9.10.2015

World Suicide Prevention Day 2015 + Don’t promise me the world, just promise me tomorrow.

Around the world, there is one suicide every 40 seconds
Think about that. EVERY FORTY SECONDS.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. And today, over 2000 people will choose to take their own lives. There will be people that you will see and talk to today that feel they are at the end of their rope with no other way to end the pain they are feeling. They have a bought into a lie that their tomorrows will always be like their today. Please find a way to get involved today. Help someone. Talk to a stranger. Smile. Call a hotline (1-800-273-8255). Talk to a friend, a counselor. Get helpTake 5 minutes to learn the signs of suicide. Do something.

---

Today is full of real-life aches and pains, deadlines and demands, busy and stressful moments, but tomorrow holds so much hope in its arrival.

Hope that the sun will come out.. tomorrow.
Hope that healing and rest is coming.
Hope that tomorrow will be different.. that tomorrow, the sun can shine a little brighter and the darkness can feel a little less overwhelming.

I don't know if tomorrow will bring any of that.. but I'm crazy enough to believe it just the same.. And I promise that I’ll still be here to find out..

Will you do the same? Promise that you’ll look past today and see hope?
Don’t promise me the world, just promise me tomorrow.
Promise me that you won’t quit today, because there is still something for you here.

--

One of my favorite non-profits, To Write Love on Her Arms, is challenging people to share why you'll still see them tomorrow. Here are a few of my reasons:

You’ll see me tomorrow, because I have a long list of to-dos that are still unchecked.
 
You’ll see me tomorrow, because there’s ice cream in my freezer that I can’t eat until October.
 
You’ll see me tomorrow, because there are 4 continents, dozens of countries, and a couple oceans that I haven’t put my feet on or in yet.
 
You’ll see me tomorrow, because September is the best month ever, and I’d hate to miss it.
 
You’ll see me tomorrow, because I am not BFFs with Taylor Swift yet.. October 17th, here I come! #TashandTay #Tashlor #Taysha #werestillworkingonit
 
You’ll see me tomorrow, because I have a weekend trip to Cali to see my older sister receive a well-earned diploma.
 
You’ll see me tomorrow, because I haven’t gotten married yet, because I’m not a mother yet… and most importantly, because I have at least 10 really good baby names filed away for future use. :)
 
You’ll see me tomorrow, because my apartment is a mess and I’d hate for my family to have to clean up after me.
 
You’ll see me tomorrow, because I haven’t gotten my half-marathon time down to 2 hours yet.. And I didn’t wake up at 5:15 this morning to work-out for nothing.
 
You’ll see me tomorrow, because FOOD. All the food I’ve yet to eat.
 
You’ll see me tomorrow, because I’m too competitive to leave the race early

xoxo,
Tasha

Linking up with Sincerely, Paula and Annie + Natalie with #thoughtsforThursday.

7.01.2015

Bye Felicia, I mean Debt: Update 2

If you missed the first post about my "live a simple life, get-out-of-debt, say good-bye to Felicia" challenge and want to catch up, here's the link.

In a nutshell, I started the year off with credit cards and a car loan that totaled a whopping $19,039.42. I pretty much stopped spending money and starting putting all my extra cash to my debt, and between January 1 - April 1, was able to pay off $8,447.71!

Now, I'm back for my 6-month check-in. Let's see how I did!

starting debt, as of April 1:
CCs: $0
Car Loan: $10,591.71

numbers update:

Three months later, I have managed to pay off an extra $2,915.15.. bringing my six month pay-off total to $11,362.86!!

individual breakdown:
CCs: $0
Car Loan: $7,676.56

total amount paid off since January 1: $11,362.86
total amount of debt left: $7,676.56

See y'all, October 1st!!

4.01.2015

Bye Felicia, I mean Debt: Update 1

a life of simplicity:

My main goal for this year, and life in general, is to live a simplistic and free life. A life that isn't necessarily filled with the latest gadgets or flashy items, but with joy, contentment, and happiness. A life rid of hurtful people, harmful habits, and an excess of things. A life that makes itself ready for my dream of traveling the world and giving back physically, emotionally, and financially.   

One big way for me to make that happen is to gain control over my finances. My money has to be mine to put whereever God and I want it to go whenever we want it to go. I can't build my dream if I'm steady putting money towards interest on loans and worthless purchases. 

So because of that I'm setting some goals for myself!  I'm 26. I want to be totally and completely debt-free (including credit cards, car loans, and even student loans) by the time I'm 30. That's a target date of September 20, 2018. A lofty goal, sure. But with some work (and more work) and Jesus I think I can make it happen in 3.5 years. 

I started seriously working towards this goal January 1st of this year. To hold myself accountable to my family and the few people beside them that read this blog, I'll be posting updates every three months about my lengthy goodbye with Felicia.

This first post is to share where I was January 1st, how I've done over the past three months, and how my debt looks now, April 1st.

starting debt: 

Three credit cards and my never-ending car loan totaling $19,039.42. Yowzers, and that's not even counting student loans! (***Student loans, while receiving the minimum monthly payment, will be officially tackled once credit cards and car loans are gone. To save myself a heart attack every time I look at these numbers, they'll be included at a later date. :) )

individual breakdown:

CC1: $763.92
CC2: $2,104.67
CC3: $2,590.83
Car Loan: $13,580.00

the game plan:

Something that I've found helpful when saving money before is doing a spending fast of sorts. The basic idea is you only spend money on necessary items: food, bills, tithes/offering, gas, debt. If you counted it up, you'd be amazed at the amount of money that you spend on fast food, coffee, cigarettes, and many other things you really don't need.

(The idea for a spending fast comes from Anna over at And Then We Saved. Check her out. She has great tips and ideas for saving money and getting out of debt! She paid off thousands of dollars of debt in her first year of doing a spending fast.)

Since January 1, I have, for the most part, stuck to a pretty strict spending fast, funneling all extra money to my debt. I've also been using Dave Ramsey's snowball method of paying down the smallest debt first. I didn't worry about interest rates, because I knew I wanted to specifically tackle credit cards, then car, and then student loans no matter their balances.

numbers update:

Annnnnnnnnnnd *drum roll* As of April 1st, just three months in, I have already managed to pay off a pretty nice amount of $8,447.71!! That means my credit cards are gone!! Bye, Felicia!!

I don't even know how this is possible as I don't even make that much money in a three month period, but God surely provided! It's like the less I was spending, the more He was putting in my account. 

individual breakdown:

CC1: $0
CC2: $0
CC3: $0
Car Loan: $10,591.71

I'm so excited to continue to see this number decrease until it is officially gone forEVER. 

I'd like to hear from you guys... How do you feel about having debt; good, bad, indifferent? What are some tips you have for getting out of debt?

Well, see you guys July 1st for update 2. And if anyone has $10,000 just lying around, I'll gladly accept your donation to help pay the rest of this off. Haha. Kidding... Sort of. :)

total amount paid off to date: $8,447.71
total amount of debt left: $10,591.71

3.03.2015

How can it be?


We all know the story by now, but a perfect God standing in as a ransom for my sins will never get old to me. How can it be that when God looks at me he sees His beloved? How can it be that God loves me so relentlessly knowing how much and how often I fail?

They say love is blind, but love certainly doesn't make God blind. We talk about God throwing our sins into this metaphoric sea of forgetfulness, but I don't think it's in God's nature to forget anything. I believe He looks at me and sees everything I've ever done. He is not ignorant of my shortcomings or of my humanity. I'm an open book before Him with no missing pages, no edits or rewrites to make everything picture-perfect. My sins are not perfectly blotted out, though I've been washed in His redeeming blood. They are ever before Him. He doesn't hold them against me, sure... but I believe He still remembers them. 

But the mind boggling part is that He still loves me and delights in me, even though knowing me so intimately! Or perhaps because he knows me so intimately. He created me with all of my quirks and personality traits. He knows what makes me tick and what ticks me off. He created me this way! He gets my competitive streak and my perfectionist tendencies, he understands why I've built walls around my heart, he knows my deepest desire to be a mother, he sees the reasons (flawed they may be) behind why I make all of my decisions. There is nothing hidden from Him. Good or bad. And He still loves me and delights in knowing me.

It's a rare and powerful love that can look through a person's flaws and see a person worthy of love and mercy. 

I'm forever grateful for a God who loves like that.
 
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