Friday, February 4, 2011

5 years

today, I'm celebrating 5 wonderful years with my husband. I actually can't beleive it's been that long, it feels like we just got married. It sure has been an adventure, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


This really encouraged me today. While I was reading this, I kept nodding in agreement. My office may might think I'm crazy. Anyway, thought I'd share it, if nothing else, I need the reminder.

Church Plant Connection
February 2, 2011 by Tiffany Cooper
Posted by
Tiffany Cooper

I’ve had the privilege to meet many church planters here at Leading and Loving It. As a church planter, I feel an instant connection! In fact, it made me think about the beginning days of our church. Here are few things that came to mind…the list is long so I’ll just mention a few:

Lead by Example: Much of ministry is simply leading by example, especially in the beginning stages of a church plant. Your work ethic, servant’s heart and attitude will set the tone for those partnering with your vision. This is a conscience decision, not one based on your feelings.
Push for Power: There are people who will use you in an attempt to get power, push their agenda and gain access to your husband. They may even try to use you as a secretary, trying to get info to your husband. I quickly learned to say, “If you call the church office they can help you with any question you have,” or “You know, I would feel terrible if I forgot to tell Herbert, it’s best that you call the office to make sure he gets the message.”
Shepherd vs. Friend: Do not seek your most intimate friendships with those in your church. They may happen over time but don’t seek them out. Embrace your role as a shepherd who directs and loves. I regret the times I got too close too soon. I have now found more intimate friendships with other pastors’ wives.
Come and Go: A large number of people who start with you will not stay. This was hard for me to grasp until it happened to us. Many, a lot, of the people that partnered with the vision we had for Peoples Church are no longer with us. There are many reasons for this. I encourage you to maintain a good attitude and handle those who leave with grace.
Renaissance Women: As a church planter you are a renaissance women. It’s not so much about serving in your area of passion as much as it’s about serving in the area of need. Okay, it’s more like you are serving in every area of need! Your great sacrifice will result in a great reward!
Minister to the Pastor: Church planting pulls you in many directions but your greatest ministry is to your husband. He needs your support, encouragement, strength, “I’ve got your back” attitude, and unconditional love. It will be harder than you think. It will require more of you than you think. Your goals and plans will likely happen differently than you anticipated. Most of all, you realize you don’t have all the answers and you can’t do it on your own.
Growth Track: If you’re like me, you will grow as a leader and learn more than you imagined possible in a short amount of time. Honestly, it wasn’t always by my choice, more out of necessity. I made some mistakes our of pure ignorance, usually small things that would be okay if I was anybody other than the PW

Sunday, January 30, 2011

cleaning up

first off, please excuse my poor blog. i'm working on a new design and header, but i need to work on it from my home computer for several reasons. plus if really need help, i've got my husband, who can pretty much figure out anything. so stay tuned for some serious cuteness!

so my blog isn't the only that is needing some revamping, but life is too. on new years, i promised myself that this would be a good year. not emotionally unhealthy like this last one, but i didn't really put any steps into making it better, i just kept everything the same. as my husband pointed out, that's the definition of insanity. you know... doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results every time. so it came to a breaking point (as it usually does) and i realized that somethings have got to change. they just have to, or i really might go insane. so after a night of crying, talking (blubbering) to chris and taking a personal day off work, i'm FINALLY taking some real steps to making this a good year. to having a good life again.
this tuesday i'll be attending a support group for women struggling with getting pregnant. i'm actually really looking forward to it and think it will be a good step in dealing with this baby stuff . my hopes are that the meeting will help me to appropriate my feelings in a more positive way and meet some new friends. for now chris and i are waiting to go to the doctor for any testing. i realize that may sound crazy to some of you, but that's what we've decided and we feel peaceful about it for now.

i've also decided it's high time for me to get a hobby and i just can't count shopping as hobby anymore. so i'm going to take some sewing lessons in february. i grew up with two grandmothers who sew and both tried to teach me several times and i just wasn't interested. now, with one grandmother gone and the other declining in health, i really want to learn. i think it's something that will really give me some joy and encourage some creativity. plus i think it'll be fun! i hope to be updating about my first lesson and future projects.

last but not least i'm working on a planning a party. well, a reception to be more specific. our dear friends are going to have a baby dedication at refuge at the end of february and i asked if i could throw them a reception. i'm really excited and haven't thrown any good parties lately, so this one has my juices flowing! can't wait to get started! i'm thinking yellow and grey for the colors. check back for inspiration boards and ideas.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fasting Catch Up

So, it turns out I'm actually really terrible about a daily update. Or even weekly! So today, we're on day 14 of our Money fast and eating healthy. Wednesday night I soooo wanted to grab Chris and go to Chili's for dinner, but we ate some Progresso soup instead. We entertained a bunch this past week and weekend, so I'm really tired of cooking, dishes and cleaning the kitchen, but we must press on!

