Sorry this is a little late! I’ve been keeping busy and honestly have not wanted to post lately… struggling with how to focus this blog better or to start a new blog or…. not sure. There’s so many blogs out there that I love and honestly I feel like much of what I’d say has already been written. Plus, I don’t particularly feel gifted in writing posts that are interesting to read! Sometimes I feel like I’m just trying to measure up to all those great blogs I love and enjoy, but then I know I won’t measure up but I also know that it’s not even about that! I think trying to focus my blog a little better, maybe have some themes or better organized catagories… all of this could help. Just stuff on my mind… but been too busy (or unmotivated?) to do anything about it yet. ;)
But anywho… moving on to the topic of this post, and it will be a quick one! (Or so I thought…)
Last month I was successful at reading two books. Hooray! Two whole books, from cover to cover. Again, this is a big deal for someone like me who starts 20 books and gets to page 34 or 57 but never to the final page. So for me to start AND finish two books… in one month… a miracle!
The two books that I keep speaking of were Debt-Proof Your Marriage by Mary Hunt and From Clutter to Clarity by Nancy Twigg.
Debt Proof Your Marriage was all around a good book for learning some useful tips on keeping budget and getting out of debt, with a small focus on how this works in a marriage setting. Though much of her references are now dated (she recommended a lot of sites/services that are time sensitive), she did provide some great suggestions. Much of what she taught I either already knew or didn’t really agree with, at least not for this time in our lives. I don’t think I should save up $10K in emergency savings while I’m also working to pay off some significant debt. She differs from the likes of Dave Ramsey in that respect.
BUT, I did really like her view on the 10-10-80 view of money/budgeting. 10% is given away (tithing and other donations), 10% is put in savings, and 80% is for all the rest of your spending (including debt repayment and other short-term savings goals!). Though we do have plenty of debt to dig ourselves out of, I was very much convicted that we are still called to give at least 10% away and reap the blessings of regular giving. It’s our own fault that we got into this debt ditch, so we need to adjust our other 80% to account for our debt payments rather than our debt payment becoming it’s own 10% (actually right now it’s probably a full 20% of our monthly budget…). This really got me excited again to give more to others and see God work! All in all, I enjoyed the book and took away some great insights, but was pretty distracted by some of her dated suggestions and also by her overly conversational tone. I was also left wanting a little more substance in her discussion on how getting and staying out of debt intersects with marriage and the roles of husband/wife. Maybe in another book?
From Clutter to Clarity… really really liked this one. A book I hope and plan to read maybe once a year. It was quick and to the point, sometimes maybe a little too much, but definitely didn’t avoid the hard and honest truth. The author talks much more about or cluttered minds and hearts than just our cluttered homes, and for good reason, since the outward is really only a reflection of what’s going on inwardly. You’d expect the book to have lists of what to do or not do to live an uncluttered life, but I was glad to see how she always pointed to God and the importance of quieting ourselves before Him, praying more fervently, and leaving out (or sometimes throwing out!) anything in our lives that doesn’t foster our relationship with Him, our spouse, our brothers/sisters, etc. This review really doesn’t do the book justice, so I’ll stop there. Go pick up a copy for yourself or find it at the library… since I probably won’t be giving up my copy anytime soon. :)
Between the book A Place of Quiet Rest and From Clutter to Clarity, I’ve been working hard lately at making it my ultimate and number one priority, every day, to first spend time with the Lord in his Word and in prayer. No excuses!! (Boy does Satan try hard by giving me many excuses!) This has been going pretty well for the last few days (honestly, that’s it so far, but it’s a start!) and I’ve really seen how much this affects the rest of my day. There’s much more I could write about this, but maybe I’ll save that for another post on another day. :)
Focus, Carrie, focus… (see, I’m learning!)