Happy New Year!
For many of us 2010 has been a challenging year! I for one have moved to another state, been unemployed for a time, found new homes for all of my horses, had health problems, and financial challenges. And all the while I kept on blogging. Sometimes with good readership and feedback and others where it seemed so quiet. But I watched the map and saw that my words were reaching all over the United States, Canada, Russia, Europe, Australia, and Asia. So I kept on writing. I watched the news and saw the millions of foreclosures, and 20 million on food stamps, and watched the unemployment rates and cried and kept on writing.
FREE ONLINE COPY
Now I'm going to ask something of you: Included in this blog post is a link to a free online copy of In The Trenches - Financial Survival During Times of Hardship. For months I have thought about how to reach others with this information at no cost and so now I ask you to forward the link to this post to anyone you can think of who might be interested and ask them to forward it on as well. If each person would send it to six people in no time at all it would reach 1 million - that is the goal, but I need your help.
The story behind In The Trenches
The greatest challenge of dealing with financial hardship or poverty is the despair and frustration that comes with it. It is sometimes difficult to share our personal stories especially on-line and after much vascilation I have decided to go for it with the hope that it will assist someone else in their own time of need of encouragement, faith, or comfort.
I remember a number of years ago laying on the hideabed couch that I was using as a bed to be closer to the woodstove. The chimney had gotten so plugged up that very little heat was emanating. The temperature outside was 18 degrees below freezing and what windows that were not broken were covered with ice on the inside. The children had been sent to a relatives and I was in the pit of despair. I cried out to God that if this what was to be my life than let me die. His answer came clearly to my mind as if He was standing directly in front of me; "Praise Me," He said. I answered just as loudly; " I will not praise You". Again He said; "Praise Me". Even more forcefully I said; "I will NOT praise You!" His words were quiet this time. "Do you worship your comfort more than you worship Me?" My heart was cut to the quick, and with sobs coming from my soul I began to sing the song I knew so well; "Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below, praise Him above ye heavenly hosts, Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Amen"
From that moment forward things began to change. Big changes and little changes and over the course of the next few years our lives improved. Yes, there was still hardship and penny pinching. And, not only did we learn how to build a fire, plant a garden, and raise a steer but more importantly I learned that we can prosper and improve from wherever we are.
I came to understand that by building my life on consumerism and debt spending I had erected a house of cards that was just waiting for a strong wind to blow it all down. I learned that living life on the installment plan or counting on today's income to go on tomorrow was a recipe for disaster. And, I knew just as certainly that the same fate would come upon the country as a whole at some point in my lifetime.
During this period of rebuilding many of my life long dreams were able to be fulfilled as I had the opportunity to work with flowers, home remodeling, ornamental birds and horses. All the while I was accompanied by my dogs who were my constant companions.
The Goal of In The Trenches
The mission of In The Trenches is to reach out and show people that financial hardship can be the beginning of the most amazing journey a person can fathom. In it we are challenged to learn who we are, what we can do, and to set our sites on where we want to go. We can learn what is important and what is not. The strategy begins with a basic financial assessment and although it seems to be about money it is really about life. Though the process of evaluating our goals, choices, and plans we not only survive but we are finally able to thrive.
It is the goal of In The Trenches to reach 1 million people and assist them through the personal challenge of enduring and adjusting to a time of unemployment, for the single mother struggling on her own, to give ideas to those who are sick and tired of being on welfare, or just want our hard earned dollars to stretch further. The book is not about telling people what to do. The challenge is to encourage one another to rise up from our own despair and financial misconceptions and realize we, have choices, options, and personal power.
My next steps
In The Trenches - Financial Survival During Times of Hardship is still available on Amazon.com and other online outlets. In the next few months I hope to add a Kindle version as well. But, I do not want cost to be a factor for anyone who would find even one paragraph of the book to be helpful so this free version may be printed directly at your computer printer or viewed online. I will be sending an email announcement to our subscribers so that it can be easily passed on and also contacting some other bloggers and asking them to link and spread the word.
This year brings new opportunities and challenges for me and I will be entering a new season of my own life. One thing I hope to be able to do is "hit the streets" with the book so that I can meet people face to face.
Finally, this will be my last official blog post for a while. I will be taking a break from posting but will leave the site open for those to obtain the free link and to read old posts. One of the best things about this process for me has been hearing your comments and the discovery of the many wonderful financial blogs. I hope you will continue to read and move forward in your financial plans with them.
I have appreciated your readership so very much. I have tried to imagine where you are, who you are, and what challenges you might be facing at any given time. I hope I have been a good friend along the journey you have been taking for that was my desire. Though the times have been difficult I know that we are stronger and wiser than when we began.
May you have a happy and successful new year. May God bless and Shalom.
In The Trenches - Financial Survival During Times of Hardship by Carol Schultz