Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It lasted until today!

Remember when I did this? It lasted until today. That is over three months of use! It cost me around $1.30 to make. That is a savings of  $31.70. Or, if you break it down by loads, The store bought costs me 10 cents a load and my stuff costs about one and half cents a load!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Beans and Rice and Rice and Beans

We did it. For three days we ate rice and beans. I learned a lot during those three days. I discovered new ways to cook beans. I made my first lentil soup. My horizon was broadened and I realized ways I could cook much cheaper. And just when the kids had complained and cried and said "beans, again?!" almost creating a starvation riot, I set up a beans taste test and they ended up laughing and eating and having so much fun! The spiritual lessons were deeply written in my heart. Discipline, perseverance, staying the course in the midst of complaints and tears, emotions. I felt more that week than I have in a while. I would picture moms cooking for their kids, only having rice and beans and muttering words of thanks that they would get to eat that day, moms holding their starving kids while they wondered if they would make it through the time of hardship, and babies crying because they have no food. It makes our hard times seem not really hard at all.
But... I felt like we cheated. There were a few pieces of fruit around the house, I still had the luxury of coffee every day (and my mom even dropped off some special cream), we went out to celebrate my daughter's birthday, I added special things like onions and carrots and garlic to the soups, and we did make cookies one day for a friend. Even though the kids might have thought they were going to, no one starved. There was an abundance of food.
We grasped the reality of how many people in the World eat so much simpler than we do. In the rest of the world, they would not even think about waisting a single bite of their beans. They do not have luxuries like carrots, onions, and garlic, much less fruit, cookies and cream for coffee. There are still thousands upon thousands that die each day from hunger.
We prayed. I know those prayers sounded so much sweeter when coming from a place of deeper understanding.
And an idea was born. I want my girls to experience serving at a deeper level. We are praying for a family mission trip to go on.
Now that Thanksgiving is upon us, I will think and thank a little differently this year.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Two aisles and a bag of carrots

Two aisles and a bag of carrots.
That was my grocery shopping trip. As I walked down those two aisles, I realized how much food we have access to. It is everywhere! Just those two aisles probably hold more food than some people around the world see in a year. As I was looking at all the food and how much I have taken it for granted, tears were welling up in my eyes. I wonder if I was the only one crying for the world in the grocery store that day. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and this year, being thankful will take on a whole new meaning.

Total spent for 3 days:

I think I'll put the money we save these three days in a jar to start our mission trip fund. What mission trip fund? Ummm... That's the cool part! We don't have any idea... just something to pray about during this time of fasting!

Our church played parts of this video at church.
It is what started the tears flowing.
Leave me a comment telling me what part touched you the most.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Celebrate the Nations

Part of our homeschooling has been reading about other people groups. It has been eye-opening and I realize how little I know of the World.

In church today we talked about missions. Two facts stuck with me:
Over half of the world lives on less than $2 a day.
30,000 people a day die from hunger.

In Sunday School (we teach 2nd grade), the kids told me some of their favorite foods and we figured out how much they eat a day and approximately what it would cost. $7 - $14 was what we came up with.

Our church is challenging us to have a rice and beans fast until church Wednesday night.

Later this week, the sermon will be posted here:

Only rice and beans for 3 days??? This idea is not going over too well with the kids... I'm kinda excited. Anyone know any good recipes?
I'll update how we are doing!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

One-winged Butterfly

"For a useful analogy in nature, consider the caterpillar that is “faking” being a butterfly, in order to look good or overcome feelings of self-contempt, shame, or ugliness, and which looks on other caterpillars with harsh judgment, if not disdain, and a desperate need to accelerate their “fixing.” And consider that a butterfly that is genuinely being itself looks on caterpillars with joyful expectancy, knowing that they are all “becoming” butterflies, that nothing is missing, and that the timing of their becoming is in God’s hands. The butterfly looks back on its caterpillar days with thankfulness, understanding its necessity, loving having been a caterpillar as well as being a butterfly. But the caterpillar often is discontent with its condition, wishing to rush its “ascendancy,” thereby stalling and delaying itself." -Jim Spivey

I am in a strange place, some areas of my life I'm living in butterfly mode and some areas I am stuck as a caterpillar. Maybe as a one-winged butterfly?

The past week has been a hard one. A week where I came to the end of myself. And found God there waiting. Ready to take over and clean up the mess. And just when I think I am empty of myself, a new trial comes that lands me flat out again. I see that I have not emptied all that I am, that I have yet again gotten in the way of myself. The caterpillar rears her head and begins to judge. It is easier to guess at what people think and judge them than it is to really communicate with them and love them. More hurts coming out. More realizations. More truths. It is a painful, growing process.

To really be able to love others, we have to first embrace God's love for us, love ourselves, and then love others... not caring if we are loved back.

I have not been loving.

It is a scary thing to walk out into the world and give love... without the guarantee of being loved back.

But if I ever want to grow that wing, it is only through taking the risk of loving and letting go of the judging.

Hello world... I'm ready to fly! (with both wings)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I know I've been quiet for awhile...

and it's not because I haven't had anything to say. It's because I've had so much to say. But I was standing in my own way of saying it. I think I'm ready now.

"Why now?" you ask.

Good question.

Last week was rough. I came to the end of myself. I've had enough of doing all this by myself. So I stopped and stepped to the side. I emptied myself and let God move.

Awwww... That sounds so pretty. Do you hear the soft music playing?

Trust me, it was anything but pretty.

Except to Jesus.
and me.

So I'm coming back.
A bit more real this time.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I made my own laundry detergent!

Thanks, sis, for this recipe! Here is a link to a tip that can save you LOTS of money. I can not believe how LONG this batch lasted me. I've been using the same batch since the summer. This time, I will document exactly how long it lasts.