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One of the lowest places of my life

Thanks for your patience with me as I’ve not been posting as much in the past two weeks. We’re almost completely done with moving and I hope to be back to normal life and a normal blogging schedule on Monday. Today, I worked on all sorts of odds and ends of moving projects and also packed up to leave for a weekend retreat with my Discipleship Group. So instead of the lengthy post I had hoped to write, I’m going to share something I posted on Instagram last night in hopes that it might encourage some of you.

Some of you may not know this, but when I started, I was at one of the lowest places of my life.

Jesse had lost his job, I had just gone through a really difficult pregnancy, I was trying to figure out how to juggle a business & a toddler & newborn, I had postpartum depression, we were new to the area and desperately longing for more friends and community, our marriage was hanging on by a thread, our bank account was almost drained dry, and we were just so d-o-n-e.

We were tired of living on beans and rice.

Tired of the stress of not having wiggle room in our budget.

Tired of wondering if we’d ever have a stable paycheck.

Tired of the constant frustrations in our marriage.

Tired of trying to build an online business.

Tired of feeling like we had worked so hard and scrimped so long and we had very little to show for it.

Yes, I started because people had been begging me to blog more about how we were living on such a tiny budget. But I also started it because I was hoping we could turn it into some desperately-needed extra income.

I look back and realize that were it not for being in such a hard place, I never would have been inspired to start this blog.

I never could have imagined that this same blog would end up being our family’s main income source, that it would open up the doors to book deals and speaking opportunities and dozens of amazing relationships and getting to support a ministry near and dear to our hearts in South Africa, and allow us to pay cash for a house… and would put us in a position that Jesse wouldn’t need to work outside the home and we wouldn’t have to stress about a paycheck or bills!

If you are in a really rough season right now, if you just want to give up and throw in the towel, if you are so tired and done and over it, can I just encourage you? Don’t give up! You never know what this seemingly awful place might be preparing you for!

By the way, you wouldn’t be reading this post right now if it weren’t for that intensely dark and lonely season of our lives! 🙂

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  • Abby H. says:

    Thank you so much for your transparency. We sometimes think we are the only ones, not realizing others have gone or going through the same thing. Your encouragement is so needed, it’s a reminder, if God did it for her/him, he can do it for me as well. Thank you for all you do, your inspiration and persistence. I have been wanting to start my blog because of you and I just need to run with it. God bless your family always.

  • Polly Stankuviene says:

    I’ve meant to contact you for years and thank you for your blog. I found your blog while it was in its infancy. At that time, our family was in crisis as well. Mostly a money crisis, but there were other things going on that the lack of money exacerbated.
    I remember reading your posts about the great prices you got at CVS, Walgreens, and Kroger. I couldn’t believe it! I would show my husband and we knew we HAD to learn the coupon game.
    I read your tutorial for CVS and would faithfully follow the rules for Kroger Mega Events and print out most any coupon that looked like it would be something we’d use. But I still didn’t “get it” So I had my husband read the tutorials and together we tackled our first CVS run on a Sunday. What a disaster! What frustration! But I knew if others were making a go of it, we could too. So we stuck with it and it probably took 3-4 months to be successful. And then the free or low-cost stuff started rolling in!
    Then we had to tackle Kroger (Smiths in my neck of the woods) Again, it was frustrating but I did get it quickly. In a short amount of time, we were able to slash our grocery bill by more than half.
    We had so much more groceries and health and beauty items that we could have ever imagined. I was able to build up a stockpile and shop my own pantry rather than run to the store constantly. It was truly an answer to prayer.
    And then you helped me hire appointment setters for our business.
    All I can say is that you and your website have been a blessing to our family and we are very appreciative to you for your efforts all these years.
    My cousin reminded me recently that without the valleys of life, we cannot fully appreciate the mountaintops. During that dark, dark time, no one could have convinced me of this fact. But I now know it is true.
    Thank you, and keep up the good work.

  • Becky says:

    I loved reading this. In my own life, I have seen the darkest times turn out to be the biggest blessings. It seems when I feel like I have hit rock bottom, God has something bigger and better to come for me. I am always inspired by your messages and transparency.

  • lynn Miller says:

    Thank you for this post! This was encouraging to me.

  • Tonya says:

    Thank you! I needed that today.

  • Chris says:

    I remember so many of the things you wrote about in this post and the post of your story on Your Blogging Mentor site. I have been reading MSM from the beginning, recommended MSM to many friends, and still enjoy your writing today. I hope to be able to meet you in person some day. So happy for your family and your new home, and hope you will have many good years there.

  • Diane + Dean says:

    There is no question that you have inspired many of us who have chosen this blogging path😇. You are an angel.

  • Karen says:

    Thank you for this post. This was just what I needed. My daughter is suffering from anorexia and the medical bills are piling up. We have no wiggle room at all and cannot pay other medical bills from my husband’s ER visit last year. I work so hard but my work has not been very sympathetic to my family crisis. Thank you for making me feel not so alone.

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