Monday, October 16, 2017

Multitude Monday

I find it so difficult to be patient at times.  I want things to move quickly and when they don't, I get discouraged and want to give up.  Or I want to force things to go the way I want.  Yet, God's timing is not always my timing.  And there are lessons to be learned in the waiting. But it's hard. Waiting seems unbearable.

I want instant answers to my prayers.  Instant solutions to my problems.  Instant church growth.  Instant EVERYTHING!  Yet, God seems ploddingly slow at times.  However, I know that just as patience is needed for bread to go through a couple of risings to have that light and airy texture, I too need to have patience as I wait.

Because the Lord knows just what I need.  He works on me as I wait.  I am being shaped and molded into His desire for my life and that comes through these waiting periods.  So even though I don't like them, I choose to be thankful for the wait.

This week I'm thankful for blessings, 3111 - 3120.

3111.  Sewing and crafting have always been two of the things I really enjoy and it was nice to get back behind the sewing machine this past week.

3112.  Bread orders which only earn a few dollars but every little bit helps.

(Cinnamon bread)

3113.  Got on the scales and am down 5 lbs.  Whoo-hoo!

3114.  A date night out with my husband.

3115.  Cooler, fall temperatures are finally here.

3116.  Simple meals that take only a few minutes to make. 

3117.  Going to support a friend at her brother's memorial service.

3118.  Spending an afternoon with another ministry couple.  It was so good to be encouraged and just to have fun conversation and share.

3119.  The beauty of the countryside.

and finally...

3120. Waiting on God's timing.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Frugal Friday

We were watching television last night when a commercial came on for some website where you bid on great deals.  Different people were giving testimonials about how much money they saved, and one of the women said she won 104 auctions in the last month.  I turned to Dan and said, "This is marketing to people who are shopaholics who think they are saving money because they are getting wonderful prices, but the reality is they are still purchasing items they really don't need!"

It's so easy to think we are saving money because we got a great deal on something, but if we are purchasing items that really aren't necessary then we aren't saving at all.  The key is to plug up the spending holes.  If you don't need it, don't buy it!  Easier said than done sometimes, but I generally follow this principle.

Here are some ways I've saved this week:

$ I got my hair cut and colored and again, my hairdresser and I barter.  I do any sewing she has in exchange for this.

$ I mentioned yesterday that I am making do with my stash of fabric for my craft fair tomorrow.  

$ Last night as I was getting ready for bed I received a message from someone for a very large order due on November 9th.  I'll be making 50 tea towels, 25 mug cozies, 15 tea pot cozies and 25 jars of tea jelly for a large craft expo for about 5,000 people.  They will be going into tea baskets being sold there.

$ Paid off a credit card and canceled it.

$ Canceled another credit card and we are in the process of whittling down that debt.

$ I was at the health food store the other day to pick up some items which can be pricey.  The cashier told me that a regular customer leaves gift certificates to be applied to random shoppers' purchases.  I was chosen that day and received $10 off my order.

That's it for this week.  I stay out of the stores as much as possible and that is the major way I save.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Crafty Things

I've been sewing and crafting a bit each day to get ready for my craft fair on Saturday.  It has felt so good to get behind the sewing machine again and create!  I've been determined to not spend any money so I'm using up what I have.  There have been a couple of times when I thought, "I really need to go pick up this color fabric to contrast with that one." but have been fighting down the urge.  Good thing the closest fabric shop is about 35 minutes away! 

Here is what I've done over the past two days.

Note cards (blank on the inside). This is where my quirkiness/artistic side kicks in.  I hate the cards made with Cricuits because to me there is nothing original about them.  I like taking my time and matching different scrapbooking papers, ribbons and doodads together to come up with a beautiful card.

Table runners

Another apron

Today's plan is another apron or two, as well as some pocket tissue cozies.  I have quite a bit of inventory still too so I should have enough to have a full booth on Saturday.  I'd appreciate prayer for good sales!  There is nothing worse than sitting for 6 hours and walk away with the same amount you brought.  

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

There are so many things I hope for, long for and pray for in my life. Some days I feel such overwhelming desire to stop what I'm doing and pray for these things.  Often, they bring me sadness, and yet, there is nothing I can do except keep praying.  

Break my heart, Lord, for what breaks yours.

❤ Praying that people in my life who don't know Jesus would see how much they need Him.  Yet, I can't make them see that and they don't need me preaching at them because they've heard it before.  Only the Holy Spirit can begin the work of drawing them to Him.

Praying that the insanity, pain and suffering in this world would come to an end.  But until sin is eradicated from this world, that will not happen.  But I can make sure that I'm not adding to it with my words and my actions.

❤ Praying that my children would follow God and make wise choices.  That they would be safe, and that they would continually follow God's will for their lives. Because they are adults, I can only speak words of wisdom here or there and leave them in God's hands.

❤ Praying for those in my church family.  I long for them to understand the fullness of knowing Christ and following Him with total abandonment.  But so often distractions get in the way.  They get sidetracked and sidelined and want to give up.  Praying that they would truly begin to know and experience the power of God in their lives.

❤ Praying that for myself as well.  I too can get sidetracked. I can get tired and want to throw up my hands and sit on the sidelines.  However, my desire is to follow Christ wherever that may lead and to do it with a joyful heart.

❤ Praying for the following for each of you today...

Ephesians 3:14-19 (HCSB) ~

For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


It's been extremely warm and humid the past few weeks and feels more like July rather than October.  And to be honest, it makes me think that this is the lull before a very crazy winter!  However, even with the warm weather, I've been in the autumn mood.  The house is decorated for fall.

Soups and stew are on my mind.

 My pantry shelves are decorated with the fruit of my labor.

