Thursday, November 7, 2013

Baby Step 3!

So thankful for the decision to take Financial Peace University and start coming around to Dave Ramsey's way of thinking!  As many of you know we finished Baby Step 2 of paying off our non-mortgage debt late this Spring and did our debt free scream live in Nashville in August:
Here's my little crew in action:

Now we have finished our 3-6 month savings today and we are moving on!  So thankful for Dave and his teaching!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Celebrating God's Design in your Marriage

Have you ever seen the movie "War Games"?  You know the Cold War thriller-lite with Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy?  Its one of those movies I can't help watching if I flip by when its on even though I have seen it a million times.  One of the scenes, actually the first scene, hit me last night as a very odd metaphor in my marriage.  To launch the nuclear missile out of the silo, there were always two guys on alert.  Both had to turn the key and the keys were so far apart that there was no way one person could physically do it.  I think in a very weird way this is like my marriage relationship.  I am the one ready to fire on any great adventure I see on the horizon and I'm thankful that my husband is God's failsafe in my life, always there to slow down my crazy enthusiasm.  He is thankful that I push us into new frontiers and adventures though.  Its just a beautiful way God has balanced our family.

In Genesis 2:18, "The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." God knew that my husband would be more cautious and that I would be more impulsive and through miracles that I will never understand this side of heaven, He allowed these two wacky kids to meet and form a family.  We honor God's design for marriage when we celebrate and rejoice in our differences and use them for His glory rather than being frustrated by them.  

What metaphors do you see in your marriage?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Easy Summer Wreath

I know this is REALLY late since it is already Pumpkin Spice Latte season but I wanted to make sure I got it up here for inspiration.  My friend and I wanted a fun wreath for Summer that popped so we headed off to Hobby Lobby.  We spray painted grapevine wreaths and made the banner with the help of my Silhouette machine and twine.  It could have easily been done with some scissor skills and letter stickers.  She made the pretty bows and we hot glued on the flowers.  Easy Peasy!

We Are Debt Free!

So that picture is the result of a two year journey.  Two years ago we realized that our finances were out of control and decided that the best way to fix it was to try Financial Peace University.  It was life changing.  We started with $39K in car and student loan debt and a snowball (monthly debt payment) of less than $200.  It seemed so impossible and overwhelming.

But like a snowball rolling downhill, it grew. It kept going until every month, it was $1000-$2000 and before you knew it, we had done it!  It was amazing and God did all the heavy lifting and to Him be the honor and glory.  We put every "3rd paycheck", tax refund, and any other windfall into this to get it done.  We skipped vacationing, cut down on extras and eating out.  YNAB also was an incredible tool that managed our budget every month.  We learned so much in the process about self-control and knowing God's will and I'm so thankful for the journey but even more thankful it is done.  So now what?  We finished Baby Step 2 (paying off consumer debt) in April and went to Tennessee in August to do our live debt free scream.  Now, we are almost done with Baby Step 3 which is 3-6 months expenses.  It has taken us exactly 6 months which is mind blowing.  

Regarding knowing God's will, my husband had the revelation early on that if we didn't have the cash for something you could pretty much reason that it wasn't God's will for you to have that object you desired.  So that was our litmus test of every "want" that came up.  Do we have the cash?  Can we sell something or find the money?  If no, then the answer was to wait.  Most of the time, the desire went away or it worked itself out.

One of the main goals in this was not only to get financially healthy for just the basic reason that it is the smart thing to do but to ultimately take the next step of faith we feel God is calling us to. More to come..but just to confirm what you are all thinking: yes, the treats in Martha's Place are really that good.  Nothing like a salted caramel cupcake to celebrate!