Category Archives: Prayer

Car Shopping with No Cash… My 12-Step Process

Going car shopping with no money in your pocket, having emptied out your purse and wallet, can really put things into perspective. I personally prefer to shop this way, especially when looking to make a substantial purchase as a  vehicle.

I like doing this as it allows me to “shop” my salesperson to see who is “worthy” of their commission/sale. It also allows me to truly get a better view of how that particular car lot does business; the mindset of the company or atleast management and the sales floor.

I remember my very first, solo, car buying experience. I say solo, since I was by myself, but I did have my brother-like figure helping to negotiate the pricing on my car (virtually mind you). It was a crazy experience and one I will never forget. I had shopped several lots, seeing every single thing I did NOT want and being prompted and prodded to just get this or that. Me being relentless in my thinking and knowing that I would be seriously peeved if I purchased something just to have a new set of wheels, but did not actually enjoy it, just left each lot. You see, in my mind I had plotted and planned and could see myself in a luxury sports sedan, even though I felt that I did not have that type of money and certainly not that type of credit. But I believed in prayer and in my own ability to “think things possible”.

Car shopping, decisions, decisions, decisions...

My 12-Step Process

  1. Deal Breaker List – I planned by creating a list of all the amenities and features I “had to have/deal-breakers”.
  2. Nice but Not Need List – Next I created a “niceties but not necessities” list.
  3. Specs Check – Then I went on the internet to see which makes and models had my specs and I started pulling up the KBB (Kelly Blue Book) value on all as well as checking the gas mileage, emissions and other data on fueleconomy.gov (I truly treasure this site).
  4. Virtual Car Shopping – Next I started virtually shopping the various dealerships and car lots via the web.
  5. Phone Dealer to see if Car is Still There – Once I saw a vehicle I liked I would call, to see if it was still available (this step is tricky as they will say, oh yeah it’s here, and when you get there, it was sold “right before you came” (hoax alert and automatic disqualifier).
  6. Onsite Browsing – I started to make visits to the lots on Sunday’s (Ha, most dealerships are closed on Sunday’s so no hassle, no fuss, just plenty of time for my analytical mind to evaluate in peace).
  7. Test Drive and Vehicle Inspection – I visited the lots when open, so I could inspect and test drive my prospective vehicles.
    • Inspection – This step is so very important, as I am a very particular person. I want quality, comfort, space and practicality, bundled into a cute n’ sexy design – with great gas mileage of course. So I did my standard checks for cup holders, headrest positioning, back seat comfort, seat belt types, storage placement and space, trunk space, rear leg room, rear hip room (need this for the “she/he is touching me” children issues), controls, multi-disc cd changer, stereo system (Bose is a must) etc. I take a look under the hood to see if all the things I have to keep up with (fluid levels and such) are easily accessible and not a hassle to open and close. I literally check all of these things, to name a few!
    • Safety – I checked out all of the safety ratings, including the fact that my vehicle of choice was built on an airliners frame! Oh, yes, safe and secure for my precious cargo (my babies).
    • Test Drive -Manual transmission is my “go-to” decision factor, love me some stick-shifts. So I check for shift ease, steering (too loose or too stiff = a “no”), pickup speed, on dash visuals, how it takes corners, how it handles bumps on the road, quick turning and how it responds to stops. Seat adjustments are key for comfort, love our road trips. We carry our own electronics so the only other creature feature I desire is a jack for my phone, with connection to car speaker system and a usb connection for all else.
  8. Review All My Data – After I have completed my test drives I go home, review and write down all of my thoughts and true feelings. I make a pro’s and con’s list and think over it for a few days to a week or two. Generally if it takes this long I have not found the car I am satisfied with enough and I then begin my search again, with refined parameters and specs, or a new dealer, cause they’ve made me mad.
  9. Vehicle Report – Eureka! I’ve found my vehicle, now at this stage I generally order my own Carfax report on it.
  10. Financing – I either have secured financing or will secure financing. I prefer the online method for securing financing, that way several companies can bid for your business at once and the one that has the most favorable bid, you choose and they literally send you a check; with in 2 days, to your home. I think I went through LendingTree. When you shop via this method, it is less stressful, in my opinion, and it is like shopping with cash. Please note: I had done all of my due diligence earlier in the year, working on my credit, had a good paying job, etc, which made this process simple for me. These days, anyone, no matter their situation can get financing. The terms may not be as favorable, but if you have to do it, there are options out there. And if you are paying with cash, go for it. Congrats and No car payment for you! There are also programs out there, in various cities; some are called “Wheels to Work”. These is a government funded programs, so to find one in your area is a good thing. Each program may be named a little bit different and through different entities, so be creative and diligent in your search; if this option is for you. Note – During this process, I forgot to add that I already, since I had researched first, knew what the price is that I desired to pay for my vehicle. So I knew full well and was not willing to go outside of that figure/price point; unless that vehicle was truly worth it. (This is the step that I like to have a male friend or male family member – who is good at sales and negotiation – do the price talk on my behalf). I also allowed “my car” to sit on the lot for nearly a month, joys of being a manual shift driver, I guess, lol. And a side note, I purchased my car, my “Audi” from the actual “Volkswagen/Audi” dealer lot, made me feel more comfortable and confident buying direct and it came with a warranty so I knew they knew what to do and how to fix it like new, if anything happened to it.
  11. Prayer – I look at it this way, I had prayed over my list of specifications prior to me even stepping out the door. I knew that the Lord was going to bless me with exactly what I needed, and even “…exceedingly abundantly, above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us” Ephesians 6:20 kjv. So I had the faith that He [God] was going to move and bless in my favor; in accordance with His will for my life. So I prayed continuously over my vehicle and each week, or day I checked the price on it, on the internet (yes the lot had it online too) the price was literally dropping thousands of dollars each time. The listing price was $26,000 for a certified pre-owned 2005.5 Audi A4 2.0T, in 2007. By the time I went to collect “my” vehicle (claimed it, in Jesus name), a month later, it was $20,000. Yes! God did it, just for me! And He WILL do it for you too; and NO this does not just apply to material or monetary things. This belief and faith action applies to ALL things. By the time I was ready to pick up my car, they had it pulled to the side, for me, off the lot and they were waiting for me with my keys in their hands. They had already prepared to accept my $16,000 check… Yes, $10,000 off the list price folks…. I know, I’ll just let that sink in…
  12. Last Minute Checks and Fixes – Now, prior to making the handover of the check I had seen somethings that I felt needed to be fixed, the glass on the vehicle was allowing condensation, under the windshield (they replaced the windshield completely), there were dings and things from small, seemingly miniscule rocks on the hood (they filled all holes with same color hood paint), etc, etc, etc… not a whole lot of fixing but my pet peeve, “I’m investing, I want the absolute best for my investment” issues had to be satisfied. Pushy, I know, but the squeaky wheel, GOT the oil.

