Big Christmas Shopping Spree Giveaway

Big Christmas Shopping Spree Giveaway

A Big Christmas Shopping Spree Giveaway

I hope you haven’t done all your shopping for Christmas all ready… if you have you may want to buy a big ticketed item for the whole family!

I’m so excited to bring to you, A Big Christmas Shopping Spree Giveway, where 3 readers will each win their own $250 Amazon Gift Card, to go on a shopping spree that they will never forget.

Let me introduce you to the wonderful sponsors of this amazing giveaway that you will not want to miss out on:

Teachers of Good Things | Beyond the Cover | Homeschool Giveaways and Freebies | The Chaos and The Clutter | Intoxicated on Life | Simply Sherryl | Golden Reflections Blog | The Vicki Arnold Blog | Wildflower Ramblings | Kids Yoga Stories | Moola Saving Mom | Growing Up Triplets | Life Coaching & More | Daze of Adventures | Family, Faith and Fridays | Stretching a Buck | Susie Homeschooler | Frugal Homeschool Family | The Teaching Mama | For This Season | Raising the Barrs | Grace Tells Another Story | Mom’s Mustard Seed | Raising Lifelong Learners | Surviving the Stores | How to Homeschool for Free | Whole New Mom | Natural Beach Living | The Encouraging Mom | i Dream of Clean | Abundant Life | Psycho with 6 | Angie Rgy

Here is how the Big Christmas Shopping Spree Giveaway works:

  • A big giveaway deserves big entry options – Between November 12th through November 18th, you can come back and register for as many options as you desire until you have entered all of them that you desire to enter.
  • Enter some entries more than once – You can add a new comment on a different blog every day, so visit more of the sponsors and leave a comment to have another entry! You can even tweet once a day for additional entries.
  • You must be 18 years old and living in the United States – The 3 winners will receive an Amazon Gift Card in the mail.
  • Winners will be verified – Each winner drawn will be verified that they entered the giveaway correctly.
  • Winners must provide mailing address within 48 hours of notification – To claim your prize, you only have 48 hours to provide your mailing address or a new winner will be drawn. No exceptions. Be sure to check your email on November 19th or 20th to be sure you don’t miss out on a shopping spree you will likely never forget!
  • Winners shop on Amazon – If you are one of the winners, you can shop online for all of those loved ones on your shopping list. All in time for Black Friday specials!

Now let’s get to the entry and one step closer to 3 people winning a $250 Amazon Gift Card for a Big Christmas Shopping Spree Giveaway:

 

 

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Black Friday Cash Giveaway

Black Friday Cash Giveaway

black friday

 

I admit it. I LOVE shopping on Black Friday because of the sales. I do it from the comfort of home by shopping online. But you have to have money to save money, right? This week I will have two opportunities for you to win some Black Friday cash!

Several bloggers and I have come together to offer our readers a chance to win a $250 Amazon gift card or Paypal option they can use to take advantage of the fabulous deals on Black Friday.

Please visit our team:

We will be picking a random winner on November 21 at 12a. Winner will receive $250.00 in an Amazon gift card or by Paypal. Winner will be contacted via email and must respond within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen. All entries will be verified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this Facebook page and not to Facebook.

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Contentment 101: Introduction

Contentment 101: Introduction

In Philippians 4:11, the Apostle Paul says:

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

I recently discovered that I haven’t learned that. Oh, I don’t pine away for material possessions, but that’s no credit to my character. I have everything I need and so much of what I want. Yet, I am not content. Here’s how I know:

  • I feel like I never have enough time to accomplish all I want and need to do.
  • I feel dissatisfied with the amount of success I have in many areas.
  • I feel frustrated with people who don’t behave the way I would like them to.
  • I feel disappointed by institutions, my country, and even my church.

In short, I haven’t learned to be content like Paul. Can you relate? Do you find yourself wanting more and being dissatisfied?

 

Having had times in my life in which I experienced true contentment, I can say unequivocally that I wouldn’t trade it for momentary joy. While I am sure we will know joy in heaven, contentment has got to reign supreme. Over the next several weeks, I’d like to explore what God would like to teach us about His contentment while we still live on earth. I will know that I am learning when:

 

  • I am not stressed out and in a perpetual hurry
  • I see everything I accomplish as progress toward His purposes
  • I recognize that people are wretched sinners like me who are in the Lord’s hands; if we weren’t, we wouldn’t need a Savior
  • I understand that God is in control of every institution, country, and church and I’m not

The sweet baby pictured above would not be content if he had fear. Fear is opposed to contentment. We’ll delve into that in the coming weeks, but for now, here is your assignment:

  1. Look for instances of discontentment in your life. One I’ve noticed is a habit of looking at my smart phone constantly.
  2. When you notice lack of contentment, ask yourself what if anything you’re afraid of? I sometimes look at my phone because I’m afraid of being left out of a conversation. Looking at my phone makes me appear to be a busy, important person.

Thinking of some of my difficulties as lack of contentment is helpful to me. For example, concern about how much blogging I do isn’t leading me to work harder as it would have, but now to be content with the time I have.

How about you? Do you struggle with discontentment?

