Time for a Change

We were walking along our neighborhood trail one fall afternoon. Keller’s paws crunched the fallen leaves that blanketed the pavement. The blinding sun warmed my face as it peeked through the tall branches hovering over the path. A tear trickled down my face as I fought for the courage to tell Mark how I was feeling. School was in full swing and I was once again in Zombie Mode. We just bought a house, a fence, and furniture a couple years back. I had loans to pay for my Master of Arts in Teaching degree, as well as car payments. And the boys needed new clothes. How was I supposed to tell my husband that I got it all wrong. I didn’t need to work outside the home for ten hours a day, and then spend my week nights and weekends doing more work. My focus needed to be on making our house a home and managing our family. I had no time nor energy for that now. After spending time studying God’s word and talking with women wiser than me, I was whole-heartedly convinced that the way I was living my life was not what God intended for me. You don’t need a Bible to know that living stressed out all the time isn’t optimal. You do need a Bible, however, to find truth and wisdom for living life. 

Here are just a handful of scripture verses that led to my conviction that my family deserved my best talents and efforts, not my leftovers:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”~Jeremiah 29:11

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. ~ Matthew 6:24

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. ~Galatians 5:22-23

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.~ Proverbs 31:17-18

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.~ Proverbs 31:27

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.~ Psalm 127:3

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.~Proverbs 22:6

I shared my heart with my husband that day, and so began a string of discussions that centered around making my dream a reality. Here’s the hard truth that I want you to hear. It would be two more years that I would have to work full time before I could devote my energy to loving my family the way I wanted to. Two more years! 

There were a few reasons for my delayed gratification. First, I had a South Carolina Teachers Loan. That meant that if I worked in a public school for five years, my school loan would be paid for by the state. I had only worked three years. Secondly, we just couldn’t make ends meet without my paycheck. It was as simple as that. And lastly, what else was I going to do? I didn’t have a plan for anything else.

So, during those two years, Mark and I drastically changed our focus from, "How much money could we bring in?" to "How could our family best love God and people?”

We took a serious look at our budget and realized we didn't have one. So, we took a Dave Ramsey class and then a Joel Sangl class, both hosted by our church. These financial classes gave us the motivation to honor God with our money and our actions. My husband changed positions in his company and began making more money. We suspended cable, shopped at thrift stores, stayed home on weekends and in the summers, made cheap meals, and sold stuff. 

I decided to work as a substitute after teaching for five years in the state. This would help me bring in some money, wouldn’t take away from my time with my family, and allow me to use my skills and knowledge to help others. The first year was very difficult because we wanted to keep our same lifestyle but with less money. So, we had to make some adjustments. But, I wouldn’t trade this for the world! 

So, I was convicted to make a change. I shared my desire with my husband and he was supportive. Then, I endured a couple more years of craziness, knowing that one day things would be different. Tackling debt and analyzing our spending helped me to begin the process of living out my priorities. It was time for a change.


  1. I think its great that you had the courage to do this. We are doing the same and it is tough sometimes. But, I think we are happier this way.

  2. Thanks for your support, Gina, and for your own dedication to what really matters most. I love the collective voice of women who are intelligent, talented, and socially responsible and who choose to use our gifts in our families and community.


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