Category Archives: Life

Everyday living. My bucket list as well as other life experiences.

Faith & Finances w/ Hannah Roehrick

Welcome to my first ever guest post.  I’m excited to introduce you to Hannah Roehrick, a Christian and a blogger at https://www.facebook.com/ourdebtfreejourney.

I appreciate her willingness to share her story with you!

I used to think that faith and finances were separate. In fact, I kept my faith separate from most “practical” things like school, work, and, well basically everything. To me, the spiritual didn’t fit into everyday life, belonging to a dimension occupied solely by church leaders and evangelists.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that God was using this perspective to prepare me for a revelation–one that would shake my very foundation, and open my eyes to a reality that I never could have imagined.

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On December 31, 2013, my new husband, Chad, and I embarked on our life together. We were 27 years old, and filled with big, crazy dreams for the future. The only problem was that a debt mountain $153,000 high stood in the way of everything.
It isn’t as if this mountain came looming up out of nowhere. Both of us had relied heavily on credit cards over the years, Chad had rolled one car loan into another, and I had postponed college graduation long enough to acquire a hefty price tag (as you can probably guess, most of the debt was mine…but that’s another story).
Looking back to when we were accumulating all that debt, I can honestly say that neither of us thought much of it–not even when we got a little nervous about having to pay it back. From what we had seen of the world, everyone had debt on some level, and most people kept it around for their entire lives.
That changed the October after we started dating, when Chad borrowed a personal finance book from me that had been collecting dust on my shelf. Suddenly, he was on fire, throwing out concepts like emergency fund, budgeting, saving for retirement, and stewardship. I had heard (and ignored) all of these before, but it was the last one that really caught me.

Stewardship

 “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.” Psalm 24:1-2 ESV
As Christians, we are called to steward the Lord’s creation (Gen. 1:26-28). This includes our finances. We may have exchanged work to gain the money we receive with each paycheck, but the fact remains that it still belongs to God (John 3:27). We belong to God.
Like anything He gives us, God doesn’t want us to keep the money we receive to ourselves, but to multiply it and share it with others (Matt. 25:14-21, Acts 20:35). He gives it to us for the twofold purpose of caring for ourselves and for each other.
So the money that I spend at the movie theater, grocery store, or hair salon doesn’t belong to me, but my Father Who created me. When I finally realized this, it gave me great pause, because I had been spending someone else’s money, and I had been doing it poorly!
Not only that, but I hadn’t been depending on my Father to provide for me. If that doesn’t show a lack of faith, then I don’t know what does.

Provision

 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matt. 6:33 ESV

 In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ tells us that we don’t need to worry about our needs being provided for. God provides for the sparrows, so why wouldn’t He provide for His children? All we need to be focused on is pursuing God–otherwise known as walking and growing in faith.
Though this fact is so easy for me to understand now, I had again missed the boat. Instead of looking to God to fulfill my every need, I chose again and again to put my faith in the financial provision of the world, a.k.a. debt.
Worse yet, I was turning my wants, like spending a semester in Southeast Asia, into needs. I needed to take out a loan so I could experience a different culture on the other side of the world. I needed to revamp my wardrobe, so I charged it to a credit card. I needed…well, fill in the blank.
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Turning the pages of that personal finance book was like opening Pandora’s box. Discovering how horrible we had become at managing money was only the tip of the iceberg, the symptom of our overall problem: we weren’t trusting God. We weren’t walking in faith.
All along, our financial journey has really been a faith journey. Earthly things like business and finances–these can’t be separated from faith, not Christian faith. Because it’s the way we live our lives.
In the end, it’s all part of the same path. That’s the essence of our debt-free journey.
Hannah Roehimage3rick is a wife, blogger, debtor, and Christ follower.
She and her husband, Chad, started Our Debt-Free Journey in 2014 to tell the tale of their climb up Debt Mountain. It’s their hope that readers can use the experiences illustrated on https://www.facebook.com/ourdebtfreejourney to avoid the same pitfalls in their own lives.

With Great Blessing

“Good Fortune”.  “Lucky streak”.  “Blessing from God”.

Many people use these three phrases interchangeably. The first two are more or less the same, but the third is very different.

Blessings from God come with absolutely no strings attached. However, they do come with great responsibility.

When our daughter came into our lives we experienced many different emotions. We realized on the first day we brought her home that she was our responsibility. No more folks coming to take her all night and feed her when she cries. No more pages to the nurse desk to bring things. We were on our own.

We felt both excited and scared (as any first time parents feel) as we fumbled through diaper changes, 2AM feedings, and screaming fits. Those days are long past us and we have come to learn that we still don’t know what we’re doing.

By the time we had our second child the fear lessened, but the responsibility only grew.   It has continued to grow with each passing year.

It is amazing to watch these two crazy kids develop their own personalities.  We realize there are many things we have control over for now, but not forever.

We don’t have to pump info into her head like a computer, but we do need to give her books to read, good TV programs to watch, and creative outlets to express herself.

Their minds are sponges.  We are responsible for making sure what they absorb makes them better people.  We have them for such a small period of time.  There will be a point in the future where our only influence we have on them is through the things we’ve taught and the examples we have given.

They will feel our love no matter where they go if we cover them in it while we still can.

Most importantly, they need to not only hear our profession of love and devotion to Jesus, but to see it in action. They need to see us praying, hear us read the Bible, and know that we will be going to church because we “want to”, not because we “have to” do it. We need to raise them to love God the way we love Him.

Children are amazing blessings and the greatest responsibility we will ever know.

