When moving to Nashville isn’t all roses and rainbows…

Embracing Newness

I’m a person who loves order, structure, and sameness. I’ll wear the same outfits over and over again. Keep my house decorated the same way for years. Fix the same things for dinner repeatedly. Go to the same restaurants and order the same things.

I find comfort in having a plan and knowing what to expect. As much as I can, I avoid unknowns.

Moving from Kansas to Tennessee in May brought a lot of newness and unknowns into the life of a girl who craves sameness. Then, there were quite a few extra doses of new business, speaking, and media opportunities thrown into the mix. And this was all topped with a completely new way of doing family life.

What did this result in? An unsettled feeling.

For a few months, it felt like life didn’t have any ruts or familiar grooves. Instead, every footstep was like treading on brand-new soil.

There wasn’t a clear plan. There wasn’t organized structure. And there was a whole lot of new.

New people.

New church.

New house.

New kid’s activities.

New roads.

New stores.

A new life to navigate.

In the middle of reeling from all of this newness, I went to a get-together with new friends. As I sat there amongst this group and heard the friendly chatter around me, I suddenly realized how out of place I felt. Almost as if I was in a foreign land.

Everyone seemed to have memories forged together, roads traveled together, and life lived together. Everyone, that is, but me.

I tried to smile and engage in conversations and ask questions, but it felt like I was the odd one out. The only one who hadn’t been apart of all of these adventures and stories they were laughing and joking and teasing each other about.

My heart felt torn. I was so grateful that they’d been kind to invite me. But I also wanted to run away… back to where it was safe and known and comfortable.

We said our goodbyes, I got into my car, and cried all the way home.

The next morning, I got up early and sat on the couch trying to will myself to dive into the day’s to-do’s and responsibilities. I felt tired and lonely and just plain done with all the newness.

Jesse came downstairs and while he made his morning coffee, all my thoughts started jumbling out all over the place. (God knew what He was doing when He gave me a man who is so willing to listen to all my verbal processing!)

“I just want to go back to Kansas… where I don’t have to use the GPS to get to ALDI, where I don’t have to spend most of my social gatherings trying to remember whose name is who, and where I have memories of life lived with people.”

My husband graciously listened to all of this. Then he reminded me of why we’d made this move. It wasn’t for comfort and safety and sameness and familiarity.

Those things can be good, but they can also be stifling. And, in our case, we needed to jump out in faith. To forge new paths. To step outside our comfort zone. To be stretched.

The process would be hard and messy. We knew that. But the results would be worth it. We’d already seen fruit in our lives from unearthing new soil and how this was giving us fresh growth and inspiration.

He encouraged me to grieve what I’d lost and left behind. To acknowledge that it was hard. To talk about it with him and a few other good friends. But to not stay there and sulk.

Instead, he challenged me to embrace the unknown, welcome the new, and revel in the unexpected. This wouldn’t always be easy, but it would certainly make the journey much more enjoyable.

We continued to have conversations like this over the next few weeks. It took time. It took tears. It took prayers. It took safe people around me listening to me and letting me be honest with them about my struggles.

In the end, it has made such a difference for me these last two months. I’m finding that I’m feeling a lot less unsettled. I’m actually enjoying many of the new experiences. And I becoming much more spontaneous — which has completely surprised everyone who knows me well! :)

I love what Michael Hyatt says, “The most interesting things in life happen just outside your comfort zone.” It’s hard to step into the unknown. It’s often not fun to experience big changes. It’s usually difficult to face unfamiliar territory and new situations.

But if we embrace and welcome these changes, and newness, and unfamiliarity instead of just wishing we could play it safe and comfortable, a lot of unexpected joy and blessings can result.

For instance, in our situation, some of those blessings have been meeting new friends who are fast becoming very dear friends, opportunities for sports activities and advancement that our children didn’t have before, getting to see my husband thrive and find fulfillment in brand-new roles, and discovering that I actually can kind of enjoy being spontaneous.

Sometimes, changing your attitude can change your whole outlook on life!

photo credit; photo credit

Share This:

We Paid Cash: A Family Vacation

We paid cash!

A testimony from Sara

My husband and I recently took our ten-year-old daughter on our first family vacation. We started planning two years before the trip so that we could save enough cash to be able to enjoy the trip without having to go into any debt.

How We Saved:

We set aside any overtime pay my husband was able to get, as well as the twice-a-year bonus he receives from his employer.

We decided on a road trip as a more frugal option. We drove from Minnesota, where we live, to Pennsylvania, and then to New Hampshire. My husband has family in both states and our daughter was able to meet them for the first time!

A few months before we left, I began collecting non-perishable snacks and bottles of water to pack in the car so we would not need to purchase expensive gas station snacks. By starting early, I was able to watch for sales and use coupons for the snack items.

Our lodging costs were offset as my husbands family generously offered to let us stay with them while we were visiting. That really helped the budget not having to stay in a hotel the whole trip.

