25 out of 50 things I’m thankful for

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I’ve always known how to have fun on my birthday! 

Tomorrow is a big day for me. I used to think 50 year old people were old. Now I think they are, well, they are…me as of January 27. 


Here is half of the 50 things I’m thankful for. 

Class of 2016 = woot

1. My middle OS has been accepted to Moody Bible Institute!
2. This means I will have a semi-regular pizza delivery boy! 
3. I had a wonderful experience speaking to a local MOPS group and I want to do it again! 
4. My topic was “Raising Mighty Oliveshoots” and I’m sensing the Lord is creating something. 
5. My oldest OS has done so well as West Point that he will be getting his first choice for his post and unit. This means that Nate will probably be going to Fort Carson in Colorado. I suggested “Fort” Cary (we live in Cary!) but he seemed disinterested. No worries though!
6. My orange hair, freckle face OS’s basketball team is currently in first place and his back pain is subsiding.

Few moments are as epic as when you
and your OS get to meet Mary Jo!

7. I’m going to MaryJo’s Cloth Store in Gastonia on Saturday with friends. Ignite endorphin levels!
8. I soaked some almonds overnight in water and evaporated cane juice. I drained the water and just before putting them into the dehydrator, I sprinkled cinnamon on them. They taste GOOD! 

I’m having a bibimbap birthday! 

9. We are having a Korean exchange student stay with us for the weekend and she is going to teach me how to make bibimbap
10. We’re also going to be serving squash pancakes and green onion pancakes. This should be interesting!
11. My six year old nephew Jon aka Goo, told me he has drawn me a picture for my birthday. I can’t wait to see it!
12. My aunt and uncle from Chicago sent me two birthday pizzas. I have them safely hidden in the freezer, only the Hubs seems to know. I do not want to share. Does that make me a bad person??? Do not tell a soul. 
13. I’m reading my seventh book since Christmas. Shablam! Current read – Saving Leonardo. Here’s a great quote “One of the greatest injustice we do our young people is to ask them to be conservative. Christianity is not conservative, but revolutionary…We must teach them to be revolutionaries, revolutionaries against the status quo.” Click to read this review that compelled me to buy this for my Kindle Fire. 
14. It struck me last night as I was sitting with my monthly writing friends, how immensely blessed I am with a diversity of friendships culled from many parts of my life. 
15. My house is neither immaculate nor filthy, right now as I type this, it’s right in the middle. 
16. I love my weekly Bible Study and the women I share life with. As I look around the table, I admire their strength, beauty and stories about leading redeemed lives. 

Bible Study just before the Army/Navy game!
Had to bring Nate!

17. My stepfather said he would go with me for my colonoscopy! I don’t have one scheduled but since I took him to his, he said he would accompany me on mine! 

18. I just finished reading a book about a vacuum cleaner and it made me cry. I thought about the stories my family’s appliances could tell.
19. When I told my mom that sometimes her birthday cards to me are so sappy, I could become diabetic, she didn’t get offended. She laughed and scoffed. We had fun! 
20. Loves it when the pastor speaks a sermon custom made for our family! 
21. And REALLY loves it when we apply the sermon to daily life!
22. So blessed to have a praying family. We rallied around one of our OS this weekend and prayed with and for him one night. I want to leave this kind of legacy.
23. Realized that I along with the Hubs are raising a first generation Christian family. I didn’t see that modeled in my own family and we’re super imperfect but still, we’re doing it!

A recent creation I made

24. My sewing machines and I are getting along. We are enjoying our time together.
25. I made a dinner this week for a teacher who has cancer. I wasn’t sure what to make and brought sesame seed crusted salmon, wilted spinach with a white wine sauce and quinoa pepper salad. She said her favorite thing to eat was fish! I didn’t know that! 


On the eve of a big day, it makes sense to have some jollity. Life is a gift. I’d love to hear from you, any of these 25 jump out at you?

