Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cutting the Cord

And so back to my story...

A Recap

We had traveled to three different places, considering all three as prospective places to make as final resting points for our future home.  The first trip.  The second trip.  The third trip, our last and final excursion was to San Luis Obispo, a quaint little college town along the California coast.

The final day of this San Luis Obispo trip would come too soon.  We would be taking home a deeper understanding of what we wanted in life from the experiences shared by our friends, Ryan and Barb, who had been on their own journey learning what mattered most to them in life.  

It was the morning of our departure...

“Would you like to go to church with us?” Ryan asked over a scrambled egg breakfast.

Absolutely we would want to go.  I mean, the last time we visited a church on one of our trips, an elderly man came up to me with a message from God.  What in the world?  Could this church have one of those guys too?  I was desperate for guidance, clarity, and direction.  By now in our journey, I was expecting God to turn up wherever, whenever.  I was getting used to it.       

My husband and I sat in the church service, hand in hand, listening to the pastor carefully communicate the message.  I turned my head to look at my husband.  The corner of my mouth lifted, forming a slight side smile.  The topic of the church service would, or course, be about the next thing that was heavy on our hearts- finances.  “Honoring God with our finances....” the pastor’s voice trailed off.  The perfect topic to end our weekend with.  We had just had a crash course on life lessons shared by Ryan and Barb about honoring God with finances and time.  Our weekend lesson wrapped up in a sermon.  I smiled thinking about God’s involvement in my life,  His constant hand over us.

Just the topic I needed to hear about.


For me finances are simple.  Very simple.  A small plastic card located in my wallet.  

“How do you want to pay?  Cash?  Check?  Credit?"
Cash?  No way.  You’re setting yourself up to be mugged.
Check?  No way.  Good heavens, no!  There might not be money in there.  I don’t know.  Even if there is, I don’t know how much.
Credit?  Now you are talkin.   

Me and my BFF, AMEX.  It’s the wise choice.  You get cash back for using it.  And points are the best.  Points for what?  I’m unsure.  But points sound good, real good.

Swipe.  Swipe.  Oooo, did you see that swipe?  

Smooth.  Fast.  Focused.  There is a definite rare, exceptional talent to it.  Because sometimes you swipe wrong and the card doesn’t go through.  Think that ever happens to me?  Heck no!  I have never heard these words out of a merchant, “Oh it didn’t go through.  Can you swipe it again?”  

Do I think money grows on trees?   Don’t be silly.  I know very well where money comes from.  It’s withdrawaled from my husband’s account.

“Janna, you need to stop spending,” my husband said to me.   

“Okay, okay, this is the last time.”

“Janna, you need to stop spending,” my husband said to me once again.

“Okay, okay, Dan, this is definitely the last time.”

I leaned over in the church service to ask my husband for a tissue.  
“Dan, do you have a…” I whispered.

“Shhh,” he quieted me, pressing his pointer finger to my lips.  “Pay attention.”

“….and you can start by cutting up some credit cards,” I heard the pastor say. 

“Here,” Dan whispered as he handed me a pen and paper, “Take notes.” 
We went away from this trip with a new perspective.

On giving.

On finances.

On owing others money.
“I’ve decided, Janna...  a house we can afford,” my husband said to me.  “We will not borrow money from your father.  Not even for a dream house.  Not even to build a house on a rolling hill.  Not now.  Not ever.  We will not sign up for a debt we cannot repay.”

“Okay,” I said, hesitating to agree.

He was so manly when he talked so assertive to me, but it didn’t make me feel all safe and secure like I thought it would.  Instead it made me nervous.    
Deep down I knew he was right. 

But what did this mean?  That I couldn’t lean on Daddy anymore?  Not that we were financially leaning on him, but he was the constant “just in case” cushion in my life.  
I could feel the ties, the dependency, that held me close to my dad were beginning to slowly unravel.  I knew I was to increase my ties to my husband, but the idea of it made me terrified.    

My dad was my base of support, the one I depended upon to feel safe. 

Without my dad, life just felt, 



  1. You're back to the story ... yay! What a good chapter.


  2. Janna, I haven't had a chance to read in awhile. You always cut right through so many issues in my heart. From the Dave Ramsey financial course I taking to thoughts of my dad and the trip I took to San Luis Obispo with my husband (then boyfriend) years ago. I love how you tell your story! I can't wait for more.