Cheerful Frugality

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In these days with so many losing their jobs I think we all think more frugally. Ladies, I know for some it is a hard thing to do and not complain. Some of you have not been forced to make changes yet, at least not to any big degree, but why wait?

For us, my husband had to change jobs that resulted in over $100 less per week pay. Until the January he was able to make some of it up with some overtime and we could also make a bit of it with my cleaning job. First, his overtime was cut and then they cut the extra’s on my cleaning job. This has left us hurting.

When the handwriting was on the wall that the US was going to have a real turn in the economy and things began shaping up for a set back I began to make more changes in our budget.

Right here I would like to say that attitude makes a big difference. Your husband feels bad enough about things when he loses his job, or takes a cut. Or you, if you are the one bringing in the income. Don’t complain and make things worse. Make the changes silently and with a smile.

What changes?

  • Think waste not. I try to have as little waste as I can. Now, I am not one to waste to begin with, but I checked to see where I was wasting, how I can use things for another purpose and can something that really will not make another meal be used for part of my dog food. (yes, that helps cut down the food you need to buy)
  • Make from scratch. I am not a box person, or a ready made meal person, but there are some things that I would buy. HOWEVER, sometimes the box will work and the price will be less. For instance, mashed potatoes. The price of potatoes here went up and the packaged was on sale. I made potato soup with some boxed and a few fresh thrown in.
  • Toilet paper rolls. Yes, those brown cardboard things inside your toilet paper or paper towels.  They work well to make small pots to start your garden seeds in. Save them up, the collect fast.  pack together in a tray, meat tray or something, fill with dirt and put in your seeds. Planting time you just stick them in the ground and they fall apart. Green, cheap and works!
  • Craigslist and Freecycle. I have freecycled for some time, and have done the craigslist before too. However, I do not always think of it. Now I do. We needed to get a buck for our goats. I found one on Craigslist for free and he is a sweet (but stinky as all bucks are) goat. BE CAREFUL! But, free is good and many things can be found for nothing.

This is just a handful of ideas, I am sure you have more and I would love for you to share them with me also. I do want to stress again, attitude. Be cheerful and build up your husband as well. We are all going through a lot as a nation and need to stick together and get through.

For more ideas on being frugal check out Life as a Mom for the Frugal Friday edition.

Today I Have Been Thinking

I do not know how many of you have been widowed and then remarried, but I have. I know how important it is to have a husband who is so secure in your love that he does not mind you talking about your first marriage. I have such a husband. He even encouraged me to have a picture of Willie up and never minds me talking or sharing things from my past.

Today I was thinking about how blessed I have been. Not that it has not come with some bittersweet parts, but I have been blessed with two wonderful husbands. As I thought on this my mind drifted to the fact that this August will be 10 years since the death of my first husband. The last few days I have been thinking on this for some reason.

My first husband was a pastor who studied from the Greek and Hebrew to prepare his sermons and really preached the Word. I miss that so much. Today’s pastor’s preach a watered down Word. Even though he was so strong on preaching the Word accurately  he also loved humor. Today I want to share with you two of his favorites.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0KHt8xrQkk[/youtube]

And the second one:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sShMA85pv8M[/youtube]

I realize these will take some time, watch when you can. Relax and enjoy!

Thanks for letting me share!

Where is your beauty?

Today I was reading some in the Proverbs. I find so much for life in there and every so often take a month and just read a Proverb a day. There are reminders, promises, admonitions as well as life lessons and humor.

While reading today I came across this verse:

As a gold ring in a swine’s snout, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion. Proverbs 11:22

Now, imagine a gold ring in a pigs nose. Think about it. A wallowing in the mud, snorting pig. Does it make that mud caked smelly pig look any better? Does it hide all the dirt?

Now, think of a beautiful woman. We all know many of them, or have known of them. How many of them are so beautiful outside, but what are they inside?

Many of us grew up trying to make the outside better and found we could only go so far. The world has made us feel like we are lesser, unwanted, lower than the pretty ones out there. So many of us believed what was said, believed we were inferior and even as adults and out of that teen age we still have that stuck in our heads somewhere.

While it is not wrong to work on looking out best, we need to worry more about our inside beauty. I have met some very beautiful woman who were the nastiest  people inside. I have met some very beautiful woman who used that beauty to lure men into wrong relationships.

Are you working on your discretion?  Do you know right from wrong? How to manage your home? How to bite your tongue? Use your words wisely? Love your husband? Your children? What kind of mommy do you become when your kids disobey? Or what kind of wife when you and your hubby disagree?  Are you controlling or can you compromise, work thing out and keep calm?

Let’s work on our inner beauty and discretion. Do what we can, within reason, on the outside, but make that inside  beautiful. Proverbs 31:30 says

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

Do we want the praise of our Lord as well as our husband and children or the oogling of the men out there and the jealousy of other women?

Uncertainty

How do you handle uncertainty? Worry? Fall apart? Get grouchy? Clean? Eat? Shop?

With the world as it is and all the financial mess in the economy today it is hard not to feel all the stress and concern.  As women we tend to let it get to us. Not that a man doesn’t, but we are more emotional as a whole and tend to react outward.

In my younger days I would react as above… well not the shopping, we never had the money, and the cleaning… well, with 5 kids at home that was just more stress. I mean, why clean and make it nice when they would just mess it up in no time flat? Stressed me out thinking of it! If I should do the cleaning I would get very grumpy and yell if they even tried to be kids and make a mess.

As I aged the stress took on different avenues with me. I lived with the uncertainty of when the illness my first husband had would finally take his like. For 4 years we knew he could go at any time, yet we had to live as normally as possible. I carried much of his load so he could keep going. I learned a lot those years. I became more patient, asking myself if an issue was worth blowing up over and having a heart attack. Most times it was not, so it was forgotten.

I think my biggest lesson for life came after his death. I was always a stay at home mom, worked on the side with selling ceramics, sewing, helping out with odd jobs etc. Brought in money to help with Christmas etc, but otherwise I stayed home and worked on ways to save money by doing things myself, cooking from scratch and raising the family.

My husband was a pastor, so my life was around helping with church and the family, not outside work.  Our home was a parsonage, belonged to the church and came with the job. No pastor, no job, no money, no home, no life insurance because of a problem that is a long story etc.

I had no choice but to depend on God. I learned my dependency had to be on HIM.

Now, almost 10 years after my first husband’s death I am having to fall back on those lessons. My husband went to work this morning as usual. It is Thursday. Thursday has been D-day at the plant where he works. If you get called in to the supervisor around noon, you know your job is done. It has been layoff day for a number of weeks, they know another one is today. With so few left at the plant, you know that by numbers the chances are not good.

I am sitting here at 5:45 AM, wondering. I am reminding myself that my dependency is on HIM, not the plant. He knows that all our bills are needing to be paid. He knows that things were messed up in the past and the past needs to be paid as well. HE knows we left the job at the church Rick worked at because of apostasy in the church that we could not be a part of and that this job at the plant was much less money than he was getting at the church, so we have been struggling. HE KNOWS!

Even though I want to fall apart with worry, I keep reminding myself that HE KNOWS and sing Rich Mullins song “Hold ME Jesus” to myself a lot. I am shaking like a leaf, but I know HE KNOWS and my dependency is on HIM.

Ladies, I do not know how many of you have gone through this or are going through it, but we need to trust HIM. IF my husband comes home around noon, I need to be a strength to him, not a falling apart wife. He will be saying “It will be all right” but inside I know he will be feeling the uncertainty of the future also.

Pray for our husbands, even now, that what this day brings they will be able to depend on HIM. As we pray for them, we will be strengthened as well.