Treats for the Troops

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I’m often amused when my extended family extols my baking abilities. Aside from the epic fail of kale cake (which will go down in infamy as the most horrible dessert any human has ever created), my mother lavishes praises on my desserts.  My typical response to her exclamations is to casually tell her that the reason I bake so well is this…I’m literate. I can read a recipe, it’s really that simple.


See below for detailed pics of my family’s reaction to the kale cake!

Disclaimer: These pictures are not
representative of my baking abilities, I assure you.
 

Considering how I was loathe to all things domestic prior to my spiritual conversion to Christianity, it is quite wonderful that I enjoy spending time in the kitchen. It is not drudgery or “beneath” me as I thought previously. My heart is stirred into my sugary creations, especially if the treats are going to someone I care about.

Yummers!

Which is why it is a special privilege for me to be involved in West Point Moms Bake. Each month a group of over 130 West Point moms ship baked goods to deployed servicemen and servicewomen overseas. The excitement is contagious as my fellow WP moms (thanks to a private facebook group designed just for us) detail the thoughtful items and care they put into crafting each package. About ten of us moms are given the name and address of one of our heroes and we send a “boodle box” to that Soldier. This means that several packages of home baked treats arrive around the same time allowing these men and women to share the goodies with their unit. Many times my West Point mama friends humble me with their creativity and effort. Despite having busy lives of their own, the ladies of West Point Moms Bake still find time to bake delicious treats AND include other conveniences of home to their assigned Soldier. 

Nate at West Point during our
mother/son weekend last year.  

I don’t want to think about this but soon the day will arrive when my oldest OS is on that list. Upon his graduation from West Point and subsequent training, I must accept that my boy will probably be deployed. Knowing Nate, with his sweet tooth and tender heart, it will mean so much to him to think that others appreciate his service to our country. He will enjoy getting boodle from us but to get treats from others who don’t even know him personally will surely encourage him along the way.


In a recent package to my assigned hero, I made tasty and healthy treats for him and included a picture of our family. The Hubs, the middle OS and the orange hair, freckle face OS wrote him individual notes and it was OUR privilege to reach out and offer our support. 

Frequently members of West Point Moms Bake will hear back from their Soldiers. They are so appreciative and thankful. We love to share pictures and stories with each other and hear how our packages have lifted spirits. To date, over 500 packages have been sent since September! 


If you know of a deployed Soldier and like this idea, please leave me a message and we’ll put that person on our list. If you include a comment on my blog or would rather email me at sewprettyaprons@gmail.com, I’ll forward your information to my contact person and we’ll make it happen. One more thing, don’t worry, I promise I won’t send kale cake! 🙂

How to mess up a good batch of brownies

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Since writing this story 11 years ago, I have experienced plenty of culinary catastrophes and victories. I believe my venture into dessert experimentation began with the brownies made with a special ingredient (not THAT ingredient, btw!)

Yes, I actually wore this to the grocery store one day…

Lest you think that my boys dance and prance for all of my delectable meals, I should set the record straight. One memorable moment stands out as a reminder that, perhaps, I should just stick with simple spaghetti if I wish to earn their favor.


After several months of annoying body aches and pains, a friend suggested I start taking vitamins and some organic, unrefined oils to aid in my overall health. I was interested in getting myself back into better shape. I liked the results of these vitamins and the time came when I needed to re-order.

While looking through the mail order catalog for the produce, I was delighted to find another product any good mother would want to give her children. I found the children’s version of these oil pills I had been taking. I carefully read the description and without hesitation placed my order.


Soon the small box arrived at our doorstep, just before my two oldest OS arrived home from school. My freshly baked brownies were cooling on the kitchen counter. I looked at the colorful bottle.  Darling little jungle animals and bold lettering made the label seem so appealing. The scrumptious butterscotch flavor described said it was delicious over desserts. I swept into action and a secret plan started cooking in my head. 