My sewing machine is humming again.

And I've been sitting down in the evening to work on some crafty creations.

Now that things have settled down with retreat planning and the next few months are quiet, there are a couple of upcoming craft fairs that I decided to participate in.  I still have inventory left over as well as fabric, and we can always use the money, so I'll be doing some sewing and crafting over the next few months.  

This Saturday is an all day fair at a local park.  I don't necessarily like sitting in one spot all day, but thought I'd give it a try, especially since there is no cost to this particular one other than donating a basket of goodies to raffle.  A local farm market, less than a quarter mile down the road, is willing to carry my items too so I'll be putting some things over there for a couple months (they close for the winter).

My days are spent cleaning, baking and cooking, sewing, ministry, and then studying some each day for my licensing interview.  I mentioned before that I'm working on consecration and the first step in that is to meet with a few pastors for provisional licensing and then I have 2-3 years to write five positional doctrinal papers, do reading assignments and study, study, study for my consecration interview.  

However, today's agenda is different.  I'm making some cookies this morning to send back with Emily and then we are off to return her to college until Thanksgiving.  Stephen left yesterday and will be back at Thanksgiving too.  I'm going to miss having them both home. 

These are just some meandering thoughts today.  Have a great day!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Multitude Monday

I recognize that no matter how many times Monday rolls around and I begin the process of looking back over the week and counting my blessings, there is absolutely no way to do that properly.

Because the number of times God's hand is on my life is count- LESS.  There are countless times when God has intervened.  Countless miracles.  Countless blessings in my life.

Each breath I take of every second is a miracle.  The fact that my muscles and tendons and ligaments all work simultaneously together to move me forward is a miracle.  The fact that I opened my eyes and woke up this morning is a miracle.

The very life in my body is an act of God.  Have you ever thought about that?  Have you ever stopped and just said thank you to God for allowing you to wake up this morning?

That is a miracle.  Let's be thankful for all of them.

This week I'm thankful for blessings, 3101 - 3110.

3101. Long walks in the woods.

3102.  Stephen made it home for the long weekend on Wednesday night.  It's good to have him home.

3103.  I went to pick up Emily on Friday by myself.  Driving with my knee is always tricky as it is still healing and keeping it in one position really hurts.  However, I made it the 6 hours round trip with minimal pain.

3104.  Emily is home for the weekend and it has been nice having her here.

3105.  Saturday morning waffles and sausage, which brings back memories.

3106.  Dan officiated at a wedding on Saturday and it was a wonderful reminder of our own love for each other.

3107.  Stephen preached yesterday and it's been neat to see the confidence that is starting to come out in him at each opportunity he gets.

3108.  Being blessed by a random act of kindness yesterday. 

3109.  Nathan struggles with new situations and social situations.  A group of people from work invited him out to dinner the other night and he was stressing about a number of things - how to find the restaurant, walking into a strange place by himself and how to figure the tip, etc.  I am so thankful that he stretched himself and went and had a wonderful time.  I am thankful that his new place of employment has been a positive, uplifting experience.

and finally...

3110.  Countless miracles each day.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Frugal Friday

I recently found a great way to cut grocery costs - have two of your children move out and go to college! lol

Seriously though, our expenses have been down with just three of us at home and the hardest thing I find is learning to make less of whatever meal we are having each night.  After years of making a big batch of whatever I'm having for dinner, it's a trial and error process.  I'm also trying to lose some weight and have been eating differently, so it makes it even more interesting.

As I work to cut expenses and make our dollars stretch, it does carry over into other areas of my life as well.  It doesn't necessarily benefit us financially, but it helps those ministries I'm involved in.  As I put together door prize gifts and speaker gifts for my retreat this past weekend, I was able to pull from my supply of leftovers from my shop, as well as use the pretty gift bags I had leftover.  So 10 door prizes and 6 speaker gifts cost the organization zero dollars.  That normally would have been money they had to spend to purchase those items.  I'm happy to be able to help out in this way because the money not spent is more money that can go towards our missionaries and other expenses.

Some ways that I've personally saved this week:

$ I bought a dress for a wedding that Dan is officiating at this Saturday.  There is a consignment shop in the local mall that has nothing but upscale, name brand dresses and suits.  I was able to find a dress that I liked for $29 that would have been $150 in the department store.

$ Made a wonderful cauliflower soup this week that required a head of roasted cauliflower, 4 cloves of roasted garlic and some chicken broth all blended together. Topped with homemade croutons from leftover bread.  It was delicious and filling and cost about $3.50 for a large pot of soup.

$ Another organizational savings - I had purchased s'more ingredients for campfires we were going to have at our retreat.  However, we ended up canceling the fires because it was raining.  I really wasn't sure if the store would take them back but I thought it didn't hurt to task.  Turns out they took them back and credited our debit card.  So if in doubt - ASK!

$ I cashed in some air mileage points I had for two magazine subscriptions.  They gave you a selection of magazines to choose from and while most of them I had no interest in, I was able to get a year's subscription to two of them - Food & Wine Magazine and Time Magazine.  They weren't necessarily ones that I would purchase, but since it was a free subscription, I took it.

$ Herb preservation.  I cut my sage and oregano and hung it to dry so I'd have some for the winter.  I'm also going to bring in my pot of parsley and rosemary and see if I can keep it going through the winter.  It has basil in the pot too but that looks like it's about had it.  I'll see if I can plant some more in there.

$ We paid off two higher interest bills we had this week with the money we received back from Stephen's tuition.  It didn't lower our debt since we took out the loan for his college bill, but it does get rid of the high interest debt and we can pay off the other faster.

That's about it for the week.  How are you doing in cutting those costs?