Hope for your financial life and beyond

Your Do-Over Moment Is and Isn’t a Big Deal

Hidden Nuggets Series #70 – “Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.'”  – Genesis 12:1

sign reading "now is the time to start"The clock has turned on 2015 and once again a new year stares us in the face. Some relish this flipping of the calendar in anticipation of all that awaits them in the future. For others who experienced failure and multiple setbacks in the past year it’s simply a reminder they’ll have to start over. And lets face it, starting over is never easy to do.

Starting over is a big deal. However, sometimes we make it too big a deal. We get so worked up about the prospects of having to start from scratch that we can’t function. Our fear, worry and uncertainty about beginning again actually serves to hold us back. We get more overwhelmed than we probably should.

You may think your “starting-over moment” is the biggest deal in the world. I got news for you…it isn’t. We’ve all had a do-over moment where we swiped everything off the table and started with a clean slate.

But it’s fair to say your starting over moment is a big deal to you and well it should be. It’s your life. Just don’t become overwhelmed by the magnitude of it, believe you won’t succeed with it or that nobody understands what you are facing. Many have gone before you who had to start over and reaped rewards from their new life.

Bible Characters Who Faced Big Starting Over Challenges

I draw great encouragement on this issue in the pages of the Bible. We sometimes view the lives of Bible characters as working out perfectly when in reality they did not. They all faced the same life issues you and I do and were required to start over at some point. Consider these life issues and the people they impacted:

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7 Financial Hurdles to Becoming a Stay at Home Dad

Today I’m guest posting and commenting at the personal finance blog Reach Financial Independence. Click the link below to read about the financial challenges my wife and I decided to check off our list before I became a stay at home dad. 

sprinters jumping hurdles

Image at Wikimedia Commons

So, you want to be a stay at home dad? Great! I’ve recently become one after several long years of planning and deliberation. Needless to say, it’s a decision that cannot be taken lightly.

In order to reach this point, my wife and I desired for several things to happen. First of all, my wife needed to REALLY aspire – out of her own conviction – to work outside the home. I didn’t pressure her or twist her arm to make this happen. In fact, on many levels, she wanted it more than I.

Secondly, there were of course financial matters to consider. Going from two incomes to one is no picnic. We both had to focus on…

Click here to keep reading at Reach Financial Independence…

Next Post: Back to School Savings I Don’t Care About

Prior Post: Celebrating a Milestone With My Top 10 Favorite Proverbs About Money


Wrestling Against Something Twice Your Size

Today my wife Kim contributes to the Hidden Nuggets Series by discussing what we are learning about life from our boys’ wrestling.

Hidden Nuggets Series #39 – “As iron sharpens iron…” – Proverbs 27:17

We have four great kids, two girls and two boys. Our two boys are aged 11 and 6, and they wrestle – boy do they wrestle. All. The. Time. In their room, in my room, outside, at their sister’s soccer game 2 inches from the sidelines — doesn’t matter, they are wrestling.Boys Wrestling

I don’t know how it usually starts, but I have a feeling that one of them pokes the other and then off they go.  Now, our 11 year old – (I’ll call him Bubbers – long story) – is about twice the size of the 6 year old — (I’ll call him Doot – longer story). When I watch Bubbers and Doot wrestle, it is really no contest. They are having a ton of fun, but Bubbers wins every single time.

It usually takes about 20 seconds or so. Doot will be almost pinned to the ground, usually with an arm raised up in protest, and then boom – Bubbers grabs his wrist and Doot is pinned down flat. Bubbers lets him up, and they’ll start circling around each other to go at it again.

Brian and I have started noticing something though about the outcomes. Bubbers still always wins, but it is starting to take a little longer. Doot has figured out that if he gets down a little and lowers his center of gravity, then he can last just a smidgen longer.

What do you think will happen when Doot gets to be closer to Bubbers’ size?

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Fire Brings Out the Best in You

Hidden Nuggets #18 – “For you, O God, have tested us; you have refined us as silver is refined.” – Psalm 66:10

Metal Casting That silver or gold ring you are wearing didn’t always shine with such brilliance. When those elements were resting in the earth awaiting excavation, they had company – nasty impurities. These would have to be removed before that precious substance could be formed into something worthy enough to be displayed behind showroom glass.

To purify metal we need heat – so much heat that the metal melts. In that state, the impurities loose themselves from the metal and float to the top. The refiner scoops off this dross, leaving only the precious metal. The more refining steps taken, the purer and more valuable the metal becomes.

Insert “life” for “metal” here.

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When Life Makes It Easier, Push It!

Boy Running in natureNews flash…Life is hard!

Not the most groundbreaking news for this Monday post. Honestly, it’s not even news at all. Our lives are filled with so many challenges we don’t even know where to start counting them.

There are instances however, where a window of opportunity opens, allowing the journey to become easier. Sadly, we often are caught up in our own challenges and struggles. So we fail to recognize the moment and it passes us by, useless and wasted. I was reminded of this again on a recent marathon training run.

A runner faces three types of terrain grades while on the course – flat, uphill or downhill. Runners love the flats as it allows us to get into a steady rhythm and pace. We tolerate the uphill portions of our run, slowly grinding them out, laboring step after step. The downhills are dualistic in nature, presenting the runner with two contrasting methods of approach:

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