Don't Nickel-And-Dime This by guest blogger Kathleen D. Bailey


Don't Nickel-And-Dime This by guest blogger Kathleen D. Bailey

Don't Nickel-And-Dime This by guest blogger Kathleen D. Bailey

Don't Nickel-And-Dime This by guest blogger Kathleen D. Bailey

Happy Friday, Seekerville!

Carrie here - I have the utmost privilege of welcoming 'the author formerly known as kaybee' to the blog today. That's right, Seekerville's own Kathleen D. Bailey (a faithful commenter under the handle 'kaybee') has just released her first novel, and we are thrilled at the chance to help her celebrate!

Michael once betrayed Caroline in the worst possible way.
Can she trust him to get her across the Oregon Trail?
Can he trust himself to accept her forgiveness and God’s?

Take it away, Kathleen!


For years, my father-in-law drove a vehicle which we famously referred to as the “Chinese Junk.” It was a 1960s station wagon that, with judicious replacing of parts, he had kept functional well into the 80s. He eventually got a better car for himself, but he kept the Chinese Junk as a spare and his children and extended family drove it when we were between vehicles or having our vehicles worked on. (We do not go to the kind of places that have loaner cars, sigh.) Toward the end of its life you had to connect two wires under the hood to start it, but there was no question in any of our minds that the Chinese Junk worked.

My father-in-law nickeled and dimed that car for years. The Junk gave up its particular ghost when the mechanics in the family couldn’t FIND parts, but even then it refused to die and it’s rusting somewhere in a secluded part of my brother-in-law’s property. Now that was a car. And also, probably by today’s standards, not legal.

You can nickel-and-dime a car, but only for so long. Trust me on this. Eventually even the Chinese Junk had to be retired, though family members still raid IT for parts.

But there are other areas of our lives where we can’t take the nickel-and-dime approach, and we shouldn’t.

Not Depressed Enough?

I stood up with eagerness as the medical researcher came back into the room, but her expression told me I had nothing to be eager about. “You didn’t qualify for the depression study,” she told me. “The doctor said we need someone who’s actively depressed.”

She said she’d try to get me a check for the time I spent on the screening, and as I walked out to the reception area she patted me on the back. “Look at it this way, at least you’re not depressed.”


For several years my husband and I have done medical research trials to help with an ever-expanding budget and ever-shrinking paychecks. I had had my eye on this one for catching up on our property taxes. But as I started my car, I knew that God would provide for the taxes in His own way and His own time.

It wasn’t always that way.

We have struggled financially for most of our marriage, from Dave’s college days to the Great Recession, which never receded fast enough for me. I clipped coupons, looked for deals on everything, and found secondary ways to make money. When I had full-time jobs, I always freelanced around the side; and when I lost one of those jobs due to budget cuts, I never collected a dime of unemployment. At one point during the laid-off years, I had six different income streams. At once.

But they never did what I hoped they would.

I would plan on a certain check to come to take care of a certain need, and when it came, another, more urgent need nudged it out of the way. So I’d roll the need over to the next freelance check, bonus or medical trial compensation. And the “need” would get eaten up by something else, a still more urgent one.

There was never enough to go around, and my plans for what there was always fell through.

This financial patchwork quilt, with plenty of holes, extended into our sixties. When friends paid off their children’s student loans and their houses, I continued to scramble for freelance jobs. Sometimes I got them, sometimes I didn’t.

Until the day I was grousing about yet another need going unmet because another need had superseded it. And the Lord spoke to me. Not a burning bush thing, I’ve unfortunately never had those, but it was clear enough: “Kathy, you are never going to nickel-and-dime your way out of your financial problems. If you could, you would have done it by now.”


Was that what I had been doing? I’d thought it was Good Financial Planning.

And maybe it had been, but God had a bigger plan. A spreadsheet I couldn’t argue with. I still plan, but I’m a lot more flexible in allowing Him to meet our needs. Because He will. In His time and His way.

I asked myself what else I’d been approaching this way, or seeing other people dealing with in the nickel-and-dime way.  

Mysterious ways

Could you nickel and dime a marriage? Could one go into that most intricate of human relationships with a checklist?

Only if one or more of the parties walked away with a broken heart.

