Finish Year Update: April

Brennan and Lesa:

  • Finish one book a month (minimum)

Brennan:  Finished “If He Only Knew” by Gary Chapman and “A Sea Story: The Untold Story of the U.S. Navy Response to 9/11” by Joseph Pignataro

Lesa: Finished “Redemption” by Bryan Clay and is working on several books…

  • Finish paying off credit cards by December 2012

We have paid off 64.6% of our credit card debt!

  • Finish using all Groupons/gift certificates

make a list and schedule on calendar as “date nights”

We have 4 Groupons and 1 gift card left to use. Making progress!

We started with 11 Groupons and 4 gift cards.

Lesa:

  • Finish losing 30 pounds and keep it off permanently

I have lost 8 lbs! We have been learning a lot lately about nutrition and are enjoying being healthy!

  • Finish YouVersion Bible reading plan

  • Send 60 thank you notes this year (average of 5 per month); finish sending wedding thank you notes

I have sent 12 thank you notes this year (none in March, or April yet)…I’m behind! I might have to readjust this goal.

  • Finish purchasing “secret sister” gifts

  • Finish organizing attic and put everything in plastic containers for protection from mice/temperatures

  • Finish protecting important documents by purchasing a “fire safe”
  • Finish funding emergency fund ($1,000)
    Open new savings account specifically for the emergency fund
  • Finish organizing clothes in bedroom (i.e. figure out solution with tiny closet)

Finish Year Update: Mid-April

Brennan and Lesa:

* Finish one book a month (minimum)

Brennan:  Finished “If He Only Knew” by Gary Chapman…

Lesa: Still working on several books…

* Finish paying off credit cards by December 2012

We have paid of 64.6% of our credit card debt!

* Finish using all Groupons/gift certificates

make a list and schedule on calendar as “date nights”

We have 4 Groupons and 1 gift card left to use. Making progress!

We started with 11 Groupons and 4 gift cards.

Lesa:

* Finish losing 30 pounds and keep it off permanently

I have lost 8 lbs! We have been learning a lot lately about nutrition and are enjoying being healthy!

* Finish YouVersion Bible reading plan

* Send 60 thank you notes this year (average of 5 per month); finish sending wedding thank you notes

I have sent 12 thank you notes this year (none in March, or April yet)…I’m behind!

* Finish purchasing “secret sister” gifts

* Finish organizing attic and put everything in plastic containers for protection from mice/temperatures

* Finish protecting important documents by purchasing a “fire safe”

* Finish funding emergency fund ($1,000)
Open new savings account specifically for the emergency fund

* Finish organizing clothes in bedroom (i.e. figure out solution with tiny closet)

Finish Year Update: March

March was a busy month for us, but we still managed to make progress on our goals!

Brennan and Lesa:

* Finish one book a month (minimum)

Brennan:  Finished “Drive” (Larry Byrd), “Never Again” (John Ashcroft), and “My Imaginary Jesus”

Lesa: Finished “Culture Shift” and “Stuff Christians Like”

* Finish paying off credit cards by December 2012

We have paid of 63.6% of our credit card debt!

* Finish using all Groupons/gift certificates

make a list and schedule on calendar as “date nights”

We have 7 Groupons and 1 gift card left to use, and two of those will be used on April 6th. Making progress!

Lesa:

* Finish losing 30 pounds and keep it off permanently

I have lost 7 lbs! We have been learning a lot lately about nutrition and are enjoying being healthy!

* Finish YouVersion Bible reading plan

* Send 60 thank you notes this year (average of 5 per month); finish sending wedding thank you notes

I have sent 12 thank you notes this year (none in March)…I’m behind!

* Finish purchasing “secret sister” gifts

* Finish organizing attic and put everything in plastic containers for protection from mice/temperatures

* Finish protecting important documents by purchasing a “fire safe”

* Finish funding emergency fund ($1,000)
Open new savings account specifically for the emergency fund

* Finish organizing clothes in bedroom (i.e. figure out solution with tiny closet)

 

Finish Year Update: February (updated)

We are doing really well with the reading books goal! Overall, we’re making progress in small steps–which is exactly what we’re supposed to be doing. It’s Finish YEAR, not Finish Month.

