Aug 122010
This is the second part of  Trisha’s post from yesterday and it is chock full of good stuff! If you missed part one, check it out first, then hurry back here for a blessing!
  • Pray for perspective change!  ~ Facebook, Twitter and blogs are good but on bad days can be a curse. I get all wrapped up in what others have and can afford to do. Don’t compare…. instead compare yourself to the rest of the world that has far less that you do! America has warped our definition of wealth. You are wealthy if you have a roof over your head, clean water to drink and clothes on your body…. seriously! Most of the world can not say the same. Being able to think this way is a God thing…. I used to whine about having “no money” when my husband and I’s combined salary was 3x what we make now. Now, to God be the glory, I feel richer than I have ever been! I mean that too! God has transformed my mind through this season! So in short PRAY! Pray that God would give you His perspective and allow you to see how He has provided so much for you already!
  • Give  ~ You will never “have enough” to “start giving”. Mark and I would always say, “when we pay off debt we will start giving more”. If you can’t “afford to give” now you never will. I am not talking about a mere 10% in tithe either. It is so freeing to give what the Lord has put in your heart to give! It is a huge faith step showing that you trust God to meet all your needs! Mark 12:41-44 “ …for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put all she owed, all she had to live on.”
  • Trust the Sovereignty of God ~ Money is of no object to God. He made the universe with its many galaxies and billions of stars. I don’t think He stresses over $1,000 or even $100,000. He wants your heart. He wants you to love Him first and manage what He has given you…. whether that be a lot or a little. So if you are in a season of little, trust that God has you there for a reason! As Paul explains in Phillipians 4 keep “pressing on” but remain content with whatever God gives you. Seek and pursue Him rather than a larger pay check. In His timing He will give you more income, if it so pleases Him. Hebrews 13:5-6“Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never leave you, nor will I forsake you,” so that we may confidently say, The Lord is My Helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”
  • Cut yourself some slack…. this is hard! ~ This season has been rough. Making “a gallon of lemonade out of a lemon” …. making bills, groceries and gas for a family of 4 on our budget has been very hard! We have to be VERY structured and disciplined to make it all work. At times it can be completely overwhelming and consuming. I think when I look back, I will wish I had just cut myself some slack, relaxed and enjoyed the season. My greatest struggle is thinking I could put our family in a homeless shelter for forgetting that $5 off Kroger coupon at the house. I will almost make myself vomit over small mistakes in our day to day life. I don’t have that much control!!! God is still reigning over our life! Trust Him with the details and RELAX! “Oh Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For you have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with PERFECT faithfulness.” (emphasis added) – Isaiah 25:1

I could have added stay in the Word, pray, keep serving, don’t forsake relationships, or some practical advice on money management but theses were/are the 5 that are most difficult for me. I feel as if I could write a book on this topic. God has taught me so much! I have watched my husband flourish as our spiritual leader through this trial. He is the strong one. I am the one who totally freaks out! I am learning though! I think I’m getting better. This is a season for us. I know God has us here for a reason because He has shaped us and taught us so much! Struggle is a guarantee on this earth. I joyfully accept that we have been allowed to “suffer with Christ” in even the smallest way!

To God be the Glory!

Aug 112010

Today’s guest post comes from a sweet friend, whom I’ve known for several years, since my girls took dance through her dance ministry. Her heart for family and for the Lord overflows into all she does and I am thrilled that she agreed to share what she’s learning on Habits. You can read more about Trisha on her blog Writing About the Journey.

Most know our “story”. To make it short. We had a lot and now we are in a season of very little. We have been in this “season” for about a year now. I know we are in the same boat as so many Americans with our current economy so I thought I would share some things God has taught me through this season.

Do not forget what God has done! ~ Is this not what messed up the Israelites?! They forgot! They got in the desert and forgot about all the miracles and wonders God had JUST DONE in Egypt!

  • God really starting convicting me and teaching me about this around Christmas. We spent the Christmas season reflecting on the past year for God’s faithfulness. Instead of a advent calendar we talked about two or three “God things” from each month that past year.
  • I also started, at our house, a “Remembrance wall”. I put up either plaques or pictures of seasons or things that God has done. For an example, I used to lead a dance ministry. That was totally a God thing. I made a scrapbook page, framed it and hung it on the wall. I also put up pictures signifying different periods of time God just “brought us through”. Sometimes there should be an award of just surviving! Our engagement, Treys first couple weeks and an internship are a couple pictured!
  • Make your prayers detailed and keep record! When you have very detailed prayers, you can watch every little way God is providing! We keep a list running of things we are asking for God to provide. We have had big things like healthcare of our kids to little things like new work boots. This list being different than a prayer request sheet, almost everything gets crossed off or we realize we didn’t need it. It is really awesome! When I have a bad day, it is so good to look back on all that God has provided!!!
  • I do my best at scrapbooking too.  There is a great message about “the art of remembrance” at Faithbooking Ideas .  I don’t think it is ever wasted time to reflect on what God has done!

“Beware not to forget the Lord your God….. then you will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Eygpt, out of the house of slavery.”

Deuteronomy 8: 11-14

Part two coming tomorrow…..

Back to basics: big-shop cooking

 Posted by on January 26, 2010  13 Responses »
Jan 262010

I must be honest. I’m not a true once-a-month cook. I tried. I strived (or strove). But it wasn’t easy. So instead of once-a-month cooking, I break cooking down into easy pieces and parts. We’ve talked about fixing simple suppers and doubling recipes. The other sock-it-away strategy I use is when-you-do-the-big-shop-cooking.

Big-shop cooking came about because I avoid the grocery store. I try my best not to go there unless absolutely necessary. We do our grocery shopping around pay days, so twice a month. Sure we need to run to get milk every now and then. However, since I’ve been following Kerri’s two-week menu planning example and posting my meal plans, those trips are fewer. It’s intentional. Money-saving too.

Hey! I can talk myself into two steps.

When the score comes in from the grocery store, this mama cooks. Right then. Just like Kim, I put the slow cooker to work browning ground beef, ground turkey and/or chicken. The big-shop cooking amounts to two steps: (1) stirring then (2) bagging. Continue reading »

Back to basics: simple suppers

 Posted by on January 12, 2010  9 Responses »
Jan 122010

Mary Engelbreit's Silly Mother Goose

So you’ve started back with the basics. Slow and easy. Or maybe not. Maybe, like me, you are feeling a bit like Humpty Dumpty, picking up the pieces? Hopefully, you caught a bit of back to school joy.

However your days are going, you still have mouths to feed. Basic meal time. We all have to eat! After a full day of school and chasing toddlers, the last thing I want to look at is a long list of ingredients to cook!

Give me easy and make it fast. Or cook it slow. When the rest of the day is a continual challenge I keep mealtime simple. Here are the strategies I use to make suppers easy, inexpensive and delicious. Continue reading »