Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Elijah's Park

My lil guy is so excited to have his own "park"! A few weeks ago our neighbor sold us her sons jungle gym Last week Daddy and I set and cleaned it up under our trees in the backyard. We also moved his swing set to sit near the jungle gym. He's loving it!

He has three slides, two swings, and a tunnel!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Why do I doubt?

I blogged a while back about how God was working in our lives, blessing our decision for me to stay at home after Baby Boy #2 arrives. Well, He hasn’t stopped yet. I’ve been wanting to post this – for two reasons: 1) to give the glory where glory is due, and 2) so I won’t forget!

Home Mortgage:
When we financed our mortgage 8 years ago, we got an outstanding rate of 4.87%. Fast forward a few years (still pre-FPU) we took out a Home Equity loan – at a whopping 7.99%. After FPU, we’d talked several times about combining the two, but just hated to give up that beautiful 4.87%. After baby #2, we decided to move forward – even at 5.5% we figured we’d be money ahead. Guess what – when all was said and done, our new mortgage interest rate is 4.5%! Not only did our financing come through without a hitch, we were given an even better interest rate! In this economy?? Yep, even in this economy, God is able!

401K – Part 1:
One of Chris’ stipulations was that I’d cash in my 401K after quitting. At first, I was adamant that I would NOT cash in over 10 years worth of savings. Then a Still Small Voice spoke to my heart and said, “Did I not promise to provide? Will you really reject My provision?” That made me stop and re-consider… And yes, we’re both aware of how Dave Ramsey would feel about cashing it in, but we both agreed this is what we should do. The funds would then pay off (or nearly pay off) our last two remaining credit card debts.

I mentioned this part of the plan to our HR Director; she advised me that our 401K could not be touched until the 1st quarter of the year. Something to do with the company 401K policies. Although disappointed, Chris and I were glad to know this ahead of time and set aside money to make those credit card payments for a few months.

Well, a few months later I happened to mention it again to the HR Director. She looked at me and said “oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. I asked about that and found out it’s not in the company policy after all.” She’d found out that our CPA’s had advised the company to write the policy this way – but due to the cost of re-writing a 401K policy (and because our turnover rate is very low), the company had chosen not to make that change. Wow! That means our funds will be available within weeks after I leave.

401K – Part 2:
I received my 2012 first quarter statement a couple weeks back and was AMAZED at how much that it had increased over the past 6 months. We’d received our 2011 3rd quarter statement the day after I found out I was pregnant. In the past 6 months, my deposits are around the $360 mark – our interest has paid off several thousand! How? In this economy? Could it really be possible? I double checked the two statements and found that yes, even in this economy, God is still in control!

Chris’ pay:
Chris noticed he’d been getting several bonuses lately. His boss told him they’d like to do it for him on a regular basis – as long as they can afford too. Considering that 2011 was the company’s second best year on record, (yes, in this economy!) I know God is able to take care of the company – and keep those bonuses coming!

Mowing:
Chris has mowed yards for a few individuals over the past few years. Not really a full-blown business, but yet, a little extra money on the side. He’s picked up two new yards to mow – located within a block of our house. They pay well, and only added about an hour to his mowing time each week. In fact, after a few recent changes, all of the yards he mows, except one, is within a block of our house. This is extra income – but doesn’t cut into a lot of our family time!

“No” is still an answer:

There’ve been two things we’ve prayed for specifically and God has said “no”. I’m okay with that – because I know He is in control and can see the end from here.

The first was our insurance… it changed on 1/1/12 and my OB/GYN is no longer in-network. They claim to offer a new member benefit called “Transition of Care” which is a benefit that gives your out-of-network provider in-network benefits for a limited amount of time. I did everything I possibly could to get this benefit, but because I wasn’t 20> weeks pregnant on the date the policy took affect, they denied me this benefit. I have switched doctors and although I miss my doctor terribly, I remain confident that this has happened for a reason.

The second was my short-term disability benefit… I don’t qualify for the STD pay unless I pay for COBRA coverage – which is well over $500/month – and even then, the most I qualify for is two weeks pay. Nope – not worth it! Again, I remain confident that God is in control and will supply all our needs! He promised too!
The unknown is a bit scary. I’m not gonna lie. I have concerns and a bit of anxiety over this huge transition. But I can honestly say, I have complete peace about our finances. And those other fears? Well, I know that the righteous is never forsaken. Even in our darkest of darkest hours, we’re not the ones in control. God is faithful and my hope remains in Him. My Redeemer is always, faithful and true!