Look, you don’t even need to have kids to get something out of this one. Best kids’ Bible ever. Just browse it first if you don’t believe me. But read the story of Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac and then come talk to me. And the Jesus actually looks middle eastern, praise God! Our boy barely listens, but my man and I just stare at each other after every story. The author’s pastor is/was Dr. Timothy Keller, who let’s face it, is amazing.
Yes. That’s it exactly. Where has this chick been all my life?
So I told you I’m learning about frugality. I know, along with the rest of the country. But hear me out. This has been a 5-year journey. But I’ve only been couponing for over a year. I resisted for a long time. I say that like it’s a good thing to wait a long time to get free or almost-free things for your family and others.
I wanted to pass on my 5 favorite Frugal Bloggers. There are tons more, but these are mine. One of them lives in Kansas, so her prices most accurately reflect those in our stores.
On with it…
http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ Money Saving Mom. This chick was frugal when frugal wasn’t cool. Her mom put her in charge of food budget, couponing and grocery shopping in high school. She knows everything. My favorite thing about this couple is they’re like 60-70% towards their goal of buying their first house with cash! (They’re big Ramsey fans). They’re just now in their 30’s. Think of all the money they can give to Kingdom Living from now until they die because they soon won’t pay anything each month for rent or mortgage. And he’s a lawyer. Whoa.
http://www.grocerycartchallenge.blogspot.com/ This lady doesn’t coupon, but still finds a way to feed her family of 6 with 60 bucks a week. She is very creative in making things stretch. And coupons aren’t the only way to make your budget Kingdom-friendly.
http://www.commonsensewithmoney.com/ Common Sense with Money. She’s a former CPA and very smart. She shares all kinds of tips for saving money, and not just on groceries. I’ve learned a lot from her.
http://www.momsneedtoknow.com/ I love reading this one. She is in Philly and lots of her posts have nothing to do with the Midwest. But she’s funny. In her bio she wrote something like, “I’m not as nice as other frugal mommy bloggers. Or at least I cuss a lot more than them.” She goes on these really funny rants. I’ve learned a lot from her, too.
http://jane4girls800dollarannualbudget.blogspot.com/ Okay. This lady is my financial hero. As a single mom she feeds her 3 daughters, two dogs and herself on Eight Hundred Dollars a Year!!! I know. She explains how. It took her 3 years to get where she is now. But come on.
Here’s the low down: The basic premise is to get a good stockpile going so that you can “cherry pick” each week. Meaning you have lots of basics on hand, including cheap meat, so all you buy each week are the best deals. They match up each store’s weekly deals with coupons that are out there, showing you how to get tons of stuff for $3 to $30 a week. Some of it you may not need or normally eat. But hey. If it’s free, you can get it and give it away.
Here’s how I look at it. It takes me maybe 2 hours a week to cut coupons, check blog deals, and shop at two different stores (versus just going to Dillon’s or just Wal-Mart or whatever). My receipt regularly says I save $15 – $90 each time. If I save us that much for two hours’ worth of work, then a part-time “job” that “pays” $7.50 – $45 an hour is pretty worth it!
It takes a while to get your rhythm. And I have weeks where I cuss the whole system, get burnt out and just shop. But for the most part, this has really revolutionized how I look at my job around here. My man really appreciates me making things stretch. And it feeds my competitive desires – I’m constantly trying to challenge myself to see how good a deal I can get.
And remember. It’s not about just hoarding cash you save. It’s about getting your family set so you can give give give to others. That’s the big picture I try to keep in mind. Otherwise I feel cheesy about the whole deal. No, you’re not a repressed 50’s housewife to implement these things. You are powerful and playing a huge role in your family, community and the Kingdom in our generation.
Have fun with it!
“Some days I don’t feel like being vulnerable or transparent, no matter who it would help. Some days I just want to act like I’ve always done it right. Some days I don’t want to give, I want to take. And some days I just want everybody out of my personal business. My times in Egypt are painful for me to remember. Embarrassing for me to admit. Leaving nothing for others to admire. But each morning the Holy Spirit woos me once again to the place where I meet with God. The God of grace bows low and meets with me. I am suddenly confronted by the majesty of my Redeemer. The One responsible for any good in me. And once again, my heart is moved, and I surrender all. Morning after morning.” – Breaking Free
Don’t be in any rush to become a teacher, my friends. Teaching is a highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards. And none of us are perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person, in perfect control of life…
It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony into chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.
This is scary: You can tame a tiger but you can’t tame the tongue – it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!
My friends this can’t go on. A spring doesn’t gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? You’re not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?
Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom – it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whether you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.
Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.
Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.
You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.
You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.
Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?
You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog…Instead make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.” As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil.
Friends, don’t complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner.
Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven – healed inside and out.
Make this a common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with…
– James. I have a feeling he would be hard to hang out with. But good words. And I couldn’t not type them when He showed me this today.
He is jealous for me
Love’s like a hurricane
I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight
of His Wind and Mercy
When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how Beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me!
Oh How He loves us
Oh How He loves us
How He loves us, Oh!
And we are His portion
And He is our Prize
Drawn to Redemption
By the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean
We are all sinking
Heaven meets Earth
Like an Unforseen Kiss
And my heart turns violently
Inside of my chest
And I don’t have time
to maintain these regrets
When I think about…
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
How He loves us, Oh!
So weird. I know this is a lot of posts in one day, but it’s been a big day for us! I was just thinking this this afternoon. So when the boy went to bed, I decided to follow Jen’s links on the previous post about neighborhood kids. If you don’t have time to read it right now, here’s the gist: God is so smart.
So. I just have to tell you what He’s doing. The public schools have teacher in-service today. So all the kids are out hem-hawing around. It’s a gorgeous fall day.
And now we’re “that house.”
The one where all the kids come.
It’s like I knew it was coming. And now it’s here. And I’m okay with that.
There’s lots of reasons why. One is selfish: they tenderly play with Caden and keep an eye on him. The rest are selfish too: I think God is in this. I think He insists on using us wherever we are if we’re available to Him. I think I have no idea what will happen. And I’ll probably get my heart broken and my idealistic ideas smashed. But I’m okay with that too.
On a hunch I asked if they were hungry. They gave me that little kid look. Where the answer is “yes” but they don’t know what to say to an adult. I passed out chips and soup and bananas. And fully comprehended why He’s been teaching me about frugality; it’s not so we can hoard the money we save. It’s so we can afford to give whatever away when it’s obvious that’s what He wants us to do.
And I can’t believe I read this post during all of this:
For all my Myers-Briggs friends out there, I’m pretty sure Shannon is an INFJ. I LOVE INFJs! My real life BFF (as in, yes, we’ve actually met and known each other all our lives) is an INFJ. They’re amazing and rare. She’ll hate that I’m writing this. Hey, K! You need to start a blog. You have so much to teach us. I’ll even pass on all 3 of my readers 🙂
Yet another one of my BFF’s who’s never met me. I love Shannon and her funny, realistic, insightful take on motherhood. I don’t have 3 boys. And I don’t know who reads this blog. And if they have 3 boys. But I’m passing on this post anyway. Cause it made me smile and think about how moms are all in this thing together.
(I should really de-lurk on some of these blogs and just leave a comment for crying in the night!)