Nate and Aaron bounded up the street and took their usual places around the kitchen table, awaiting their afternoon snack. I told them about the yummy brownies and they were practically salivating with anticipation! 

Can you say yum? Can you say yuck?

Carefully, I cut each of my three sons a square of warm brownie. Then I added the elusive ingredient. I diverted their attention and poured a few thick teaspoons of this oil on top of their brownies. 


The oil sat that on the brownies for a moment, almost as if it were saying, “Are you SURE you want to do this?” but then it seeped into the dark chocolate.


They’d never know I had added some health food to the middle of this treat. Aha! Mission accomplished!


I presented each boy with his own plate. It was Nate, age nine, the most discerning of the three, who asked me, “Mom, what’s that on the brownies?” I escaped answering the question and encouraged him to dig in. 


The bite had barely entered his mouth when he grimaced and contorted. He held the moist brownie bits on the curl of his tongue, hoping not to swallow any and cried, “Ugh, Mom, these are sick! What did you do? They taste terrible!”

flax seed not in oil form!



I tried not to laugh and despite me encouraging him to try another bite (he was almost gagging from the first one), he quickly declined. Seeing their big brother so grossed out, the other boys suddenly lost interest in their snack. They scrambled from the table before I could torture them, as I had their brother.

I wanted to be the best mom in the world with a homemade snack and health food all rolled up into one great afternoon treat. While the taste of that nasty brownie concoction will hopefully fade from my son’s mind and palate one day, I take solace in knowing that he’ll probably growing up remembering one thing, that his mom made a mean plate of spaghetti!

“I shall never forget that day my mom almost poisoned
us with those horrible brownies. Wow.”

We mothers can rest assured that although we may not be remembered for all of the grand meals we made, it’s the everyday, commonplace love that is never forgotten. I bite down on my mother’s tender, tasty sandwich and my sons devour their mother’s slippery noodles and we feel loved once again.


How about you? Any tricks you’ve tried that were less than successful? 

Wednesday remix – magic sandwich

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This story was originally published in Heartwarmers of Love. The book now sells for less than $2 on Amazon but who cares? I wrote the story ten years ago in honor of the creator of the finest ham sandwiches – mi madre. 

This book did NOT make the best seller list, I think
I might have been the only one who bought it! No problem!

To the simple observer, it may look like two pieces of bread, a tomato and a couple slabs of lunch meat. But to me, sandwiches made by my mother are a masterpiece, almost suitable for framing.

Note the craftmanship

From the time I can remember, I’ve always loved my mom’s sandwiches. When I was a little girl, the only one who could create the ideal ham sandwich was my mommy. I’ve eaten in fancy restaurants, lived overseas and traveled extensively. It’s been proven. The whole world over, there isn’t anybody in this solar system who can make a ham sandwich better than my mom.


Still now, 20 years later, whenever I’m at my mom’s house, if she’s feeling up to it and I’ve timed it just right, she’ll make me a sandwich. We’ll go to the grocery store and I’ll observe her buying the sliced ham. She selects a juicy tomato and scours over the hard rolls searching for the finest one. I’m in awe. How does she magically buy the most delicious, succulent and perfect? They all look the same to me. But never fail, my mom always gets the best!


Back at her house, she nimbly cuts the bread, slices the ripe, red tomato at exactly the right place and delicately places the meat in between. She intuitively adjusts the seasonings, carefully calculates the precise amount of salt and pepper I desire. Masterfully she puts the sandwich together and serves it to me and behold, I am in the presence of culinary greatness.


Had I stood right beside her and done exactly the same steps, I would be able to tell which sandwich my mother made and which was the impostor sandwich. Try as I might, I just can’t make a sandwich like my mom.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who can make this…

Thankfully, part of the genetic code has been passed on to me. As a mother of three sons, I have developed my own speciality. As basic as a mere sandwich may seem, my children have found an even easier food that only their mom can make perfectly – spaghetti. Not the fancy, robust Italian sauce passed down from generations. We’re talking plain spaghetti noodles – the kind you put in boiling water! 


