Friday, May 11, 2007
A sucky attitude
Somewhere along the way, I lost perspective on what really matters. Today I decided it's time to spend some serious time in chapter 6 of Ecclesiastes, followed by Proverbs 31. I need to be reminded of what REALLY matters. Since I have been in Austin, I am learning that there is so much, so much that needs to be stripped away.

I don't know how it happened. I grew up very simple. When I was in elementary school, I was not allowed to be in dance, cheerleading or anything else because I was constantly told, "We don't have the money." We always lived in apartments and then a mobile home. I can't say that we did without but we did not have anything fancy. Our cars were simple, our home was simple and I remember feeling like all of the girls that wore Espirit clothing or Jaboe jeans, were rich. I will never forget a pair of Guess jeans that a neighbor gave me once. I think I wore them every single day. At Christmas time during 6th grade, all the girls got Guess Overalls for Christmas and Units. Remember the Units stores? Good grief those were ugly but so popular! Oh how I envied those girls with the name brands clothes. Even back in 5th grade I can remember wanting a pair of white Keds because everyone was wearing them. Some girls had all colors and stacked their socks in different colors when wearing them. I had one pair and just wearing those ugly white sneakers with the bright blue box on the very back of the heel that said, Keds, was heaven. This taste for wanting the most popular fashion carried me into high school and now tends to overtake me at times, even at thirty-one years old.

When we sat in our attorney's office for our first initial meeting regarding our Chapter 7 bankruptcy, he made us aware of debt counseling we were required to go through. So included in our cost to pay the attorney and file for bankruptcy, was also the cost for Dave Ramsay's debt counseling. We have already began some of it but have lots to finish up via the Internet over the next forty-five days. I don't think I was prepared for the lifestyle change that Dave Ramsay says must be inforced in order to live debt free. But my husband is totally on board and that means I have to be. It is the hardest thing ever for me to adjust to.

I used to have a friend that drove a pretty awful mini-van. She hated that thing with a passion. It was awful because it did not go in reverse. Every single time I think about us loading all of our kids up in that van, I laugh. We always had to park really far out to make sure we had a space where we could just pull forward. Sometimes we got lucky and found one at the front of the parking lot but that was rare. Every once in a while she would get herself in a position where she had to be pushed. And you know the sound some cars make when you leave the keys in the ignition and you open a door. You know the constant dinging? Well, her's did that while we were just driving down the road. Even now I am laughing because it truly was hilarious. But guess what? The van was free! No car payments, nothing! I don't know how much they paid for it but it couldn't have been much. Despite all of it's issues, it worked and it was paid for. My friend was embarrassed by it but I always thought it was a great way to keep a beautiful woman like herself feeling humble. When she finally got rid of it, she was thrilled to have a new vehicle that actually went in reverse. Wouldn't you?

In order to do things Dave Ramsay's way and GOD'S way, we are having to make some drastic changes. So one of the hardest things we have done is not sign the reaffirmation agreement on our Ford that has THREE rows of seats and is only a year and a half old. We are turning it back in. There is no way we can justify paying for it and even if Jeremy still had the salary he had at UPS, we would still be STUPID to keep it. Jeremy decided this week to make me start driving his truck so I will get accustom to having the three kids in a smaller, older vehicle. Thankfully it is four door but it does not have near the room or the bells and whistles mine does. While I am driving the truck, he is planning on buying a little clunker to drive to and from work . Today I got very frustrated with all the change going on. The kids and I went to Old Navy and were planning on going to Target until I realized what a chore it was to get them in and out of that truck. My attitude went down the drain when I started thinking about the Texas heat that will arrive soon and how sweaty I will get trying to get my stroller shoved in the FRONT seat with me and getting all the kids shoved in the back seat. Josiah can no longer take his seat belt off himself while in the booster seat because the seats are so close together. Today I felt like saying a million cuss words as I tried to get everyone loaded and the stereo/cd player in his truck sucks! See, don't I have a good attitude!

But on a brighter note, I bought some stuff for me and the kids at Old Navy today and that was wonderful. It's been a LONG time. We have not had credit cards in over a year but even so, my buying clothes every single time I went into to Target or Old Navy or Wal Mart has had to stop. Yes, I know. I sound like a spoiled brat but this is a new phase for me. And good grief Charlie Brown, it is TOUGH! I realize that this post may sound pretty dumb compared to all the things going on in our world. There are people with cancer, brain tumors, mom's who have sons serving in Iraq, etc. This really means nothing and that is what I am trying to focus on.

