Cutting Up My Credit Card

 I’ll never forget the day I cut up my credit card. I performed this plastectomy on my baby blue Wachovia card 2 months ago. It was the best feeling ever. Looking back, I don’t miss it one bit.

You see, I used that card as a “crutch.” When I couldn’t afford something at that moment, I would swipe it and always say “Oh it will get paid off.” In reality, the debt and interest just kept building on itself and before I knew it, I was in $1,000 or so of debt in just a blink of an eye. Perhaps you know the feeling.

Dave Ramsey inspired me to cut my card up. I did even before it was paid off and the temptation to swipe no longer exists. I buy only what I have in my account- in cash mainly. Sometimes on our debit card. My husband’s credit card will be paid off this weekend and we will be credit card debt free. We still have student loans and a car payment to go, but we are on our way to being debt free.

I can sum up credit cards in one word: bondage. Just like all debt.

 

A Baby?!

In early February, my husband and I found out we were pregnant! We are just now letting the world know as our first doctor’s appointment was April 4. It was a wonderful experience. Our doctor is Dr. Steven Harris at Baylor Hospital. He has an incredible bedside manner and is very tenderhearted.

When he took the ultrasound, I believe our worlds were changed forever. When we saw Baby Krieger move around it made the idea that we are having a baby become reality. See, the doctor didn’t need to see me until week 12. I had to keep waiting and trusting that a living being was inside me and was growing healthy. I had to trust it was there, even though I couldn’t see it. It taught me a lot about faith in fact.

Baby Krieger is scheduled to arrive around mid-October (Oct. 17, give or take a few weeks). We have been very busy with our jobs, school, and ministry but everything is slowly starting to sink in and it’s exciting and life-changing. I’ve seen a change in Jeremiah as well as he embraces the fact that he is a dad (wow that’s crazy to say!). He is so joyful about it. My nephew, Parker who is almost 3 yrs. old, wants “baby cousin” to come right now. Everday his mind changes on whether it’s a boy or girl. My sister and bro-in-law who are living in NC are very excited as well, along with my dad and mom who will be “grandparents # 2.”

Here are the ultra sound stills- three different photos. As you can tell by the legs, he or she was very active. It was adorable.

So, do you think it’s a boy or girl? (Boys outnumber girls 3-1 in Jeremiah’s family and girls dominate in mine). Only time will tell!

Thanks for sharing in our JOY!

Sex & Money- Taboo?

  Thoughts on Financial Peace University… I am in my twenties. I’ve talked to many wise people who are beyond my years who said that when they were growing up the two words never talked about were Sex & Money. In this category, I’m not going to talk about the sex part (I’ll save that one for later). But, it is interesting that many people are raised having never been taught how to handle money- let alone how to create a budget. They or their parents never made it a priority.

I know many people are in that category. I am one of them. I was handed many wonderful things growing up which I am so appreciative of, but I never had the desire to learn about money when my parents wanted to sit me down. I was stubborn. Besides we had everything so what was there for me to learn? I wasn’t looking into the future.

If you feel you’re in the same boat of never having learned much about finances. You are not alone. Don’t feel stupid or mad at yourself that you never took the initiative to learn. Learn from that careless decision and move on. It is never too late to start the journey now- no matter if you’re in your 50’s, 30’s, or 20’s.

Break the curse of money being taboo… and begin to talk about it with your friends and family.

Rise and Whine

Focus on the Family’s January ’08 Couples Issue published my article, “Rise and Whine.” I had several people contact me and say they struggled with the same thing. I thought I was the only one. For real.

If you are polar opposites from your loved one in the morning, you will understand this article. You might laugh along with it. If you can relate, feel free to share an experience.

Don’t worry.

We’re in this battle together as we aim to make our marriage beds a better, sweeter place to wake up from.

Is Recession Coming our Way?

Alan Greenspan, former federal reserve chairman, claims there is more than a 50% chance our nation will go into recession. My husband found the article today and told me about it on the way home from work today.

Hmm. This really gets me thinking about the financial state of America. Do we see the severity and understand the issue at hand? Since Financial Peace University, I am only scratching the surface of what I still have to learn. One truth I know for sure is that our aim and goal in our marriage is to completely get rid of all debt. Get rid of bondage. How come (especially in my generation) we think we deserve things when we don’t have the money to pay for them?

Generations before me paved the way to where we are today. They worked hard and earned their keep. The consequence is that we’ve become lazy and we don’t know what Save means because we’ve been given everything. With this mentality, our desire to have things has not come with the same discipline that was met with the generations before us. Instead, we have given in to borrowing more than we can afford making ourselves servant to the lender.

