Sunday, November 4, 2012

How does Proverbs 31 relate to making money?

For a long time I have pondered over this question.  How can I live my life in alignment with the teachings of Proverbs 31 while providing for my family on a tight budget?  Many of the things that we are taught to do through this scripture does not seem to make sense in the world that we live in right now.  If we look at these verses carefully we will see that a Wife of Noble Character not only makes her clothes and her families clothes, but she is up before dawn making breakfast and isn't afraid to stay up all night making a profit for her family.  For many of us we do not have the luxury of doing that.  Does that mean that we shouldn't attempt to do anything that the scripture teaches?  No not at all.  In my Life Application Study Bible, the commentator states "Do not see her as a model to imitate in every detail; your days are not long enough to do everything she does!  See her instead as an inspiration to be all you can be." 

When we start to recognize that we can not possibly become the woman that is described here in scripture, it frees us to express who God has made each of us to become.  Individuals not clones.  However we still need to look to the scriptures so we can see how to use our gifts as Noble Women.

You might be wondering how this relates to the question in the beginning:  How can I live my life in alignment with the teachings of Proverbs 31 while providing for my family on a tight budget?

As we prepare our hearts and our homes for this month of Thanksgiving, one can not help but to think about the ultimate gift that was given to us.  In just a few short weeks we will be celebrating Christ's birth.  A season full of joy.  However the way the world looks at it, this is the season for spending money and being greedy.  How can we retain our commitment to living with integrity in an environment sent on making us up to our eye balls in debt before the end of the year?

By being resourceful!  As some of my readers know, my family lives off my disability payments and some government assistance.  I am not ashamed that we have had to ask for help because it means that I am able to better provide for my daughter.  My husband has been out of work for over a year now so our budget is extremely tight.  However even when we did have a second income, I have never been one for this world of consumerism.  I was perfectly happy with my old flip phone that didn't do anything but answer calls until it died.  I am the person who when you ask me what I want for my birthday/Christmas/ or any other celebration I will reply "Can we just hang out?" The relationships that I build are more important to me then any item I could own.  That being said let me also say there are a few items that I own that are more important to me then any other item because the relationship that allowed me to receive those items are now gone and those items remind me of the ones I love.  So how can a disable stay at home mother living off of less then 1100 a month provide for her family the way it is written in scripture?

EASY!  I am extremely cautious about where my money goes and I make sure that I am getting the best bang for my buck! Last month, I decided that while I don't necessarily agree with the meaning behind Halloween, I wanted my daughter to be able to partake in the adventure of going to the mall in a costume.  However my family could not afford 30 dollars for a costume.  We had decided a long time ago that anything our daughter needed we would get for her no matter the cost, however when it comes to wants we must find a more resourceful means to get the item.  So I made her costume with the help of my mother.  All in all I think it cost us less then 10 dollars plus 2 days worth of bonding with my mom over a sewing machine.  And while I made her costume, it got me thinking how I might be able to teach my daughter some of the lessons I learned from my mother.  My mom worked during most of my childhood.  And while I have been fully set in my decision to be a stay at home mom, I feel that some of the most important lessons I learned from my Mom came from watching her interactions with her co workers.

Family time was very important to my family growing up.  Mom worked at a job that allowed her to be home when I got off school or shortly after.  While that meant that my Dad was in charge of getting me ready for school sometimes, I always knew I wasn't coming home to an empty house.  Any time I had a day off school I would go to work with my Mom.  She worked in a church office and I loved watching her interactions with all the people who came into the office.  She taught me how to show respect while still advocating for herself.  And while she never has advocated for herself in the ways I thought was the way to do it, she has always walked away from a situation with exactly what she wanted out of it.

I also learned from my Mom while watching her work was that if a job was worth doing it was worth doing right.  Some might say I got my OCD from her, but I don't believe that she ever had OCD.  I think she had such a conviction that reached down to her soul that one of her spiritual gifts was service.

