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Making progress 💪🏻

We have been so BUSY! With good stuff!!

Since I last posted…

*We have have paid $12k on my bonus sons student loan 🎉🎉

*We are in the middle of cash flowing summer vacations

*We have now paid over $35k since we began this journey in November!

INSERT HUGE CELEBRATION HERE

For those of you considering changing your lifestyle, or trying to pay off debt… it CAN be done! It’s crazy how “simple” it is. I put that in quotes because it is HARD work and dedication like none other but the principals are simple.

On my Instagram page (moneyonmymind02) you can follow more up to date progress. I encourage you to follow financial pages (debt free hashtags, frugal, etc) as I have found this to be a huge source of encouragement. What’s crazy though are the {dare I say} cat fights I occasionally see in regards to Dave Ramsey’s plan versus the avalanche method. In DR’s plan you pay smallest to biggest whereas the avalanche goes by highest interest rate. I’ve watched people call DR fans “cult members” and I’ve seen others bash the avalanche method for not doing it right 🤦🏻‍♀️

I always chime in and say it is YOUR journey! We started with the snowball plan due to having small debts that we wanted done quickly. That made sense! But then we jumped over to the avalanche method to knock out a high interest credit card. Here’s the deal- follow whichever plan you want! Mix it up! If you are intentional in your finances and are slashing through debt– who cares what plan you are on?? I’ve seen people start with automobiles and leave small debts waiting. For them it made sense to knock those out first. Who am I to judge?

Start somewhere. We took some HUGE leaps and dumped a lot of monthly bills to get going fast. Not everyone can or wants to so that! (Lemme tell ya… I don’t miss cable but I do miss my cleaning lady! 😭😭) Do what works for YOU!

We’ve made some major progress. We are working towards pre-paying (I guess you’d say) our summer trips. So this month there’s no “snowball” so to speak but we still have a plan and that is the most important part.

Anyone knew to the journey? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

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Uninvited

Have you read this book? I’m all for anyone reading it BUT if you are a woman it’s A MUST! Download it on your kindle, get it for free from your library or send me your address and I’ll mail it to you. It is a MUST read.

Here’s the deal– I’ve spent my entire life living with that feeling of rejection. I always had my family who supported me no matter what but I often was rejected everywhere else. I assumed I would reach a magic point in my life when rejection either didn’t happen or I didn’t care. Well… I’m still waiting on that moment to arrive.

Rejection stings. Feeling “uninvited” or out of place. Or maybe you are like me and you simply struggle to find your niche. This feeling doesn’t have to overtake you! While I’ve always known that my Heavenly Father was there with/for me, I don’t think I ever meditated on the fact that HE was rejected. The feeling I have when I don’t fit in, or don’t get invited, or don’t feel like I belong… my Father felt that way. He is who I need to cling to.

I’ve always blamed it on me being a loud mouth. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I mean, facts are facts. I’m too much for some people. I’ve spent years taking my temper and my tongue but some will always leave me out because they remember how I’ve been or know how I can be. It hurts! Especially when I know I am NOT who I once was.

Being vocal and outspoken has its perks but has so many negatives. I can’t change who I am but I can continue to work to improve on myself. I want so desperately to NEVER reject others. That’s probably not very realistic but it’s my goal. I work hard to include even when others don’t do the same.

If you feel rejected or alone PLEASE read this book. And reach out. I’m here and I’ve been there. But above all… if you feel rejected seek the One who was rejected and despised and loved anyway. I’ll never be Jesus, but I sure want to be like him.

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

If… then what?

Let me start by saying this post is my political opinion. I have so many friends (and a husband) who view politics differently than me. And I love and respect each of them– and their opinions. (Hi babe!! Hey Kristie!!)

I’m so confused by “the worlds” fascination with providing Donald Trump had an affair and that he is a racist. He IS racist and he probably has had multiple affairs. So– if “we” prove it– then what??

What is the end game with proving these types of “allegations?” I don’t care if we sleeps with half the world. I don’t need any other “alternative fact” to prove that {in my opinion} he IS racist.

Let’s put more focus on what WE as a nation want to happen and less on proving he paid off a Lady to keep quiet. Who cares? That takes me to Bill Clinton (❤️❤️❤️❤️). He admitted it. Okay it took some coaxing but he admitted it. Then what???

