Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm a Nerdy Spender

Have you heard of Dave Ramsey?

If not, he's this guy who got rich through hard work and a bit of luck young, then got deep into debt and went back to square one, and learned how to build wealth without any debt. Now he teaches people how to have "Financial Peace" and build wealth for themselves, without debt.

Peter has been aware of Dave Ramsey's methods since he was a teenager, and respects Dave Ramsey very much. So he has been determined to do life without debt of any sort. I praise God that I can say that both Peter and I have never been in debt!

So this past week, we got a hold of the Financial Peace University DVDs and have just begun watching the sessions, because I've never seen them. All along I've been supportive of this plan, and had thought I understood the basics, but watching the series together has been so good!

One of the things Dave talks about is how usually in a marriage, someone is a spender, and someone is a saver. Well it didn't take us long at all to determine Peter is the saver--he is always talking about saving up for big things for the business and the big giveaway that he is the saver is that he is NOT a spender; he'd much rather chill or get something small than go out and spend money. While I on the other  hand, could be happy spending (and giving away) money every day all day long!

Dave also classifies spouses as usually fitting into two other categories: one is the "Nerd" and one is the "Free Spirit." The Nerd comes up with the budget, because they are the number-person, and the Free Spirit then gets to edit it, because they need to be involved and a part of the process, but asking them to crunch numbers and plan details is like asking an acrylic artist to build a plane.

Because of the extreme way they were presented to me, Peter and I figured he was the Nerd (it also seemed like the manly, in charge of the house role) and I was the Free Spirit. However, now that we've been married for 10 months, gone through multiple attempts at budgeting, and watched Dave Ramsey explain the roles, we've realized I'm definitely about 3/4 Nerd, and Peter is definitely only about 1/4 Nerd, meaning that makes me the Nerd of the house. (Also--I love making spreadsheets. This should have been a major clue early on.)

So this week I've written up a budget, and we are going to go with it this month. Besides dealing with a few fears that tried to rear their ugly heads, the crazy thing is I actually liked writing it up! I really hope we can stick with it, because once we get our money in order, we'll be on the road to retiring as millionaires (wildly enough, that might not be an exaggeration!).

The awesome thing is that our income is at a place where we can start saving a little and still afford to go out to eat and spend money on dates. (Hehheh--that's what happens when the Spender is a Nerd!)

So, any thoughts on money managing you'd like to share?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I have been feeling a weight. It is a weight of gold, of great worth, yet heavy and still buried deep within worthless rock.  It is weighing on my thoughts, my mind, my body. 

So many that I know who claim my faith, most definitely including myself, fall guilty of revealing this weight to me. 

Christians do not take God seriously.

Sure, most of us don't go around graffitting profanity on overpasses. But many who claim Christ as Lord do not let Him run their mouth--including myself. 

If thinking about another person with lust is the same severity to Christ as committing adultery, then isn't my offhand, unthinking, but disrespectful comment to my husband (or co-worker, or professor, or peer) equal to outright defiance or rebellion?

How often do I let my emotions be my Lord instead of letting Jesus be my Lord?

Fellow believers, your every action either testifies of Christ's power and authority in your life, or tells of what master you truly serve.

A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Matthew 7:18
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. John 15:2 

Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Matthew 7:21 

If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:21

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Friday Afternoon - 750 Words

Plopped down on our checkered couch, my husband and I smile at one another.

The day has gone well so far, despite the potentially dismal circumstances. We just returned home from our little brother Aiden's funeral. God's presence, hope and joy are continually near everything relating to Aiden, and He was incredibly evident through every moment of the service.

A few days earlier, Peter was teaching at WorshipArts, and I had decided to stay home and have some alone time. I had been in a bit of shock, trying to grasp the whys of my little brother's nearly life-long sickness and young death.  But God met me that night, and opened my eyes to His overwhelming hope and truth through writing it all out. (You can read it here, if you're interested.)

That evening, God pulled out my writing abilities from deep within and reminded me of the gift he had given me in the days to follow that posting.  I have had probably close to fifty different people come up to me and share that what I wrote impacted them and drew them into the moment and the revelation of God's perspective on Aiden's life.

So Hubs and I, sitting on our first-apartment-craigslist-find couches and resting after hours of talking and being on our feet after the funeral, take a moment to talk it over.

Peter agrees with the general consensus that I need to write, a lot more. So before we settled in to watch some of the third season of 24, he pulls up a pretty awesome website.

It's, and it is a simple site designed a few years ago to encourage people to write everyday. The inspiration came from a book called The Artist's Way, which has one exercise that encourages everyone to write three pages every morning. The idea is to just write whatever comes to your mind, to write out your stream-of-consciousness. As Peter and I explored the site, we saw that the site gathers stats about what you write, and there are scores and badges to motivate you to keep up with it. Peter, being the awesome husband that he is, signed up to do a challenge with me to write every day in April. If we accomplish this, we decided that we could buy a Munchkin Expansion pack. And whoever misses a day become responsible for doing the dishes for a month. (Which is quite the motivation!)

After we explored, we settled in to watch Jack Bauer save the world. I must say, it was a pretty great afternoon.
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