Yesterday, I ran my first ever 5K. It all started about 10 weeks ago when I decided to get healthier. I knew that to stay motivated, I needed something more than just an abstract goal to work towards, and the Sunburst Races seemed to be a great target to shoot for. I’ve never been a runner, but I felt a 5K was a great way to get started and see if I had it in me.
Bonnie dropped me off in downtown South Bend yesterday morning and the starting gun went off at 7:15 and half an hour later, my race was complete!
That’s an official time of 29:39 – just barely under my goal time of 30 minutes. It’s a great sense of personal accomplishment and I know I can improve on that time with more/better training and just educating myself on how to actually run a race.
As part of my training leading up to race day, I made a pretty drastic change to my diet and eating habits. I didn’t keep any real records of my calorie intake and how many I burned during exercise, but I did make a conscious effort to eat less “bad” food in favor of healthier choices and just exercise more. I eliminated almost all snacking – especially after dinner sweets. As a result of these changes, I dropped almost 20 pounds of couch potato off my body in the past 10 weeks and feel so much more energetic.
I really am so glad I decided to get off the couch and participate in the Sunburst 5K. I’m already looking for something else to run in the fall – maybe even a 10K. Only time will tell…
Seven years ago today, my life changed. I was invited over to a small dorm room on the campus of Gardner-Webb to help celebrate the birthday of my cousin Nikki. It was a Sunday night and there were probably a dozen people there, friends of my cousin and her roommate Heather, and I knew all of them. Except for one. I met Bonnie for the first time that night and was immediately interested in getting to know more about her.
I thought about her quite a bit over the next seven days. The following Sunday night, pretty much the same group of people was re-gathered in the same dorm to celebrate Heather’s birthday. That night sealed the deal. I flirted and was flirted back with. A few days later, I snagged Bonnie’s AIM screen name from one of our many mutual friends and we started chatting quite often. About six weeks later, we declared ourselves as “officially dating” and the rest is pretty much history.
I may have only met Bonnie seven years ago, but I swear I’ve known her for forever and I’m looking forward to spending the next seven years and many, many, many more after that with her.
Perry Noble wrote a blog post yesterday titled “Broke & Stupid?” and he got my attention very early on with this: “OR–let me ask THIS question…let’s say that TODAY you clearly heard the voice of God telling you WHY He made you…what HIS purpose is for your life…and letting you know WHAT He wanted you to do…”
A year or so ago, we were in debt up to our eyeballs. Missing a single paycheck would have been problematic for our finances, and I know that missing two would’ve been BAD NEWS. I’m not exactly sure what happened to cause us wake up, but we did. I started listening to a LOT of Dave Ramsey podcasts and stuff from Crown Financial Ministries as well as reading one of Howard Deyton’s books. We quickly realized how much money we were throwing away at stupid stuff every month by not paying attention.
Fast forward six months or so from that point and things were dramatically different. We were living on a budget (or “spending plan” if the b-word scares you) and it was working! We were making a pretty good dent in our debt. We paid off all our credit cards in late February or early March and by the end of April, we had no car payments either!
And then, God started revealing stuff to us. Scary stuff! See, I knew about a year ago that God was calling me to do more with the gifts that had been entrusted to me. I had an awesome job that I loved, we were living close to both our families, and were involved in a wonderful church. But after the Fall Church IT Round Table in Kansas City, I knew that it wasn’t enough. Bonnie and I began praying on a pretty regular basis that God would show us what we were supposed to do and where we were supposed to do it. To make a very long story much shorter, it was revealed to us, and as you know – here we are – living in South Bend, Indiana.
I know you’re thinking I’m schizophrenic and wondering why I keep jumping between topics, so here’s the bottom line: these two things are so connected for us that it just wows me. If we hadn’t started sorting out our financial life a year ago, it would have been nearly impossible for us to pick up and move to Indiana. However, the Father knew what was going to happen long before we did and began preparing us for it. Without the burden of credit cards and car payments and armed with the discipline it takes to live on a budget, we were able to move here with only the promise of my paycheck, which is actually less than what I was making at my previous job. Two months after the move, we’re doing OK!
I couldn’t help but take Perry’s post and use it as a springboard to share a little bit of our story and encourage you to get your “stuff” in order so that WHEN (notice I said when, not IF) God calls you to action, you’ll be prepared to act!
I realize I’ve been pretty quiet for the last several weeks, bit yes – I am still alive. We did arrive safely in Indiana and have been getting things settled in our new home as well as getting familiar with the area.
I’m mostly settled in at GCC now and have been hamering away at the support tickets. With the help of Jason and Ed, those are now down to a manageable number and we start on brainstorming and project planning this week.