Don't Nickel-And-Dime This by guest blogger Kathleen D. Bailey
If Dave or I had had a checklist, we wouldn’t be here today. Not together, anyway. There is no earthly reason why we should be married, or even a couple. But God wanted it that way, and the three of us are greater than the sum of our parts.

In writing (yes, I knew we’d eventually get here), I held to a punch-list format for years and years. If I did everything right, whatever “everything” was at the time, I would snag THAT editor, THAT agent, or THAT door would open and I’d walk in and not look back. I schmoozed and slaved. Boxes were checked. Formulas got followed, disciplines observed. But formulas and checklists don’t always follow the patterns of an industry in flux. Because there aren’t any patterns. Houses close or merge, agents burn out, trends flow away from my genre.

There is no formula for being published. There is only writing, hard work and God.

Being “anxious for nothing”

But God wasn’t done with me even then, as He pointed out that we can’t nickel-and-dime our salvation, either.

I thought I’d mastered that one. Raised in a liturgical church, I’d looked for salvation through sacramental observances and good works for most of my childhood and teen years, and thrown that off in the tumult of the 60s. When the Lord found me, a drugged, directionless little hippie girl, I learned that the road back wasn’t paved with good works, and I joyously accepted salvation by faith.

But there was still a lot to learn, and as with my finances, the idea of doing it myself wouldn’t go away. When there was a need I tried to fill it, even when He had other plans. I was Doing and not necessarily Being.

Until I couldn’t. Age caught up with me, along with a demanding job, and I couldn’t necessarily Do. Who would Do if I Didn’t?

I could never be good enough, smart enough, “Christian” enough for God. And He knows that. He knew it when I was born, He knew it on that fateful Friday 2,000 years ago. But that’s never been what He wanted.

We can’t nickel-and-dime the way to heaven. But when faced with the sacrifice of everything He was in spite of everything we are, really, who would want to? Wouldn’t you rather be loved with an Everlasting Love than check off, or be checked off a punch list?

He wants me, and you, to Be first.

And He’ll take it from there.


Don't Nickel-And-Dime This by guest blogger Kathleen D. Bailey

Kathleen Bailey, known locally as “Kaybee,” is a journalist and novelist with 40 years’ experience in the nonfiction, newspaper and inspirational fields. Born in 1951, she was a child in the 50s, a teen in the 60s, a young adult in the 70s and a young mom in the 80s. It’s been a turbulent, colorful time to grow up, and she’s enjoyed every minute of it and written about most of it.

She attended a mixture of public and parochial schools, graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. She married the Rev. David W. Bailey in 1977, and they lived in Colorado, Wisconsin and Michigan before returning to their home state of New Hampshire. They are the parents of two adult daughters.

She has worked as both a staff and freelance journalist. She semi-retired in 2017, in order to devote herself to a growing interest in Christian fiction. She has won or finaled in several contests, including the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest.

She blogs on other writers’ sites and on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. She is involved in an active critiquing relationship with another author. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, she participates in continuing education, judges writing contests, and continues to enjoy the world of words.

Bailey “sailed off the island” Sept. 20 with the publication of her first novel, “Westward Hope,” by Pelican/White Rose Publishers. She is contracted for the second book in the series, “Settler’s Hope,” and also has a novella with minor characters from “Settler’s Hope” to be published in Pelican’s “Christmas Extravaganza.”

Bailey’s work includes both historical and contemporary fiction, with an underlying thread of men and women finding their way home, to Christ and each other.

For more information, contact her at; @piechick1 on Twitter; Kathleen D. Bailey on Facebook and LinkedIn; or at  


What about you?
What's something that maybe you've been trying to nickel-and-dime in your writing or in life?

 Comment for a chance to win an ebook of Westward Hope by Kathleen D. Bailey!


38 Comments on Seekerville: The Journey Continues: Don't Nickel-And-Dime This by guest blogger Kathleen D. Bailey

  • Ruth Logan Herne
    on October 11, 2019 | 07:07 Ruth Logan Hernesaid :
    "Kathy! This is so fun to have you on this side of the fence and what a beautiful post, dear friend!