For my boys, it appears that I have been anointed by God to make the world’s best cooked pasta. Mention a spaghetti dinner and the boys dance and prance, it’s a veritable explosion of compliments flying from their lips. 


But there is a caveat to this story. Not all meals reach that high standard of perfection…

My droid alter ego

in my next post, I’ll tell you about some brownies that will live in infamy and I mean that in a bad way!

Friday, it’s Friday

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Soon, very soon, I will be singing this song.

Oh, how I have been counting the hours until Friday…you have no idea.

Since taking Financial Peace University, I have been learning things about money and myself. Sometimes I’m just learning about money. Other lessons pierce my heart. Usually both happen, I feel smarter about financial decisions and more convicted about my own spending habits. 

Oh yeah

With this new system of budgeting, we have an allotted amount of money for things. When the money is gone, it’s gone. I have never lived this way and it’s a struggle. Denying oneself of the things SHE wants or needs is my Achilles heel. I want what I want when I want it, especially when it comes to food. I’m do not have an eating disorder, we are all within normal weight guidelines but food is my weakness. I like to cook, I REALLY like creating healthy meals. What is wrong with that???

Working in a soup kitchen in a poor village in Peru

Um, I can answer that question. When you spend too much money on groceries and you throw away food, that is a problem. When you have gone to third-world countries and really seen hungry people, trust me, pangs of shame pervade your spirit. I have despaired over my wastefulness and lack of culinary creativity. I have felt embarrassed bringing in bags of groceries when the refrigerator was already full. It’s like I’m never satisfied and I really beat myself up afterward. 

My fridge and freezer are emptier than they’ve been in ages. 

I’ve always been able to justify my food spending. I don’t wear lavish clothing, I’ve had a manicure maybe twice in my life, we don’t live in a mansion. My indulgence is food. The Hubs knew better than to question GROCERIES! Hrmph! Did he want us eating JUNK? Did he want us to starve? Just keepin’ it real.

But the Lord is doing a new thing and when the money for groceries ran out this week, I didn’t run out to the store or farmer’s market. What a battle with my flesh to not go and get some food staples! Instead we have been surviving on what we have in our cupboards, freezer and fridge. No one is starving. No one is deprived. I live with a sweet and generous husband who isn’t a tyrant. If I wanted to go to the store and buy bananas, asparagus, flour, quinoa, sweet potatoes, firm tofu, carrots, kiwi, agave nectar, applesauce, butternut squash, rice milk, mozzarella cheese, onions, lettuce, cinnamon, milk, kale, aluminum foil, pineapples, wakame seaweed, etc., etc. (can you notice the zeal with which I wrote this list???)  I could have done that. 

It’s obvious Dawn dishwashing liquid is DEFINITELY on my list!

But this has been between the Lord and me. Not the Hubs and I. And oh how I have valued being in contact with like-minded women via blogs like Lizzie, and Mary and Jenn and Julia along with facebook, phone and just regular fellowship. YOU have blessed me and fed me in ways the food couldn’t. Thank you. 

I have about a tablespoon of gas in my car. Not complaining, just waiting until FRIDAY!!!!

God has been telling me to hang on until Friday. And with great confidence, He’s promised me that this isn’t going to be an April Fool’s Day joke with Him. He has been saying, “Girl, I got you. I am providing. Let me do this.”

I believe every word of this apron I made.

I’m still going to write my “obituary” but I just had to share. Can you relate? 

Dehydrating the days away

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I hesitate to even write this post lest some of you become envious of my exciting life.

Going hither and yon as I do, one minute I’m dropping a cylinder of salt on someone’s head at Trader Joe’s, the next I’m waiting for my stepfather to finish his colonoscopy.  Oh, the thrilling pace of my life!

So if you must, depart from this post immediately. I will understand.

