Kathy had some questions that I thought I'd answer in a post. Thank you Kathy for asking!
>Lisa - your decorating work is coming together beautifully! It looks great (and seems to be moving smoothly and speedily).
It is going quite smoothly!
>Did you tape before you painted? The edges look good and I was curious.
Yes, we cleaned all edges, then taped all trim work. We've also been painting the baseboards, so it's looking pretty nice.
>Can you tell I've got decorating on the brain as well? Ha!
LOL! Yes, I noticed! It must be that time of year. :)
>Why did you pick this time of the year to do some big projects? I'm so curious!
Ok. Here's the long winded reply. It's all about the Lord and His timing.
Last year, God put on my heart that we needed to be out of debt. Who would have known that last year was going to be so economically hard?! I've been trying to follow God's lead in my life and at first, my plan was to keep some of our debt from the previous year and do some decorating in a small scale in our home. Well, I felt the Lord telling me otherwise. We were going through a seminar on being finacially free and we decided to commit to staying debt free for the whole year. That meant STARTING off that way. We used every bit of savings, tax refund, and Eric's bonus from work to make that happen. That left us with only our paycheck each payday in order to stay afloat. Yikes! We never realized that we never lived within our means before.
We trusted in God for all our needs. If something broke, we went without it. If the kids needed curricula, we went without or God would provide the funds, or the item in question. It was soooo hard. Even to the very end when we approached Christmas. The gas prices were so bad. The grocery bill was a monster that ate whatever was leftover from my dh's pay. We would save something and just as fast, something would come up and eat it. Many times we were tempted to break out our credit cards or maybe not tithe that week. It was SO hard. I don't think I can say that enough.LOL It was *SO* H A R D!!!
At the end of the year, we just barely made it. We were broke, but we made it.lol This year, for the first time in our whole married lives, we were debt free!!! The tax refund, bonus, and any savings that we might be able to save, are OURS. We owe no one, except our mortgage. What a blessing God has given us!
For our first purchase, my MIL gave me $400 for Christmas and I asked her if I could use it for repainting the house. She said absolutely yes! It was our dream to put in new floors because the carpet is the original builder's grade carpet from 6 years ago and it isn't holding up to the frequent carpet scrubbing any more. At first, we thought we'd buy it next year but when we went to Home Depot to buy the paint, I prayed that if we were to buy tile, that we'd find something under a $1 a square foot. We walked over to the tile area and one tile just spoke to both of us. We looked at each other and then looked at the price. It was 99 cents a sf! We paid CASH for it all. What a feeling of joy. To know that when this project is over, we'll have no debt associated with it.
As to why we decided to do it now, well, Allison's job is seasonal. If we wanted her help, we have to do it now. I guess God knew that this was the time and He made it happen. Again, I feel so blessed by this trial!
We will have more than enough left over from this project to fund our emergency fund, although we've learned that with or without one, God will provide even if we haven't a dime to rub together between us.LOL
>Are you getting rid of all sorts of clutter and organizing up a storm?
This project came up so fast that I haven't had time to do any decluttering but as I put things back in each room, it is my sincere hope to go through things and only put back what I need. For now, my home is a complete mess! It's already driving me crazy.lol
So there's your answers! I hope that this testimony is a blessing to those who read it.