    I am a firm believer that the nickel and diming and the hairnet and nametag jobs are what build us to be stronger people, better authors and more empathetic and knowledgeable of the human condition. The REAL human condition, that 85% of people experience. Very few folks whose lives are financially easy or who've never experienced deep angst can identify with readers whose lives are just that: Real.

    Thank you for being here, and Carrie, thanks for hosting this wonderful woman!

  • kaybee
    on October 11, 2019 | 07:15 kaybeesaid :
    "Well good morning,
    It is great to be here. Or great to be here as the blogger, since I'm here most days anyway. Thanks to Carrie for hosting me.
    I have a second gift for a commenter, a gift pak of New England goodies. I'll need a mailing address for this one but trust me, it's worth it.
    It is a special joy to be on Seekerville as the main blogger. This blog has been a source of both encouragement and education for me, a "cloud of witnesses" as it were.
    I have hot coffee, a selection of teas, Pumpkin Pie Muffins and maple bars.
    Kathy B."
  • kaybee
    on October 11, 2019 | 07:20 kaybeesaid :
    "Update. Had my first library event a week ago, and one of the attendees challenged the Christianity in "Westward Hope." Guess what? One of the librarians called me and told me he'd been in since then and told her he'd been to a service at the Congregational Church on the square (naturally, this is New England and there's a Congregational Church on the square). He told her the people there were really nice to him and he enjoyed it. Oh, "Seeks," I have been praying for the Lord to use this book, but didn't know it would be so soon. I did my second library event last night and there were only two people, but one of them was extremely curious about the "religion" in the book. I told her that just as there aren't many atheists in foxholes, there were precious few on the Oregon Trail because you needed to believe in something outside yourself to get through it.
    I'll be around most of the day, hope to chat with you.
  • kaybee
    on October 11, 2019 | 07:42 kaybeesaid :
    "Thank you Ruthy, you have been a great encouragement over the years. And it has been "years."
    Didn't Carrie do a great job on the graphics? That car IS the "Chinese junk." Although I'm not sure I'm supposed to say that after yesterday. It is a process...
    Kaybee, learning as she goes in New Hampshire"
  • Pamela S Thibodeaux
    on October 11, 2019 | 08:33 Pamela S Thibodeauxsaid :
    "What a beautiful story Kathleen! I can identify with so much of what you said.
    So glad your dream of being published has come true and with God's help and blessings your book will be a BEST Seller!

    It's already a Best Seller in HIS eyes.

    Been a LONG time since I visited Seekerville. Glad to drop by today to support my fellow PBG author.

    Good luck and God's blessings to EACH and EVERY ONE on this lovely island (blog) ;-)
  • kaybee
    on October 11, 2019 | 10:04 kaybeesaid :
    "Pam, thanks for stopping by and for your steady encouragement. This has been a journey, and I feel God's hand in it more than I ever did. See you on the Wild Rose Blog!"
  • Glynis
    on October 11, 2019 | 10:33 Glynissaid :
    "Congratulations, Kathleen! The book looks great! Your post is so thought-provoking. Thank you for sharing."
  • Samantha
    on October 11, 2019 | 10:45 Samanthasaid :
    "First, congratulations, Ms. Kathleen! And thank you for sharing these words of wisdom today. It's hard sometimes to trust God's leading over our own understanding and that feeling of needing to "make" things work the way we think. But getting 'er done with just my own efforts ain't happening. Thanks so much for that reminder today.

    P.S. I don't read ebooks so please leave my name out of the book drawing. I'm all in for those New England goodies though. ;0)"
  • Jeanne Takenaka
    on October 11, 2019 | 10:54 Jeanne Takenakasaid :
    "Kathy, I so appreciated your post. It’s easy to nickel-and-dime every area of my life, working hard to maintain control. God continues to remind me that life is much richer when I choose to trust Him to take care of me and the details of my life than when I try to scrimp and make everything happen in my poor power and strength.