 

2005.5 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro

This is not a pic of my car, but a nearly exact representation. The main difference is under the hood, this is a Quattro. My Audi was not, but for all intents and purposes, it’s still gorgeous! Just look at those lines!

 

 

My vehicle, we lovingly named her “silver”, yes she was silver, was a blessing to my children and I for many years. She was exceptional on the road. My children loved road trips, as she was ultra comfy, smooth ride with hushed interior and oh….. that BOSE sound…. ummmm, ummmm! Sweeeeeeet!

I did have to replace the clutch about 1.5 years later ($1,500 – yes, *cough, choke, gag*) but that was the only major issue I had and the only issue I had with her for the entire time she was mine; and she drove beautifully.

Many trips 700 miles each way, sometimes every other weekend even, where taken in her and she took to the road like we were going around the corner. Gas mileage on those trips was amazing as I only had to fill up 1.5 times each way! Yes! As you can see I truly enjoyed EVERY aspect of my vehicle, even down to the trunk space. That trunk space was exceptional. You see, they took into account the wheels so that there was not that awkward wheel shape eating up the trunk space; so maximum cargo area in the trunk!!! NICE for strollers and diaper bags snacks, extra clothes, shoes, etc… (my babies where much younger back then…. *sigh*)

So, in closing, take your time. Having cash on hand right then, is not a necessity and helps to keep you in the proper frame of mind, seeing all things as they should be seen. Pray and ask God to give you what is best for you. Do your research. Don’t be bullied. Take your time some more. Weigh all of your options. Extend your research and work with the people that are the most attentive and respectful of your time; regardless of whether they think you’ve got money or not. Take a friend with you that has your best interest at heart. And, most importantly believe you can achieve the object of your dreams… Audi was my dream car and I got exactly what I wanted, Plus a few cool extras!

