Looking Back on 2008

2008

Looking back can be profitable if you take what you see and learn from it and grow from it. No “dwelling” allowed. 😉

I’m just gonna say this up front: 2008 S.T.U.N.K. like a dead skunk most of the time – but I say that still with a smile on my face and hope in God. I know that every circumstance, good and bad, grows me and strengthens me.

2008 got off to a bad start with Big Daddy coming down with pneumonia and bronchitis – both – at the same time. He missed TWO WEEKS of work, and we’re self-employed! Fortunately (and I say that not in reference to “luck” but in reference to fortunes direct from GOD)…fortunately, my church family came alongside us and held a food drive. Our pantry was blessed to the brim! And it was a good thing, because even when Big Daddy got better his workload didn’t. We made so little money for January and February, the WIC office workers’ eyes got huge and their jaws dropped open. No joke.

And God provided. We didn’t end up on the streets or starve to death.

You might think that once we caught up on our bills and recovered from the bumpy start we’d be fine, right??

Nope.

Big Daddy busted his booty just to make enough to pay the bills – all. year. long. We’ve juggled and struggled and yet, God provided just enough. We didn’t end up on the streets or starve to death.

We have two older cars, which have the benefit of no car payments, and the downside of frequent car repairs. We bought my 98 Lumina in the summer of ’06 for 1,000 dollars and it has worked GREAT until this year. And starting January ’08, my car has been not working at least 50% of the time. We’ve hit that point where things need to be replaced and we’d have to wait several weeks to get the money to fix it. Big Daddy and I would have to share his even older vehicle – and obviously he would need it more because he’s the money maker. It’s hard sharing the one car, (which we’re actually doing at the moment and have been doing since Halloween) but guess what? Yup. We survived. I’ve always been afraid Big Daddy’s car would break at the same time my car was broke – but it hasn’t happened yet. God has provided. And even if it did happen, I know God would provide in that instance, too.

We’ve had to do without a lot of things – things we think we need at the time, some things that are needs but needs you can do without for a bit, things that we want. I’ve had to learn to budget better, and make the most of our  money. I’ve had to learn to be responsible and trust-worthy. I’ve had to learn to accept help graciously (and not let my pride get in the way.) I’ve had to learn to rely on God – COMPLETELY.

So how can I learn from this and grow in 2009??

The last few months have been a refreshing change from the majority of this past year. For the first time in a long time, we have enough room to take a breath. I can stop juggling and finagling. We can take care of a few of those needs we’ve put off.

I hope I’ve learned enough to keep doing these things even though finances aren’t as tight right now:

  1. Budget and stick to it!
  2. Not change my spending habits just because there’s more money in the bank.
  3. Make wise purchases and make the most of our money.
  4. Be responsible and trust-worthy.
  5. Accept help graciously.
  6. Help others when I see a need.
  7. Rely on God – COMPLETELY – for everything.

After surviving this last year, I know that God provides – I’ve seen it, felt it and lived it first hand. I know that we will not end up on the streets or starve to death. And I know that when we trust him and rely on him, there is a peace and growth that comes with it.

Praise God, from whom ALL blessings flow.

Goodbye, 2008. Hello, 2009!

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Katie
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Katie

Your 2008 sounds almost exactly like my 2007!!!

Katie’s last blog post..I Interrupt This Bloggy Break…

Dianne
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Dianne

Beautiful post, Amber! God is ever so faithful to provide. We have experienced some rough patches over the years and He has never forsaken us. I love your list of things going forward – it’s definitely a good one. I’ll probably copy it down somewhere. 😀

Many blessings to you in the new year!

Dianne’s last blog post..The 50’s