My Beloved and My Friend by Hal and Melanie Young, A Bow of Bronze Launch Team Review

 Book Reviews, Faith, family, finances, Marriage  Comments Off on My Beloved and My Friend by Hal and Melanie Young, A Bow of Bronze Launch Team Review
Oct 292013
 

Bow of Bronze Launch Team Disclaimer Graphic
Book Launch button for My Beloved and My Friend by Hal and Melanie Young

I have been so incredibly blessed when it comes to my marriage. It isn’t perfect (who’s is really) but HubbaHubba and I really do strive to seek the good for each other, be the other’s biggest cheerleader and supporter. I have a marriage I had never dreamed of having in all my days. I wasn’t left a great legacy to follow in a marriage example, and to be able to buck the trend of what was passed down to me weighs heavy on my mind.

Every year, I make it a point to try and read at least one new book on marriage and how to make it the best it can be. I was asked to review My Beloved and My Friend; How to Be Married To Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses by Hal and Melanie Young. I was intrigued by the title and the premise of being married to one’s best friend so I jumped at the chance. I am very glad I did.

In My Beloved and My Friend, the Youngs  explore the premises of what makes a good friend, how we can make our marriages follow the Biblical patterns for friendship and marriage and plants ideas on how you can work on your own marriage (since no two people or marriages are alike, take the principal ideas and use them for what works for you).

I really appreciated all the angles this book was written from. It includes sections on sickness, submission, fidelity, money, all the things that are normally the thorns in the sides of marriages and discusses how they impact a marriage and what we can do to thrive, despite what is thrown our way (really, are we in control of job loss, catastrophic illness and such?).

Marriage is what you make of it. You can choose to nurture it and help it grow, or you can plant seeds of discontent and watch it disintegrate. The choice is yours to make really. My Beloved and My Friend is a book that will help spur you to look for the good in your spouse, plant hope to seed into your marriage and give you the tools to buck the trends of our society. I want mine and HubbaHubba’s marriage to point others to Christ. It can’t do that if we are backbiting, spreading gossip about each other and not seeking to bring out the best in each other. We also want to leave a legacy of a terrific marriage to our children. Children learn from their parents. I want to teach ours what an incredible marriage looks like and even instill really high expectations for their own marriages someday.  I want my children to know the blessing of being married to their best friend, the way I am.

I can highly recommend that if you read only one book on marriage this year (and as marriage preparation) make it My Beloved and My Friend; How To Be Married To Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses. You can have an incredible marriage, a marriage unlike so many others and be a shining light for all to see.  This book will be one of those that I will go to again and again as the years go on and we move into each new stage in marriage. It is a must reader  for those married and those contemplating it.

You can preorder your copy (or copies…why not stock up to have some on hand to give out as gifts?) by going to the Young’s Store, you can pre-order your copy for a mere $12.00. Which for a book now a days, is a steal. Then, in February, the month when everyone is consumed with relationships and love, your copy will arrive in your mailbox for you to dig right in. How’s that for easy and convenient?  So plan to make your marriage the best it can be, plan for success, plan to education yourself on it and order this book today. You will be doing yourself, your children (or future children) and society a HUGE favor.

If you want to see what others thought of My Beloved and My Friend, go check out the reviews linked up at Bow of Bronze.

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?

Jan 182013
 

Book cover for Scott and Bethany Palmer's The 5 Money Personalities

 

Do you find you and your spouse stressed over money? Are you constantly nagging and picking at each other for your spending choices and habits? Would you like to get to the reasons behind your discontent? Then may I suggest reading The 5 Money Personalities by Scott and Bethany Palmer?

In The Five Money Personalities the Palmers take the time to explain how people generally are about finances. Some of us fly by the seat of our pants, others of us save, save, save, and still others spend like there is no tomorrow. They discuss how each individual “money personality” ticks, and how to relate to them better.  After deciding what money personality you are (your main and secondary) they walk you through how to relate with your spouse’s personalities, how to discuss finances in a way you each will benefit and helps you to dream of a better future together. They even give you tools on how to have disagreements over money and still come out at the other end as partners.

This book isn’t a book on how to budget, how to get out of debt, how to invest or retire comfortably. As they said, there are tons of other resources out there for the nuts and bolts and nitty gritty of how to use your money. This book is a book designed to get you thinking about why and how you relate to money personally, how your spouse relates to money and how that affects your relationship. This book is a great compliment to other money management tools that you may use or are looking into using.

