Trying To Stay On Budget? Stop Buying These 4 Things!

My husband is self-employed and I am a homemaker. When we got married, we set a budget, and we have to stick to it every month. Not only is it vital for our survival, but it’s important to us. We believe serving God with our whole hearts includes being wise with where our money goes. That includes making smart purchases, but it also includes NOT making purchases sometimes. Are you trying to stay on budget but still struggling? Stop buying these things! They help us to stay on budget! 🙂

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5 Essential Tips For First-Time Homebuyers

As of August 31st, Caleb and I are officially homeowners! Yay! We love our new house! As with any new house, there are some things that we want to change, but it is such a good fit for us and we are excited to live here for many years to come. Overall, our home-buying process went smoothly, which we are very thankful for. Today, I want to share with you 5 essential tips for first-time homebuyers! I hope these tips help your home-buying process to go as smoothly as ours did! 🙂

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Back From Break + 2 Announcements!

Hi friends! After a couple of weeks of absence here at Small Town Soul, I am BACK! I didn’t expect to take a blogging break, but lo and behold, it happened! Read on to find out why. During my break, I also planned out a few changes for the blog, so come find out what’s going to be happening from now on. I’m back from break and ready to share 2 big, awesome, exciting announcements with you!

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Find The Awesome

Life is hard, and it’s far too easy to focus on the negative aspects of it. Today, it’s easier for me to complain about an upset stomach than it is to be thankful for the groceries that we can afford. But I heard a message on the radio the other day about finding the awesome in every situation, and I love that thought! God has given us awesome lives, and we need to focus on that instead of our problems. Since that’s easier said than done, let’s look at how we can find the awesome in every situation!

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10 Things We Learned In Our First 100 Days Of Marriage

10 things we learned in our first 100 days of marriage

Today is July 4th, Independence Day. It is a day of celebration for our country. We are proud to be Americans. But for us, it’s another celebration, as well. Today, Caleb and I have been married 100 days! Yaaayyyyy! It’s been amazing, and we know that it will only be greater as we go. We are enjoying our life now and we are so excited for the future and everything that it holds. 🙂

I read a blog post the other day from Heaven and Hearth entitled Marriage Isn’t Hard (click the link to visit that post). Kali is wise beyond her years. In her post, she talks about how the phrase “marriage is hard, but worth it” has essentially become a mantra in the Christian culture. She disagrees, as do I. Is marriage worth it? Absolutely. Is marriage hard? No. Sin is hard, and we are sinful creatures. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.” [1 Corinthians 15:10] God’s grace enables us to live a life pursuing His holy desires, and enables our marriages to be filled with grace, love, and mercy.

This is not to say that hard times will not come. Many of you will look at this and roll your eyes because we’ve been married a little over three months and of course nothing difficult could have happened during that time. (You would be wrong.) In fact, quite a few people have told us something to the effect of, “Oh, sure, marriage is good in the beginning, but you just wait.” If that is you, please stop. Speak life into newlyweds, please. We know that there will be difficult paths to navigate, but by the grace of God and with His mercy, we will triumph.

Marriage is good. We love it. We love each other. We’ve learned a lot about each other, marriage, and God in the last 100 days, and we want to share some of that with you. Continue Reading

Why We Need To Teach Girls To Be Brave

Why We Need To Teach Girls To Be Brave

We live in a world where girls are usually taught ones of two things: they’re “just” pretty, or they’re absolutely equal to men and should do the exact same things. The first was an unfortunate development of self-esteem movements, and the second is the ugly mission of feminism. I don’t agree with either.

Girls should be taught that they are beautiful. It’s important. God has created them to be beautiful and He finds joy in their recognition of His work. But let’s face this logically. Girls aren’t equal to men. We aren’t as strong, we aren’t built to do hard labor, and many of us find little, if any, joy in the work of a man. We’re made differently. Wonderfully, but differently.

But where does this leave us when it comes to bravery? Many girls are taught to be the damsel in distress, waiting for the man of their dreams to save them from the dragon. I don’t buy that. I’m not that kind of person. I also don’t buy into the fact that the girl needs to slay the dragon. There must be an in-between.

There is. God calls girls to His beauty, and also to His bravery. He calls them to be intercessors, prophets, healers, worship leaders, teachers of the Word, the list goes on. And His gifts are best manifested in us when we step into those callings in bravery. Continue Reading

“You Make Tortillas?!?!”

You Make Tortillas?!?!

Y’all, I’m white. And I’m not talking ethnicity. I mean, that’s true too. But down to my core, I’m white. As white as the day is long. I still say things like “fo rizzle” and “crack-a-lackin.” Nothing about me is on point, on fleek, or on anything else. I love Friends, I can’t jump, and I’ve competed in an ultimate frisbee competition. I am white.

So when I say things like, “Yeah, we had tacos for dinner last night. I made tortillas and…blah blah blah,” the response is always the same:

“YOU MAKE TORTILLAS?!?!”

Yes. I’m white. Yes. I make tortillas. Yes. They’re delicious. Continue Reading

Smoke Alarms and Store-Bought Pizza: Our Weekend

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Smoke Alarms and Store Bought Pizza: Our Weekend

As of the beginning of this writing, it is 10:30 AM on Monday morning and the laundry is completely finished. I am unstoppable. BRING IT ON, MONDAY!

Mondays are hard, aren’t they? Just waking up; it’s almost painful. It was for us this morning. Especially after I had a dream that my husband moved to Florida without me (RUDE). But my 24-year Monday survival rate is 100% so far, so I think I’m doing pretty good.

Let me tell you about our weekend. Friday night, we ate dinner, waited a couple of hours, then ran. (The Texas death heat forces us to run late in the evening, much to my dismay.) It was one of those runs where you literally want to die. We got home and decided to watch a movie (Bourne Legacy, so good!). All that to say, we ended up going to bed really late (we’re old souls that are in bed before 9:30 every night). So we’re laying there, and my husband had already fallen asleep. I was drifting off to sleep, when suddenly …

BEEP BEEP BEEP!!!

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“Honey, Can You Fix My Jeans?”

jeans.png

Y’all, I’m good at a lot of things: cooking, photography, eating tacos. I mean, I rock them. (Humility, maybe not so much.) One thing I’m not good at: SEWING.

My grandma, who is still an incredible seamstress, taught me a basic hand stitch when I was probably about seven years old. I thought I was going to revolutionize the world of sewing (I was a big dreamer). I don’t ever recall actually sewing anything, other than a few stitches here or there, but I thought I was awesome.

Fast forward 17 years, and here I am. Married. Wifing (it’s a thing). My husband was working with a friend of ours last week and came home with a nice rip in  his jeans. Not a big hole, just an L-shaped rip on the front of the thigh. But these are his work jeans, and he likes them, so …

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Why I Chose Homemaking Over My Dream Job

As a child, I dreamed. As a teen, I planned. And as a young adult, I completed years of college, all to achieve my dream job. I became a teacher. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and then I went a step farther and earned my Master’s in Instructional Technology. It was exactly what I had always dreamed of, but after 2 years in the profession, I quit to become a homemaker. As crazy as it seems, it was the perfect decision. Let me explain to you why I chose homemaking over my dream job.

Why I Chose Homemaking Over My Dream Job

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