Life update: We were assigned a permanent placement at the Milton Hershey School, so we will be working (soon) every other weekend with middle-school boys! SO excited for this experience! The added benefit of doing this will be the extra income, which we plan to put entirely onto our debt, which will really speed up the process of being debt-free! Double blessing!

Here’s our Finish Year update:

Brennan and Lesa:

* Finish one book a month (minimum)

Brennan:  Finished “December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World” and “I Am Second”

Lesa: Finished “Bad Girls of the Bible“, “The Great Divorce“, “Untamed“, “Gazelles, Baby Steps, and 37 other things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt“, and “My Imaginary Jesus“…

* Finish funding emergency fund ($1,000)
Open new savings account specifically for the emergency fund

* Finish paying off credit cards by December 2012

We have paid of 61% of our credit card debt! Because we owe a significant amount in taxes this year, we’ve had to save up to pay those which has slowed down our credit card payments, unfortunately. However, we’re almost ready to pay our taxes in full, so then we’ll get back to working hard at this goal!

* Finish using all Groupons/gift certificates
make a list and schedule on calendar as “date nights”

We had a date night out using a Groupon two weeks ago–SO nice! Looking forward to more date nights…

* Finish protecting important documents by purchasing a “fire safe”

 

Thanks to our generous friends, we will have one in a month!

Lesa:

* Finish losing 30 pounds and keep it off permanently

No comment… 🙂 We’ve been going to the gym consistently, at least!

* Finish organizing clothes in bedroom (i.e. figure out solution with tiny closet) and keep them organized
Not doing so well on the keeping things organized part…

* Finish YouVersion Bible reading plan

* Send 60 thank you notes this year (average of 5 per month); finish sending wedding thank you notes (30 left…terrible, I know!)

I sent 7 during the month of January…5 in February…

* Finish purchasing “secret sister” gifts so that I am always prepared

* Finish organizing attic and put everything in plastic containers for protection from mice/temperatures

Finish Year Update: Mid-February

Biggest update is that we have an emergency fund! This means that we’re officially on “Baby Step 2” (because we skipped #1 initially…sorry, Dave Ramsey!). I’ll post another update at the end of the month–I was just excited to have finished a goal!

Brennan and Lesa:
 
* Finish one book a month (minimum)

Brennan: Reading “1941”

Lesa: Finished “Bad Girls of the Bible“, “The Great Divorce“, and “Untamed” so far…

* Finish funding emergency fund ($1,000)
Open new savings account specifically for the emergency fund

* Finish paying off credit cards by December 2012

We made larger than normal payments on our two remaining credit cards.

* Finish using all Groupons/gift certificates
make a list and schedule on calendar as “date nights”

 * Finish protecting important documents by purchasing a “fire safe”

We have started to research safes, and we are saving up to purchase one.

 

Lesa:
 
* Finish losing 30 pounds and keep it off permanently

* Finish organizing clothes in bedroom (i.e. figure out solution with tiny closet) and keep them organized
Traveling so much lately has made keeping things organized a challenge, but we’re going to be home consistently for at least a while now…

* Finish YouVersion Bible reading plan

* Send 60 thank you notes this year (5 per month); finish sending wedding thank you notes (30 left…terrible, I know!)

I sent 7 during the month of January…1 in February so far…

* Finish purchasing “secret sister” gifts so that I am always prepared

I began making a plan for each month, including a budget, but have not purchased any gifts yet.

* Finish organizing attic and put everything in plastic containers for protection from mice/temperatures

This one might have to wait until Spring, because it’s REALLY cold in our attic…

Finish Year Update: January

We made good progress on our goals for the year during the month of January, despite traveling to California for a week and spending two weekends in training at the Milton Hershey School!

Brennan and Lesa:
 
* Finish one book a month (minimum) √

Brennan: Finished “Alcatraz

Lesa: Finished “Radical Together“, “I Am Second“, and “Then Sings My Soul: Book 3

* Finish funding emergency fund ($1,000)
Open new savings account specifically for the emergency fund

We added another savings account to our bank account, and we made a large deposit this week.

* Finish paying off credit cards by December 2012

We made larger than normal payments on our two remaining credit cards.

* Finish using all Groupons/gift certificates
print them all out (chose to make a list instead of printing) and schedule on calendar as “date nights

We have so many gift certificates/Groupons that we won’t need to pay for a date night this year, most  likely!