The world is a scary place to raise a child. God help us. That’s not just a saying, but our prayer.

How to Organize Kids Keepsakes!

If you have kids they’re likely either out of school or almost there.  Congrats on surviving another year.

Just a little problem.  What on earth do you do with that mountain of kids keepsakes??

The struggle of figuring out what to keep and how to organize your kid’s papers and projects is the 3rd leading cause of stress among married couples with young children.

I have no proof or official study to cite, but it feels just feels right.  So, obviously it is a problem, but what do you do about it?

Help!  Ways to Help Organize

Note:  I don’t always follow these rules.  OK, rarely. However they are all very doable. 

  • Schoolwork/Crafts. As you view items get a sense whether it would be something special to look back on in 1, 3, 5 or 10 years form now.
    •  Math, spelling, etc. homework – unless its the first and only A of an entire school year – can be pitched after you give out kudos.
    • A hand drawn family portrait from your child that never draws anything?  KEEP!
    • The poster size mural of your family that was probably colored in the last 3 minutes of class?  Do I have to answer this one?
    • Once you figure out what you want to keep, store them safely away somewhere in your home. Large crafts that were pretty neat can either be photographed and pitched… or given away to a grandparent. 🙂
  • Church Crafts. When kids take home crafts from Sunday School do the following:
    • Talk about the craft and ask questions about why they made it.
    • Study the scripture associated with the craft and discuss application.
    • Let them display in their own room for a few weeks if possible; longer if it is something functional (bookmark, door hanger, tithing bank, etc.)
    • After a few weeks, take a picture and toss.
  • Church Papers. Papers take up less space and sometimes you feel bad throwing away things that have scripture or pictures of Jesus on them.
    • Connect the dots, word searches, mazes and any other “non artistic” paper can be pitched after looking at it.
    • Journal or devotional style papers might be beneficial to keep as long as they’re put in some sort of folder or binder that is easily accessible.
    • Coloring pages.  You can throw away 90% of them. Unless it is fridge worthy or you want to save it to put in a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.

For more tips on what to do with kid’s keepsakes, watch this great quick video from Parents.Com:

http://www.parents.com/videos/v/94178794/home-organization-schoolwork-artwork-and-keepsakes.htm

How do you keep the papers/crafts from taking over your home?

Crabgrass and Dandelions

Crabgrass

Crabgrass – Photo from “Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide”

Do not let the name fool you. It isn’t really grass.  It is green, but that’s where the similarities end.

 Once this ugly weed takes root it spreads all over.  Once it spreads it starts to choke the healthy grass.  The roots run deep into the ground. You can pull it up, but unless you get to the root it will just keep coming back.
Our negative self-perceptions are a lot like this.  Our internal thoughts manifest themselves in a material way.  If our thoughts are ugly, we are ugly.  If we have self-deprecating thoughts, we depreciate our value as a human being.

Just like with the crabgrass we can try to just do a quick fix.  We can run from our thoughts by going on vacation, or cover them up with a smile. All the while the root of the problem remains.  

Remove the root and you remove the issue.  Just treating the surface will never do.

Sometimes the digging deep can hurt, but it is a necessary proccess to remove what lies deep beneath the surface.

Dandelions

Think back to your childhood. Did you ever blow on a dandelion and watch the little white things float through the air?  I loved doing that.
I don’t love it anymore. In fact, I cringe when I see our kids do it because I know that those “little white things” are seedlings. They may be tiny, but they can easily turn into a bigger problem. More dandelions.

Pretty soon you have an entire lawn of those yellow weed, flower wanna-be’s. It does not stop at just your lawn. It starts to spread to your neighbor’s lawn as well.

Deceit is much like this.  It all starts out innocent enough.  We tell a little “white lie”.  We float the lie out there and think that it is over, but it has just begun.

Pretty soon that lie forces us into another lie…. and another one.  Before we know it our lives are nothing, but one lie after another.  We can even trick ourselves into believing the lies.  We tell ourselves that we have a flower garden; when in fact we just have one giant weed bed.

The worst part is that it no longer just affects our lives, but everyone around us.

The next time you see a patch of crabgrass or a dandelion stop and think about your life.  Is there anything that you need to remove that is choking your spiritual life?  If so, take a moment to get to the root of the problem.  You’ll be glad you did.

Get to the root of the problem and your hard work will likely pay off… and for goodness sake please don’t blow on the dandelions!

What is Bob’s BLT?

KITCHENI think I know what you are thinking…

What is this site about? Bob’s BLT?

I thought about going a more professional route, but then I realized something.

I am not an entirely professional person.

That’s not to say I’m a slob or that I do not care.  On the contrary. I want to help you and the only way I can do that is by being me.

Goofy & awkward.

So, let’s get down to it.

Our lives… not an accident. We were created for a purpose.  What is your purpose?  Why are you here?

I cannot figure that out for you, but I can help.  I can also help you live a life that will be pleasing to the God who created you. The only one who knows your entire story.

In the coming weeks/months you will start to follow me through my personal journey.  You will also start to understand the importance of the FOUR Ls:

  • LIFE – Living life like every moment matters
  • LOVE – Building & maintaining strong relationships
  • LEAD – Leading others even when it is easier to be a follower
  • LEGACY – Influencing others to pick up where you leave off

Here is the secret ingredient to Bob’s BLT:

I don’t have this all figured out yet.

I am not an expert. I am just a guy. I want to live up to the life that God intended for me. I want that for you too.

I need your help.

What are some things you need help with? Would love to help you, or connect you with someone who can.