 

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How I Got Out of Debt Fast

How I Got Out of Debt Fast

Ways-to-pay-off-debt

In So You're Not Wonder Woman, I describe my financial free fall while I was in graduate school. I was living on $600 a month, so putting $400 in car repairs on my credit card was trouble. I didn't live extravagantly, but I did have cable and insisted on having my own apartment–something I now see led to my accumulating debt. Sharing an apartment with one of my single girlfriends could have shaved at least 40% off my expenses. In addition to the usual expenses, I also had a car payment–not a huge one, but it was a hardship at that income.

I eventually had two credit cards that were maxed out and a medical bill that I was being harassed about paying (I wish now I hadn't had physical therapy for a bad ankle sprain). Foolishly, I used my tax return to take a trip to San Diego. I began working more hours and my income increased to $900 a month. That should have helped, but I moved to a more expensive apartment and bought new furniture to boot. I was at the point of using one credit card to pay off another. I regularly received overdraft notices. I took out bigger student loans. It was just too depressing to admit the truth of my situation: I was in debt. Another poor money manager friend told me at the time that I shouldn't go for credit counseling because they would put me on a budget. Perish the thought.

By today's standards, my debt was a pittance. But the cycle of indebtedness had begun and would have continued once I secured my first job. My student loan debt was over $30,000 in 1991. Again, small by today's standards, but huge to a young woman who didn't know a thing about managing money.

I have a friend who writes a secular blog on managing money and has been a guest blogger on Get Rich Slowly. I have mentioned to her that I could never tell my story of getting out of debt, because it isn't like hers. I didn't wise up, get educated, and get frugal. I didn't pay off my debt; someone else did. I have joked to her that I couldn't very well post about how I got out of debt: I got married. 

I remember my fiance's big sigh when I revealed the whole of my debt. It was embarrassing to admit to a man who owned a home, bought two vehicles with cash, and had a sizable savings account. He immediately paid off all my debt. He never lectured me about money. He didn't enroll me in a finance course or give me a book to read. He just managed money well and I watched and learned. 

I read this post requesting get-out-of-debt stories and I finally felt moved to share mine. I realized that while my story won't get raves from finance fans, it should from faithful followers of Christ. Though I had much to be ashamed of, my Redeemer paid off my debt. I didn't. Now I spend my life learning from Him. 

Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Do you have a get out of debt story, financial or spiritual?

Photo Credit

 

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We Can Still Win

We Can Still Win

Win_button

I'm on a USTA tennis league and have been for the past 2.5 years. There are many aspects of playing that I enjoy, but the one that has been a particular blessing lately is the opportunity to work on my thinking. 

You wouldn't think that I would be nervous on the tennis court, being a speaker who's comfortable with any size crowd. But when I first started the league, my anxiety was crippling. The second I thought about losing the point or double faulting, that's exactly what happened.

I've been reading a variety of books on the mental game of tennis, but this one really convinced me that no matter how far behind I am, I can still win. The author gives many examples of pros who just gave up and lost matches that were theirs for the taking and other examples of players who seemed to come back and win against impossible odds. The key to winning? Believing that you can.

A couple of weeks ago, my partner and I handily won the first set of a match, then fell apart in the second, and finally lost the tie break. Yesterday, we seemed to be repeating that disappointing pattern. We won the first set without much trouble, then soon found ourselves down 5-2! If you know anything about tennis, you know that the other team just needed one more game to win the set. 

I could see the discouragement and frustration in my partner and I could feel it developing in me. Then I told her, "We're going to pull a David Freese and win this set." She smiled. When either of us made an error from that point forward, I made a point of saying, "That's okay. We can still win." Many times we were in a David Freese, World Series kind of way by being one point away from losing the set (though not the match). I felt the pressure, but refused to give in. Neither did my partner. We came back to win the set and match 7-5. 

The truth of Allen Fox's words became very clear to me on the tennis court, but they've become clear to me in life, too. Maybe you're against impossible odds like:

  • You're getting older and you still haven't met "the one."
  • You've filled out dozens of job applications and you're still unemployed
  • You have a hundred pounds or more to lose
  • You've been trying to conceive for months to no avail
  • Your house is such a mess that it seems it would take a team months to clean it out
  • You've been unhappily married for years and nothing you've tried has worked
  • You have an addiction you just can't beat
  • You're tens of thousands of dollars in debt
  • Your loved one is elderly and still hasn't received Christ

While it's true that the right attitude doesn't guarantee victory, I believe it's also true that no matter how far behind you are, you can still win. I could give you examples of people I know personally who've experienced an unexpected victory in these situations. The key? Believe that you can.

Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

Photo Credit

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A Fine Thing

Melanie has a real problem with library fines–always has. In graduate school, she racked up hundreds of dollars worth of fines. The only thing that saved her was the university’s policy of forgiving the fines as soon as the books were returned.

Last year, Melanie kept putting off returning her library books and racked up a substantial fine. She wasn’t too happy when the librarian who took her fine payment turned out to be someone she knew–from Bible study no less!

I had determined to help poor Melanie. I wanted her to be a better steward of her money by not paying library fines. I planned to send her email reminders myself. But today I received an email from my homeschooling support group about a service that will do the reminding for me automatically! If your library is served by www.libraryelf.com, you can ask the free service to remind you of your holds, future overdues, and past dues when you need them. I set mine up to remind me DAILY that I have overdue items. Isn’t that a fine thing?

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