Jan 082014
 

Yes, I realize we are on January 8th right now and I should have probably gotten my resolutions/word for the year post done last week. Having HubbaHubba home for nearly two weeks, a weird round of winter weather hit, and our plans for the holidays get up-ended twice threw me for a loop and a half…Then we all took turns with a super severe cold that threw us intermittently into bed. Yes, it was a rather interesting holiday break for us.

I have been choosing a word to focus on for the year the last couple of years. This year, I have chosen the word Legacy. I want to remember that everything I do is leaving a legacy for my children. All of my choices for my personal life leave a legacy for them, my marriage to HubbaHubba is leaving a legacy, my choices in food, housekeeping, education, all contributes to the legacy I’m leaving them. I want them to have a terrific legacy. A legacy that I wasn’t given. I want better for them, so each decision I make, I am weighing the outcome to how it will affect my girls when they are my age and beyond. I want them to have a legacy of love, hope, joy, peace, diligence, health. And what I pass down to them is totally up to me.

I haven’t made resolutions for years. I hated breaking them in the first few days. However, I’ve come to realize that without goals and plan, nothing gets done….so, this year, I intend to:

Work on the women’s mentorship/education website I have dreamed of having for the last few years. I’m trying to settle on web design this month for it and figuring out the features and how I want it to work so my web designer can finally get to work on this rather huge project…

Continue towards a healthier me. I started Trim Healthy Mama last year in the spring. I had several weeks where I couldn’t stay on this incredible plan due to life throwing me curve ball after curve ball, but in about the seven months I was fairly faithful, I have managed to lose 40 pounds. At least 80 more to go, and with extra diligence and work, I think I can get most of it off in the next 12 months. I also got T-Tapp for working out, I need to be way more diligent on using it…I’ve seen the results of these workouts, they are way more friendly than harder ones, and I know I can do it, I just have to be more purposeful in setting aside the time to do it.

What are your goals for this year? Do you chose a word to focus on?

We Got to See Dave Ramsey Live!!!!

 Faith, family, finances, Frugality, girls, Growth  Comments Off on We Got to See Dave Ramsey Live!!!!
Oct 242013
 

Let me start by apologizing for the length of this post. I thought the background information was necessary and didn’t want to split it up into multiple posts for this one. I started out trying to write a review of the Legacy Journey Live event, and ended up spilling my heart out instead. You are warned! There will be more posts coming up on the theme of Legacy and what we are leaving for our children and children’s children. Not just materially, but emotionally and spiritually as well. Be watching for it in the next month!

 

A year and a half ago, HubbaHubba and I were blessed to have been able to take Financial Peace University at our church. Let me start .by saying, if you have never taken FPU, get yourself to Dave Ramsey’s Website and look up a local class and commit to joining before you read any further

 

Ok, you are now registered for a class? Good. You may now continue reading.

 

FPU was a massive game changer for us. Knowing what the Bible says about debt is one thing, finding practical ways to implement it in our consumer driven excess of a society is a lot harder.  We both came from homes where money was just not really talked about. In my family, if my sister or I asked financial questions, we were always told it was none of our business and not to worry about it. My mom would worry about money a lot. Dad was more of a free spirit and didn’t worry about credit card balances or having money in the checking account at all, so mom took control financially of everything. And I mean everything. She paid all of the bills, did all the shopping and no one had any say in anything at all. Asking if we could buy something she deemed as an extra was always met with derision, scorn and then shaming. No matter what it was we asked for (something more fashionable to wear, a better pair of sneakers than what she had decided we could get, flowers for the dining room table, a different brand of ketchup than what she decided was acceptable…) was always shot down. Wanting something new and especially for ourselves was a sign of greed and selfishness and not being grateful for what we had. Going out with friends rarely happened, especially if it involved money.  I learned from her that wanting anything for myself was tantamount to a sin. To this day, I can hardly spend any money on myself. Just ask my poor husband about me spending what I felt was a rather large amount of birthday money on myself last year (it was hardly over fifty dollars…).  I’m surprised he was able to be so understanding and kind to me while I vacillated for two hours with hitting purchase on my cart at Amazon….then after I clicked the mouse to purchase that cart load of books I had been dying to read and the Firefly series, I about had a panic attack. Why he didn’t commit me over that, I’ll never know.

