Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Eyes on the Prize

Bret and I often will read at night, our bibles often or sometimes another book or devotional. We will often find something that strikes a chord and read it out loud to each other. That has been happening a lot lately, the striking a chord part. I have this awesome bible that is the new testament only, New Living Translation version, "Traveler's Devotional Bible" It is full of great devotions through-out. I feel the need to share with you this....

"Eyes on the Prize"

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding it's shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne Hebrews(12:2).

In today's world of lax promiscuity and a credit-driven economy, almost no one remembers what delayed gratification is. Previous generations understood that many of the things one wants most in life cannot be had easily or instantly. Mature adults know that attaining anything worthwhile takes time, toil, perseverance, and sometimes even suffering.

The writer of Hebrews describes our spiritual pilgrimage as an endurance race, a race so wearying that many times we feel like giving up and quitting. The only way to make it, to keep running all he way to the end, is to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who runs before us setting the pace. Not only does He demonstrate that it is possible to complete this race and win it, He encourages us along because He knows how we feel. In order to be crowned victor, Jesus not only had to endure the normal difficulties of the race, but He also had to endure suffering, abuse from competitors, and shame on His way to crossing the finish line. That's when He was honored.

The Christian life is not easy (nothing worthwhile is); we do not attain instant perfection (as much as we might like it). Instead, we are in a long distance race that we run only against ourselves, always with our eye on Jesus, always moving toward the finish line. As we meditate on what He did for us, we are strengthened to keep going.

I hope this devotional will help you with something in your life. I know I can personally relate to it in so many ways; our financial decisions, the changes with our church, my friendships. Things may not be easy now or have been in the past, but I feel like we have and are still going through an endurance race, but I also feel like we are beginning to get closer to that prize! How glorious that is! I really love this verse and devotional and could read it many times over and have it help me with what I am struggling with. Please keep your eyes on the prize, and if you don't know how to attain that feel free to ask.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Unity ... this is something that I have been praying for our church for a while now. I never imagined it would come this Sunday with one unanimous vote! In fact I never imagined, even in the month preceding this vote that it would be unanimous. Some of you may be asking... what vote? A life changing, kingdom changing vote took place this Sunday. A vote to dissolve the church that we have known and loved for 5 years and unite together with LifePoint Church and share in their vision to further the Kingdom of God.

Ironically this Sunday Stonebrook church will be celebrating our 20 year anniversary! It will be a gathering of everyone new and old that have called Stonebrook home. The following Sunday we will be joining our new congregation at the Main LifePoint campus as our new campus LifePoint ___ (name to be determined) we be undergoing some improvements.

I sobbed as the vote was announced this Sunday and have been wrought with emotions lately! My tears were just a release, a mix of emotions ... happiness, sadness that just flowed out. I praise God for making it clear to me and to everyone that this was His plan that we were to follow. It was certainly in His timing... that is clear to me too!

We so love Stonebrook Church! So many people there that we love. We had our first child while members of Stonebrook... it is a church that Kyndal simply knows as "My Church". It is the only church she has known! We anticipate returning to the new campus with lots of improvements, that is unless God has other plans for us and we stay at the Main campus.

My faith and understanding has grown tremendously in the last couple of years. For those of you who don't know Stonebrook or Lifepoint for that matter but feel the need to discuss; this merger is not about worldly things I assure you, it is about the Kingdom and what we can do for God! It is an exciting time, bittersweet, but exciting. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us as a family, for our church family, for this area that we live in, for seekers, and for my daughter who has an opportunity in her young life that Bret and I never had as a young children!

LifePoint Church from LifePoint Church on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


The only way I know to describe my emotions lately is confused? I am confused about so many things. I KNOW that God has a plan for me in HIS Kingdom. I am trying not to think about it as a plan for ME, but as a plan for Him. I wish I could just stop thinking and merely listen, but that is just hard for some of us, especially me. God has been speaking to me and I have been listening... so why all of this confusion. I think I need to start letting the spirit in me guide instead of the human. I have been learning some important lessons, unfortunately those are normally preceded by struggles... some big some small. Through everything I know that I am developing a deeper relationship with God which makes me grateful for this confusion and these struggles. One verse has been ringing through my head lately... I think of it several times a day.....

