My Next 30 Years…

This week I watched the finale of the newest season of The Biggest Looser – Glory Days. This time around, the contestants were former athletes, some professionals, some semi-pro, and a lot of them were former high school athletes who let life take over. Now while I am not overweight, I am certainly out of shape and don’t always feel good about my body. I want to feel better, do better. I ran cross country in high school and for nearly 5 years after I graduated. Now as a member of the Class of 85, I am just a little sad because I have not yet reached a goal that I set for myself nearly three decades ago. I always wanted to try to run a marathon, but I let life get in away and then I severely hurt my back and running was out of the question. This past summer I was finally able to start running again, and it felt good. I was working on getting back into running 5Ks, I planned to try and run one at the end of last summer, but had some scheduling difficulties and the one race I was really looking forward to I was not able to make. I kept running for a few weeks after that and with a treadmill in my house (thanks to my daughter and SIL) it was my intention with the colder temps, ( my joints hate the cold weather) to keep running. But then I needed to work extra, and 10 hours of OT a week for 3 months, I got off track. I was just too tired. Then, it took me the past 3 1/2 weeks to get caught up on my sleep and back into a this somewhat new routine.

Finally, after all that time, ย I was back on the treadmill and I managed to do a 20 minute run, at a decent pace and was able to get 1.6 miles in! It felt pretty good, however today… my legs are telling me that I took too much time off! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am looking forward to trying to run 3-4 times a week and getting myself ready to run some 5Ks this summer, starting at the end of May and to try and run one each month through August or September. Depending how my knees hold, I may even try to run a 10K. I don’t know if my body will ever let me run a full marathon, maybe a half, but the point being is that I want to be healthy, and do something I really enjoy to get there. Make it a part of my routine… it is always a good time to let all the outside distractions fall away for that 20-30 minutes and revel in the quiet or talk with God. I am looking forward toย push myself and set some new goals. Most importantly to get healthy and stay that way!

Just like with making the changes I have with my financial situation. Making the effort, changing the way I do things, especially because they were just not working! I have set some simple goals for myself, as well some longer term ones to help our life be in a better place. With God’s guidance and help, it is happening, slowly but surely and it is so nice to be able to give Him the praise for the success that these efforts are bringing forth. I still have a few small bills to finish and a couple more that are larger and will take a bit more time to get paid off. But each time I can fill in another column on my “Road to Financial Peace” chart I made for myself, I feel good. No, I feel great! It has been such a sense of accomplishment to be paying all my bills (or at least making payment towards) and to actually do so on time! I have had to adjust my budget monthly, but that’s OK. I am learning about where I spend my money and if I am doing so wisely. I can adjust according to our needs and budget for upcoming activities, something I didn’t do in the past. The (planned) activity would get here and I would freak out because I didn’t know how I would pay for it, and would generally take money away from an actual bill instead. Not a smart way to spend your money, that’s for sure. Today, I look at whats ahead and what also needs to be paid. I take care of those four walls first and then look at what we might have extra. So far it has been working, and I feel good about the direction I am heading. I am also pleased with the fact that my actions are teaching my children the right way to handle their money, teaching them to prioritize what is important and what can wait.

Just this month my son made the final payment on his car. Just before heading off to college he purchased a newer used car, one that he got a loan to take care of. I discouraged this, as I did not want him to have a car payment while in college. Although I was not participating in the Financial Peace program at that time, I knew about Dave’s philosophy that you only make those larger purchase when you have the money to do so. However, I respected that he was an adult and let him make his own decision. I then watched as he made every payment, on time and am so proud of how he stayed responsible with this situation. He now has the title to his car, and the money he no longer has to make towards that payment can be saved for the next big purchase he may have in mind. His sister (my middle daughter) has too shown me by her actions, that maybe just maybe, I did indeed teach them well. Her first semester of college was tight and she was unable to help with her share of the cell bill. This past week she received her refund check from scholarships and such. She sent me a text asking how much she owed me for the cell from since school started, she then paid me for the last 6 months. Actions that make this mom’s heart smile. ๐Ÿ™‚

My oldest daughter and her husband manage their money very well too. Balancing college (they are both students) and work and all that comes with being a young married couple. I have seen them work hard and enjoy a better lifestyle than perhaps I was able to give my daughter in doing so. Then, there is my youngest, and because she is in the house with me as I make these changes, she is probably the most directly affected. She too is showing by her own actions that she understands the value of saving and prioritizing what she should spend her money on. She had some money at Christmas time that she spent on her siblings and is now saving again. Now as a nearly 13yo girl, that “something” which she is saving for keeps changing, but it has never been something small, but rather a higher value item that it will actually take some time to save for. I am excited as she is doing this, to see how she responds to His direction and provision.

Sunrise running woman

So, as I get my financial life healthy and myself healthy I am excited to see how God gets me there. I spent a little over the last 10 years allowing Him to guide me. I admit, I sometimes tried to take back some of the control and that’s when things got messy, when things got a little (sometimes a lot) out of hand… Insanity is what it is called and when you don’t change what your doing… when you keep doing it the same way, the insanity continues!

Somewhere along the road, during these past 10 years I selected Jeremiah 29:11ย as my life verse, a couple years ago I added verses 12 and 13:

For I know the plans I have for you,โ€ declares the Lord, โ€œplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

So, I am urging you to call upon The Lord, to seek the Lord, to indeed seek Him with all your heart. None of us know what God has in store for our lives and even though my 47 years on this earth have not been everything I could have wanted, I know every moment was what He wanted, what He needed me to experience to get where He needed me to be. So as I am settling into this new year, and preparing to celebrate my 30th reunion with my fellow GHS classmates this summer, I am also looking forward to where the next 30 years of my life takes me.

Until the next moment,