It probably didn’t help that my dad really has never been too great when it came to managing finances.  If he saw something he wanted, he would buy it. One time, he had no cash and my sister and I did (we were given a small allowance as children, but we were never allowed to spend it. We would sneak it to Wal-Mart in a purse and pretend we could spend it secretly in our heads) and Dad saw something he wanted to purchase. Knowing mom would have had a conniption if he used any of the family’s money for such an item, he asked to borrow the cash my sister and I had on us. Having had the “obey your parents” thing drilled into us so much, we had learned not to question and went ahead and let him have our money. He promised to pay us back. It’s been twenty five years. Dad was also unemployed most of my high school career, which also added to the stress and strain at home. One time, he was laid off from his job for several weeks before I accidentally found out. If my parents had had their way, I probably never would have known about that particular layoff (I was a senior in high school at the time).

So you see, I don’t deal well with money. When I was single, I would earn my paycheck, shove it in the bank and pay my bills and go as cheap as I could on groceries. I also had a habit of having jobs that didn’t pay very well. I thought that was normal. I thought it was normal to have just enough to get by but barely, because I wasn’t worth having enough money.  I never bought myself new clothes. Having to replace my shoes caused me to freak out so I always bought the cheapest off the clearance rack, no matter how they really fit or if I liked them. The day I broke down and bought myself a cell phone nearly caused me to have a panic attack and was met with derision from my family, as they believed they were a fad and unnecessary.

FPU showed me how messed up my thinking towards finances was. I knew there had to be a better way to live than how we were (through a series of events we had been living paycheck to paycheck well under the poverty line for our family for most of our marriage. That is another story for another day perhaps. One of God’s provision for sure).  I had to confront the way I personally thought about money, how it made me feel, and realize for myself that I can spend a bit of cash on myself and I don’t have to feel guilty over it. I am a work in progress.  Sometimes I can handle having money, other times I still freak out over buying groceries and paying the utility bills.

So, it was with great excitement when I opened my email back in April to find that Dave Ramsey was going to be in Tulsa on October 10. After confirming with my husband that he would get the time off work so we could go, I purchased the tickets.  Dave was coming to Tulsa as a part of the launch of the new Legacy Journey.

The evening far exceeded any expectations I may have had (it was informative, engaging, the Live Events are FUN [never thought I could say fun and financial in the same sentence…] We laughed, learned, got misty eyed and it was incredible. If you ever get a chance to attend a live event, do so. I really don’t think you would regret going.). The theme of legacy fit in beautifully with the theme of my life in recent years. The last year and a half after FPU and the realizations it brought me in how I relate personally to money, showed me about how I react to these things and how our children are learning by my example. They see me when I start to have issues buying groceries so they get scared we don’t have enough money to live on. They see when I have some spending money for myself how stressed out I get and how it affect s my relationship with them. I don’t want to leave that sort of a legacy for my children. While the Legacy Journey is about building a financial legacy to pass on to others (taking care of now, the future, the family and then others and how each stage builds upon the last ones), one that is full of blessing and sharing of financial blessings, it is much more than that. One can have ample money, yet if they constantly worry about it, hate spending it on anything and let the worry of it not being there control them and their behavior and leave a bitter legacy behind them. I grew up in a financially disadvantaged family, but worse than the legacy of being constantly broke, is the legacy of financial fear and shame.  I do not wish to pass that legacy on to my children. If I had to choose between giving my children millions of dollars to manage at the end of my life, or being assured that they had a good attitude about money and didn’t let it bring them worry and shame, I would chose to give them the legacy of peace and freedom instead of the dollars.

Leaving a legacy is so much more than leaving earthly possessions behind when we finally are done with this life. Yes, being able to be a blessing to others financially is an incredible legacy to leave. One I sure wouldn’t mind being able to give. However, if I have the ability to give away money and help out tons of people and not try to help their hearts, what good have I done? What good will it be to give my children a solid financial standing in life if I also pass on my phobias about money? What good is it to have money if it brings you fear? I would not be a good steward of the legacy I am passing on to my children if I instill in them a fear of spending money, of being terrified to use money at all. What kind of a legacy filled with burden is that? It is one I have to live with daily and fight constantly in an attempt to find the proper balance with money in my life. It is a legacy I have no desire to pass on to my children.

The Legacy Journey series/study itself looks phenomenal (I hope to be able to get it on the class schedule at church in the very near future. If not there, we will be getting the series ourselves. It wasn’t in the budget to get at the live event unfortunately). Attending the live event lit a fire under us for sure to finish with the steps in FPU and be more disciplined with how we spend the money entrusted to us.  We don’t have a car payment, no credit cards. The only debt left is a bit of my student loans and the mortgage. We live on less than the average household in this country, but it is more than we were living on before. And way more than what the majority of world’s population lives on. We have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams, and can’t wait to be able to be a blessing to others in ways yet to be seen.  And through this journey of changing the legacy I was given, I have learned so much. I have learned I don’t have to be a slave to the legacy of guilt and shame that has been given to me.  I don’t have to pass the same legacy down to the Bugs and the Beans. In fact, it would be wrong of me to do. So, even though the journey to a better legacy is painful, it is less than the pain of knowing that I am passing on what was passed to me; to the girls. The tastes of freedom that I have had on this journey are sweet, and knowing what life should be like for not only the girls, but for myself will keep spurring me on towards freedom.

