Category Archives: Money

Lazy or Efficient?

I hate shopping. I’ve said it before and anyone who’s gone shopping with me knows it all too well.

So now that Em is changing schools and moving up to the upper-grader world, I had a TON of shopping to do to prepare her for G.A.T.E. in the 4th grade: school uniforms and classroom/school supplies. As soon as I knew Em was accepted into G.A.T.E., I did some research and found that Walmart has a section on their website that will tell you what colors your school has deemed appropriate to wear. So with the exception of a couple items (which I found at Target’s website), I had all of Em’s school uniforms for the next year ordered; they’ve been in her room for weeks, waiting for Em to return from her dad’s house.

Earlier this week I got a call from her new school asking me to come by and pick up her registration paperwork. Included in the packet was a list of things she needs on the first day of school and things the teacher needs for the classroom. Knowing that Em returns today and school starts this coming Wednesday, and knowing our combined schedules, shopping for – and FINDING – everything we needed was going to be a challenge if not a stressful experience for me. Remember, I hate shopping.

So, I went to my beloved Amazon. I don’t know why I delayed for so long enrolling in Amazon Prime, but it was one of the best decisions I made this year. Because when you get a school supply list one week before school starts and you HATE shopping like I do, Amazon Prime quickly becomes your best friend.

  • Small Post-it Notes
  • Red pens
  • 2″ binder
  • Highlighters
  • Stapler
  • Blue Pens
  • Pencil sharpener with lid
  • Binder dividers
  • Colored Pencils
  • Scientific calculator
  • Two-pocket hole-punched folders
  • Scissors
  • 1″ binder
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Lined paper
  • Black pens
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Kleenex
  • Erasers
  • Spiral-bound notebooks
  • Printer paper
  • Pencil pouch (no boxes allowed – huh??)

Most of these items were eligible for Amazon Prime. I ordered all of them on Wednesday, it took me all of 15 minutes while I watched a Doctor Who episode. And all but 2 items will be on my doorstep before school starts Wednesday morning.

Call me lazy, but I like to think of myself as efficient. I know what stresses me out and I know how unhealthy that is for Em and me.

Right = Hard

For several months now my car has been having some issues. The tachometer needle would bounce up and down while my headlights would dim and brighten when I was driving 15 mph or less, and my engine would occasionally stop when my car came to a stop. I knew I needed maintainance, but I put it off. I was able to figure out little tricks to keep the engine running.

After another episode of engine stalling this past Sunday, I finally took it to my mechanic.

The engine problem was fixable, and during their pre-check of the car, they discovered other issues with my struts and shocks that needed work.

Even though my car is 7 years old, if I can keep it running for a good long time I am willing to do whatever is needed to get it back to “perfect,” or as close to it as possible.

I gave the mechanic¬†the “go-ahead” to take care of all the problems, knowing that the quote¬†he gave me would take a good chunk of money.

The hard part was realizing that if I didn’t want to pay a huge amount of interest on a credit card to pay for it, I’d have to dip into my savings (which, of course, is what savings is for). But the savings account that had the most amount of money in it was my surrogate savings, the reimbursements I’ve been receiving for the surrogacy process. I’d hoped to save that all for an eventual down payment on a house, but as owning a house is not in my near future, not even on the horizon, I made the hard decision to spend it and put the remainder of the balance on my credit card.

It was so hard to see that money go away, but I’m not in a position to be purchasing a new (or even used) car, and while the shocks and struts work could be put off, I’d rather not have to keep buying new tires for my car every year or so, either.

So I made the “adult” decision. I think it was the right decision. But it was still hard.

Thoughts on Stewardship – January 22, 2012

Today I helped lead worship at church. It was my duty to read the Hebrew and Christian scriptures and to offer an invitation to Stewardship. Below is what I said.


“You must pre-pay for your car’s fuel before a single drop sees the inside of your tank. You pay for your groceries before you can leave the store with them. You pay your electric bill once the utility company calculates how much you’ve used. You get your paycheck after you’ve put in your time. The newspaper company will leave a paper in your driveway after you’ve paid for a subscription. You can’t hear your favorite artist perform live until you’ve purchased entry into the venue.


The majority of this world relies on payment for services. If you want something, you have to pay for it.


This church is not a store, but it does give you many options when it comes to filling your spiritual shopping cart. It is not a gas station, but it does give you the fuel you need to keep going. It is not a restaurant, but it gives you a period of rest between all the activities that fill your life. It is not a utility company, and yet it fulfills the basic need we all have that keeps us coming back for more: love and truth.


This church does not require payment for services rendered. There are no bills from the church at the end of the month. There are no hidden fees. There are no payment plans to help you get out of debt to the church.


And yet we pass these collection plates down the pews each week, hoping that you will give a goodwill offering. Something to show your appreciation, your gratitude,  your faith in the church. That what we are doing here, what we are, is something good, something fulfilling, something everyone needs.


The diaconate will now come forward to collect your offerings to the church.”