Why do we try so hard as a nation, in our friendships, in our marriages, to get that “I told you so” moment? When did proving someone wrong become more important than the bigger picture??

I don’t like Donald Trump. I don’t like what’s happening in our world. I want to throw a tantrum and cry out “IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY!” 😭😭 But that solves nothing. Proving Donald Trump is a racist won’t do anything. Didn’t we already know that?

I don’t know people. I don’t like what’s going on in our world one bit. It’s sad. We’ve lost sight of the big picture and we are wrapped up in being right and have lost our direction.

Thoughts?

Thanks for reading,

Cara Roxanne

Living my life backwards for far too long

It’s a fact. I have been living my life backwards

Buying when I couldn’t. Now I can and I won’t. Now I’m downsizing and doing without.

Now that I “don’t have to” and make a decent living I have to get rid of things I should have been doing without for years

Why did I think I deserved things when I couldn’t afford them? And why can I afford them and am totally willing to do without?

I am trying so hard to answer that question. And the only thing I can come up with is the old saying of “we always want what we can’t have.” When I really couldn’t (and shouldn’t) have purchased things- I did. And when I really long for financial freedom (and should be enjoying it due to hard work to get here) I can’t.

I was expressing this to my friend and my husband. Both laughed but it was the kinda laugh that hurt because it was that half-say laugh/half-way gasp for breath kinda laugh. My friend said “everyone goes through that. That wake up call of realizing what you did wrong.” My husband said “I’ve done that my whole life.” It wasn’t necessarily comforting to hear those words but it did solidify that I’m not the ONLY person who has been living life backwards.

NO MORE! I can’t go back but to go forward I have to relive some financial mistakes. I have had to come to terms with mistakes that will cost me years to fix. The funny part is that I’m okay with it. I mean- I’m not OK with being stupid and backwards for years, but I’m okay with facing it and owning it. I’m in control of this now. God is TRULY in control but you hear me, right? I’m in better control (and have a reign on) of spending and monitoring finances. For years I was terrified to login to my bank. I didn’t want to face what I would see. Isn’t that crazy?? Gahhh- that’s just so sad. {but true!}

Anyway– enough living backwards. Moving forward I feel like I have the tools PLUS the accountability from this blog. Let’s do this. Let’s live life FORWARD!

Thanks for reading

For now,

Cara Roxanne

A friend loves at all times- Misty

It’s not 2018 yet but one of my goals is to show deep appreciation for my friends. I’ve learned this year how rare true friends are. Like I’ve known that-but this year my eyes were opened to the need for genuine people! I’m a people person for sure but I have reached a point where superficial friendships serve no purpose. True connection, honesty, and mutual respect are of the upmost importance to me. And I’m keeping up with that mindset I want to show appreciation for those who have enriched my life in such a major way.

Enter Misty. Mama Misty, as I call her. Not only is she an active participant at our church, but she’s an active participant in my life! She calls, texts, and shows a genuine concern for what is going on with my family. She allows me to vent, she prays for and with me, and is always a phone call away! Her heart longs to serve others and she does just that FAITHFULLY!

This year has been fantastic but that’s not to say there haven’t been ups and downs. She has showed compassion and grace and helped me to reciprocate that to others.

She makes me laugh- makes me smile- and reminds me there is still good in the world!

Thank you, Mama Misty for being YOU! You are so loved!

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”- Proverbs 27:17

Thanks for “sharpening” me, my friend!

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

21 days of fasting

Our church begins every year with 21 days of fasting. Some choose to fast food and some pick something else. I chose social media.

Hear me out, I love social media! I keep up with my friends and family through FB and Instagram. I follow funny people like the “I ain’t doing it” Lady who totally brighten my day! And I get a large portion of my news through social media. ABC news articles, New York Times and of COURSE E News {all the essentials}. There are times I sit and scroll (kill time) but for the majority of the time I can honestly say it’s purposeful. But my oh my is it a distraction! Hop on Instagram to flip through and 2 hours later I know what everyone wore on Christmas Eve {hint- pajamas}, I’ve got 6 items in a cart of some boutique I’ve never heard of and I can’t stop trying to make the perfect story!!!!! Someone HELP me!