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

I guess I need to rename my blog .... Deep thoughts by Kristin Aune

p.s. For those in my small group that may be reading this, I wrote this early in the day and failed to publish it. So the first part of our lesson spoke to me tonight, hope it spoke to you to ;)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Another "Christian Holiday" is upon us today! As with Christmas it is often commercialized and the real meaning is overtaken by Easter Bunnies, Easter Baskets, and Candy. TODAY is the day that the Angel rolled the stone away from the tomb and Jesus rose from the dead!

What does this mean to you? It is certainly not a fairytale story with bunnies hoping about ... it is about death. Christmas is about Hope, it is easy to get that meaning! Easter is the triumph over death, even death cannot stop God's plan!

You can have eternal life ... everyone can! If you are happy with life as it is .. that is fine but are you giving up on the possibility of eternal life?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Friday

Yesterday was Good Friday... for those who don't know what Good Friday really is... it is the day that Jesus crucified and died on the cross FOR OUR SINS. There are several theories as to why it is called Good Friday... the one that I like and believe is that God is good and no tragedy, not even death, can overwhelm God’s Providence, Love, and Grace. I do believe that, even in light of the events that happened in Murfreesboro yesterday on Good Friday. Yes it was scary and yes I did pray, but I am certain that had those tornadoes hit our house and we did not make it that I would have my place in heaven. Do you know that?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Useful websites

Do you run your credit report every year? You should to make sure there is nothing incorrect on it and that you have not had identity theft. You can get a free report from all free agencies, and there is only one website that is recommended by the government to get all three. It is www.annualcreditreport.com You can of course go to each of the three agencies individually to get them, but this one website makes it a little bit easier.

Do you get all kinds of pre-approved credit cards in your mail, and are tired of all of that junk? Those pre-approvals also show up on your credit. You can put a stop to those inquiries on your credit and in effect put a stop to those offers in the mail by going to .... https://www.optoutprescreen.com

Hope that help someone!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Oprah today -- did you see it?

My friend was on Oprah today. She was on at the very beginning, her name is Trisha. She skyped in to the show. It was the Peter Walsh episode on de-cluttering. I was so excited, I got teary eyed!

More savings tip - the reward card

So one of my friends said they were going to try the cash method, however they normally used their credit card like a check card so that they get the rewards points. Here is a thought on that, if you are saving 10-15% by using cash then you are more than re-cooping the 1-3% that you get on rewards points. Even if you are only spending 3% less, which I guarantee will happen, then you are making up those rewards points... try it.

Something else I was pleased with and wanted to share. Bret and I have been eating at home much more often lately. We decided that we would go out to eat when there are good specials at restaurants, that often happens on Tuesday's for whatever reason. Sometimes they have kids eat free nights or might just have another kind of special. Logans has a two can dine for $13.99. It is a special menu, so you have to ask for it if it is not on your table. It has many of the popular menu items on it, including sirloin and you get two sides with your meal. They also have $2.99 kids meals. This is on Mondays AND Tuesdays. So the last time we went several weeks ago, they gave us one of those survey's attached to our check. I called and got a $3 off code. So we went back to Logans to use it on the 2 for night, and we each got a meal and the total, tip included, was $18. I thought that was a deal. From now on we are going to choose the places that we have coupons for.

We have also been eating our leftovers more often. Our refrigerator is normally full of left-overs, so when the weekend rolls around we have been eating left-overs for lunch each day. It also saves the stress, because I am out of meals to cook and we don't want to decide on were to go to eat.

I hope these savings tips help. It has certainly been helping us.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Kyndal and I went out tonight to get a bite to eat while Daddy was at the Men's Meeting. We walked up to order and was asked if we were paying with Cash..... well of course we always try to pay for things with cash. So apparently tonight if we didn't have cash we wouldn't have eaten there because their computer system is down. Hear this ...... Cash always works.

