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peace

Money

Looking for Beta Testers for Our Brand New Money Course… Who Wants In?

November 28, 2016

******UPDATE AS OF JAN 2017**********

We have received way more applicants than we will even be able to take in the beta class so we are closing applications for now. Thank you all for your enthusiasm for the class and stay tuned for a debut in 2017! ūüôā

Those of you who’ve been around these parts for a while know that we’re into financial freedom and managing our financial resources for the glory of God. We’re also wanna-be entrepreneurs with approximately one million ideas that could land us on Shark Tank.

We’ve decided to merge those two loves together into a brand new class on relating with and handling money in 2017.

To be super duper transparent, the class is completely 100% in our brains at the current moment.¬†We need a handful of individuals and couples willing to help us get what’s in our heads out onto computers and into your homes.

I know some of you are thinking, “But wait, aren’t they about to have another baby in like a week?” Yes. Yes we are. But you know what, life has this funny way of never having good timing when it comes to pursuing dreams. That’s where a pilot class will be helpful not only to us but also for those who join us. We’ll have you keeping us accountable to getting our ideas out each week and you will benefit from the nuggets of wisdom we’ve got stored away. We both win and it gets our dreams one step closer to reality.

I know we are completely qualified and confident to do this…because we’ve been doing it for years now. We’ve had countless meetings with individuals and couples in our homes or at various events about their finances and what next steps to take in getting financially fit. From getting out of debt to starting a retirement account to setting up a will, we’ve talked about it all with others.

It’s no secret that we love Dave Ramsey and we admit his influence on our lives has been tremendous. However,¬†we believe we’ve got a unique perspective on this money thing and we believe it will be useful to you and others. That’s why we’re creating a money class you can take in the comfort of your own home and creating an online community of others pursuing the same thing.

This is where you come in.

Do you want financial freedom? Are you sick and tired of debt? Do you need advice on how to save for college and retirement? Do you need encouragement and accountability to create and stick to a budget? Do you want financial hacks that will save you hundreds every year? Are you ready to retire a millionaire and steward those funds wisely? Do you want to give more generously? Are you facing an income issue and need ideas on how to bring home more for yourself and family? Do you need fresh ideas on how to get rid of debt quickly? Do you want to see a radical financial turnaround in only a few short weeks?

We’re going to cover that all and more in our class. ¬†In order to do that, we want to invite a few of you to join our pilot.¬†

What type of individuals and families are we looking for?

  • Ready to commit 110% to pursuing financial freedom
  • Able to dedicate 2-3 hours per week watching videos, doing homework, and participating in the online community
  • Learners who are open to trying new things
  • Ready to provide open, honest, and helpful feedback each week after our lessons
  • Vulnerability and able to openly discuss their emotions regarding money and spending

Are you ready to get financially fit in the New Year…and for the rest of your life?


Sign up above and we will review your application. We should be getting back to you in the next couple of weeks before the New Year.

Money, Our Debt-Free Story

Our Debt-Free Story: Part 1 – “We’ve Had It!”

August 29, 2014

This is Part 1 of a 3-part series. Be sure to read the whole story!

Since we are running a Financial Peace Giveaway, it only seemed right that we formally share the story of how we became debt free.

This will be a three-part series and this post is the first installment. We hope to offer encouragement in sharing our experiences and perhaps a few laughs along the way.

So, let’s take a trip down memory lane back to yesteryear….

name-my-car-3In a Delorean.

Since we’ve all not-so-secretly wished we could travel in one.

The¬†story begins on ¬†warm summer’s eve when a guy with long hair walked up and ¬†asked me to get ice cream later that night. I said, “sure.” He then high-fived me and ran away.

That guy was Jonathan and we’ve been inseparable ever since that first ice cream cone.

Our first conversations about money began that Fall. We both declared we had some students loans and had them on auto payments…student loans we likely never needed to take if we had both saved and worked through college. Whoops. Not a very deep or informative conversation but it got the ball rolling.

In late Spring…Holy Thursday to be exact, we got engaged and that is when the real shackles of debt began to rear their ugly heads. Now we had a wedding to plan with varying expenses and a honeymoon to pay for. Naturally we began to talk more details about what sort of financial means and baggage we were carrying at the time.

We were sitting in my car when the bomb dropped.

