instead of going out with them. Shop at Aldi.

Kelly said...

And yes, we want to see preggo pictures!

Do you want to borrow any maternity clothes?

Shawnda said...

Dear sister,

we're in the journey together! I've shared all I know about this journey of trusting the Lord for finances, but I'll continue to share as we walk this road.....one thing to remember....is all the "sacrifices" of not having "this" or "that" are WORTH it!!! And you'll be able to focus more on that once this little baby is in your arms!!! : )

love you, friend!!!!

Melanie said...

Thanks for sharing your heart in your post. Being a mommy for a living is the most rewarding thing I've ever done, and I'm only 8 weeks into it. You'll soon realize while holding the baby that you, your husband, and God created together is the best thing that will ever happen to you. The cares of this world are tiny compared to the blessing of parenthood. My advice to you is to learn to be creative in cooking, in gifts, and in outings. Look for free concerts for entertainment, clip coupons, bake/cook instead of go out... It will take more time to do/have the "things", but our sacrifices are nothing compared to the great one of our Lord. Like Kelly said, take one day at a time. Why worry about tomorrow when you have today to think about? Keep reminding yourself that your a steward over EVERYTHING you have...even the little peanut inside you. God is in control and He is the great provider. Glory!

Melanie said...


I'm at the Mills at least 3 days a week for a walk. Let me know if you want to join me sometime.

Nicole said...

I was very nervous when we made that decision and God has provided for us. We've had to be more diligent to budget and STICK to it! We've also had to just trust Him to provide for us! There have been lots of sacrafices and I'm sure there are more that need to be made. I won't lie. It's hard, but SOOOOOOOOOOO worth it! I can't imagine getting up to go to work to leave my baby girl with someone else!

Aldi's is your FRIEND!! So are baking soda, baking powder and flour! LOL! Homemade is so easy and tastes so much better than store bought anyway!

We also found where we spend the most money (food). Everytime Jonathan gets paid, we take out the food budget in cash. Anything that can be consumed comes out of that budget and once the cash is gone, no more food! It helps us not eat out as much!! We've been close a couple of times, but there is always food in our house. It just may not be what we WANT to eat! :)

We got rid of our land line phone and just use our cell phones. It's worked out great for us!

Hope this helps! Please feel free to call or email if you wnt more tips!

And I agree with Kelly...we want preggo pictures!!!!!!!

Josh and Dana said...

Ladies....ya'll are so sweet! Thanks for the encouragement....that's exactly what I need to hear. I'm excited to be on the other side of this experiencing the joy and "worth-itness" in all these changes.

Kelly and Nicole...keep the tips coming! Those are great and very helpful, especially when it comes to our food budget. You make it feel very do-able!

Melanie....I would LOVE to meet you at Concord Mills to walk! That has been my summer exercise plan all along although I haven't done it yet. Let me know when you normally go and I'll see when I can meet you...it would be great to catch up!

Shawnda....I love you so much and glean from you tons! You're a huge inspiration and you don't even know how much!

denisejh said...

Hey sweet daughter,
I finally found your blog again. You are a wonderful "blogger" but then I've always enjoyed reading your thoughts. I can't tell you how proud I am that you and Josh decided to let you stay home to take care of the baby and home. God will bless your determination to rely totally on Him. He is faithful! These are exciting times for all of us as a family and I am very grateful to Him for giving us a new member very soon! Welcome little one! from Nana