By the way, if you’re not following me on Twitter, that’s really the best place to keep up with me. If you do follow me there you already know I have a shiny new iphone, and yes I did write this post on it while lounging ok my new couch.
I love my wife. No, really… I do. She wrote a quick blog post yesterday titled “w00t!” and as you can see, she even spelled it properly! I’m insanely proud of her, not just for being a geek and using one of my favorite words, but for completing the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program at Gardner-Webb with a 4.0 GPA! Yes, thats right. My wife is also a genius.
We’re approaching the final days before our big move. As of last Wednesday, the 23rd, our house is no longer OUR house. God has just done amazing things in the last several months to make this move not just possible, but easy. When we started exploring the feasability of moving to the Granger area, one of our long-time friends, Heather, said we should talk with her before putting our house on the market. We did talk to her and she agreed to buy our house! We never spoke to a realtor or anything. Absolutely amazing!
I’d say we already have about 80% of our stuff packed and ready to be loaded on to the truck, which arrives about 48-hours from now. My slightly OCD wife (who I love – see above!) is going a tiny little bit nuts because she loves organization and lists and knowing where things are and what still needs to be done. She can’t help it though, she gets it honest (love you too Mom Miller!).
Our last day at work is Wednesday of this week and we’ll have all day Thursday and Friday to finish loading the 28-foot trailer before ABF comes to pick it up and haul it to South Bend for us. Speaking of work – if any of you in the Michiana area have leads on a job for Bonnie, PLEASE get in touch with one of us via our blogs or on Twitter (@wantmoore or @gotmoore). Remember, she is graduating in a few days with an MBA and a 4.0. Surely theres a market for her to serve in the greater South Bend area.
Please do keep us in your prayers. The next week to 10 days is going to be insane for us – sure to be full of busyness and emotion. I saw something in the local Christian bookstore that will surely be my anchor over the next several weeks – “Where God leads, He will provide.” We know without a single ounce of doubt that God has called us to move to South Bend and be a part of the GCC family and we are definitely excited about what the future holds.
A couple of months ago, I was contacted by a reporter, Liz Wolgemuth, from US News and World Report and asked about doing an interview for a story she was working on. Turns out, she was researching for a piece on personal finance and debt elimination and ran across my blog and a post or two talking about Dave Ramsey and our involvement at church. I was happy to oblige. We talked on several different occassions and they even sent a photographer out to church for one of our FPU meetings.
At the time, I was under the impression the story was going to be published in a special issue of the print version of the magazine targeted at 20-somethings concerning their finances. I hadn’t heard from Liz in several weeks, so I decided to hop over to the US News and World Report website last night and much to my surprise, I found the article Churches Tackle Worshipers’ Money Management. I’m pleased enough with how it turned out. I’ve not always had positive experiences when dealing with reporters (the local newspaper here loves to take quotes out of context), but Liz was top-notch and the article conveyed exactly what I wanted it to from me. It’s also quite staggering to see our church and effort with Financial Peace University mentioned in the same article as Willow Creek and their Good Sense program.
On a more personal note, Bonnie and I will have some more news to share soon regarding our trip towards financial peace. Stay tuned!
Someone recently recommended that I pick up the book “Now Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham, so I did. Actually, what I’m reading is the newer, updated “StrengthsFinder 2.0″ by Tom Rath. I quickly read through the first 30 or so pages so I could get to the actual online-assessment. I don’t know why this idea seems so amazing and original to me, because it just makes so much sense.
At its fundamentally flawed core, the aim of almost any learning program is to help us become who we are not. If you don’t have talent with numbers, you’re still forced to spend time in that area to attain a degree. If you’re not very empathic, you get sent to a course designed to infuse empathy into your personality. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to our shortcomings than to our strengths.
I just completed the online-assessment a few minutes ago and have read through the profile it generated and I’d say it’s pretty accurate. For those who don’t care about all the details, here are my top-five themes:
A quick skim of what each of those means is very interesting and I look forward to completing the book and learning more about how to “work in my strengths” both at the office and in other areas of my life.
A little over three year’s ago, I partnered with my credit union to purchase a new ride. It was a four-year loan and the first payment was made on March 28 in 2005.
Since January, we made additional payments on principal on two different occasions and just a few moments ago, I got to make an awesome phone call. I called my friend Matt who works at one of the credit union’s branches and had him transfer the funds to pay off the car note – a full one-year early. So far, it seems surreal, but when the title comes in the mail next week, there will be some shouting at my mailbox!
I must first thank God for setting Bonnie and I on the right financial course about 15 months ago, Dave Ramsey and FPU for helping us get really focused about five months ago, my employer for their weekly contributions to my bank account, and last but certainly not least, my wife for her continuous encouragement and partnership as we inch our way towards financial freedom.