So I shall continue on in learning the appropriate place for money, to not let myself feel guilt for spending it on things that are necessary for life, and I will work on not getting stressed over having mad money of my own to spend for myself and on myself. This is just part of my Legacy Journey. I have a lot of other areas to work on to leave a better legacy for my children than the one I was given.

What sort of a financial legacy are leaving to your children?   For that matter, have you given any thought to the kind of overall legacy you are leaving behind?

10 Great Dates, Connecting Faith, Love & Marriage by the Larsons and Arps, A Bethany House Review

 Bethany House, Book Reviews, Faith, family, Growth, Marriage  Comments Off on 10 Great Dates, Connecting Faith, Love & Marriage by the Larsons and Arps, A Bethany House Review
Oct 032013
 

The following is a book review brought to you by Bethany House and Created for Home. I was given a copy of the book to facilitate the writing of this review, no other compensation was received. Disclosed in accordance with the FTC’s rules on bloggers and material connection.

Marriage takes a lot of work to keep it the best it can possibly be. And when I find a new resource with ideas on how to keep our marriage fresh and growing, I get excited. There are tons of excellent books out there to help you grow in your marriage and I love finding new ones with fresh ideas.
It is with excitement today that I get to share with you a new book from Peter and Heather Larson along with David and Claudia Arp. 10 Great Dates; Connecting Faith, Love and Marriage.
I really enjoyed how simply this book was laid out. The chapters are short for our busy lives as married couples (and parents). Each chapter after the introduction is further split up to describe the purpose of the date, the foundational principals behind it, discussion topics to have during the date along with pre-date homework. It is laid out for you, easy to use and all you have to do is plan where to go and find a babysitter if that applies. You can go out to a nice restaurant or be as frugal as perhaps taking a blanket to a park with a picnic, it is up to you. Just carve out time to be together and go through the discussion questions in the book.
This book was written to get married couples talking about their spiritual lives. Yeah, when was the last time you sat down with your husband (or wife) and had a good long conversation about how you relate spiritually, how you each experience God best, how you can both be different in your approaches to your relationships with God.
This book takes you on a journey in digging into the Word as a couple, praying together as a couple and learning to build your marriage on the Rock that will not be moved.
I don’t recommend you take this book and force your spouse to join you on this journey if they are unwilling. Forcing our spouses to do our will is rarely if ever a great idea unless you wish to cause problems in your marriage. Even if you have an unwilling spouse, I do suggest you get this book and read it so you can fuel your prayers for them to see the importance of being in sync in matters of faith with you.
I do ask that you do seek ways to nurture your relationship with your spouse and to do everything you can to protect it and keep it precious. Going on the dates in this book is just one way of doing so.
You can purchase 10 Great Dates; Connecting Faith, Love & Marriage at Amazon, CBD or wherever you prefer to purchase your reading material.

Sep 072012
 

Some books should be on everyone’s shelves. Or at least anyone who deals with a wide variety of people due to what they do for a living. When a Woman You Love Was Abused by Dawn Scott Jones is just such a book. This book takes the husband through what it is like to be married to a woman who has been abused sexually and how it will strain the marriage relationship and what he can do to help get through the pain of the past and move the family on into victory and triumph.

While I am not a husband, I can say that this book is dead on with what a woman goes through as an adult when she has to deal with any form of sexual abuse that took place when she was younger. This book is full of helpful advice on how to help your wife deal with the past in a constructive manner without making her feel worse. This book points out that even when the woman was the one abused, her husband and children are affected because of it too due to how she reacts to certain things, how she perceives her life and the load of guilt and shame she carries around with her. All of which can be triumphed through when the woman is supported, loved, treated in the proper manner and help is sought for her to to heal. This book is a great guide for husbands to realize that in a lot of ways, their wives can’t help cringing at their touch, that the anger that simmers below the surface isn’t because of what the husband has done, and that what the family is going through is typical when the wife has been victimized. I think the spouses of sexual abuse victims don’t get the recognition or tools to cope like they should and this book helps to bridge that gap.

