Dad Brags

IMG_5680
Throwback to my sister’s high school graduation! We were standing in our living room/embroidery business/home school room.

I’d like to brag on my Daddy for a bit.

My Daddy (and yes, I still call him “Daddy”), is a man of many talents. I grew up with him leading worship in the church (is it any wonder I ended up marrying a worship leader?). I’ve also known him to learn new skills in order to take on various business endeavors.

I’m posting this now, because years ago one of those endeavors got him into a bit of trouble, and he has recently made it all right.

I don’t know all the details. Quite frankly, I don’t believe the details are any of my business, nor are they the important part of the story. I’ll give you a quick summary.

He started a business.
He got a business partner.
The business did well.
The complexities of running a business left a few details undone.
His business partner left in some tough circumstances.
My Daddy was left with a mess.
Debt. Taxes. $$$.

It was rough there for a bit. But you know? I’m proud of my parents. Momma, I love that you stuck by your husband in the midst of the mess and didn’t leave even when I’m sure that could have been a tempting option. Daddy, I love that you were not too proud to make it right.

Both of my parents have worked hard. My Momma is a successful pilates instructor. My Daddy has done a little bit of everything. When the embroidery business faltered, he started working in a Family Dollar warehouse. He was in Toastmasters for a while, hoping to increase income through a bit of public speaking. He worked in a mailroom at Derek Prince Ministries.

A mailroom. This man, a leader in the church and talented salesman, humbled himself to work in a mailroom. I am so proud of him for it.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
Dancing with my Daddy on my wedding day. And yes, that’s a bounce house in the background. 

My Daddy didn’t give up. In time, he worked more hours doing odds and ends for Derek Prince Ministries. He taught himself new skills and took over the social media for the ministry. He learned how to update, manage, and create websites. In fact, in the last year, my Daddy was commissioned to build the websites for Derek Prince Ministries in multiple countries across the globe.

Do you know what that means?

After years of hard work, faith, and more hard work, my Daddy has paid off his debts. He is free. The phrase, “pray as if it all depends on God, and work as if it all depends on you” comes to mind.

I asked his permission to share this story, because don’t we all at some point have a weight on our shoulders we want to shake off? A huge goal we are striving toward that might seem impossible in the moment? My Daddy is an example of making it happen. And I am so proud of him.

He’s mentioned that people have asked whether he is excited to be rid of the financial obligation. His response? “I wish I was more excited! The truth is, I asked God to help me be content through it all, and He did.”

And I love that too. Because yes, we all have goals. We all have stuff. But our goals and the getting rid of the stuff isn’t the point. The point is clinging to Jesus and focusing on Him no matter where we are. Whether on a mountaintop or in a valley, the only way we can be truly content is to find our purpose in Him.

So Daddy, just in case you weren’t sure, I’m proud of you and I’m proud to be your daughter.

IMG_5559
My Daddy carrying my oldest girl.

“‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.’” (Isaiah 43:1-3)

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.

IMG_3280
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!