For me to teach my daughter by example and still attend to my responsibilities in the home, I needed to find a way for me to profit from my gifts.  As such I have recently found a website and a community that allows me to earn points towards rewards such as gift certificates to Amazon.  I would not normally post a blog with something like this but I feel very strongly that this website is a way in which I can help not only my family but other families.  In full disclosure, please do not feel pressured to sign up for this website just because I am telling you.  Please pray about it and look into it to see if it is a good fit for your family.  Swagbucks has been a great website that has helped many families pay for their entire Christmas shopping while also providing a way to donate to a number of great causes.  This link does link back to me and I will receive a little bonus for you clicking on this link however I would never put anything on here that I didn't feel was harmful in any way.  If you feel that you would like to try out this website but don't want to use my referral link, please visit the website directly at

My referral link isLyndsay's Swagbucks Referral Link

Thursday, October 4, 2012

It has been way to long my dear friends.

My mom sent this link to me today and it was exactly what I needed to read.  I have been having one of those days where your not sure you want at actually admit it to anyone else because of the fear that your the monster.

I am a member of my local MOPS chapter and today is our meeting day.  My daughter is 16 months old and is going through separation anxiety really really bad, however she loves the kids in her class and she hadn't seen them in a couple of weeks due to being sick and other aspects of life that didn't allow us to make it.  I woke up extra early so that I could get a head start on today since not only did I have to manage to get her to MOPS I was leading the craft project for the day and wanted to set up early.  I was all set.  I had my list out ready to go and I was really moving it this morning.  I wanted to leave the house between 7:45 and 8:15 to make sure that I could get there on time.

And let me tell you I was very successful at doing that today.  I arrived at the church right as the clock on the dashboard turned to 8:30.  I was so proud.  And on top of that I managed to get out of my truck, unload the stroller, get my daughter into her stroller and get all of the stuff (think large box) loaded so that I only needed to make one trip from our truck.  I was feeling so good.  A little too high of my success.  And trust me it didn't last long.  That short trip which lasted about 45 seconds ended up with my daughter screaming, my ice tea tumbler straw broken and my box on the floor.

I quickly gathered my stuff while a good friend of mine helped me get the rest of the way I had as I comforted my daughter.  I wanted to just hid in a corner.  My daughter wasn't crying because of separation anxiety no she was crying because Mommy hadn't thought about the farmer and the goose.  I went on to lay my stuff down all the while thinking its going to be okay.  I will get her to her class room and she will go play and it will be like nothing happened. WRONG!!!!!!!

The moment I dropped Sarai off she started screaming and screaming.  She didn't want Mommy to leave.  And like all Mommies I took that walk of shame out of the classroom wondering if I was doing the right thing by leaving her in there.  With my head down and sadness in my heart I walked away, knowing that she was safe and should start having fun any minute.

10 minutes later,  I could still hear her crying over all the other kids in the class.  20 minutes later, I couldn't hear her as much since the room I was in was getting louder but I knew she was still crying. At that point a new mom to our group needed some help getting set up in the childcare area and since her child was NOT in my kid's room I felt safe to show her the ropes.  However as I walked past Sarai's room I could see her so red and still crying.  I felt like I had no chance but to take her with me.

I know that I am a good mom, however today I did not feel like a good mom.  I felt resentful.  Now please do not take this the wrong way.  I love my daughter more then anything in this world.  However today I wanted to be selfish.  I want 2 hours where I could gather with some mommy friends and relax.  I wanted to recharge my batteries that were so desperately depleted.  I was running on fumes.  I needed some adult time and I was really looking forward to showing these women how to make some home made cheap good laundry soap.  I love being frugal! And I love showing how to be frugal.

However after I had to take Sarai with me, I started feeling overwhelmed.  I knew that our group is very understand of having to have kids in the meeting with you and no one was putting any pressure on me.  I attached my friend's BabyHawk Oh Snap! Carrier and away we went.  It was a good hour before Sarai started getting really fussy and wanted down.

All the while I am feeling the invisible pressure of the room that I need to hurry up and settle my baby down. Has anyone else ever felt that way?  Please tell me I am not the only mom to feel like you have a giant spot light on and everyone else is judging your interactions with your child.