What I've learned so far is that I can cook and eat healthily 7 nights a week on a budget. Yes, my grocery store trip is like 30 minutes longer and sometimes requires me to shop at three different stores, but it's kinda worth it. I feel good when I look at our budget and bank account instead of dreading it! I've also really seen the benefit of working with cash for gas and groceries. I hope to keep those habits going even after day 21, because they have really kept me accountable and I need that.

I don't know about you, but I am SO glad it's the weekend! Happy Friday friends!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 2 & 3

So far we've done really well! Coffee from home every morning, packed lunches and some healthy, homemade dinners.

We did run into a bit of sticky moment today. Our friends the Arnolds's little baby is in the hospital right now and we wanted to bring them dinner. I was going to consider their dinner as an essential, because people we love are an essential, so I was ok taking it out of the bank account. Chris thought we'd be ok taking it out of our gas money, and so we did. We can make it work and I'm just really glad we were able to make it work so we could do something for our friends.

Chris does have a friend from college in town this week, and usually that means lots of activities and eating out. So, he will have to use his fun money if he wants to do any of those extracurricular activities and we'll have his friend and girlfriend over for dinner a couple of times while he's here. I love hosting and having people over, I don't know why I don't have people over more often for dinner. It's so much more personal!

All and all we are doing really well with our challenge. Hoping we can finish as strong as we started!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 1

Cash Only

So, we actually started our fast on January 2nd. Chris had a desperate plea to start Sunday, since the last OU game was Saturday night and he wanted to get snacks. I relented, since he just looked so sad. What can I say, I'm a softy when it comes to him. Anyway, I spent Saturday preparing our (healthy) menu for the week and getting cash for our gas and groceries. It felt really weird to get $175.00 out of the ATM. Well, actually I couldn't get 175, because the ATM only does transactions in 20s, so I had to get out 160 and use the 20 I had in my purse.

Our budget is 75 for groceries a week and 50 each for gas for 2 weeks.

I spent...
$ 13.00 on produce at Sunflowers (its a Farmer's Market that has really cheap fruits & veggies)
$54.00 at Safeway on the everything else
leaving me 8 bucks for paper towels and chicken at King Soopers ( I knew I could get it cheaper there then at Safeway)

It felt really strange to use cash for groceries. I took me forever to shop, because I was comparing ounces and prices and labels. I also watched the checkout process like a hawk, making sure all my sale items were ringing up as such. Already calculating in my head what I would put back if I needed to. But, I actually did ok! I came home really excited almost texting Chris about my successful shopping trip. We are totally out of grocery money, so we have to make what we've got work till Saturday. Which is scary, since we've always had the option to run to the store and get something. So I'm hoping all my planning will get us through.

Other than that, it's been snowy and cold here, so Chris and I weren't even tempted to get out of the house yesterday. We both just watched TV, read and just hung out. I cooked dinner and I started putting up all the Christmas stuff.

I think the real challenge is going to be the work week. When old habits rear their ugly heads and tempt us. Chris and I both have come gift cards and fun money that we can use in those instances, but I'm hoping we won't resort to those too often in our 21 days.

I count Day 1 a success!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Money, Money, Money

Money Fasting

Yep, that's what we're doing. Starting January 1st, the Richardsons will be on a cash fast. After spending some time looking at our budget and realizing how much we spend on the unnecessary. I mean it starts innocently enough.... running late in the mornings, so I'm going to grab a coffee and muffin at Starbucks. Oh, I don't like what I'm eating for lunch, I'll just zip through the drive thru and grab something. Hmm... I REALLY need those earrings at Target, and they're only $5.99 so I should get two! Yeah, all those little "innocent" purchases add up! So, we are going spend the next 21 days in a money fast.

So the rules are pretty simple. ONLY spending money on the essentials, like food, medicine and bills. For 21 days we'll inviting friends over for dinner rather than going out, taking our lunches to the office and watching old movies instead of hoping on down to the Redbox. And for a double threat we'll also be eating healthier and working out more. So, just three itty bitty things to keep myself accountable everyday. Um, yeah right! This challenge is going to stretch both Chris and me. Probably more me than him. I am not disciplined what so ever.

My hope is to update daily or every other day in order to keep myself accountable and if you're interested stop by and see our progress!

The goal is to see how money we save from our fast and put that towards one of those dreadful credit cards that needs paying off. Wish us luck!