So today we’re writing about our favorite gift received in 2014. I received many wonderful gifts for Christmas and my birthday, but my favorite “gift” by far was my engagement ring. Is it technically a gift? Maybe not, but I don’t care. I’m counting it as one.
My engagement ring is probably my favorite gift of all time, not because it’s beautiful and worth a lot of money, but because of everything it stands for. If you look at marriage like I do – a commitment to one person for the rest of your life, come rain or shine – you know how life-changing an engagement is. I hate to say it, but some people do not value the tradition of marriage and what it stands for. An engagement ring is the beginning of the rest of your life. Once you’re married, it becomes infinitely harder to walk away from a relationship. That’s why it is so beautiful! People who think marriage is terrifying are not ready for what it entails.
My ring is so special to me because it means that we have dedicated our lives to one another. I am Mike’s and he is mine, officially and forever. Knowing that Mike took the time to make popping the question a secret and took a photo of the ring I really liked to find an identical version is just another reason it is the most thoughtful gift I received in 2014.
What was your favorite gift from 2014?
One thing I have learned as I’ve aged is that it’s pointless to try to predict and plan for the future. I’m a worrier, but worry is pointless. God even says in the Bible that worrying does no good. It won’t change your life for the better. It will only hurt you in the present. That’s why I’ve stopped trying to imagine what the future years will look like. I still set goals for myself and try to be proactive about my career and health, but the reality is that the future is in God’s hands and we will never be totally prepared for what it holds.
Which leads me to this post and totally ignoring everything written above. Where will I be one year from now? Where do I want to be one year from now?
If all goes as planned, this time next year, I will be married to my best friend and partner in crime. My last name will be different, and I’ll have changed all my important information to match my new name and “life.”
I know I want to be making more money, though how, where, why, etc., is a complete mystery to me. I have a couple of ideas, but they are all up in the air right now, so I’m holding steady.
I would love to no longer be living in St. Louis, but I highly doubt that will happen, unless something incredible happens and our lives move in a completely different direction.
My main goal is to be credit-debt free in one year. Is it attainable? I think so. Will it be easy? No way. Mike and I have made goals together to fight our credit debt, but since our recent engagement, all the extra money we were paying is being held to spend on wedding stuff. And let me tell you, that stuff racks up fast. We won’t be able to begin pushing hard on that debt again until June. In my mind, it has been a huge setback, but we also really want to get married and have a nice wedding. And by nice, I mean… LESS than 10k.
Of course, I also want to be a little more well-read and confident in who I am and what I am capable of. I think I can only become more confident in time, and that’s a big plus.
If I could manage those things, one year from now is going to look awesome. Even if I can’t, I’m sure the ride from here to there will be beautiful in so many ways. I know the last year has been.
What do you want your life to look like in a year? Is it attainable?
I am a Christian.
And because of that, I think a lot of things are wrong. I know that the way I live is wrong. I live in sin. You live in sin. We all live in sin. Sometimes, we openly embrace our sins. Other times, we fight them with all our heart’s fury. I have done both. I have failed and I have won.
Being a Christian is hard. It’s not for the faint of heart. Christians have bad spells too. That’s why we’re judged so harshly. We go through spells where we’re high upon the mountain, obeying all the laws of God, and then we find ourselves suddenly in the throws of Death Valley, fighting for our lives against Satan himself. Sometimes, we walk with Christ. Sometimes, we walk with Lucifer.
Being a Christian is hard. We know what is wrong, but we have an entire world telling us it is right. We know sinning is wrong, yet our flesh makes us weak against its power. We fail, time and time again, and the world loves it – eats it up! The world loves when a Christian fails because then they can use it against us – throw it in our faces. But a true Christian already knows he is a failure, and accepts it.
Being a Christian is hard. That’s why we turn to Christ. We know that to earn our reward, we must publicly denounce the world and its ways. We must follow one God. We must confess our sins and acknowledge that Jesus Christ, a perfect man in a world of sin, came to die for us and reunite us with our Creator. We know it sounds ridiculous – a fantasy that surpasses all time and culture. We even doubt it ourselves, at times.
That’s why being a Christian is tough. We have to push ourselves to trust, have faith, and ignore the world on a daily basis. Because those who win the race of life must lose their own life first.
I am a Christian, and it is arduous. It’s hard to stand up for what you believe in when everyone is saying the opposite. When you believe in your heart that all of it is wrong, yet you find yourself nodding your head to avoid a fight about religion, freedom of choice, and the world’s lack of simple self-discipline. As one of the greatest apostles of the Bible wrote, all things are permissible to me, but not all things are good.
Being a Christian is hard, but I am up for the fight. And though some of my choices align with the world, and others align with God, I know that my sins are forgiven and I am free.
We are all free, if we only choose to turn to the light.
I wouldn’t call myself a splurger. I used to be an impulse buyer, and I still struggle at times, but now… I might call myself a cheapskate. A funny thing too is, my idea of a splurge does not fit other people’s ideas. For example, if I splurged on a furniture piece, it means I would throw away my old used piece for something stylish from Target. Not exactly a “splurge” in most people’s eyes.
I have a lot of debt, and I feel crippled by it at times, so splurging rarely happens these days. However, I do splurge on a few items, mostly when they go on sell.
Here are some of my favorite things to splurge on:
What can I say? It’s my elixir of life. No other will do.
I enjoy eating cereal, and it can get EXPENSIVE. I do splurge on sweet cereals that remind me of my childhood, as well as the fancy “healthy” cereals with lots o’ fiber.
Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory
Is there need for explanation? I think not.
I’ll buy cheap shirts, boots, sandals, pants… I’ll buy it all cheap. I WILL NOT buy cheap tennis shoes. I just can’t. That being said… I prefer K-Swiss, which some people consider a “cheap brand.” I don’t. I just love how comfortable they are and their style.
Home items (mostly from Target)
Target is as popular as it is for a reason. Stylish furnishings for a reasonable price. I will splurge.
If you have never slept on high-quality bed sheets, then you’ll think I’m crazy. But once you feel the difference… OH MAN. I splurged on my first set of “great” sheets when I started my first full-time job out of high-school. That was 7 years ago. I’m still sleeping on them and they’re still soft as ever. I recommend at least 500 count Egyptian cotton. It makes all the difference.
This is a recent decision made by Mike and me. We LOVE to save money on food (can I get a hell ya, Aldi!), but there’s been a lot of controversy about crazy additives and different meats (horse, dog, who knows what else) being mixed in with the supermarket stuff. Now, who knows if it’s true or not, but we’ve decided to buy our meats from a local butcher with solid reviews. It gives us peace of mind and it’s WAY better for you. If you look at it that way, it’s not even a splurge. It’s a health choice.
So there you have it. I suck at splurging. How bout you? What’s your splurge?