    I so appreciated learning a bit more about you, friend! "
  • MeezCarrie
    on October 11, 2019 | 11:15 MeezCarriesaid :
    "I've been so looking forward to hosting you!! I'll take a pumpkin pie muffin please - YUM!!! "
  • MeezCarrie
    on October 11, 2019 | 11:17 MeezCarriesaid :
    "oh Kathy! that's awesome!! What a great testimony!"
  • MeezCarrie
    on October 11, 2019 | 11:18 MeezCarriesaid :
    "don't they sound yummy?"
  • MeezCarrie
    on October 11, 2019 | 11:19 MeezCarriesaid :
    ""God continues to remind me that life is much richer when I choose to trust Him to take care of me and the details of my life" - what a great truth. So hard to let go of those details sometimes, though, isn't it?"
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on October 11, 2019 | 11:20 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "I love, love, LOVED this post, Kathy. It's real. It has impact because it's your testimony and no one can ever argue with that. What hit home with me most, was when you said, "I couldn’t necessarily Do. Who would Do if I Didn’t?" A lot of us tend to do that. I know I do, especially when it comes to my family. Because who would Do if I Didn't? For the most part, I love the cooking and doting on them, but I can also wear myself out and then I don't enjoy simply being with them. God has begun showing me, though, that HE is perfectly capably of filling the gap if I Don't. So glad you were here today, Kathy, and congrats again on your release!"
  • kaybee
    on October 11, 2019 | 11:39 kaybeesaid :
    "Yes, Mindy. ANd I've had to learn that what I want to do for them might not necessarily be what THEY want. I love it too, but sometimes enough is enough and they're too polite to tell us.
    Thanks for commenting!"
  • kaybee
    on October 11, 2019 | 11:40 kaybeesaid :
    "Jeanne, you are right. But then you usually are. :) The problem with nickel-and-diming is it's US doing the nickeling and diming. HE has unlimited resources."
  • kaybee
    on October 11, 2019 | 11:40 kaybeesaid :
    "Thanks, Samantha. "
  • kaybee
    on October 11, 2019 | 11:41 kaybeesaid :
    "Thank you, Glynis. I've been thinking on this for a long time. "
  • kaybee
    on October 11, 2019 | 11:43 kaybeesaid :
    "Thanks. I didn't really expect this reaction, as I keep my library talks pretty generic. They are different from what I'd do for, say, a ladies' Bible study. But God is getting through.
    Also, the pastor and wife of the Congregational Church on the square are friends of mine, so I know he'll be treated well if he goes back, and discipled if he makes a decision for Christ. "
  • Jan Drexler
    on October 11, 2019 | 12:24 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Kathy! It's so exciting to see you on this side of the blog!

    That nickle and diming thing...I get it. But I also get the next step, when the nickle and diming becomes secondary to the big picture of seeing God working in your life. The work doesn't end (I work with multiple income streams, too!) but the goal changes. No longer playing "catch up," but living life the way God planned it, instead.

    I'm looking forward to reading your debut novel!!!"
  • Amy Anguish
    on October 11, 2019 | 14:10 Amy Anguishsaid :
    "Congratulations to you! So exciting to have your first book out.
    My husband and I have nickeled-and-dimed through much of our marriage, too. But looking back, I can see God always made sure we had what we needed ... and usually extra, if we're honest. :-) Thanks for these good thoughts. "
  • kaybee
    on October 11, 2019 | 14:37 kaybeesaid :
    "Amy, sounds like you totally get it. "
  • kaybee
    on October 11, 2019 | 14:38 kaybeesaid :
    "Jan, you are very wise."
  • kaybee
    on October 11, 2019 | 14:38 kaybeesaid :
    "Carrie, WHERE did you find that CAR? It's a perfect image of The Junk."
  • Erica Vetsch
    on October 11, 2019 | 14:59 Erica Vetschsaid :
    "Squee! I am so thrilled for you, Kaybee!!! Happy dancing for you! I especially loved how you put into words how Jesus found you! That really touched my heart! We have vastly different stories, and yet, here we are, sisters in Christ and novelists! Mysterious ways is right! (Also, how many !!! can one writer put in a single comment??) !!!"
  • Missy Tippens
    on October 11, 2019 | 15:18 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Kathy, I'm so excited to have you here today posting as a newly published another of a novel!! It was so fun to get to meet you in person at ACFW. I've now seen the fun kaybee energy in person! :)