AND..... it Saves you Money

"When you pay cash, you can "feel" the money leaving you. This is not true with credit cards. Flipping a credit card up on a counter registers nothing emotionally. If you use credit cards instead of cash you will spend 12-18% more. This is money you could have saved." - Dave

We have used Dave Ramsey's principle on cash for several years now..... pay with cash and you will spend less. I do believe this. Bret also informed me this week that statistics are showing that people are even spending more when they have the "blink" cards were they don't even have to swipe but just wave them in front of the cc machine. Hum ... this savings might be worth some experimenting of your own :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Financial Peace

Financial Peace starts on Wednesday night at our church. If you are interested you can still sign up this week, it will change your life. Childcare is provided.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Email from Bart Gordon

This letter confirms the info in my previous post. It was nice that I received a letter with an update that addressed my concern.

Dear Kristin,

Knowing your interest in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), I wanted to update you on recent legislation.

We can all agree lead and phthalate limits must be mandatory in children's products. In principle, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) attempted to protect our children from these harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, in the process, an undue burden was placed on American small businesses and crafters.

You will be pleased to know the CPSC recently granted a one year stay of testing and certification requirements as directed by the CPSIA, creating a new deadline of February 10, 2010. The decision by the commission gives the staff more time to finalize four proposed rules which could relieve certain materials and products from lead testing and to issue more guidance on when testing is required and how it is to be conducted.

As always I welcome your opinion on this or any other issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I may ever be of assistance.

Stay in touch,

Member of Congress

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Another update on testing requirements for Children's products

Well, I sent an email to my representative and apparently our petitions and letters worked. The CPSC put a one year stay on the testing requirements for certain products. This means that certain manufacturers and imports will not have to perform the required testing, but will have to meet the requirement. So hand-made goods made of yarn, wood, cotton and such can still be sold, yeah!

Here are the full details, if you want to read them:

I am a big supporter of small business and hand-made items that are made in the US. I love etsy and seeing people make all of these wonderful handmade items that I use for my daughter and my photography.

Yes, we need to keep our children safe from lead. But ridiculous laws that don't even consider the little old ladies who are knitting blankets for spare cash are just stupid. Okay, it's over for the time being, enough venting for now.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Financial Peace University

You may have heard about it before "Financial Peace University" or FPU, you may have also heard the name Dave Ramsey. I assure you this is not a gimmick, it is a life changing method of getting out of debt and building wealth.

Dave Ramsey is a fellow who had wealth and lost it all, you can read his story here Dave's Story He is now a best selling author, has his radio show and talks all things money. I have two of his books and have met him in person. I believe in his methods, they are so simple. He has also started this FPU class.

Here is a description:
"Financial Peace University is a life-changing program that teaches you how to make the right decisions with your money. You'll be empowered with the practical skills and confidence needed to achieve your financial goals and experience true financial peace!"

FPU is coming to our church in February and I am inviting YOU! Bret and I are taking it too. We have never taken it before, although we have read Dave's books and follow it's methods. We believe we can learn even more from this class. Even if you are on your way to get out of debt you can still benefit from this class. You will learn about insurance and investing, retirement, job hunting, real estate, mortgages in addition to handling finances and reducing debt.

The kit will cost you $93, but you will get the book, envelope system, worksheets, workbook, CD's and more. But you will get the best thing of all, that is a path to financial freedom. It is worth it, you can afford it because it will change your life. Come to a free preview class and see what it is all about. Childcare will be available:

The free previews are being held at Stonebrook church (as well as the class) at 5100 Almaville Road in Smyrna (just down from my house). Here are the free preview dates:
Sunday Feb 8, 2009, 12:00 PM
Wednesday Feb 11, 2009, 7:00 PM
Sunday Feb 15, 2009, 4:00 PM

Please visit The Financial Peace Website to find out more.

I will be following up this blog post with yet another one about when the actual class is and more.

Financial Peace... Do you have it?

Those of you who know Bret and I well, know that financial freedom is an important thing in our life. We have worked very hard to get to where we are and made sacrifices along the way. For those who do not know us well, let me tell you a little bit about us and our road to financial peace. If you want to skip the story, that is okay, but please read my next blog post.

