Thursday, August 28, 2008

What can you buy for 20 bucks?

So I’ve mentioned before, money is tight for us. To be honest, I like it that way. Don’t get me wrong, I know God has more in store for us, and there are definite things that He’s calling us to do in the future, things that require money. I’m excited for that stage of our lives, and I know that it will be better than I can imagine. But, for now, God has us here. Yes, I believe that God has us in the financial state that we are in. It’s not something that needs a “name it and claim it” kind of attitude. It’s not something we need to rebuke. Our needs are being met in INCREDIBLE ways, and we are not going without. God is showing us His unbelievable favor, and doing it quite creatively too!

Marks Aunt Mary passed away last week. Mark believes she truly knew the Lord, and so with all of her health problems, it really was a blessing for her. My mother-in-law (Laurie) has been working tirelessly all week, sorting through Aunt Mary’s apartment. Laurie has this incredible gift, I don’t even know what to call it, maybe it’s a gift of helps. But she has this magnetic pull that just draws stuff to her garage, (possibly the cleanest garage ever!) the funny part about that it that she doesn’t like to have a lot of things lying around. (an attribute I well admire and must learn!) The part where the genuine gift comes in, is that she knows exactly who needs what, at what time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought “Oh, I could really use… too bad I can’t afford to buy that right now” and within a day I’ll get a call “hi Jan, it’s mom, Leverenz, listen, I have… here in my garage, could you use it?” No joke, a few months back I decided that I really ought to start using cloth diapers diligently, (we don’t have any credit cards so what we spend, we must have) “I really need more than the 3 diapers I got at my baby shower.” I thought. Then, “Hi Jan, it’s mom, Leverenz…” Somehow, she had a stack of pre-folds and diaper pins! The same goes with Dressers, stand up fans, beds, groceries, EVERYTHING! It’s pretty cool. So, anyway, we were really in need of a few grocery items, and Aunt Mary had a pantry full of the things I was in need of. Out of six kids in Marks family, a church full of people and plenty of neighbors, Laurie knew that we were in need of those things. God provides!

I am using cloth diapers almost 100%, I only use a disposable at night. (on Gideon of course) : ) And it’s so funny, I really enjoy it. Yeah, I enjoy washing poop off of fabric, go figure. LOL, well, I guess I just enjoy the fact that I’m being ecological and economical, it’s highly liberating. I love hanging the freshly washed diapers on the line, and seeing how clean I got them, after knowing how dirty they were. It truly gives me joy. I love that the money that Mark earns for this family isn’t being thrown away with a pile of crap, in a weird way, I feel like using cloth diapers is honoring my husbands hard work.

I love to do menu planning. Sometimes I don’t do it, because our budget doesn’t require it. I get lazy and then I just don’t do it. But every time I need to, I enjoy it so much. I should write a memo somewhere saying “You like to menu plan remember? Just do it!” It’s been fun, (my mom has brought some groceries over as well the last few weeks, and Joy will come over with like a gallon of milk or something, she says “God told me to do it”) So now, every time we sit down to eat dinner I say, the only part of this meal that we paid for is… and it’s something silly like the parmesan cheese. : ) God provides!

Gideon was in need of some autumn shirts, I saw an advertisement on Craig’s list for a “shop-aholic moms garage sale” there was a list of items that she had that we could use. So my friend Melissa and I set out to find this sale. I had 20 bucks in my wallet. I found 4 shirts for Gideon and 2 pairs of pants and 1 shirt for the new baby. We then noticed that there was a great farmers market down the road, so we went there. With my change from the garage sale, I bought a LB of local honey, (We were in need of it, seeing as how it’s allergy season) an eggplant, 2 huge bunches of lettuce (red leaf and a dark green,) and peaches. All of that, came to exactly $20.00. It was so fun to see how much I could buy when aiming for frugality. : ) Not to mention the ethical consumerism that was practiced here, but that’s for another day, and another blog.

I guess I just want to encourage all who are feeling the lack of funds. It’s hard sometimes, but try to find joy in this time of stretching. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm and come up with a few ideas out of the ordinary. Don’t be discouraged if you’re a stay at home mom and feeling like you’re not helping your husband out. My friend Liz said the other day “isn’t cool that the best thing we can do to help our families finances is stay home and not spend money?” It’s so true. Trust in God and obey, He’ll take care of the rest!

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