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Archive for the ‘money’ Category

For our recent 12th anniversary, our two daughters bought us this statuette.

WIN_20160313_153519

You know, it was rather expensive…. I wouldn’t have spent the money on it myself. And, when the girls bought it, I almost stopped them.

I mean, really. It’s a statuette. A piece of ceramic or whatever it’s made of. And it’s pricey.

But, I stopped myself from stopping them. And I thought, you know, how wonderful that they want to spend a lot of money on their mom and dad who love them and love each other. It DOES COST A LOT to have that. It might not necessarily be a monetary cost, but it’s an even greater cost, a deeply personal cost.

And I think it’s OK that we sometimes spend a lot of money on what really has a lot of value.

It reminds me of spending over a thousand dollars to fly to the States and stay there for a week during my pastor’s retirement service. I wanted to see all the old staff, be a part of honoring a godly man in my life, and it cost money! But it was spending money on what is of real value to me.

At our family group, ladies were talking about how hard it was for them to accept flower bouquets from their husbands– because it really seems like spending money on something frivolous. Flowers quickly pass away. But we can look beyond, and see that it’s really spending money on something you really value– your love and commitment to each other.

We can’t always spend money on these things, but they are wonderful things to spend money on 🙂

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I have extremely conflicted feelings about home schooling, but that is another story.

We finish a 9-week unit this week and next, and one extra thing we’ve been doing is this book about money. It’s nice when you providentially stumble upon something that is just right–right age, well-liked, etc. And that was this.

DSCN6141It’s a Crown Ministries book.

12 lessons–a story for kids and the lessons are thematically interwoven. Giving, saving, honesty, debt, stewardship, etc.

DSCN6142We read short passages of Scripture and answered questions.

DSCN6143Thought about how they would give, save, and spend.

DSCN6144The girls mostly give their money away because they don’t really see that they need anything at this point in life. In the tithe chapter, they couldn’t believe that they should give only one dime out of ten–that is way too little. … So I decided not to try to convince them otherwise.

And we wrote out a short prayer at the end of each lesson.

DSCN6145Tonight the girls were really chatty as we did lessons, and wow, did I learn an earful–confessions of a few times they’d lied. And we talked about friends, and they understood why one past friend had not been a good influence.

In the chapter about salvation, we talked about some important things, and the girls both said they’ve prayed to believe–I actually had prayed with Skyla a few nights back. We’ll see how the Lord continues to lead them.

This little book didn’t look so interesting to me initially–I just picked it up for free somewhere! But I’m so glad we did it.

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Two wonderful things happened that were just God-straight-to-me kind of things.

So, August 18 rolls around, and I don’t know how we’re going to get through the month without running every little pot of savings into the ground. Still half the month left.

So I mull about this. I have some clients who haven’t paid me yet but will when I get to them … So I think, well, God, maybe that’s it, this is how You’ll provide for us. So when should I plan to go see them?

And God, well, you know how God can just let you know things. And I knew I was not to push that plan and wait and pray and just not worry about it. But I certainly saw no other options for provision in sight.

DSCN5616 DSCN5612My friend pictured here is on deputation to be a missionary here and she came for a month’s visit, and she so wondrously made time to stay with us for a few days. She literally was my arms and legs, while I was holding a teething, sick, fussy baby. She washed tons of dishes and fruits, cut apples, cleaned grapes, cleaned the house, home schooled the girls, babysat, drank coffee with me, you name it.

I saw her off on the train tonight. She slips a card in my hand at the last second. So I open it later, and she has stashed 200 dollars there!

DSCN5634oh my word. Thank You, God. He is so wonderfully personal.

Then, talk about being personal and specific, I’ve been wanting a world map. We have a placemat-sized one somewhere that I can’t find. And I wanted something a little bigger. Priced them upstairs in the mall at the bookstore, but 25 dollars is an awful lot for a map.

So …. so so so. I’m at my friend Tulipgirl’s house today. Not only does she load me up with great books, is buying more that I need for home school, gave me things for the center and boxes for packing,  … she is giving me an ENORMOUS world map!

oh my word.

what more can I say? I need to end this post somehow.

Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.  It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
(Psa 127:1-2 NAS)

I feel as though God has given to me “in my sleep.”

P.S. Josie’s comment reminded me of another incident I wanted to share. My missionary friends provided several loaner dresses for Skyla and Vika to be flower girls in the wedding a few weekends ago:

DSCN5288

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moolah experiment

Vitaliy and I are doing an experiment about trying to save as much money as we really can (without going crazy), and he’s really helping me adjust to not relying on certain money-spending activities I am used to.

Like going out for a coffee so I can sit for a few hours and read almost every day. In Ukraine, this costs about $1-$2, which still adds up, but here it costs $4-$8. So instead of going out, he has me go upstairs with my books and tea and he’ll guard the stairway so the girls don’t come and talk to me for a while, and I read my Bible, write letters, etc.

It’s great for family time, too. We went down to Coolidge Park that has water fountains that kids play in and dinged around there and only spent $1.75 on parking.

It’s working. We’re trying to cut corners in other ways, too. Like we went to the indoor flea market where they sell outdated foods, and bought stuff there. And he shows me other little ways to save here and there. God is helping us because  a man at the church we were at last night gave us a bunch of free meals at his fast food restaurant, and my friend gave us a gift card for gas.

Anyway, we’re trying this for a while to see if we can handle it emotionally (ok, that’s me; it’s like N.O. buying out almost entirely), and I’m actually enjoying it, like seeing how things I wanted I once filled by spending money, now filling them some other way that doesn’t require spending money.

It’s very stretching 🙂

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