Well fast forward 45 minutes and it is now 11:15 and I am trying to get my lunch made and Sarai is running all over the place and actually wanting to go play in the nursery where I couldn't get her to go for the life of me just 20 minutes prior to this.  I am about to lose and trying really hard to keep my cool.  I even ended up having to leave the meeting early just because I felt Sarai was so disruptive and so out of control I was embarrassed.

I get her home, change her diaper and tell her its nap time.  Mommy needs some quiet time and she needed a nap.  As I was getting up to take her to her crib she toddles over to her baby doll and picks her up so excited to see her.  She starts giggling and cooing and giving the baby kisses.  She then brings the baby over to me for me to give her kisses.  This is just making her day.  She at one point looks at the baby doll and gives her a kiss then looks at me with those really cute eyes, mouthful of binkie and gives me a big hug and kiss as if to say "this is what I wanted you to do with me today" I wanted my mommy to be so excited to play with me.  That look from a 16 month old just shot right through my cold hard heart and melted me right away.  I felt so guilty that all my daughter wanted was her mommy to hug her and hold her.  She wanted ME!  She didn't care about playing with the other kids because she wanted to play with her Mommy.  I felt horrible.  Here I was feeling resentful that my daughter wouldn't give me 2 hours and all she wanted was to feel loved by Mommy.

Again don't get me wrong, I LOVE MY LIFE! Yes there are some aspects that making loving it everyday hard but I wouldn't change my life.  I love being a stay at home mommy even on the days that I am sick with a cold and am fighting cabin fever.  I love my daughter more then anything in this world.  I love the fact that I am her mommy and am sometimes even resentful towards my schedule for not allowing me more time to just run up to her and tickle her and make her laugh.

I know that the whole point of this blog is to help me become the type of wife and mother that is described in Proverbs 31.  And while this particular post is not my insight on a specific verse or idea from the chapter, recognizing my own beliefs and my own values in raising my daughter has a lot to do with that persona I wish to obtain.  I want my daughter to know no matter what her Mommy is always there for her and nothing nor no one should every come between that.

And that is my one step towards becoming a Proverbs 31 Wife for the day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The start of Summer

Today is the official start of Summer and I couldn't be more excited!  I love summer.  I even enjoy the heat that summer brings.  I know I am crazy for enjoying the heat but for me that means Sun tea, eating on the porch, swimming, cook outs, playing outside, Vitamin D, family reunions, vacations and all the other wonderful aspects of summer.

This year our summer is even more exciting with the addition of a baby girl.  We are so excited that we get to spend this summer as a family watching our daughter discover all the new and fun things there are to do.  Last year it was just to early for her to be out in the fun. ( She came home from the hospital 4 days after the start of summer)  For the last couple of days, we have decided that we are going to eat outside on our porch as a family.  Sarai is finally starting to eat normal foods, and we figured that we should make meal times a focus in our family.  I still haven't gotten to the point where I can allow cooking the meal a family activity however we sure enjoy it together.

Last night as I sat on the porch watching my husband and daughter goof off with each other, I got to thinking that it was a shame that I wasn't able to enjoy it too.  I am always thinking about the next task I have to do in my day, even though dinner time is the end of the night for us.  I am always sitting there pondering what I am going to make for dinner the next night instead of enjoying the meal that I have prepared for that night.  Is this whole I look at other aspects of my life?  Is this the way the God intended me to spend my time?

I am naturally a worrier.  Its just in my nature to think 5 steps down the road and miss out the pothole in front of me.  I wonder if the reason that I worry so much is because I haven't given it up to God.  I know that for me I have a really hard time giving up control in every area of my life.  I have to make sure everything goes the way that I want it to go or I get frustrated with my life.  As I have been looking towards God's word more and more for answers of becoming a Proverbs 31 wife, I have discovered that it is not my job to worry.  In fact, Paul writes in Philippians 4 : 6-7 Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

A sense of God's wholeness will come and settle you down. What a powerful phrase that is "settle you down".  How many times have we seen what worrying does to us?  I know for me that when I am worrying about something I am not sitting still or relaxed.  I am jumpy.  I am like a kid on a playground.  I can not be contained.  But here in this verse we are told that if we take our worry and turn it into prayer we will be settled down by God's wholeness.  Doesn't that just fill you up knowing that you wont be given a little part of him, but rather all of him to settle you down.  While I know that this does not directly relate towards becoming a proverbs 31 wife, for me it is every bit important to the journey as any other step.