But yesterday was a Red Letter, adrenaline pumping day for me because…

I became a food dehydrator owner!

About an hour after establishing a location for my new toy, two bunches of bananas were sliced, spritzed with lemon juice and ready to christen my Excalibur Model 3926T. Btw, the “T” stands for the 26, yes, 26 hour timer, an outstanding feature, if I do say so myself. 🙂

Now my first batch of dried bananas sit in the pantry. They look and sound like wooden nickels but taste much better. My orange hair, freckle face OS isn’t completely enamoured with them but I’m not giving up. I’m going to make this work in my family. My OS and the Hubs will appreciate my efforts at conservation and nutrition or face my wrath.

My new appliance murmurs away the kitchen and today, the trays are loaded with apple slices, strawberries and carrots. The apples were going to spoil soon, it is pleasing to put them to good use and not be wasteful. Don’t you admire people that can put things together simply? They use everything and don’t squander the smallest morsel. They also don’t hoard and that to me, seems to be a challenge. I want to be the kind of woman who is a faithful steward of the things she is given yet I also desire a clutter-free, welcoming home. Striking the right balance requires skill.

As silly as getting a new food dehydrator may sound to some, trivial though it might be to a person who pities the stay-at-home mom for the supposed drudgery of her life, I am thrilled with my new purchase. The thought of caring for my family, feeding them healthy things and learning new homemaking techniques brings me contentment.

According to Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook, why in no time, I will be making Backpacker Tuna a la King and Fancy Tomato Leather Chips. Yes, my OS’s lunch bags will be filled with beet leather and homemade crackers and friends shall crowd around them begging for a mere taste of these delicacies! My West Point OS will plead and beg for boodle loaded with Backpacker Fancy Macaroni and Cheese or pineapple sliced seasoned with cardamom. I can see it now!

While reading the recipes to Ike, I prophesied a future father/son camping trip complete with Backpacker Rice Balls Wrapped in Nori and kayaking adventures energized thanks to Tom’s Red Wine-Marinated Dried Fish. My comments were met with an impish grin and rolling of the eyes.

Ain’t she a beauty?
Um, maybe this isn’t the right technique???
Bananas full of hydration – not for long, you guys!
A not so wonderful reaction to braised daikon radishes
This is the expression I anticipate in the future from my orange hair, freckle face OS!
I’ll be sure to capture their noteworthy reactions as my dehydrating repertoire continues! Let the drying begin!

The soul of MY soup

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“To possess a cook who makes perfect soups is to possess a jewel of great price. 
A woman who cannot make soup 
should not be allowed to marry.”

P. Mortan Shand, A Book of Food, 1928



Um, that seems a little harsh but when the going gets tough, I do what most women do…


I make vegetable broth. 

This is some serious broth action


As a foodie and mama of three OS, it’s my attempt, I guess, to put things together and make something good. Into the kettle, I put celery, scallions, garlic, half a red onion, a tomato and two cooked potatoes that were lounging in the refrigerator doing nothing. I then threw in some radish leaves, carrots, a stalk of frozen corn I bought in the summer at the farmers’ market. Half a red pepper, a handful of frozen leeks, kosher salt, bay leaf and spices bubble and mix with the other ingredients. The amber broth is flavorful. I have a sick child upstairs, I feel so confused. But this homemade broth imbues a sense of peace and accomplishment within me.

Dramatic, slightly forced vegetable broth smile



In some ways, I think this is like the Scripture found in

Romans 8:28 (English Standard Version)


And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Aaron is eating next to nothing. He needs nutrition and hydration. I picture my OS sipping on this broth. Not sure that’s going to happen but wow, if it did, that would be the best. I’d feel like I did something significant. 

better than the boxed stuff, fo’ shur!
God is going to use this trial in our lives. He is more resourceful than I’ll ever be. My simple efforts at gathering things together to make a hearty broth pale to what Jesus does with our lives. He uses ALL things together for good for those who believe in Him. I believe, Lord. Aaron believes too. Let it be. 

