30 Days of Thankfulness: Dave Ramsey

Nerd post alert.

When I was just barely old enough to start babysitting, I decided I was going to use my income to buy a car. My motto was literally, “Should I go to a movie now, or buy a car later?”

And you know what? It worked! I ended up buying a car from my parents when I was 16. I’m pretty sure I way underpaid them, but that experience taught me a lot about what it means to save up for major purchases.

I was fascinated by compound interest equations in math class. I actually enjoyed reading articles about credit cards, retirement, and mortgages. See? I’m a nerd through and through.

So, for most of my life, my financial philosophy has been to work hard, save a bunch of money, and avoid debt. This thought process has helped me make many decisions; along with the guidance of my most significant financial influence: Dave Ramsey.

I first discovered Dave shortly after Eric and I were married. I had won a copy of his book at a church event, and I think I read through it in just a couple of days. I love that Dave makes finances make sense. He explains things in a way that is easy to understand with a conviction that makes you want to jump all in and make finances a priority.

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My well-loved Dave Ramsey materials.

I’ve never been too great at using Dave’s cash system, but aside from that, I have made a habit of applying his concepts. I use a form that I slightly modified from Dave Ramsey’s book when creating our budget each month. When Eric and I are making important financial decisions, I peruse Dave’s website for any information pertaining to that particular topic. I get all of his newsletters and love listening to the countless stories of people becoming debt free. Dave has created a community of people who support and encourage each other in their financial journey. I am forever grateful for all the wisdom his books and website have bestowed upon me!

At one point, I had aspired to work for his company. It was my dream job! What could be better than helping others learn how to live in financial freedom? I actually met him once at a conference. I stood in a long line intended for acquiring an autograph, and when I finally got to Dave I asked him, “Do you have any job openings in North Carolina?” Unfortunately, the answer was “no”. There were positions available in Tennessee, but since Eric and I are called to the mission of Daystar, that simply wasn’t going to be an option. Ends up, that for me, what’s even better than helping people find financial freedom, is helping people find freedom in Christ.

I am so thankful to have found Dave’s resources. It has helped Eric and I have a firm foundation for our marriage! We have used his advice when it comes to investing, saving, and budgeting. The resources on his website helped us determine that refinancing from a 30 year to a 15 year mortgage was going to be a no-brainer for us.

Thank you Dave and team for your message. You are truly helping people change their lives for the better!

30 Days of Thankfulness: Authors

One of the things I’m trying to do in my life is make space for reading. Perhaps this isn’t true for everyone, but my world seems to turn upside down when there is a baby in the house. Sleep, feedings, crying sessions, and cuddles all seem to take precedence over anything else. After a year and a half, I’m feeling like I’m just now getting into a routine where I can actually do some things for myself.

That being said, I am thankful there is such a vast amount of good books to read. It’s almost overwhelming when I look at my options. I have recently finished two books and have started another. Here is a quick look at those books as I would certainly recommend them to others!

Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman

I’ve decided that Emily and I are friends, but she just doesn’t know it yet. We share the same last name, we live in the same city, her children attend a school where I used to teach, her husband is in the ministry, and she is a writer. Granted, she is a very successful, published author and I’ve been blogging for a few months. Apples and oranges.

But seriously, as I was reading her book, I kept feeling like I was reading an inner dialogue I often have with myself. This book talks about finding meaning and purpose in our small day-to-day tasks. It’s about realizing that God’s calling doesn’t have to be big and glamorous, but is often simply obeying his commands as we follow Him. We are to be obedient, and He does the rest.

I love this quote from her book, “I need a daily reminder to let go of outcomes, to remember I can plant seeds but I can’t make them grow, I can create art but I can’t make it sell, I can act in faith but I can’t determine the outcome.”

There is freedom in knowing that everything isn’t up to me. It may drive me crazy not knowing what the future holds, but I can let go of my expectations and know that God’s plans for me are best.

Emily, thank you for this thought provoking book and for challenging my heart!

For the Love by Jen Hatmaker

Jen has a gift of humor that kept me cackling while reading her book. She has an amazing way of being able to speak solid Truth while simultaneously making me laugh at myself. I enjoy a good hearty laugh here and there.

She talks about a number of things in her book. I highlighted a section about discovering our calling. She gives advice on parenting, insight into what really matters, and then inserts a little comedy so we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

I was encouraged as I read, “if you are worried about being a bad parent, you are probably a good one.” I’m sure there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t evaluate the amount of time the girls spend in front of the tv, or whether I’m reading them enough books, or socializing them enough, or modeling Christ-like behavior well enough, or…

I’m so glad I don’t have to be perfect.

I also love her thought-provoking phrase, “If it isn’t also true for a poor single Christian mom in Haiti, it isn’t true.” Jen’s argument is that we often try to simplify the Gospel with big blanket statements. She challenges us to look at situations from the eyes of someone in an entirely different set of circumstances than ourselves, so that we might gain a little more insight in our American theology.

Jen, thank you for being honest and real, and for letting me laugh with you. I hope to apply these lessons for years to come!

Believing God by Beth Moore

I’ve only finished two chapters, but already I feel like this is a life-changing book. It’s so good.

Beth says this of her book’s purpose, “This book has one primary goal: to encourage any Christian who will listen to move to his or her personalized place of divine promise and to flourish.”

I’m all for that! Beth, thank you for taking me on this journey. I can’t wait to see what I discover!