 

To your health, wealth and continued success. Be blessed, don’t stress, pursue happiness!

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A Life of Freedom…

break the chain, no more strongholds...

The new year is approaching and new year’s resolutions will be kicked into action, beginning January 1. Why not give that one last gift? That gift that keeps on giving. The gift of support as well as freedom from addictions or mentalities that keep greatness in life bound.

You may know someone, a loved one perhaps, or a close friend, who is in need of support, but would like an option that will ease them into the process. You may have thought, if only they could speak with this person, or have access to a group of people experiencing the same thing, then maybe they would be able to see that life can be brighter, better, positive, giving, rewarding, endearing and worthwhile.

I have compiled a list of support groups, based off of the 12-Step program format, that are available for those facing addictive tendencies and seeking a way out. The following list is intended to be a starting point for you to research, to see if the program options are viable for those intended. It also serves to show that there is support out there for those who are locked in certain habits and want desperately to be free. Give them the gift of freedom, support, accepting  and understanding community. Please use your own discretion and research each option thoroughly to ensure the best outcome. You can find the following information as well as additional links on the 12Steps.org website, and I am appreciative to them for the service they provide.

Alcoholics Anonymous                           http://www.aa.org

Cocaine Anonymous                              http://www.ca.org

CoDependents Anonymous                   www.coda.org

Crystal Meth Anonymous                       http://www.crystalmeth.org

Debtors Anonymous                              http://www.debtorsanonymous.org

Dual Recovery Anonymous                   http://www.draonline.org

Emotions Anonymous                            http://www.emotionsanonymous.org

Food Addicts in Recovery                      http://www.foodaddicts.org

Gamblers Anonymous                           http://www.gamblersanonymous.org

Liars Anonymous                                  http://www.dailystrength.org/groups/liars-anonymous

Love Addicts                                         http://www.loveaddicts.org

Marijuana Anonymous                          http://www.marijuana-anonymous.org

Nar-Anon                                              http://www.nar-anon.org

Narcotics Anonymous                          http://www.na.org

Nicotine Anonymous                            http://www.nicotine-anonymous.org

Overeaters Anonymous                       http://www.oa.org

Self Mutilators Anonymous                  http://www.selfmutilatorsanonymous.org

Sex Addicts                                          http://www.sexaa.org

Sex and Love Addicts                          http://www.slaafws.org

Sexaholics                                           www.sa.org

Sexual Compulsives                           http://www.sca-recovery.org

Sexual Recovery                                http://www.sexualrecovery.org

Social Phobics                                   http://www.healsocialanxiety.com

Spenders Anonymous                       http://www.spenders.org

Again, it is my desire that you use this information as a starting point for your own in-depth research. You can find the above list as well as descriptions and additional support group offerings at 12steps.org.

Blessings

Confidence in Prayer…

Confidence in Prayer

 

As I read through this poem it smacked me in the face with how prayer truly works. God always answers our prayers, it just, oftentimes, is not in the form that WE would deem acceptable or understandable.

What I have learned is that when you pray, you keep your mind and eyes open for “ALL” answers, so as not to miss any of your blessings. I’ve coached and spoken with many who stated, specifically, that they did not receive an answer to their prayers and they felt as though God was ignoring them. As I listened to their story, I was happy to show them how God not only was listening, actively, but He was indeed answering, repeatedly. The cause of their dismay was from life getting in the way, ie. distractions, or not understanding/misinterpreting the answer, or just flat out refusing the answer all together (because it was not the answer YOU wanted). Trust God, be open and receptive to HIS words and you will be in direct receipt of more than you could ever pray for. This is an expansive topic, so I will speak more on it later, check back to soon.

So, what about you? What did you think of the poem? I welcome your thoughts, comments, and posts!

Be Blessed!