Welcome to my weekly post where we take a break from money-related posts and I give you a little peek into our life from the past week and also share things I’m pondering/learning.
Books I Finished This Past Week
1) Make Your Bed — This is a quick read, but it really packs a punch and I found it very inspirational!
2) Humility — This is an old reprint that I’ve read before but it’s been a number of years! I was challenged and motivated by it.
Kathrynne’s Presentation Day at School
Watching your kids grow in courage and confidence is one of the best parts of parenting. I’ve seen Kathrynne come alive in the last year. She was bordering on depressed and had extreme social anxiety two years ago.
We tried so many things to help her. And nothing seemed to work. She just closed up further.
It broke my mama heart to see her so scared to be around other kids, to see her freeze up and not interact, to watch her hold back her amazing spirit and spunky personality because other kids had made fun of her in the past.
I can’t even describe to you how incredible it has been to see her break free from her incessant social anxiety, foster deep friendships with kids her age, and show up fully with all her amazingness this past year.
She gave a speech last week on John Wycliffe to her class and I couldn’t believe how grown up she looked and how cool and non-stressed she was about the whole thing. Jesse and I just sat there both in awe of what God has done and what a difference a year can make.
The decision to no longer homeschool her — despite how terrified and upset she was about going to school — was the right decision. At the time, we wondered if we were making a huge mistake. But I’m grateful that God, in His kindness, made it abundantly clear to us that He was in this and He was leading us.
Sometimes, you have to make difficult decisions and you have no idea what the outcome will be. Faith doesn’t mean you get to have a game plan for the future; it means you trust scared and take the next right step.
For Better, For Worse
When we committed to “for better, for worse” at our wedding 14 1/2 years ago, we had no idea just what those words would mean.
Some days, I don’t appreciate him like I should. Some days, he drives me nuts. Some days, I say unkind words. Some days, we fight. Some days, we hurt each other with our words. Sometimes, life is just hard. Many days, marriage is messy and far from the fairytale.
But he stays. Even when it’s hard. He chooses to love, even when it’s definitely not better and it’s most certainly a “for worse” kind of day.
I went to Cincinnati this past week on a business trip for meetings with Procter & Gamble. When they asked me to come on this trip, I almost said no — even though it was a really great opportunity.
Jesse said, “I think you should go. Don’t worry about us. We’ll be fine.” And then he willingly handled everything at home while I was there having an amazing trip. And I didn’t feel guilty that he was there and I was here. Because I knew that I had his full support to be fully present in Cincy.
I know some people say that marriage should be 50/50 or 150/150. But some days, the reality is that one of us is pulling more weight than the other. And I’m learning that that’s what love looks like. It’s not always about it being equally divided or perfectly balanced. It’s about saying, “I love you and will stand by you — even when it requires a lot of sacrifice.”
(Note: I always hesitate to post about marriage because I know some of you are in really difficult marriages. Know this: it takes two healthy people who are willing to both work on your marriage to make it work. If you’re in a relationship with an unhealthy person, please do not feel shame or guilt or that it’s all your fault. Because it’s not. And also? Please know that you are not alone. ❤️)
My Trip to Cincinnati/Procter & Gamble
Did you know that Procter & Gamble was founded in 1837 because the economy was bad, the owners’ dreams for other things didn’t pan out, and they were having trouble making their individual soap and candle businesses successful?
Did you know that P&G spent 200,000 man hours trying to perfect the revolutionary science behind Tide laundry detergent?
Did you know that their team gave up on the project because they felt like it just wasn’t going to work?
Did you know that one man, David Byerly, wouldn’t give up? And he started working in his off hours to try to figure out the perfect scientific equation needed to create laundry detergent that would actually clean clothes without leaving scum in washing machines?
And did you know that it took him a few more years to finally figure it out… and when he did and P&G manufactured it, it skyrocketed the company to major success, saved millions of hours of time each week for each household (most households dedicated an entire full day to laundry in that era because the washing process was so inefficient and detergents/soaps didn’t work well), and continues to be P&G’s #1 revenue driver today?
I didn’t know any of this until I spent two days in Cincinnati this week meeting with the Procter & Gamble team. I loved getting to hear more about their history and mission, helping them understand what my readers on MoneySavingMom.com are most interested in, and brainstorming ways we can work together in the future… and I left so inspired by their company values and story.
It was such a good reminder that sometimes, failure can lead you to your greatest success. And sometimes, the willingness to not give up — when everyone else does — can pay off in ways you would never dream or imagine!
(Photos from the P&G Archives — a historical walk-through of their company. And yes, those metal tokens on the table are old coupons!)
Some Thoughts on Motherhood
There are days when I want to quit. I want to wave a white flag of surrender. I want to give in and give up on this motherhood gig.
Because it’s hard. Really hard.
It’s messy. (Last night I spent 20 minutes trying to clean a glob of homemade slime out of the carpet. I finally resorted to scissors!).
It’s mundane. (Do you know how many loads of laundry I’ve done over the past 12 1/2 years? Or how many late nights I’ve spent washing dishes so we could wake up to a clean kitchen?)
It’s repetitive. (You say the same things over and over again. You teach the same lessons over and over again… hoping they will some day stick. And you clean the same rooms and spaces and kitchen and the work just keeps piling up.)
But at the end of the day, when you come into the room and find two kids had crawled into your bed and fallen asleep, your heart just melts. (And yes, then I had to figure out how to get them back to their own beds. Which was no small feat since they were fast asleep!)
Motherhood has humbled me, broken me, and remade me.
Motherhood has taught me to trust Jesus like never before, to let go of what other people think of me, and to make decisions in the best interests of my own kids — even if other people didn’t understand.
Motherhood has opened up a depth of love and compassion in my heart that I didn’t know I was capable of.
And it’s radically transformed my understanding of the Gospel. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
I love my kids so fiercely — even on the downright awful days. But to think that my Heavenly Father loves me even more than that? It’s mind-boggling.
Links You Should Check Out
- Is your budget tight right now? Check out this brand-new post on How to Eat Well on $40 Per Week. (It’s packed with practical ideas! And I’d love for you to leave some of your own ideas in the comments!)
- Also, if you could use some extra cash for your Christmas budget, here are 15 Ways to Earn Extra Cash for the Holidays.
- Want to earn some free gift cards? Here’s how Karin paid for her son’s 5th birthday party using Swagbucks.
- Have you heard of Datebox? They are a company that offers monthly Date Nights in a Box — that they send to your door every single month! Get your first month for just $20 here.