And that is today's step towards becoming a Proverbs 31 wife.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Vocabulary Lesson

Proverbs 31:26 "She opens her mouth with wisdom.  The teaching of kindness is on her tongue."

I am sure that most of you have heard the phrase a child is seen not heard?  There is some lessons to be learned even as adults in that phrase.  Why did that phrase come to be?  Well from my understanding it came to be because children did not understand what the conversation was talking about and therefore could not add to it.  I remember many times being told that I just didn't understand and that I needed to refrain from speaking for fear of making a fool out of me and the people I was around.

As adults, we tend to think that we know a little about just every subject out there.  From politics to gardening, from health care reform to education.  Every adult has an opinion on each subject and they are set in their ways about that opinion.  But what if we only opened our mouths to speak about those subjects that we really understood?  What if we took the time to listen to the leaders in each of those areas and learned from their wisdom?

As I got ready to study today's step towards becoming a Proverbs 31 Wife, I realized that there have been many times that I have opened my mouth only to hear garbage come out.  I need to remember that tried and true statement that we heard a thousand times as children.  If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all.  What would happen if I took that phrase and made it my lifestyle?  Would my relationship with my family look like?  I would like to think that my life would look a lot better.  I think that if all I ever said was words of kindness towards my husband even when I was frustrated with him, I would be able to build him up to a place that God wants him.

When we look at the second half of this verse, we notice that we are called to teach with kindness.  How many times as mothers do we forget this part of being a Godly wife?  How many times do we react to something that our children are doing with anger in our voice?  I know that for me as I struggle with being a Godly mother towards Sarai, I find myself saying or responding in ways that are full of anger.  How am I to teach Sarai the ways towards being a Godly woman if I am continually putting her down as a child?

Just yesterday I ended up losing my cool with her.  We had been in the truck for about an hour or so, she had been fussy the entire time.  I was at my whits end.  She didn't need a diaper change, she wasn't hungry, she had just gotten up from her nap, why was she making the most annoying sound in the world?  It wasn't until we got to the post office and got our mail, that I totally lost it.  I received a letter from the SSA telling me that they overpaid me and if I wanted to make an appeal that I needed to do that in writing.  So why did this letter get me so mad?  Well that's because for the past 6 months I have been working on that appeal.  I received this letter in December and sent in all the paper work and here 6 months later I had to do it all over again.  And I couldn't even get someone on the phone to sort this out!  So here I was sitting in my truck in the heat, reading this letter while Sarai was screaming in the back seat and Dan was sitting next to me saying Sarai, Sarai its ok Sarai.  I was through.  I was done with everything and everyone.  So what did I do?  I SCREAMED SHUT UP!!!!!

At that point I was done being a wife and mother.  I wanted out!  I wanted to get so far away from my life.  I was sick and tired of having to show everyone else how to do their job.  I wanted to be able to for once get away.

Almost as soon as I got angry, I was reminded of this verse.  Was I speaking words of wisdom?  Was I teaching with kindness on my tongue?  No I was allowing all the hard work that I have been doing to be wasted.  I had to stop and evaluate my motives. So this morning when I was getting angry at something that was happening, I stopped and thought about the example I was giving my family.  I want to be able to be proud of the vocabulary that I am teaching my daughter.

And that is today's step towards becoming a Proverbs 31 Wife.(and Mother)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Strength Training

Proverbs 31:17 NIV
"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks."

Who here loves exercising?  Seriously I want a show of hands.  Anyone?  No? Well you might not love exercising but who loves a good workout?  I hate exercising however as soon as my work out is over and I can sit down to relax, all the troubles of the day seems to fade away.  I have found this to be true with most strength training that I have to do.