Neither one of us were privileged growing up, we saw our parents struggle and I think we took away from that the desire be different. We both attended college. Although I did not know what I wanted to do and my parents nor I had the ability to pay for it, I took out student loans to go. I did stay at home with my parents, worked through college, and tried to minimize every expense that I could because I knew I would have to pay for it all eventually. I did not party in college, I took it seriously because I knew that I would have to pay for it and I didn't want to waste my money and also because I knew it was an opportunity to make a better life for myself. In fact I have worked from the time I was 15 years old. I wanted a job as soon as I turned 15 because I wanted to buy some things for myself, to lessen the burden on my parents. In my whole life until college my parents never owned a home. They owned one when my sister was little and had to file bankruptcy and was never able to afford one until I was in college.

I graduated and was able to find a job that paid more than either one of my parents ever made in their lifetime of working. For a brief moment when I didn't know if I had a job out of college I thought about going back for a Finance degree, funny how now Finances surround me in every position that I hold. I moved to Nashville away from my parents, rented an apartment and started working. I bought a car after several months of working because I was borrowing my Mom's during this time.

I hated wasting my money living in an apartment, well that dreaded Y2K helped me to get out of that apartment. The Y2K bonus that was common in the IT field allowed me to have closing cost and down payment on our home. I had just started dating Bret shortly before buying my house. He also owned a house in Murfreesboro.

I came into the relationship with debt and he had none beside his car and house. I still had my student loans, car, a credit card, and now a home. Not too bad, but certainly not where I wanted to be. Before we got married we decided since we were both able to make it on our own before we were married, once we were married we would take one of our incomes to do nothing but pay off debt. We paid my entire income toward our one home. We paid off the student loans, applied that extra money toward the credit card, payed that off, and then payed more toward the mortgage. We decided to never again carry over a balance on a credit card. We still have them for internet purchases and vacations, but we ALWAYS pay them off. We paid of my house in just 7 years! It would have been so easy to blow money, on new cars, new stuff for the house, electronics and vacations. But we chose not to.

You may ask then, why did you go and buy a bigger house? If I were only a stay at home mom, I assure you we would not have. I have a business, a growing business. It was starting to make money and the space in our home was not cutting it for the family and the business. The question came, do I lease a space, or do I keep in in our home? It did not make sense to us to throw money away on a lease, and we were not ready to make the big leap of purchasing a retail space. It also made more sense for our family to keep it in our home. My business pays for the extra space that we have. We applied all of the $ from the sale of the other home to this one.

We have been a little bit lax with $ lately and are trying to get back into saving more. We have an emergency fund and invest all that we can in retirement and Kyndal's college and we tithe to our church. We love vacations though and we are sacrificing buying things for the house to save for our much needed vacations.

So why am I writing all of this? Well because I hate to see people struggle. I want everyone to have financial peace. I know something that can help you...that is if you want help. Help in all things, reducing debt... saving...investing and more. Please read my next blog post and I will share with you how we did it and you can too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A vent about the library

So I decided to start making my way through some books that I have been wanting to read or have already started reading. I have a stack in my nightstand drawer of books that I have started, and one I just bought and am half-way through. Now, Bret works for a book distributor and can get books at a good discount so we normally just buy the books that we want. Well since there were several I wanted I decided to use a novel concept.... the library. I thought why buy it, I will just check it out. Our library rarely has the books that I want, but this one in particular they had and it was checked out. I reserved it and got a call today that it was available. I picked it up and was told that it was a high demand book and is due back on Feb 3rd. WHAT? So because it is high demand I have to read all 39 chapters in ONE week instead of TWO. WHY, are they losing money by letting me keep it two weeks, I don't think so. I don't understand this at all, please someone impart their wisdom upon me on this subject. I have a hard time finding the time to read as it is why does the library have to make my life more difficult?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Update on the new law for children's clothing and toys

On Jan. 8th the CPSC revised its position to exclude thrift and consignment stores. This however does not protect small manufactures of children's products. Keep the heat on Congress as the CPSC rulemaking is still underway. Click here to sign a petition and send a letter to your representatives.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Blessed Birthday,........

Yesterday was my birthday. It started out as a very crazy day me, in fact it remained pretty busy all day. I did get a wonderful surprise from the most wonderful Mommy friends a girl can have, a brunch in honor of my birthday. I unknowingly put a kink in the plans by changing the time last minute from 9:30 to 10:30, LOL! When I arrived at Kim's house yesterday after a stressful morning, I drove down the street and saw all of the cars parked outside her house. It was nice to spend the rest of the morning with Alison, Jamie, Robin, Angel, Samantha, Kim, and Trisha. I can't tell you how special they made me feel. I am blessed to have these wonderful ladies in my life, to share stories with and raise our children together.

