Full Circle: How Our TMM Began…

15 08 2008

Photo courtesy of ZaksterNT

Over the past 2 weeks I’ve taken a break from the blog. I needed to clear my head because I’ve been overwhelmed by the resonsibility I feel towards you as my readers. See I want to reach you, but most of the time I dont know how effectively I’m doing that. I thought about extending this ‘break’ for the blog through the rest of the year. I thought about quitting it altogether. But something happened last Saturday that changed my mind.

I’ve often heard the saying: “When you feel you’ve reached the end, try going back to the beginning.”

Last week my wife and I went away for the weekend with a group of married couples for our annual Duets Retreat. On Saturday morning, my wife shared a portion of our financial testimony with the group and it was incredibly powerful to hear it from her.

No sooner than my wife stopped talking, the couple next to us tapped her on the shoulder. They wanted to know more. A few hours later, while walking with another couple, the conversation again turned to the testimony she gave. We spent the rest of the afternoon sharing with them just a few of the blessings we’ve experienced since this journey began for us. There is something beautiful about witnessing someone hungry to change their life for the better, and it continually blesses us to be a part of moments like that.

There was something I kept identifying with in that couple. It was an urgent need for change. It made me realize that it was a year ago this week that we were first exposed to Dave Ramsey’s TMM. The similarities are strangely alike the more I think about it.

This time last year my wife and I were just getting back from our Honeymoon, which we celebrated at the same location as this year’ Duets retreat. The next week at church, a young couple ran up to us in the lobby and happily pushed a bag into our hands. The couple was on the leadership council for the ministry, and had taken extra special care of us at the retreat. Inside the bag, was a book wrapped in tissue paper… The Total Money Makeover. At the time we were more grateful for the thought and gesture than we were for the actual book.

A month went by. It was now September and we had never given the book a second glance, but we were now in the greatest financial challenge of our young marriage. We prayed over who to call, who to open up to about the trouble we were facing, and the Lord directed us to them again.
So on September 13th (my birthday) we called and explained the situation to them and they proceeded to share their amazing testimony with us. All we were looking for was Godly counsel from people who had been in our shoes before, nothing else… but by the end of the conversation they had offered to gift us a portion of the money we needed for our situation. (And not a small gift either!) A few days later, we went over to their house to pick up the gift, and they had another one waiting for us to go along with it. It was Dave Ramsey’s 13-cd Financial Peace University set.

From that moment on we became students of this movement, and stewards of the message. We began our makeover officially in October when we did our budget, and started having weekly meetings. But the seeds were planted in August and September when they handed us the book (that we never looked at tsk tsk tsk…) and again when they gave us counsel and set an excellent example of generosity through their cheerful giving.

In Revelations 12:11 (KJV) is says: And they overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

NEVER discount the power of your testimony! I never thought we would be here, or at least not this early in our marriage. I was thinking we would reach it maybe 10 years from now… maybe. But within the next year we will have erased ALL of our debt with the exception of our mortgage. All within 2 years of grinding and putting off the instant gratification this world tries to shove down our throats daily. And the only reason I’m online typing this out to you is so that you can KNOW you can do this too. That’s it. That’s our tesimony in a sentence! We are doing this because we know that YOU can do this.

And so now it has come full circle for us a year later. Now we are on the leadership counsel for the couple’s ministry. Now others are seeking us out for the same counsel we sought. And now we get to be the couple gleefully pushing a bag into another couple’s hands with the book inside.
Today, I’m honored to push this post into your hand with the same energy and enthusiasm as it was handed to me!

…And to think I almost gave that up.





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