This book is a must read for any man who’s wife has suffered because of abuse. This book also needs to be on the resource shelf for all counselors, pastors, lay leaders, women’s and men’s ministry leaders.

About the book:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 80 percent of childhood abuse victims later suffer from at least one abuse-induced psychological disorder. It’s proven that the effects of childhood abuse follow women into adulthood. Yet few men are prepared to deal with those effects, even when their own wife is the one who is suffering. And their wife’s suffering becomes their own suffering as their needs aren’t being met by a wife who is powerless to control her inner turmoil.

Author, pastor, and survivor Dawn Scott Jones candidly shares her own abuse experience to help husbands understand the varied emotions, fears, distorted thoughts, and triggers that hold their wives captive. In practical and accessible language, Jones explains the stages of the healing journey (processing denial, asking for help, grieving, expressing anger, learning to forgive, and finding resolution). Building on that knowledge, Jones then moves to an honest discussion of what husbands can do to help. Whether it’s creating a healing environment, understanding the need for control, building trust, or even just praying for healing, a husband plays an active role in helping his wife survive and thrive despite her past abuse.

Offering hope for a healthy marriage relationship, When a Woman You Love Was Abused answers the questions men have and offers the advice they need to help their wives finally find peace.

To buy the book, please go HERE

For over twenty years God has graciously used Dawn to touch the lives of people through her affecting personal testimony, her humor, and her writing. Dawn’s past challenges have deepened and enriched her ministry; enabling her to truly understand and relate to what others are going through.

Dawn is an Ordained Minister with the Assemblies of God. She has served in various capacities including Executive Team Pastor, Small Groups Pastor, and Woman’s Ministry Director. Dawn travels Nation-wide speaking, training and consulting.

Find out more about Dawn Scott at http://www.dawnjones.org/.

In coordination with the launch of their fall releases, Kregel will be hosting a live webcast event on September 20 at 8 PM EDT featuring authors Kim Ketola (Cradle My Heart), Teske Drake (Hope for Today, Promises for Tomorrow), and Dawn Scott Jones (When a Woman You Love Was Abused). The webcast will allow women to come together to share their struggles and fears in order to move toward healing and hope. Women will able to support one another and discuss shared experiences in a non-threatening, open and loving environment.

Cat Hoort of Kregel says, “”We are seeking to provide safe means for Christian women to be vulnerable with each other, to seek help and guidance from authors and counselors, and to find encouragement from those who have shared similar experiences. Our hope is that the Women Redeemed webcast will become a forum for hurting women as well as for those who can help. Kim, Teske, and Dawn are all survivors and their stories will surely inspire and equip other women to move toward healing and hope.”

To register for the event, just click here. {https://www.facebook.com/KregelBooks/app_241719209283045}

To read what others had to say about this book, go HERE

I was given a copy of When A Woman You Love Was Abused through Litfuse for the purpose of this review. All opinions are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received.

Jun 112012
 

I love my girlies.

Girls in their swimsuits in a blue 30 inch pool, waving at the camera

Saturday we set up the pool that Grandma bought us. The girls were ecstatic. They were so patient we let them go in when it still had 4 inches to go to be finished filling.

After church on Sunday, they spent the entire afternoon pretending to be fish.

They slept hard last night 😉 In fact, I tried tickling them and they didn’t even flinch.

Today we woke up to cooler temps and storms. The girls handled the disappointment well when told they couldn’t spend the entire day in the pool because of the weather. In fact, they never whined or complained and were quick to find some other way to occupy themselves. We are currently in a break from the rain so I shipped them outside for a bit.

The Bugs' rainboots. Blue with daisys on them. Of course, they are just sitting there in the yard since she had to take them off as soon as she got outside.

Bugs had her rain boots on. It didn’t take long for them to be shed.

Two pairs of muddy little girl feet

They are coated in mud now. I’m fine with that. Yes, it means extra laundry and I haven’t made a new batch of detergent yet.

I’m going to have to bathe them earlier in the day.

Their clothes may end up stained (at least they wore clothes that came from the play outside bin).

But their laughter and squeals are worth it. They are building memories of the fun of squishing mud between their toes, time with each other and happiness on what could have been a dreary day. They are learning to take what life hands them and to turn it into something positive. Those are skills that right now, they don’t know they are learning. They think they are just having a lot of fun.

image

I wouldn’t trade today and it’s storms for the sunny day they wanted. They are learning so much more.

What have you turned around to joy today? What lessons have you seen your children learn from life?

Embrace the learning in the everyday. And look for the joy.

I’m linking this post up at:

FamilyConnectionSummerbutton5” />