Later in day, Bret picked Kyndal up from school so that they could do errands together. We met up and went to Bounce-U for a fun time. We ate dinner at a Japanese Steakhouse and came home for birthday festivities. Kyndal loves birthdays! Bret and Kyndal got me my favorite kind of cake, flowers, chocolate covered strawberries (My favorite) and just what I wanted for my birthday; Pampered Chef (Thanks Trisha). I spent the evening with my two favorite people in the whole world!

I got a ton of cards and many calls yesterday too.

I was having kind of an emotional week before yesterday... Thinking about family that aren't in our lives much or at all and having to think about decisions that I need to make in my life. Although there were some that didn't even call yesterday like my own sister and others, It was really nice to have all of these special birthday wishes to be reminded of who loves me. I am blessed for all of the people that I do have in my life!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New law will shut down consignment sales and sales of new and used children's merchandise via ebay and craiglist

There is a new law going into effect on February 10th that will ultimately ban the sale of used and new children's merchandise that hasn't gone through extensive testing for lead and other contaminants. This includes the sale of clothing and hand-made items. See the article below for the full story and details.

This will effect Goodwill and Salvation army, consignment stores, consignment sales because merchandise made before February 10 would be deemed unsafe and not be able to be sold. Ebay sales, Etsy sales, Craigslist sales would also be effected since these companies or individuals would never be able to pay for such expensive testing on merchandise. Even used merchandise that you sell will be deemed unsafe as they state it is not just the responsibility of the manufacturer but also that of the reseller. The law also applies to new clothing, not a problem for large manufactures but effects all the handmade merchandise that may be sold on ebay or etsy.

If something is not done to change how this law is interpreted then all of the used items must just go to the landfill. There is a possibility of reprieve by exempting items made of natural items such as wood and wool.

Here are some links with info about the ban.
LA Times Article

A Quilter's blog

Send message to your Representatives

I have a ton more links if you want to know more, including youtube videos explaining the law. Just email me.

I am still researching what we can do to change the interpretation of this law. Please read some of the information that I posted above, it effects all of us parents.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Holly & June

We decided to add Holly and June to our family. They were the two little calico's that I fell in love with a month ago. Bret said he has never seen me react to any other kitties that we have seen who where up for adoption like I did Holly and June when I first saw them.

They have been doing great and we all love them already. We are keeping the names that they came with, it suits them. Kyndal calls June Junie. Junie did have quite a day yesterday but seems no worse for wear, she fell from the second floor (went between the rails to sit on the ledge above a door)to the floor below and she jumped in the bath-tub seemingly unaware that we had water in it preparing for Kyndal's bath. We think it was Junie that fell, but not certain because it happened so fast and they look so much alike.

I will be posting about my experience adopting shelter cats in a later post. Poor Bret, he now as 4 females in the house. I will post more pictures later, I can't seem to get a good one of Holly by herself, I have several of June. On the picture above, Junie is on the left (Black moustache) Holly is on the right(brown moustache). They each weigh 5 pounds.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Calico Kitties Oh My!

Part of my Christmas present from Bret was a giftcard to Petsmart, his gesture to give the okay to adopt one or two kitties to add to our family. So we have been searching Petfinder to find the perfect kitties. I fell in love with two little Calico's that were paying a visit to the Pet-co in Murfreesboro from the Shelbyville/Bedford County human association, that has been about a month ago. We have been trying to arrange a visit with them, that may happen tomorrow. In the meantime I got an email from Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue from a foster that has 2 calico's. I talked with their foster Mom for a while and I love those already even though I haven't seen them. So now I have to make a decision as to which pair I want. We will probably see both sets first. I have been honest with both people that I talked to and said we are looking at two sets of kitties. I don't know how I will decide, I want them all! Here are pictures of them all. Please weigh in and tell me what you think.

Holly and June (Poor quality pics here, I snatched them from PetFinder). We saw these in person and they are so so cute.

Delaney & Darby - Pictures emailed from their foster mom. They are so so cute too!