Finally, we were able to save money on food because we had a kitchen that we could prepare a lot of our meals and did not have to eat out as much.

It felt so good to just be able to enjoy our family vacation and not have to worry about how we were going to “pay for our trip” once we got back!

We had a great time!

family photo

Sara is a wife and mother of her ten-year-old daughter. She also works part time at a busy optometry office. In her spare time she enjoys reading, baking and running.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

Share This:

Ask The Readers: How Can I Supplement My Income From Home?

ask-the-readers-blue

Today’s question is from Carrie:

I would like to supplement my full-time job to pay down some debts. I want to do it from home as I am a single mom and I always have my kids with me.

I could do something in the evening while they are sleeping or on the weekends when they are playing. I’ve tried the online surveys. I’ve sold Avon. I have good computer, typing, and proofreading skills.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Do you have a question you’d like to ask Money Saving Mom® readers? Read the submission guidelines and submit it here.

Share This:

Free Ebooks: Frugal Arts, Easy Low-Carb Recipes, Favorite Christmas Recipes, and more

NOTE: The price of these ebooks is currently $0.00, but that could change at any time. Be sure to verify before checking out that it is still free.

Unless otherwise noted, these ebooks are specifically for Kindles, but you can go here to download a free application that enables you to read Kindle ebooks on your PC.

herbsDownload a free copy of The Amazing World Of Herbs: How To Instantly Improve Your Recipes.

frugalDownload a free copy of Frugal Art: Creating Beautiful Art On A Budget For Home.

low-carbDownload a free copy of Easy Low Carb Recipes From My Kitchen To Yours.

200Download a free copy of Delicious 200-Calorie Dessert Recipes.

sugarDownload a free copy of Sugar Detox Recipes Ready In 30 Minutes Or Less.

cookiesDownload a free copy of Favorite Christmas Cookies.

readDownload a free copy of The Ultimate Bread baking Guide For Beginners.

cupcakeDownload a free copy of 101 Quick & Easy Cupcake and Muffin Recipes.

seasoningsDownload a free copy of The Greatest Seasonings Recipes In History.

25Download a free copy of Thanksgiving Crock Pot Recipes.

Share This:

Target: Pillsbury Grands for just $0.21 each (after coupons)

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 9.42.00 AM

Target has Pillsbury Grands Refrigerated Biscuits on sale for $0.84 each this week. You can pick them up for just $0.21 after coupons. Here’s how:

Buy 3 Pillsbury Grands Biscuits for $0.84 each
Use this $0.40/3 Pillsbury Refrigerated Doughs printable coupon
Stack with this $1.50/3 Pillsbury Refrigerated Doughs Target coupon
$0.21 each after coupons

Thanks, For the Mommas!

Share This:

Amazon.com: The best online household & grocery deals

Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment Diaper Rash and Dry Skin Protectant, 3 oz Deal

Here are some of this week’s best grocery & household deals from Amazon.com, courtesy of Terry and Mandi from Jungle Deals & Steals. Many of these prices are higher than what you’d pay by combining coupons with sales, but they may be good deals for you if you live where there aren’t many stores or deals are scarce:

Olay: Get a deal right now on Olay Age Defying Moisturizing Body Wash With Vitamin E (13.5 oz) – as low as $1.82.

Downy: Don’t miss this deal on Downy Ultra Infusions Lavender Serenity Sheet Fabric Softener (105 Count) – only $2.48 when you use the available coupon.

Aquaphor: Here’s another good deal. Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment Diaper Rash and Dry Skin Protectant is available for as low as $4.42/3-ounce tube ($13.27 for the pack of 3).

Baby Mum-Mum: Stock up with this great deal on Hot-Kid Baby Mum-Mum Original Flavor Organic Rice Biscuit – just $2.04/24-piece box ($12.23 for the pack of 6).

Luvs: Get Luvs With Ultra Leakguard Diapers for as low as $0.10/diaper ($25.80 for the 252-count of size 1).

Earth Mama Angel Baby: Right now, pick up Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Stretch Oil for as low as $7.22 for the 4-ounce bottle.

Nivea: There’s a high value coupon available on Nivea Essentially Enriched Body Lotion, so you can get the 16.9 oz bottle for as low as $3.03.

Scott: Here’s a great deal on Scott 1000 Tissue – as low as $0.51/roll ($13.80 for the 27-count).

All: Get All Mighty Pacs Free & Clear Laundry Detergent (72 Pacs) for $9.97.

Cascadian Farm Organic: This is a great deal. Get Cascadian Farm Organic Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars for as low as $1.94/6-count box ($11.66 for the pack of 6).

Terry & Mandi are a busy mother-daughter team that look for ways to save money without sacrificing a lot of time, and they share their love for all things Amazon.com at Jungle Deals & Steals.

Share This: