Nov 15, 2002

I really am starting to gain a strong testimony on the law of tithing! Heavenly Father has blessed me so much lately. In the past week alone, he has helped me to basically 'rid' of two liabilities that have been causing financial stress -- 1) we finally found a roommate, so my rent will be $90 cheaper a month, plus she will be paying a third of the utilities, so my share will go down as well. 2) Dad was in dire straits and needed a co-signer for a 92 Grand Prix, instead I sold him the 98 Saturn SL I have been trying to get rid of for the past year! He's picking it up on Saturday from Mom. I had to take a loss, I sold it at blue book price (I still owe some on it) but I guess it's ok, considering that I'm selling it for $4800, I bought it for $5000 (of course when I bought it Kelly Blue Book said it was worth almost $8000, and that was only a year and a half ago). I owe $5360 but I did end up re-financing it for an additional $1500 so that I had that money as a down payment on my current car. So I really can't complain. I lost $200 plus some interest. And it's a great car, I think Dad will be pleased with it - I'm glad that I could help him in his crisis and that he could turn around and help me!

So this will free up like $275 a month for me. More than half of that will have to go to paying off my student loans, starting in Jan, but I'm hoping the rest of it I can put on my credit cards, and get those paid off. I really want to be debt-free. I realize the student loans might take awhile, but if I can get the credit cards paid off and then I have about 4 more years left on my new car (and if I can start paying additional on that, it would be great too, even though interest is minimal) I'm hoping that in 5 years I'll be debt-free except for my student loans. In the meantime, I have to take care of my car. The warranty is good for 3 years or 36,000 miles, so it will be about 2 years of no warranty, but if I take care of it repair costs should be minimal. I guess we'll see...

But life is good. Life is really good. Even my fears, my self-doubt, my depression...even those things won't be able to take away the happiness I have had. Yeah, those fears creep up now and then, and I constantly worry about getting in over my head in any endeavor, relationship, etc...but I also realize that a life without risk is a life not worth living. And when I say risk, I'm talking about healthy risks, of course. I have my standards and nothing will make me stray from them, but within those standards and moral ideas I need to branch out, reach for the stars, and go for it:)

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for everything you have been doing for me! Thank you for sending me new friends and new people in my life who make it all the better! I hope I can turn around and serve and love these very people, and of course, serve and love my God as well.

Nov 13, 2002

Ok, what do I want to do??? I got a great idea from Keith last night when we went to a home buyer's seminar. What we need in Madison is a nice, big home that we use sort of like a compound (think, Facts of Life) where 6 or more people could live. It would be lots of fun for LDS single students, that's for sure! I'd love to be able to buy a house that has like 3 or 4 bedrooms and do that.

I also really want to to start this exchange program. I decided I don't want to go back to school - I can still keep learning without paying the price. I owe too much as it is and I want to get that debt down; I certainly do not need to add to it. And the only way I could really afford Graduate School is if I had some sort of GA or TA position, and to do that, I'd have to quit my job or at least greatly reduce my hours, and my pocketbook simply cannot afford that.

I guess I'm at a crossroads in my life right now; I'm at a place where anything new can happen and there is nothing holding me back. I could move anywhere, work anywhere...and because of the uncertainty with my current job, I might just have to do that if all else fails. I can start a whole new life, and yes I can do it here in Madison, but I can do it somewhere else, too.

Maybe I can start this exchange program idea as a company and then later in life turn it into a non profit organization (or create a npo that works WITH it), but I need the expertise to know what to do. I'd need lawyers, accountants, educators, host families, liasons with universities and schools; I mean, it's a big job. Well, hopefully someday when I marry my husband will want to help me with it - that would be awesome:)