Between the two of us we had $24,500 in debt!!!

displeasedHere’s the breakdown:

Amanda: $8,000 student loans 

Jonathan: $13,000 student loans + $3,500 on a credit card 

What’s weird is I didn’t freak out about the $21,000 in student loans but I FREAKED about Jonathan’s credit card debt. Something about credit cards has always scared me and I just cringe at the thought of paying 17.235% interest or whatever they are. Gross.¬†

At that point, I had some savings I was holding onto. Why was I sitting on student loan debt with savings in the bank? Don’t ask. I really have no idea. Upon arriving back at my house, we got out of the car and I logged into my bank and transferred Jonathan the funds to pay off the credit card immediately.¬†

Later on I learned ¬†Dave Ramsey says I shouldn’t have done that until we were hitched. Whoops.

It was paid. I felt instantly better.

Throughout our engagement we both began to read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. It rocked our world. All the testimonies from individuals and families who have worked Dave’s plan and obtained financial freedom were inspiring. We started listening to the radio show and with every “debt-free scream” that aired, I would start to cry. We felt the weight and burden of debt and knew we wanted it gone as soon as possible.

But.

We had that thing called a wedding to plan.

We wanted to apply all of Dave’s principles right away but we were waiting to merge bank accounts until after the wedding and there were too many urgent tasks in the way that kept preventing us from starting to budget on our own.

We let the principles take a back seat and knew that after the wedding, there was no turning back.

We were going to do this.

We were going to kick Sallie Mae to the curb and never look back.

We were going to be debt-free and that is all there was too it.

We were finally “mad” about our debt.

And Dave Ramsey always says the first step to getting our of debt is saying, “I’VE HAD IT!” and being sick and tired of being sick and tired. We had arrived at that point.

In Part 2, we will talk you through how we got started working the baby steps as a married couple.

See you next time! Until then, jump over to our FPU Giveaway post to enter for a chance to win one of three FPU memberships!

Money

Financial Peace University Giveaway!

August 27, 2014

Drum roll please….

It’s time for a giveaway around the True Good and Beautiful blog!

What are we giving away, you ask? (just in case you didn’t see the title…)

3 FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY MEMBERSHIPS!!!!

If you know our story, you are well aware that Dave Ramsey has a huge influence on how we choose to live. Using his materials and methods are the sole reasons we are debt-free and living on a budget today. Dave Ramsey’s message has literally changed out entire life.

And we can’t help but pass along this opportunity to others.

No, we weren’t given these by Dave Ramsey’s company.

We are simply a family who believes so powerfully in the freedom that comes in handling money God’s way that we want to pay it forward to someone else. We want to bless an individual or family who would benefit from going through this class.

What is Financial Peace University (FPU)?

“Financial Peace University¬†is a nine-week class on money taught by America’s most trusted financial guru, Dave Ramsey. Dave and his teaching team¬†will walk you through the basics of budgeting, dumping debt, planning for the future, and much more!”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=62emrljp03c

You can see a sample of all nine lessons here.

Most classes start up in a couple of weeks, hence the giveaway. You can see a list of locations, dates, and times at the FPU website.

Jonathan and I have attended and facilitated Financial Peace University and it’s been a huge blessing in our life and parish. If you could benefit from sprucing up your finances or demolishing old habits and starting over, then sign up to win one of these classes we are giving away.

It literally can change your life and the lives of those around you.

Lastly – I shouldn’t have to say this but…if you know you will not complete all nine classes and take the class seriously, DO NOT ENTER THIS CONTEST! If you are ready to dive in and apply yourself in class, ENTER ALL YOU CAN! We want to make sure the people with the right attitudes¬†are the ones who win this opportunity.

Best wishes and “may the odds be ever in your favor!” ūüôā

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Infertility, Marriage

Just Around the Riverbend

March 12, 2014

 

Remember that great Disney song from Pocahontas? Just in case you developed amnesia, here it is:

My favorite lyrics?

“Should I choose the smoothest curve
Steady as the beating drum?
…Is all my dreaming at an end?
Or do you still wait for me, Dream Giver God
Just around the riverbend?”

For whatever reason, despite my preference to choose the smoothest course, Jesus typically makes me take the roundabout way. Typically I hate it in the moment…but I look back after the wild ride is done and thank him for taking me on yet another adventure.

Something has been coming up in prayer lately. Not anything huge. Actually quite small. Kind of like what Elijah experienced:

“And he said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:11-12

What’s the still small voice been saying, you ask?

It’s been telling me that one day…just around the riverbend (weeks, months, years, only God knows how long my wild riverbend of infertility is)…my circumstances will change.

