Thursday, October 23, 2014

That Money Though!

As some of you may know, Chase and I have begun some serious Biblical financial planning!

We’re getting serious about our money…and it’s going to look weird.

It’s going to look like empty fridges (well, part of that is the fact that we have three children who are often insatiable), one car, no trips, no frills, no “hoopla.”

We’ve had friends ask (out of genuine concern), “Is everything okay?”

YES! Everything is okay!

See, this looks weird to the world. We basically just decided that no one is going to hand us our retirement fund.

Winning the lottery is not a 401K.

We also have children who, by golly, actually turned out pretty bright.

They’ll probably want to go to college.

They’ll probably pull it together long enough to attract fianc├ęs.

We are getting serious and aggressive about passing on not just a spiritual inheritance, but a financial inheritance (even if that inheritance is a lead-by-example financial training)
.
 So, we’re going to look weird. Bottom line.

Sorry (not sorry).

There are two things that I’ll just touch on today going through this process.

#1. Money was the last thing we handed to God.

Chase and I were saved within 6 months of each other (right as we got together and right before respectively) about 7-8 years ago.

When we got engaged, we handed our sexuality to God.

When we got married, we handed our relationship to God.

When we got pregnant, we handed our children to God.

 But money, God we’ll just take care of that, thankyouverymuch.

Didn’t work great.

We were okay. We never had a late payment and Christmas was frugal, but done.

But we were never ahead.

No emergency fund. No savings account (I know, ok!). No college funds.

Investments. Ha!

We thought that we could (as Dave Ramsey puts it) “outearn our stupidity.”

We thought that if we just could make more money!

“Please God, give me more money. I suck at it, so…give me more.”

Like any loving parent, God pretty much has us earning today what we’ve earned for the last seven years. No more. No less.

So, we’re giving to God FIRST, ourselves SECOND, and “other people” last.

#2. Less Really Is More!!

When we tightened our budget to prioritize our money differently, things went away.

Mochas. HappyMeals when I didn’t want to cook. In&Out. Scentsy (THE HUMANITY!). Wine. 
Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels. Pretty much anything at Trader Joe’s, really.

I thought I was going to die. I thought that once I said “no” I’d just constantly be grieving what I didn’t have.

But that’s where, by God’s grace, it was TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

I am actually always thinking about what I HAVE.

See, now that we’re totally preparing for the future, and tightening I’m more focused on what I have.
I Google things like “how to make dinner with flour, eggs, corn and maple syrup.”

I praise GOD for beans and rice.

I praise GOD for full bellies for my children.

I praise GOD for home brewed coffee with pumpkin spice creamer.

I praise GOD…a whole lot more.

I had a tough day yesterday. I was feeling like this was stupid and that we were never going to make it out.

I told Chase that he just had to let me have days like that. And, really, we’re all granted those.

We don’t always have to feel like it’s going to work out.

We always have to obey the Word of God.

I am reading a book by Annie Downs right now and she talks about how the characters in the Bible didn’t know how their acts of obedience were going to work out.

They just obeyed. And guess what. Things “worked out.” Maybe not how they thought, but they did!
God is infinitely more faithful to us then we could EVER be to Him.

Another story that I am holding onto is the story of the Duggars.

( I KNOW I KNOW, okay, but just hang on).

Whether or not you watch this (adorable) family, you know who they are.

So, Jim Bob Duggar felt a calling from the Lord to run for Senate after a family prayer of wanting to make a difference for the Kingdom.

So he did. He obeyed God and ran.

The results came in.

And, he lost.

The local paper ran a picture of him and his 13 kids walking to the election booth to watch Daddy vote.

A few days later, he got a call from the Discovery & Health Channel asking if they could do a one-hour documentary on the Duggar family.

If God had told this stay-at-home-school-conservative-no-TV-family “You’re going to run for Senate, you’re not going to win, and then ultimately camera crews are going to follow you and your family for decades.” Would they have listened?

God tells us to obey. He handles the results.

The Evans family is about to look super weird to y'all. But. That's okay. 

Because we're not supposed to be like the World. 


Call to Action: What can you give to God today? What calling on your heart can you say “YES!” to? 

Ephesians 4:22-24English Standard Version (ESV)

22 to put off your old self,[a] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Just for Funsies FRIDAY!

So, a couple weeks ago, my gorgeous blogger friend Annie wrote a blog about the Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog and how she just loves looking through it at all the extravagant photos of gifts for the 1% including $50,000 His and Hers water/snow mobiles thing.

Here is my version of this blog.

It's about a little catalog called "Landside."

You know that one?

Me neither. Not until we lived in a home that was built 40 years ago and was occupied by 80-year-olds prior to our move-in day.

But. It. Is. Fantastic.

It's the perfect, beautiful combination of SkyMall (ridiculous things no one needs) and the Dollar Tree (cheap).

But what's really great...is SOMETIMES there's actually good deals, and now, sadly the catalog is addressed to me...or current resident.

When I went to bed last night with the catalog in hand, my husband was like, "seriously?"

After picture texting images of the catalog, and getting "LMAO" responses from him...he understood.

I'll share with you a little of it today.

Ahem.

This catalog has everything.

First, a plunger that is in the shape of a gun. Yeah, we're starting there. With a bang.

Next, what kitchen counter is complete during the holidays without a candle that can also serve as an ice breaker to verbally accost and harass your guests?

But this isn't just about decor.

There's gifts for all your lush mom group friends.

There's gifts for the men in your life that cannot set their beers down even for one moment to grill food.
There's this farting teddy bear. Yep. Farting teddy bear. But that's not all. It's apparently targeted not for your 11-13 year old sons, but for your 30 year old son in law...

And what better gift for Billy to get Grandma...you know...if his ultimate goal is to steal from her...
And for the pet lover that just wants to wrap up in their dog's face...? That exists right?
But seriously...

There are some randomly crazy AWESOME stuff...

Like SpiderMan 60-piece art sets for $4.95...perfect for my toddler!!

And these adorable Disney Glasses for 4 for $8.95!



AND LOOK AT THESE!!! WHAT?! 2 for $12!!!

Bottom line: you need this catalog.