April 2016

Facing the Unexpected – Kerlene’s Story

As a mother, nothing can quite prepare you for the first time you lay eyes on your child.

The weeks and months leading up to their grand arrival are filled with nervous anticipation and eager excitement. We try to imagine what life would be like once our little bundle of joy arrives.

Will she act like me? Will he sound like his dad? How will it feel to hold her in my arms?

Every discomfort and every pain somehow magically fades away as you finally meet the little person who dictated your sleeping and eating patterns.

For some moms like Kerlene McCall-Woods, that moment can take an unexpected turn.

Living in Trinidad and Tobago, Kerlene’s journey in motherhood hasn’t always been paradise. Within hours of giving birth to her first child, Kerlene and her husband received a life changing diagnosis.

I recently asked Kerlene to share her motherhood journey because it is a reality for many moms around the globe.

While heartbreaking, her story isn’t filled with self-pity.

Her faith could have understandably wavered but through it all Kerlene and her family are determined to make the most out of the path God has chosen for them.

This is Kerlene McCall-Woods. And This Is Her Journey.

The 30 Day Money Saving Challenge

If reading “Why God Keeps Interrupting My Shopping Sprees” nudged your heart in anyway, then I’d like to invite you to join me on The 30 Day Money Saving Challenge.

I know starting something new can be overwhelming but the challenge is really simple. For the next 30 days, let’s commit to:

  • Set a weekly cash budget and not exceed that spending limit…unless it’s a life or death situation.
  • No credit cards and no debit cards. (Because when’s the last time you tracked EVERY SINGLE TIME you swiped on your debit card?…exactly!)
  • No unnecessary spending…not even if there’s an amazing sale.
  • No impulsive shopping.
  • No retail therapy.
  • DIY whenever possible (like DIY hairdos, manicures, and pedicures to name a few)
  • Bring a bag lunch to work.
  • Home cook meals, instead of dining out…unless someone else is treating of course.
  • Make a list whenever we do have to shop, and STICKING to the list once we get to the store.
  • Sign up to receive our free annual credit report to get a true indication of our credit health.
  • Actively look for ways to reduce spending (like coupons, canceling services we don’t absolutely need, attending free events, etc.)
  • SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!

These are just a few quick and easy lifestyle changes that will benefit us spiritually, physically, and financially.

The goal isn’t perfection or to stop spending money completely.  The goal is to develop more self-control and to be more discipline with our shopping habits.

Throughout the 30 days, I’ll post more practical money saving tips and encouragement on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

And I’ll be looking for comments and pictures from your journey as well! Just be sure to use the hashtag #30daymoneychallenge

Some days will be easier than others but I’m excited to see how much money we can keep in our purses and wallets.  Most importantly, I’m excited to see how this challenge will help change our spending patterns for the long haul.

So before we find another sale, let the savings begin!

 

How God Keeps Interrupting My Shopping Sprees

Lately, I’ve been having intense negotiations with God while standing in the checkout line of my favorites stores.

With my treasured conquests in hand, His gentle yet undeniable voice starts invading my thoughts:

“You know, you really should save more of your money.”

“Do you really need to buy another pair of shoes?”

“You already have something just like that hanging in your closet.”

“More makeup? What about that foundation you haven’t opened yet.”

Then, in the middle of Sephora, Zara, or especially in Target, I start debating with God as to why I should go through with my purchase.