    A great blog post today. Thanks for sharing."
  • Missy Tippens
    on October 11, 2019 | 15:20 Missy Tippenssaid :
    "Jan, I love what you said. That's so true--and like Kathy said, very wise."
  • kaybee
    on October 11, 2019 | 16:01 kaybeesaid :
    "Hi guys, doubt if we'll get any more today. Thank you all for coming, to Carrie for hosting, and to Ruthy for taking that crack-of-dawn shift. You will hear more about "Westward Hope" as my journey progresses. Reviews are welcome if you've read it, and prayer is always appropriate.
    Kathy Bailey"
  • kaybee
    on October 11, 2019 | 16:02 kaybeesaid :
    "Missy, I was thrilled to meet you. There is nothing like putting a voice to a face."
  • kaybee
    on October 11, 2019 | 16:02 kaybeesaid :
    "Erica, thanks for coming. I look forward to getting to know you better through the blog, and maybe in person some day."
  • Vince
    on October 11, 2019 | 17:01 Vincesaid :
    "Hi Kaybee:

    I always like your comments. You always seemed to be simpatio with my thinking.

    Born in 1950! You got to see the birth of Rock N Roll and Bill Haley and the comets. It was the first record I ever bought. Atomic bomb stories on the cover of Time Magazine. Russian Spudnik! American Vanguard Navy rockets blowing up one after another. Finally Ike stepped in and ordered the Army to launch the first American satellite on an Army rocket. No nonsense Ike. Success but well behind the Russians. "The Missile Gap".

    And then the pill! The sexual revolution. The Beatles, the English Invasion. Vietnam. :( Getting drafted! A real coming of age story.

    Disco music!
    Urban Cowboy.
    The '70's had arrived. Not all that much I liked here. Really bad styles,too!

    The 1980's? Just watch K.T. Oslin's "Eighties' Ladies" to amerce yourself in the emotions of the times.


    Hard to watch but so 'there'. Tears.

    And then the decades didn't mean as much any more. The meaningful past was becoming history.

    Loved Steeple Hill and the new Christian Fiction.

    I can relate. I had to nickle and dime but I only had a nickle and dime at the time. If you have the money and you do still nickle and dime, you're cheap and you may be cheating yourself.

    I agree. Don't write to a formula. It will always read stilted. Checklists can tell you what not to do but they won't guide you creatively on what to do.

    Enjoyed your post. So nice to meet the person behind the picture.


  • Sandy Smith
    on October 11, 2019 | 17:29 Sandy Smithsaid :
    "Hi Kathy. Sorry to be so late getting here today. Been subbing all day. I feel like I nickel-and-dime my way through everyday trying to piece everything together that I need to do and want to do.

    You know that I have already read Westward Hope, so no need to put me in the drawing. But I would love for my name to go in for the goodies!

    It was great seeing you as the blogger today. I enjoyed your post.

  • Laura Conner Kestner
    on October 11, 2019 | 17:49 Laura Conner Kestnersaid :
    "Hi, Kathleen! Thank you for sharing your story. So very happy for you and looking forward to reading your book!"
  • MeezCarrie
    on October 11, 2019 | 18:27 MeezCarriesaid :
    "hahaha!! I'm so glad you loved it! I got it on Canva :)"
  • Tina Radcliffe
    on October 12, 2019 | 07:28 Tina Radcliffesaid :
    "Amen to this, Kathleen. And I love, love, love that photo of you. Congratulations on your success. The best part of any writing conference is running into the artist formerly known as Kaybee and her husband Mr. Kaybee in the airport. XO"
  • Anonymous
    on October 12, 2019 | 13:55 Anonymoussaid :
    "I really enjoyed your post. I had a surgical medical error and cannot work. Only income I receive is the Disability SSI and it's very limited income, but the Lord helps me to make it through every month. The Lord is so good!
    Barbara Thompson"
  • Pat Jeanne Davis
    on October 14, 2019 | 17:31 Pat Jeanne Davissaid :
    "I know I'm late getting over to Seekerville to read your post, Kathy. I just loved what you had to say here. Congratulations, on your success. God bless your efforts to use your writing to glorify Him. "
  • Anonymous
    on October 17, 2019 | 10:05 Anonymoussaid :
    "Hi Kathy, Congratulations on making it off the island! And thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. I can appreciate your story - the struggles we face as adults and trying to nickel and dime where we can. Blessings to you, Lee-Ann B "
Don't Nickel-And-Dime This by guest blogger Kathleen D. Bailey

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