I realized that I am primarily a security seeker. I love safety and security (which was really no surprise to HubbaHubba. I freak out at spending five bucks on myself, have a tendency to hoard my mad money and about had a panic attack when I spent nearly all of my birthday money on books that I had been dying to read.) while my HubbaHubba is a flyer type of person. To him, money is to be enjoyed, it isn’t what makes his world go round. If we have some, great, if not, well, that’s ok too. For him it is ok to do drop thirty bucks at a fast food joint to get out of cooking. For me, I freak out at the thought. This book showed me that his money personality really isn’t a character flaw, it isn’t irresponsibility, it is just how he is wired. And while he knew my need for security was great, he didn’t realize quite how that affected my spending or lack thereof.

This book will help you be realistic with each other on how best to achieve your financial goals and perhaps cause you to see each other in a new light, help to curtail any financial arguements and perhaps cause you to start dreaming of a great future together again.

To learn more about The 5 Money Personalities visit their WEBSITE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, YOUTUBE or AMAZON to purchase your own copy.

I have been given an extra copy of The 5 Money Personalities for a giveaway on my blog. Use the handy Rafflecopter form below and enter. Giveaway is open until Friday January 25, 2013 at midnight.

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I received a copy of The 5 Money Personalities by Scott and Bethany Palmer through Fly By Promotions and a copy to give away on my blog. All opinions are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review.

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow!

 Faith, family, finances, Hubbs  Comments Off on Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow!
Aug 242012
 

So, we’ve had a very crazy few weeks around here.

Most of you know that my husband was laid off two weeks ago.

The girls finished six weeks of school within five weeks.

My mother-in-law decided to take us on a family vacation to Branson due to an excellent deal she scored on a groupon for a resort (that post and pics will be coming. I have like 128 photos to resize)

And today, after two full weeks of being unemployed, my husband was offered a job at the local university. It was a job that we had decided to apply for before he lost his previous job. This job is an excellent fit for HubbaHubba in the IT world. We will be out of debt except for the mortgage before Christmas. HubbaHubba starts on September 4th. Now, what should I add to the to do list for next week? 😉

We stepped out in faith on the start of this job search. We weren’t expecting HubbaHubba to not be working while we were looking. However, our God is faithful. When you step out in faith in obedience to God, the rewards are great.

Thank you to those who prayed for us during this time. They have been what has kept us calm and focused during this time.

Pursuit of Proverbs 31 by Amy Bayliss, A Review

 CWAReviewCrew, Faith, family, finances, Homekeeping  Comments Off on Pursuit of Proverbs 31 by Amy Bayliss, A Review
Aug 232012
 

Have you ever needed to read a book, but didn’t know you did? Pursuit of Proverbs 31 by Amy Bayliss was just such a book for me. I thought I had grasped the gist of Proverbs 31 long ago. Be a good wife, run the house excellently, train the children…

But I was treating that as the goal. Not the goal of being like the Proverbs 31 woman for the purpose of bringing glory to God and for ministry. I was setting the bar so high that there was no way I could reach it and I was pursuing that path out of obligation and duty. Not out of devotion to God and to honor my husband.

I also had in my mind exactly what being the Proverbs 31 woman would look like for myself. The house would be spotless. Dinner would always be served at just the right time, and I would always make what my husband prefers to eat. My children would always be well behaved and in nice clothes.

Real life would then rudely awaken my idyllic dreams with dinner not getting cooked fast enough, the living room looking like it should be declared a disaster zone, the laundry forgotten in the wash and me making spaghetti even though HubbaHubba really doesn’t like it much. I felt like a failure.

Amy Bayliss has helped to relieve me of the guilt of never seeming to measure up. She took Proverbs 31 exegeted it very well. I was very impressed with the fact that she took the time to outline the different Bibles available, and how to do an inductive study before getting to the meat of her book. She then took the time in each chapter to discuss what principles and meanings behind each part of the verse. There is so much more to being a Proverbs 31 woman than just doing everything that it says she does. It is pursuing God totally with your whole heart, seeking to honor your husband, raising your children and being responsible for it, managing the finances and keeping your house. But more than that, it is doing so for the right reasons. First and foremost we are to seek to honor and please God, and doing everything else with the proper motivation and attitude.

The section about hanging on to things because we might need them really hit me hard. I grew up living without, I married into a family that has a tendency to keep things they may need in the future and my husband is currently laid off. Yet hanging on to things because we “might” need them again someday is very wasteful. I had been feeling convicted of this sort of thing after the tornado last year, but this really hit home. It was termed planning to be broke. We aren’t planning that. I mean, who does. There are plenty of others who could use the stuff we should rid ourselves of. So this coming week is the start of a massive decluttering so we can bless others. That is just one way this book has impacted me.

I can highly suggest you get a copy of Amy Bayliss’ Pursuit of Proverbs 31 for yourself or for a gift for a woman in your life. It is the best book I have ever read on the subject (which believe me, I’ve read plenty).

I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.