Isn’t it time to break free?

Do you think America can break free?

On the Road to Financial Peace…

Jeremiah and I just graduated from Financial Peace University, Dave Ramsey’s 12 week financial course. Our lives have been changed forever from the course. Everything he speaks on regarding finances is so contrary to our culture today. Saving is a word people hate because it requires discipline and thinking ahead rather than just spending whatever in the here and now.

As a gradudate of the course, I feel it’s my duty to let others know how greatly it has impacted our life, marriage, peace, future, etc. We have paid off $8,000 in credit card debt in 12 weeks and we are on the road to becoming debt free by Christmas 2008 (including car payment and student loans).

In February, we found a little one is on the way. We feel so much peace towards that knowing that we’re on the path toward wisdom now, and not foolishness. We will be able to teach our baby that one day too. We have (for the first time ever) our $1,000 emergency fund and we’re continuing to build 3-6 months of income towards savings.

In this category on my blog, I will be writing sporadic posts about the 12 week journey and what I learned. Feel free to commment or ask any questions. We want you to be inspired to delve into this course so that your life can be radically changed- forever. As Dave says: “Live like no one else so that you can really live like no one else.”

Continuing on the road…

For Small Group Leaders and Pastors

 Are you currently leading a small group or community group at your church? Or are you the Community Groups Pastor? If you’d like to take a part in a huge project that will impact leaders across the nation, feel free to comment and I will contact you and give more details about how you can contribute to what is going on at Bluefish TV.

Little Girl and Psalm 23

 Since I’ve started my new job at Bluefish TV, I’ve had the privilege of meeting some amazing people. I’ve only been here one week, and it feels like home. Currently, I’m working on editing bios and session descriptions for people like Donald Miller, Margaret Feinberg, and Erwin McManus. These are just a few authors/speakers who will be speaking at our upcoming Fusion and Leadnow Events in Orlando, Seattle, and Dallas.

At Bluefish we create video sermon illustrations for small group leaders, pastors, or youth groups to use in whatever they are teaching on. We also create curriculum and video driven Bible studies. I am on the production team as a writer and work with the creative geniuses that produce these videos. One downloadable video that was launched almost a year ago on Bluefish, Godtube, and Youtube has made it around the world. 

Little did my boss know that his little girl would impact 6 million people! Click here to watch the video. You won’t be able to get enough of it. I’ve watched it about 15 times.

Carved from a Bar of Ivory Soap…

jonasbros.jpg Newsweek claims the Jonas Brothers are so pure they could be carved from a bar of ivory soap. All three of them have made committments to wait for sexual activity until they are married. They are setting the bar high and that is just what we need. Amanda Riddle, one of the brightest-mature teens I’ve ever known, has a poster of the brown eyed brothers in her bedroom. In her eyes, they are the hottest teen band on the planet and the phenomenon is growing. It’s pretty evident the role their parents play in their life. They thought of the purity ring thing and they figured their parents were smart. Now they wear them everywhere they tour. They give credit to their parents for their choices.  http://www.newsweek.com/id/105564

Generation ME vs. YOU

narcisists.gif I stumbled upon the article below in New York Times today that says, “Conventional wisdom, supported by academic studies using the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, maintains that today’s young people– schooled in the church of self-esteem, vying for spots on reality television, promoting themselves on YouTube– are more narcisstic than their predecessors. A study released last year by the PEW Research Center for the People and Press dubbed Americans age 18-25 as the “Look at Me” generation and reported that this group said that their top goals were fortune and fame.

This article is engaging and interesting. It has caused me to search deep within myself. I am 25 yrs. old so I guess I’ve been labeled the “Look at Me” generation. I could say easily, yes, that we are self-absorbed as young people with all our gadgets and new tech., but young people have similar struggles as their parents and our entire culture. The tension within is not merely cultural, but our own sinfulness. We are the most “marketed to” generation ever and we are told if it feels good, then buy it and do it.

Narcissism: The fascination with one-self. Self-love. Do you think it’s something my generation deals with alone? Youtube, facebook, myspace, the wii, x-box, american idol, ipod’s, and iphone’s are not bad in and of themselves, but I can see how others label my generation’s fascination with these material things as just that. The above most certainly can be the vehicle to lead a person down a narcisstic, self-absorbed path when not used with discernment or humility. We could add moderation in there as well. But yet again, narcissism is often just within our sinful nature and we must constantly fight against it- no matter how young or how old (“For above all, guard you heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” -Prov. 4:23)

What are your thoughts?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/17/fashion/17narcissism.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

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