Right now, my friend's mini-van sounds like a Cadillac to me! I would take it in a heart beat! Clothes, shoes, cars, it really means nothing but it sure makes this life a lot more fun for us girls, don't it?!

Okay so I am off to get a better attitude and thank God for all the incredible blessings I have!

NO CAR PAYMENTS! That's worth it and that's a HUGE blessing!

(P.S. If you think you don't struggle with this stuff, if you can't be honest with yourself and others, don't comment. REAL life comments are allowed, nothing else. Thank you very much.)

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  posted at 3:47 PM

At 7:22 PM, Blogger Melanie said...

Hi Amanda-I was navigating my way through Kyle Sears blog, when I came upon yours. I also saw your profile in the Hutto/RR meetup site. I really like your honest, straight forward personality. And I totally know how you feel, paying stuff off is a tremendous feat, but the sacrifices are not easy! I really look forward to meeting you and thanks for letting me read your blog. I'm pretty good with the internet stuff...but I'm slowly learning to work my way through blog land! Mel Nutt

At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Amanda! I just love reading your posts because I can really relate. I too struggle with the "spoiled" attitude. My husband has always made sure I drive the nice, new cars. Just last month I decided that I hate driving my minivan and I was going to trade it in for a Suburban or TrailblazerExt or the coveted Outlook, which was loaded! However after praying about it, the Lord just gave me peace about keeping my van. Not only peace but the grinding sound which I thought was going to cost tons to fix turned out to cost me nothing! As long as we keep seeking our Father's will its all going to be blessed, not easy but hand stamped by our Father blessed! (KWIM?) We too have to par down our bills and spending which is a challenge but the Lord has provided for everything we need along with extra money to fix up our home to sell. I love how faithfull He is don't you?
God bless,

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Liz said...

I had to laugh at the van story...that is so funny. My sister had a funky car in high school that beeped like a dump truck every time she backed up. It was SOOO funny and embarrassing at the same time...but the car was free so it was a blessing.

Ah, I can relate to you. I struggle with my attitude about things that I shouldn't. And, shopping makes me so happy. It's pretty pathetic. :) I was depressed one time (for something totally selfish. my husband said no to a camping trip with all our friends that I SOOO wanted to go to, but we just couldn't afford.) so I want out and bought myself a cute little coffe mug. I felt better after that. But, then I felt bad for feeling happy about something so shallow.

Thanks for the comment you left on my blog the other night. You are right, God cares about all the little details. He cares about all the adjustments that you are having to make right now. He loves you so much and wil help you with the adjustments that need to be made, whether it's a car or your attitude.

Wish I could say more to encourage you. Just know that I understand. My husband and I have had to live with next to no money the past 7 years...but it's ok and I know that God is going to do good things in our lives.

My prayers are with you!
A Sister in Christ,

At 8:16 PM, Blogger Wendy said...

I grew up very similar and felt the same way about the Guess jeans/Keds.

I had to laugh at the van story too. I've driven things like that. Funny! I can so relate to a lot of what you shared. I married a saver and I am a spender. We've never had a car payment, but not because of me. I have learned a lot about money from my husband. I am really thankful for that, but MAN, has it been hard! When I am not spending consistent time in the Word, I struggle more with issues like wanting things. I can always see the correlation.

It is so good that you are going through all of this and really working through these issues, even though it probably doesn't feel that way right now. :)

At 7:33 AM, Blogger Munchkin Land said...

I think growing up with three sisters plays a huge role in my "spending" habit. We never had extra money for "stuff" and our clothes were either hand-me-downs or from the cheaper stores.

This has been a huge weakness of mine and I still struggle with it. The fact remains, Jon and I are both spenders. We are horrible at saving!

But I do think God is going to bless you for obeying Him. I'll be praying for you, because I know exactly how to pray for you in this situation!! Jenn

At 2:02 PM, Blogger Kelli in the Mirror said...

That is so very Dave Ramsey! Every time I listen to his show he yells at somebody to sell their car. I bet it was incredibly hard to do, but good for you!
I'm struggling with the cash part of his plan. I tend to still want to use the debit card at the grocery store and buy way more than the budget allows.


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