Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Last day of my Roaring 20s

It's the last day of my 20s. I thought I'd share some highlights of the decade as well as some things I'm still learning for all you young-ins out there.


Graduated college
Got married to the best husband in the world
Lived in 4 States
Moved into 9 different homes
Bought a house
Overcame cancer
6 pregnancies; 2 abdominal surgeries; 3 living miracle babies
Got my first full time job.
Made it through as a working seminary wife
Became a full-time stay-at-home mom
Paid for a minivan in cash
Featured on a Boston billboard
Entered into full time ministry as a missionary wife
Started a blog

Wisdom for you teens and twenty year olds (because I'm that old now):

It goes fast.
Don't buy a selfie stick.
Choose a spouse who fears the Lord, you will thank me later.
Be humble.
Give generously, no matter what.
Don't pursue wealth.
If God gives you a family, know that children are hard and messy, but precious and worth it.
Be content in all things.
Get involved with the global church in any way you can; it's much more exciting than politics.
Be authentic and vulnerable and loving.
Work for the Lord's favor, not man's.
Don't gossip.
Don't lie, ever. Satan lies.
Keep your eyes on Jesus.
Expect persecution if you follow the Lord.

Here's to thirty!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

$3.18 for Anna's New Sneakers!

Just in time, as my little girl wears out her shoes so quickly and could use a new pair of sneakers...

I was able to use a $5 off in points birthday offer (my birthday is this week and I'll be the big 3-0) from Shop Your Way to snag a pair of sneakers for $3.18 with free store pick-up at Sears.

Sears is also awesome because they bring out your order to you and you don't have to leave your vehicle (this is amazing for moms with little kids)!

*Shop Your Way is the rewards program for Sears, Kmart, and Lands' End. You should totally sign up... they send out free points offers all the time and I score a lot of sweet freebies/deals.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

My Fru-Gal Christmas: $70 in Free Gift Cards from buying Diapers at Target!

Target is currently having a fantastic baby sale where, if you spend $200 on qualifying items, you'll receive $40 back in gift cards (or spend $125 and receive $20 in gift cards). Diapers and wipes are included in this deal!!

I was able to purchase 6 big boxes of diapers (we should be set for a while) and 3 big boxes of wipes, plus a box of baby food and a baby gift for a friend, spending $197 shipped after my Red Card discount of 5% (which includes free shipping). The diapers I bought were the Target Up & Up brand, and they also had another $10 gift card deal when you bought them in sets of two... so, that added an extra $30 in gift cards!

Grand total, I'll be receiving $70 back in gift cards! Woohoo! I'm planning to set these aside to use for our Christmas shopping this year.

Don't you love talking about Christmas shopping in July?! :)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Year-Long Zero Dollar Clothing Budget Update

"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!" Luke 12:27-28

Some people have asked me lately, "Are you still not buying any clothes this year?" I haven't posted an update in a while so I thought I'd better keep you up-to-date!
The kids on Memorial Day Sunday

The answer is still, "yes!" We have made it through half the year now without spending any of our money on clothing for our family of five. It actually has been pretty easy for me, though I will probably want to go shopping for a new wardrobe once 2016 hits, or at least a few new pieces. :)

The one area of challenge has been shoes for my active five year old girl. She tends to wear her shoes out quickly, and though I've stockpiled shoes from a previous sale at Payless, I don't have her exact size right now. However, in comparison to the rest of the world, she has plenty of nice shoes. We're learning how to make do with what we have and be content despite the culture around us.

I've mentioned this before, but I have actually gained back a lot of time from no longer looking through clothing deals or just not giving myself the option to look. I've enjoyed the tranquility of trusting in God to provide for us, and honestly, our closets are overflowing. We might not have all new clothes, but we have beautiful clothes nonetheless.

"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come." Proverbs 31:25

Easter 2015
With birthday gift money and Shop At Home rebates, we have about $100 in reserve already for clothing needs. I've spent about $7 on pants for our baby boy (who really needed some comfy pants in the waist), $1 on white dressy church socks for my daughter from the Dollar Tree, and $10 on two matching shirts for my boys that should have been $1 total, but the coupon didn't work (frugal flop). So that leaves about $82 in gift money that we could still spend if need be.

I'm hoping to keep most of that reserve gift money for other non-clothing purchases, and see how far we can stretch our current clothes. I've also gotten two free shirts from Old Navy for myself that were on clearance, using a $5 cash rebate from last Christmas. Plus, friends have given us outgrown clothing, which is always an exciting blessing. I have bins upon bins full of kid clothing for their upcoming sizes.

"...give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

Do you think this would be an area you could cut out of your budget for a year? Maybe I'm low maintenance, but it hasn't been too hard. I find a lot of joy and freedom in escaping the materialism the so easily entangles us in our wealthy, consumeristic nation.

Sweet baby Joel
Also, the past few months have been extremely busy for me as I've helped put together a community-wide church event offering various free items, including a free garage sale. Even without buying new clothes, our family was able to give away about 15 bags/boxes of clothes and household items. I'm really not even sure how we have that much stuff to give away, but it is a joy to be able to continue to give to others.

"For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints...." 2 Corinthians 8:3-4

We're currently serving as full-time missionaries as my husband works as the Chief Technology Officer for the unfoldingWord Project. After raising support and making the leap of faith to become missionaries last summer (Jesse had another job position that he could have taken which would have been much more "secure," but he turned it down), we have not lacked for anything, have actually thrived, and continue to joyfully give to people around the world.

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs." 1 Timothy 6:10

With love, Kelly
It is such a joy to follow the Lord and trust in Him. He will not fail you. He will surprise you if only you trust in Him. I pray that continually for myself, and for you. I see fellow believers around me hurting because they are pursuing more money. Please listen child of God, stop worrying about money! Let go of your own security and trust in Jesus. He will provide more than you ever could. I promise. I've seen it happen so clearly over and over again in the past year.

"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me... And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:11-13;19