It’s a distraction for me. But unfortunately it’s distracting me from LIFE! Ten minutes turns into an hour without even blinking. And the comparisons! My word! I find myself feeling so inadequate after I have spent too much time on social media. I don’t know if every woman in the world has unlocked magical filters that I don’t have or if I really am this plain!!

See- that’s where my thoughts go, and I want THEM to go in 2018. Starting my year by a 21 day social media fast is what I need, and what I feel called to do.

I will continue to blog during that time and I have already loaded my Bible APP up with some great bible studies. I feel like it’s going to be somewhat tricky so I’m deleting my FB, insta and Snapchat apps so I don’t “accidentally” get on them.

Purpose:

The purpose for me is simple… start the year off with God First in my life. Spend 21 days eliminating distractions and using that time to read His word, engage with my family and focus on the important things in life. Also I want to determine if there is a correlation between social media and my attitude/confidence. The question to answer is: does social media cause discontentment in myself in ANY way? That’s what I’m out to discover.

I feel like this is an excellent way for me to give up(fast) something with the intent of replacing that with Gods word and time with Him. I also this is a way to keep my focus where it should be in 2018. It’s going to be an excellent year- but a tough year in regards to so many aspects. Prayerfully hoping this Fast will allow my focus to stay on point!

Here’s to 2018! May your year be filled with peace, love and laughter! I’m off to Family Christmas in Nashville, TN!

Thanks for reading,

Cara Roxanne

When will I stop asking why? 

I write this with big tears running down my cheeks. (Brb- gotta get that under control!!) 

Okay I’m better. So Ava and I are both sick and being lazy upstairs watching tv. She decided to play a game on her iPad so I flipped on live tv (oh the horror– commercials!!!) and Americas Got Talent is on. Why not? 

I see a girl who has obviously been burned walk out and begin to tell her story of surviving a plan crash, losing her best friend in the crash, her painful story of 100 surgeries and finding her strength in music. She survived a crash along with one other person while everyone else lost their life in a fire. 

I hate the month of June. June 1st is when I remember the events (from my perspective) of the day I found out my best friend had been in a plane crash and was in the burn unit at Children’s Hospital. June 10th reminds me of the day her parents had us (me and her other close friends) come to the hospital while the doctor explained everything that was going on with her and this allowed us to pray for her more specifically as we drew strength from each other. June 13th reminds me of when her oldest sister came to stay with me for the week so she could help out with VBS and get away from the hospital for a while. That same day reminds me of she and I checking out at Walmart and the cashier loudly saying “wasn’t that you that was in that crash” causing people to stare and us to leave. (Flipping small town) June 16th reminds me of the day that Rachel passed away. I’m reminded of knowing things had gone from bad to worse and the look on my dads face as he opened my bedroom door. I begged him not to say the words as the tears began to fall. June 19th reminds me of her funeral and the moment at the cemetery when her mom began singing “I have Decided to Follow Jesus” as she sat in her wheel chair from injuries sustained during the crash. And every day after that reminds me of trying to do life without my friend. 

I can’t help but spend this month thinking why. Why did God allow this to happen? Why to her family? Why to my friend? I’m sure God gets tired of me asking why, but I’ve promised Him that when we meet- I will drop it. 

For years I struggled with whether or not it was ok to ask WHY to the Father and Author of the world. It took me a long time to grasp the fact that it is ok. I probably shouldn’t do it, but I’m human and heck– I DO wonder why God took my friend. I wonder what she would be like if she were still here. I wonder what would life would be like if that pilot had just heeded the warnings and turned the plane around. I wonder how I would be different as a person who hadn’t endured such pain at an impressionable age. How different (and better) I might be if Rachel were still here. 

This I know for sure… God is all knowing, all powerful and can see the Big picture. So when I find myself asking WHY I remind myself of that fact. And my prayer is often this: Father I don’t understand but I will keep trying to. And while I try let me ask just ONE more time… why?

Give God your WHY’S. He can take it. He’s been taking mine for 18 years. 

Thanks for reading,

Cara Roxanne 

Hope… it’s kind of our thing 

I grew up in a Christian home and attending church. I heard sermons about Hope and sang songs about Hope. It wasn’t until I was much older that I began to understand the depths of that word. 