 * Finish protecting important documents by purchasing a “fire safe”

We have started to research safes, and we are saving up to purchase one.

 

Lesa:
 
* Finish losing 30 pounds and keep it off permanently

Only lost 2 lbs this month, which I blame on traveling to California 🙂

* Finish organizing clothes in bedroom (i.e. figure out solution with tiny closet) and keep them organized
I finished this one early, thanks to a budget early in January that allowed for a little extra spending. We purchased a few simple items that have greatly increased our closet’s storage capacity! I’m sure there’s more to be done, but this works for now. Now to KEEP things organized…

* Finish YouVersion Bible reading plan

I read a few days, but not every day…MUST get better about this. I’m on day 49 of 365.

* Send 60 thank you notes this year (5 per month); finish sending wedding thank you notes (30 left…terrible, I know!)

I sent 7 during the month of January…still need to do wedding ones!

* Finish purchasing “secret sister” gifts so that I am always prepared

I began making a plan for each month, including a budget, but have not purchased any gifts yet.

* Finish organizing attic and put everything in plastic containers for protection from mice/temperatures

This one might have to wait until Spring, because it’s REALLY cold in our attic…

“Finish Year” Goals…

In January 2011, I spent some time pondering what I wanted to accomplish during the coming year. I set a few goals that I successfully accomplished–being intentional about frugality, specific friendships, and a few other things. Intentional was the key word for 2011. And I believe that we succeeded.

Brennan and I were intentional about simplifying our lives in order to be less busy and more effective/efficient. We were fairly successful and found a great joy in living simply. The word “no” is an amazing thing! 🙂

So, for 2012, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to focus on at first…until Jon Acuff, a great author and speaker, issued a challenge to his readers called “Finish Year”. Essentially, he discovered that while he is great at starting things, he never finishes anything, and he challenged us to make a list of things that we want to finish this year. This really resonated with me, and I began thinking/praying through what I want to finish this year. Brennan and I have also set joint-goals of things that we want to finish together.

I am going to try to blog at least once a month with my/our progress for accountability purposes, and in hopes that this will encourage someone else to finish something.

So, here are the things that we are going to finish this year:

Brennan and Lesa:
 
* Finish one book a month minimum
* Finish emergency fund ($1,000)
      –Open new savings account specifically for the emergency fund
* Finish paying off credit cards by December 2012
* Finish using all Groupons/gift certificates
      –print them all out and schedule on calendar as “date nights”
 * Finish protecting important documents by purchasing a “fire safe”

Lesa:
 
* Finish losing 30 pounds and keep it off permanently
* Finish organizing clothes in bedroom (i.e. figure out solution with tiny closet) and keep them organized
* Finish YouVersion Bible reading plan
* Send 60 thank you notes this year (5 per month); finish sending wedding thank you notes (30 left…terrible, I know!)
* Finish purchasing “secret sister” gifts so that I am always prepared (this is a year-long church ministry)
* Finish organizing attic and put everything in plastic containers for protection from mice/temperatures

If I successfully accomplish these goals, I will add more throughout the year…but this is a good place to start. I have many more ideas that I can add!

2012 will be another year of living intentionally. We are going to be forced to become more disciplined in many areas of our lives once we are on a regular Milton Hershey School house-parenting schedule (every other weekend) due to the time commitment that ministry will involve, and I am looking forward to the challenge that will bring. Already, I know that this will mean less mystery shopping and (hopefully) a different work schedule to allow me time to take care of our home and various errands during the week more efficiently.

This year will be another year of continuing to live frugally, as our goal is to have no credit card debt by the end of this year. The task is daunting and will require great discipline, but the freedom that will come from being debt-free makes it all worthwhile! God has abundantly blessed us and continues to provide for all of our needs, and we can’t wait for the freedom to give even more to provide for the needs of others! Gazelle intensity!

I recently read that we can live with the pain of discipline or we can live with the pain of regret, and I’d much rather have the former. With discipline comes peace and joy, and that’s what my heart desires! As the Bible says, discipline isn’t always fun, but in the end it is fruitful.

Most importantly, we want to remain intentional about keeping God at the center of our marriage and our lives, because without Him, we will fail miserably on our own. He alone needs to be our focus and our purpose!

Let “Finish Year” begin! 🙂