Doesn’t get better than this!

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If I must get a year older to be shown such love, I am glad to be aging. Well, at least I felt that way last week! 
Birthday bliss was overflowing! I didn’t have to wait until the actual day either. On Wednesday, Mavis, one of my Bible Study friends made me a birthday cake. The main ingredients were unusual but thrilling. Are you ready for this? 

Beets – ohhhhhh!
zucchini – shablam!
carrots – wowwww!













Be still my beating heart. If those ingredients sound gross, you must experience these victuals in a cake. With homemade buttercream frosting. Oh my. It was dense, decadent and delish. 

No flavors of the veggies could be detected although I wouldn’t have complained. Here is the recipe. I only hope I can duplicate her efforts. 



Then on Thursday the doorbell rang and guess what arrived? 


tough guy

a bouquet of fresh colorful tulips from my son/Soldier. What a sugar boy. I am the only one that gets to call him sugar boy so don’t even try. Remember he knows how to hurt people. 

cherub-like creature

And few hours later, the doorbell rang again. A most sublime, cherub-like vision was carrying another treasure!


Elizabeth floated into my home holding two pints of a soft, edible fruit formed into clusters of soft dark-purple drupelets also known as blackberries. 

if this person knocks on your door, let her in!

I nearly cried. She had read my post mentioning blackberries and when she learned I didn’t have any yet, she brought them to me. 


So that got me thinking…since it worked with Elizabeth, here are a list of other things I’d really like but don’t have yet. I’m not saying you HAVE to get these for me but if you did, I would gladly post about it! 😉

I want this, please get it for me
You can also get me this
A Kindle 


And of course, then I’d need this

Purple, please

How can you not be blessed when this person stops by? With cake no less! 

The doorbell rang thrice. Could this really be happening? It was Danielle, possibly the sweetest girl from church, dropping off a homemade pound cake. She informed me that she had already made me a cake the night before but the dog ate it! So you know what she did? She made another one! After the meal of shrimp prepared by the Hubs, we lavished on perfectly sweetened pound cake topped with juicy blackberries.

Is this an unattractive picture? Yes! Do I care? Nope. 

I didn’t expect these blessings and yet treasures surrounded me. What great fortune!


Praise the Lord from whom all blessings flow!








88 cents, actually 82 cents!

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At the start of our $50 grocery challenge, I never anticipated God would leave many touchstones for me this early. Our decision to attend Financial Peace University isn’t a mistake.

Since my birthday was last week (Thursday), admittedly I was worried that the day would fall flat. I mean we only had $12 left for food and that was Tuesday, how could MY birthday be properly celebrated?


As I mentioned previously, we are now using the “b” word regularly. Not the foul word bantered about without a care. And we are also using the “f” word. Not the offensive word that used to flow from my lips prior to knowing Christ. These new words are “budget” and “finances.” I wouldn’t say they are rolling off my tongue but they are slowly becoming part of our family lexicon.

We went to Trader Joe’s night after Ike’s basketball game. The team experienced a win against a formidable opponent. My orange hair, freckle face OS scored FIVE points and upon making one sah-weet basket, Ike looked my way and through his bright orange mouth guard, gave me the biggest grin. Melted my heart as I jumped from my seat.

As you get older, you worry less about how you look and you just go for it! 



With $12 remaining in last week’s $50 challenge, I chided the Hubs. We must stay on task even if it was the most notable day on the family calendar. Nervously we approached the check-out line at Trader Joe’s. A cart was barely necessary for our meager groceries. I pulled $10 out of my homemade tomato wallet (which I recently made and love!) and listened as the cashier announced the total.



We had 88 cents remaining on our food budget! Cha-ching! Resentment because we didn’t buy everything I would have liked was replaced with joy. I did not feel destitute, why I even recall spontaneous moments of smiling!

