About Our Savior · Atwell Adventures

ten year high school reunion

It’s hard to believe that next month marks ten years (ahhh, TEN YEARS!) since I graduated with 49 classmates from Central Fellowship Christian Academy.

This past weekend we had a reunion dinner in Macon to mark the occasion!  It was great to see those that were able to attend, find out where they are and what they are doing, and meet husbands/wives and hear about children!

CFCA Class of 2004 - Ten - 1

Of course, going to the reunion, made me think back on where I was ten years ago. I knew I was going off to Georgia College and that I wanted to get my degree in Public Relations, but honestly I didn’t know what that would translate into post-college.  I was happy and excited about a new adventure, but didn’t know that the Lord would use college to change my faith from an idea to a personal relationship.

Whenever someone asks when I accepted Christ, I tell them that while I professed to be a Christian growing up {I accepted Christ as my Savior and Redeemer when I was in elementary school}, it was in college that my faith became more than words I said.

In college, I realized choosing Christ in everything had to be my choice – and my only choice.  There were plenty of options around me that didn’t involve a life with Christ and it wasn’t until I was taken out of my comfort zone that I realized how important this decision was.  It was then also, that I realized how thankful I was for the things my parents and school instilled in me growing up {having a personal relationship with Him, seeking the Lord in His Word and prayer, being involved in a local church, sharing with others about Him… thanks Mom and Dad}!

I’m thankful for the happiness I’ve found in knowing Christ personally and that these last ten years He has drawn me closer to Himself and given me a deeper understanding of how holy He is, and how undeserving I am of His grace.

psalm 37:23-24 | Atwell Adventures

So thankful for the Lord upholding my hand these last ten years!

Atwell Adventures

nine months and three days

April Fools Eve! This post is not about babies:)

After nine months and three days, I will carry the title “employee” once again!

Last month I accepted a job as administrative assistant for our church – and I couldn’t be more thrilled to start tomorrow… even if it is April Fools Day. {And let’s just hope this isn’t, in fact, the most awesome/awful joke ever or church is going to be REALLLLY awkward on Sunday:)}

These last few months in my stay-at-home-wife life, I’ve been able to trust, learn, and rest – all of which I’m sure I’ll tell you all about sooner or later – and I’m so thankful for a God who knows my heart, and a husband who has been supportive through it all.

So, here we go! Onto new adventures!

101 in 1001 · During Our Marriage

30. pay off debt by 2015

Hey! Happy Monday!  Guess what?

debt free | Atwell AdventuresThat’s right! We’re debt freeeeeeee!

Its been almost two months since we paid off our debt, but it still feels so good – and so unreal – to type that.

I never thought that we would be able to pay off everything as quickly as we did, but looking back, it’s a great reminder of how the Lord provided SO much for us these past few months! From G being offered a job and an early start date allowing him to take leave time he built up in the USMC, to a rental house that was within our price range, there were so many answers to prayers and we are grateful for the opportunity to be living without the burden of debt.

When we began to work on paying off our debt in September {read: paying more than the monthly minimum on what we owed}, we hoped that we would be able to pay it off by our first anniversary but tried to be realistic and give ourselves until the end of 2014 to pay it off, just in case life happened and we had to put money towards other things. After all we didn’t really know what our next few months would like with G finishing up in the military.  

Some of the things that we did that were key to us paying our debt off more quickly:

  1. Pay off smaller debts first. We read about this idea through Dave Ramsey, and it truly did give us momentum.  And who doesn’t put a cross through a line of debt once its paid off?
  2. Create a spending budget off of less than your income.  If you make $100 a month, create your budget based on $60 and put the other $40 towards debt.
  3. Reduce “fun money” spending. This may sound like a no brainer, but we worked over our budget a few times and tried to cut out things we could do without. While it definitely wasn’t fun to cut down on our “fun money” spending {clothes, home stuff, eating out more than once a week}, it was very worth it.  It even gave me time to gain new perspectives on needs vs.wants, buying things I love, and investing in quality items.  I’m definitely still learning though!
  4. Evaluate spending every month. Each month, we would list out how we did on our budget, and make notes if we went over in certain categories.  This helped us stay more accountable and be realistic about our spending.

We still have a long way to go in learning about money {giving, saving, and planning} but we’re grateful to be doing it now without the worry of a payment!

What are some ways you tackle debt? Any tips?

ps – Want to read more about how we got started? Last fall during my 31 days series, I wrote about how we deal with moneycommunicating about moneygoal settingbudgeting 101a helpful tooleasy ways to save, and settling into a home on a budget.