In one of the dark times in my life I was struggling with infertility. If you have been there than you can totally feel me on this. And if you haven’t, say a prayer of thankfulness. There is such pain and despair that come from suffering with infertility. I truly had lost Hope. I was angry at God and with myself. I felt like less of a woman and I felt like no one understood. Thinking back on those times make me so sad. I hurt for where I was and I’m thankful I’m not there now 

Don’t get me wrong… I’m not fertile now!! But I don’t “suffer” if that makes sense. One day, on January 3rd of 2008 to be exact, it all made sense. God was preparing to be a mommy. Just now in the way I had always planned. 

When I met my daughter I fell in love. She was mine. And I knew God had given her to me. She already knew her name so we never questioned changing it but we did change her middle name… to Hope. The hope that had left me had returned and Hope sure is beautiful. 

Today I sit here wondering what in the world is going on with this adoption process. I’ve sent emails and phone calls and all I get back is that “we are waiting to fit you guys into a class”. Well hurry it up!!! I didn’t say that… not yet anyway. I’m trying to not get upset and I’m truly trying to do the things I failed today the first time. The first time I was trying to become a parent I missed all the lessons. I felt like they were punishments. I missed out on what God may be trying to show me. And I don’t want to do that again. 

My heart isn’t “heavy” but it’s anxious. But this I know…. God makes all things beautiful in his time. And God, while you are making things beautiful– make me beautiful in you, too. Show me what I can do to be better prepared this time around. Show me what I need to work on and things I need to fix in me so that I can be a better wife and mother. And oh Father— Thank you for HOPE! 


Thank you walking this journey with us,

Cara Roxanne 

And so the journey begins…

The first step is always the hardest.

announcement

I wish I could tell you how this whole process began, but it happened so gradual and yet so sudden that I don’t even know how to explain it… but I will try.

Probably 2 years ago (I say probably because I have no concept of time) we began talking about adoption. We called and got papers sent to us from the state to look it over and talk about it. The papers came, we read through them, and they set on the counter for months. After a very candid conversation we decided it just wasn’t the time and it didn’t feel right. I have always thought it would be fun to adopt again yet I was completely content to have one child. After looking at these papers for months, I finally threw them out. It just wasn’t right.

Flash forward around a year (there I go again with my guessing) and a couple spoke at church about ways we could get involved with the children’s home here in Hot Springs. We grabbed the information at the end of service and looked it over. This was for having a child come to your home more or less like a “big brother” program. It would have been having the child come to cookouts and possibly spend a weekend in our home. We were both excited about it–yet we went no further.

But over the past 6 months or so, something began to change. We talked often about “when” and “if” we ever adopted a child. I pointed it out one time that my husband had said “when” and even he was shocked he had said those words. Something was churning and we weren’t sure what.

I have some Facebook friends who have recently adopted and one couple that is in the process of bringing their children home from the country they currently reside in. I have followed their story and shared each step with my husband. We have been excited to see their updates and follow their story. Why? I don’t know… I have adopted before so it’s not foreign to me but something just made me want to know more.

Sometime before Christmas (which means between November 1st and Christmas day because I put my tree up extremely too early), my husband walked in the room and said “Let’s do it. It feels right. I think we are supposed to do this.” I couldn’t have agreed more! So once again I got the papers sent to us only THIS time we filled out them out with excitement and mailed them back.

So far we have had the background check, finger prints and initial home visit completed. We are waiting to get signed up for our mandated classes. After those are completed there will be a final walk through the home and then we will be considered “open and waiting.”

Waiting. Here’s where prayer comes in. We are waiting as patiently as possible. (Which if you know me means… well, not so patiently) And what are we waiting for? WE HAVE NO IDEA!!! We have ZERO clue as to what our future looks like. We specified no age, race, or gender. So will I be welcoming a teeny tiny infant or a teenager? I can’t answer that. But God can. Sometimes I wish he could just shoot me a text with that info so that I could sleep more soundly!! But it doesn’t work that way.

This journey is going to teach us all SO much. Patience, faith and trust are at the top of my list for things I will continue to learn but HOPE is what I cling to.

One of my favorite hymns states “But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know He holds my hand.” I cling to that. I don’t know what will happen. I wish I had more to tell you. I know that YOU want the details too! I don’t know what this journey will look like, but I know that He paved the road and he will walk us down it.

Pray for us. Pray for this child.

Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Thank you for being a part of this journey,

Cara Roxanne

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