Tomato wallet in action

I do not want this to be some quixotic, fleeting adventure. I want our family to change and for God to be pleased with our efforts.


With the items purchased and the food we already had at home, the Hubs made a tasty dinner of rice, roasted asparagus and shrimp with soy sauce, ginger, garlic and Trader Joe limes. Yum.

Birthday dinner = wonderful!

This is the right thing for us to do. The time is right.


And just like those commercials for Ginzu knives, let me end with “but wait, there’s more!” In my next post, I will share the rest of this ridiculously memorable day! 


Oh and thank you so much for your ideas about eating healthy on a budget and couponing. I’m listening, give me more, people!

My Grocery Challenge

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On average, our family spends over $1100 a month on groceries. I learned this last week upon beginning Financial Peace Univeristy. Throughout our nearly 24 year marriage, I have made it a point to stay mostly ignorant on all things related to money. “Blah, blah, blah, blah…” is the script which ran through my head whenever the Hubs would want to have “the talk.” 


But now, for some reason, the Lord is giving me courage to open my eyes and share the responsibility with the Hubs. I feel both empowered by knowing our finances and encumbered because I now need to seriously participate in the process. We are not in financial straits at all yet the time seems right. 


We discussed our food budget. Aside from our mortage, it is the place where we spend the most. Although we narrowly averted a verbal altercation about lettuce right after attending church (!), we had a pleasant conversation about finances that night. My spirit was  challenged to consider ways we could cut back. 


I like to cook, it is my gift to my family. Cooking for others, entertaining, making new recipes; all these things are my passion. Coupons don’t work because we eat mostly fresh food or unprocessed items. I just see junky food in coupons. (Enlighten me if you feel otherwise!) For me, a cupboard full of food means stability. Bringing home groceries feels like I’m carting in Christmas presents for all to enjoy.


Yet as we were driving home from this week’s FPU lesson, I said something unexpected to the Hubs. When he told me that we had already spent $1100 on groceries this month, I blurted out the most preposterous thing.


“Let’s spend only $50 this week.”


HUH? I couldn’t take it back. The Hubs heard me and albeit he was shocked to hear those words coming out of MY mouth, he agreed. Here is a dramatic re-enactment of his facial expression. 

My husband. My muse. 

We announced the budget cut to the OS and a look of panic swept over their faces. Fear of starvation and famine, eating gruel and mush filled their adolescent minds and appetites.


So here we sit on Wednesday. According to my records, we only have $12 left until Sunday. 


For some time now, God has reminded me of this verse…



It’s Wednesday and everyone has a belly full of food. No one has gone hungry. Nutrition is plentiful. We even have shrimp in the freezer! Strangely, I feel a measure of peace. I have already prepared another meal for a family who has a wife battling breast cancer. I am in charge of snacks for my orange hair, freckle face OS’s basketball team tomorrow. I brought food to share during my women’s Bible Study. 

My daily longing for purchasing a large, unsweet iced tea is being satisfied at home with Trader Joe’s Mango Tea. The warm smell of turkey tacos, Guatemalan rice and seasoned tortilla chips permeates the house at this very moment. 


“Be content with what you have.”



I have spoken to the Lord and questioned Him about the timing though. “Um, Lord, I’m not sure if you realize this but it’s MY BIRTHDAY tomorrow (Thursday)! We only have 12 bucks, what are we going to do about that, hmmmmmm?” 

“Be content with what you have.”


I have requested homemade angel food cake (Ike’s specialty) for tomorrow. I’d love some fresh blackberries and homemade whipping cream if we can squeak the remaining $12 out to do so. I’m not sure what is on the menu for tomorrow’s birthday meal but as I assess my possessions, both earthly and those set on things above…


a sewing machine 🙂
a loving family
the blessings of treasured friends
stable finances and 
an enduring faith in the Lord,
and so much more


This will be my desire

to be content with all that I have

my bountiful life