I will likely either be a mother someday, God will change my heart’s desires and reveal something else I am called to do as a wife, or he will give me supernatural strength and courage in this cross. I am confident that His will isn’t to emotionally rake me over the coals for the rest of my life until I die.¬†Yes, I feel stuck in a never-ending, grueling, suffocating, heart-breaking, Bill-Murray-Groundhog’s-Day-esque, brutal place. But it won’t be my forever.¬†There is a life beyond this riverbend even though I am clueless to how it will play out.

How will I look back on this time of waiting?

I don’t want to get 20/20 vision someday when I am cozily on “the other side” ¬†and look back and regret how I lived my life through this trial.

Will I look back and see a girl desperately needing a hug on a constant basis? Will I look back and see someone who wallowed in near-despair for years on end? Will I look back and wish I had been more generous with the gift of myself to others despite being in tremendous emotional and physical pain? Will I look back and see a girl who fell for the Devil’s lies more often than she clung to eternal truths of her Almighty King?

Will I regret how I lived my life?

I don’t want to regret it. I want to live my life in light of the truth that this isn’t the end of my story. That infertility and all its emotions aren’t my eternal destiny. That God does¬†have a plan for me despite my ability to see or understand it. That I am going around a particularly arduous riverbend that has another side to it even though I can’t see much right now.

If I live my life in light of those things…it will likely change how I spend the time waiting.

Sure, I will definitely have highs and lows, as to be expected. I am not superhuman. If I lived in this confident trust and hope, I would be at peace far more often than not. I would strive more eagerly to carry my cross with Jesus and to offer it up for others. I would want to make each day count and not live my life for some fantasy future that isn’t reality (yet). I would calm down and not get so frantic or anxious. I wouldn’t be able to regret this time, knowing I fought hard to look at Jesus as we hung and died on this cross together.

Lately, I read this blog post. It affirmed what I’ve been thinking in prayer. I see how beautiful life “beyond the riverbend” is for this woman who battled her way through 5+ years of infertility. I know that type of sweet redemption is possible for me even though it won’t be her same story. Or anyone else’s story. I know who my God is. Nothing is impossible with him.

For now, I continue winding along on the riverbend of infertilty. 

“Is all my dreaming at an end?”

No. It’s not. It appears that everyone else is on the smooth course but take me on the crazy route, Lord. The one that bends and curves and even has a terrifyingly steep waterfall. I trust you will my good. That there is life around this riverbend. That all my dreams aren’t at an end. You will take care of me. Help me choose truth when I want to choose lies. Help me keep my eyes fixed on you and not what other people’s lives look like. Help me to operate out of a spirit of trust and not a spirit of fear. Then, and only then, will I be able to look back on this time in our journey together and not regret how it was spent. Your will be done.

I know that I will look back one day and thank you for this path you’ve chosen, even if I can’t thank you today.

Uncategorized

Late Have I Loved You…

August 28, 2012

Today is the feast day of St. Augustine of Hippo, an awesome man of God who has a wild conversion story! If you ever are tempted to think that you are too far from Jesus to actually come to Him, think again and read this man’s story. Whoa! I was reading from¬†Confessions this morning in prayer and ran across a sweet quote I wanted to share on the blog. Enjoy!

“Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.” St. Augustine


There are two great songs I love listening to that is based on parts of this quote-

Alive Again
Late Have I loved You

I enjoy reading this quote from St. Augustine so much because I find myself being able to relate with certain aspects of it. For much of my life I was going through the motions with God…I knew God was with me but I didn’t care to respond to Him, since I was so distracted by everything else in my life…that existed because He willed it into being! How backwards! God came crashing into my life with a blast of grace towards the end of my high school time and really began to grab my attention in college. I found that everything was beginning to leave me unsatifsfied except for God. He was the only one who gave contentment and lasting joy to my heart. I was hungry to know Him more and more. Sometimes I wonder why it took so long for me to truly “see” God for who He is…or why it took so long in St. Augustine’s life. I don’t think I will ever fully know the reasons but I thank God for His grace and the gift of faith that now resides in my heart. I pray to always respond to His grace and stay in His love…because I know that if I ever¬† wander from Him I will never find what my (any every person’s) heart desires and is ultimately looking for.Trying to live my life without acknowledging Him is like a car engine trying to run on water instead of gas. It doesn’t work.

St. Augustine also said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” I pray that anyone who is reading this will see this truth for what it is. Place your heart at rest in God and you will never want to look back. Nothing and no one else satisfies. Look at the life of St. Augustine or any of the saints for that matter.¬† We all will wander aimlessly from one thing to the next, seeking fulfillment but never quite grasping it, unless we surrender to the One who can fill us with everlasting peace.