"Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do,
and He will show you which path to take."
~~Proverbs 3:5-6~~
I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. Jesus is Lord of my life and I strive daily to draw closer to Him. I love being a homemaker---taking care of my family and home. I enjoy couponing, cleaning, and cooking. I love to get the best deal on everything and find that yard sales and thrift stores are the perfect places for that. I have recently felt lead to write a Bible study and have been working on it in my spare time. I truly enjoy leading women's groups as we all seek to grow closer to the Lord. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy reading about what happens as I strive do all of this.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Saving "Sense" (¢ents)

I shop at Bi-lo with coupons because they double the coupons that are valued up to 60¢.  That means that a 60¢ coupon is worth $1.20.  Bi-Lo is good about having BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) deals.  If I watch the coupons and sales closely, I can get things for free or just pennies.  This is how I save the most.  The other way that we save money is by using the fuel perks that Bi-Lo offers.  For every $50.00 you spend you can save 5¢/gallon on gas up to 20 gallons.  If you let that accumulate over time, you can save a good bit off each gallon.  Since this credit is given based on your total before coupons, you can build it up quickly.
Last night, we needed a few things at the store so I went with my coupons.  I had seen online where they had McCormick Spices and Marinades on sale for BOGOF.  I knew that I had 50¢ coupons which were worth $1.00 when doubled.  They had also advertised that if you bought 4 of the McCormick products, you would earn an extra 10¢/gallon.  I had 6 of the coupons for the products.  Here is how I saved:

8 packets of McCormick Marinade Mix= $9.52 (Regular Price)
BOGOF= $4.76 (Sale Price)
Coupons= 50¢ each(doubled)=$1.00 x 6= $6.00
Final Price= -$1.24 (they paid me)

I already had 25¢/gallon credit
I earned 20¢/gallon credit for purchasing the McCormick Marinade Mixes
Total:  45¢/gallon credit
I purchased 11.5 gallons of gas with credit
Saved: $5.18 

Total savings/earnings:  $6.42 + 8 McCormick seasonings FOR FREE

I hope that this makes sense.  This is just the savings on this one deal.  I got several other deals in my grocery order.  I try to not buy anything unless I have a coupon.  I save the most when there is a good sale and I have coupons.  
My philosophy is that my husband makes the money and I try to make the most of it!  I think it is a VERY biblical concept and I consider it my job since I am a homemaker.  
She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household 
Proverbs 31:14-15

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Working on my Nest

There is something about waking up to cooler temperatures that makes me start feeling like a mother bird working on her nest.  I have a need to clean, organize, plan, straighten, redecorate, etc.  I am not certain what brings these feelings on, but I am almost giddy about the fact that I will soon be able to open windows for fresh cool air.  I am looking forward to being able to enjoy my morning coffee, afternoon reading time, and evening tea on the front porch.  Although yesterdays post was about not longing for something different, I am preparing my home, mind, and heart for something different.  My "nest" will soon feel and look different because I have these needs to clean and rearrange.  My husband says he knows when I sense a change in seasons because when fall is approaching, I play lots of hammered dulcimer music in our home.  I am not certain that is always true, but our home does start smelling like nutmeg, cinnamon, apples, and pumpkin spice.  I will bring out the hot tea and cocoa.  However, before all of that, it is time to toss the things out of the nest that are not needed.  I have a plan in place for the next couple of weeks.  I am going to take one room at a time and clean every drawer and cabinet out.  I will post pictures of my progress and work as motivation for me to continue to strive toward a cleaner more organized nest.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Longing for Something Different

On my 2 mile walk with my neighbor this morning, I was thinking about how it was not as hot as a few weeks ago.  I thought about how thankful I will be when the weather cools off and how miserably hot the summer has been.  As this thought crossed my mind, I thought about how we are never satisfied.  We always want something different than what we have at the time.  Why do we long for something different?  I know that when we are walking one morning in January in three layers of clothes we will talk about how we cannot wait until it is no longer so cold.  We are always longing for something different.  We cannot be satisfied.
All of these thoughts brought to mind:

"...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Philippians 4:11

Contentment is completely possible regardless of our circumstances.  If I am walking in 105° weather or 25°, I can be content.  I can choose to be content.  How?  By learning to be content.  Contentment does not come easy.  It is something we have to learn to do.  I believe the way we learn contentment is to practice speaking in a positive way.  We have to learn to have a better attitude about things and to be appreciative of the present.  We get caught up sometimes in the complaining that we miss the blessings of the moment.  Our complaining, grumbling, and discontentment ruins our witness.  It all starts with our attitude.  I am going to appreciate each day and be grateful for my morning or evening walk....that is my new attitude.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Not Necessarily the Necessary

The last few months have been full to say the least.  Not necessarily full of the necessary...but full.  Instead of catching up on every boring and not so boring detail, I am going to share some lessons I have learned through that time:

  1. I have been working on some extra weight that I put on through a very stressful 2010.  I have learned that the scale does not define me.  Now, we all know that, but this is a big deal because I learned a spiritual lesson.  If every time somebody says something about us (good or bad) we allow it to define us, we forget and disregard the fact that who we are in Christ defines us.  I wake up and face that scale first thing every single morning. We tend to like a scale when it gives us the numbers we want.  We are mad at the scale when it does not tell us what we want to hear.  We are the same person who is standing on the scale either way.  Life is that way too.  Whatever anyone says about us (good or bad) does not have to change or define who we are.  All we can do is keep doing the best we can and hope that others see Jesus in us.
  2. I helped facilitate a Summer Bible Study this year.  Two other ladies and I sat down over lunch and decided what we thought was a random selection of who would lead each week.  I later realized that I was leading the VERY weeks that God had ordained.  We worked through Brave by: Angela Thomas .  I taught one week on being undisciplined and the other on fear.  Wow, it was not random which weeks we would teach.  I learned far more those two weeks as I studied than I would have if I had not been forced to dig deeper and lead it.  So when you start thinking something is random, remember that God is charge of EVERYTHING!
  3. Late July I started experiencing some pain in my mouth.  I thought it was a tooth issue.  I have serious dentistry anxiety (remember....I had just taught on FEAR).  It finally got so intense that I had no other choice than to call my dentist.  As I sat in the chair waiting on him to come in, I had tears flowing.  It was not just the fear but the intense pain that seemed to consume me when it would hit.  He walked in and immediately put my mind at ease.  He checked my teeth and then checked my jaw.  Yep, it was a muscle problem in my jaw due to me clenching my teeth subconsciously during the day and in my sleep at night.  He fit me for a bite guard and I had to wait 2 weeks for it to come in.  By the time I got the bite guard it had been a month since I first started experiencing the pain.  I cannot describe this pain in words.  It was like these intense muscle spasms in my jaw that radiated all over the right side of my face and head.  My ear, my teeth, my lips, my jaw, my forehead, etc would all hurt so terribly.  Some spasms would last a couple of minutes and others would last over an hour. During this month, I learned several things but the biggest lesson....TRUST IN THE LORD!!!  We are all so quick to quote Proverbs 3:5-6 when we are talking to others about their struggles, but I had to quote it over and over to myself.  Fear would set in each time I would have a spasm.  Doubt and fear would take over.  The day that my dentist fit me for the bite guard he said for me to trust him and know that I would get pretty quick relief once it came in.  People would start questioning me and saying things to me that would scare me.  Finally, a very soft spoken lady at church came to me and said that she had suffered with the same thing and the bite guard worked.  So many people kept trying to convince me it was something far worse.  Well, 24 hours after getting my guard adjusted and wearing it for all but one hour, I felt like a new person.  I still have to be careful because it has been less than a week, BUT I am better.  
  4. Finally, I could not attend a meeting about our Fall Bible Study and found out later that I will be facilitating that one.  It is going to be another one that God will use to teach me LOTS of lessons.  It is Lord, Change My Attitude:  Before it is Too Late by: James MacDonald.  Trust me, it is not a coincidence that I am leading this one!  There will probably be LOTS of blog posts on this one.
Bottom line is this, I thought I was just busy busy busy throughout the summer months with very unnecessary things or mundane things, but as I look back God had a lot to teach me through not necessarily the necessary.  
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
   don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
   he's the one who will keep you on track.
Don't assume that you know it all.
Proverbs 3:5-7