Right now we are really training our strength.  Our strength that God will provide for us, our strength that we will make it through this time of trial with our faith intact.  I can't even start to express how must strength it has taken physically and emotionally to have my husband without a job for the last year.  We went from him being the only one with an income while we were dating and even for the first 6 months of our marriage to us both providing for our family to living off my SSDI income in a matter of a year.  We even through in a pregnancy during that time because we thought it would be fun.  ( That was a joke.  We were blessed with a pregnancy when we didn't think we would be able to have children.  God just has a funny sense of humor)

I will admit that for the first few months having Dan home full time was really helpful. And just went I thought I was going to lose my mind having him home, he got a job.  It felt amazing to have him finally working again.  Until a couple of weeks later when he was let go through no fault of his own.  Ever since then we have been racing to help him find another job.  It takes a lot of strength to sit by a phone that doesn't ring day in and day out.

But is this the strength that I would need for my tasks?  Would I need to continue to be emotionally strong for my husband?  Was that the task that God wanted from me?  There have been many times when I have been too weak to carry on any more.  

It is in those moments that I am reminded in one way or another of my favorite verse.  

2nd Corinthians 12 : 7-9

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was giving me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me, but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power, is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me  That is why, for God's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in HARDSHIPS, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am week, then I am strong.

Today was another day for strength training for me.  I had to remember that God doesn't not promise that everything will be easy.  He actually tells us it will not be easy.  Kinda like my workout dvd's promise that I will be sweating when this is over.  However the prize at the end of constant strength training is a stronger body.  Hopefully my arms will be strong enough to run into the Fathers arm's and BOAST about my hardships.  

And that is today's one step towards becoming a Proverbs 31 wife.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Just a little humor to make your Wednesday a little better

This is the true meaning of being frugal!  And something that I do every month!

Waking in the morning

Proverbs 31:10-31
New Life Version (NLV)
10 Who can find a good wife? For she is worth far more than rubies that make one rich. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will never stop getting good things. 12 She does him good and not bad all the days of her life. 13 She looks for wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 14 She is like ships that trade. She brings her food from far away. 15 She rises while it is still night and makes food for all those in her house. She gives work for the young women to do. 16 She gives careful thought to a field and buys it. She plants grape-vines from what she has earned. 17 She makes herself ready with strength, and makes her arms strong. 18 She sees that what she has earned is good. Her lamp does not go out at night. 19 She puts her hands to the wheel to make cloth. 20 She opens her hand to the poor, and holds out her hands to those in need. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for those in her house, for all of them are dressed in red. 22 She makes coverings for herself. Her clothes are linen cloth and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the leaders of the land. 24 She makes linen clothes and sells them. She brings belts to those who trade. 25 Her clothes are strength and honor. She is full of joy about the future. 26 Sheopens her mouth with wisdom. The teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of those in her house, and does not eat the bread of doing nothing. 28 Her children rise up and honor her. Her husband does also, and he praises her, saying: 29 “Many daughters have done well, but you have done better than all of them.” 30 Pleasing ways lie and beauty comes to nothing, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. 31 Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

I don't know about you but I am not a morning person! Nope sorry not happening. I would much rather stay up all night long then get up early. However, according to today's verse on becoming a Proverbs 31 wife is verse 15. She rises while it is still night and makes food for all those in her house. Well there goes that idea that I will be sleeping in. 

So instead of getting upset about it, I make it work for me. Like i said I am a night owl so I do what I can in the evening to make sure my mornings go well. Last night I went be bed a little later then I wanted but I did get my clothes picked out for this morning and they were all set next to my bed. Everything was there from head to toes(Hair ties to socks). Another way that I make sure that I am going to have a good morning with the grumpy other night owls in my house, I set the coffee pot to start brewing at 7am.

I think the hardest thing for me to get my head around is that my daughter wakes up early and she is always hungry as soon as she gets up. She doesn't want to wait while Mommy gets her diaper changed and gets her dressed. She would much rather have me walk into her room with food in my hand. So how can I fix this so that it is easier on me in the morning? Well I make up her bottles the night before. This is becoming a little more difficult since she is transitioning out of bottles and into Sippy cups and from formula to milk. I still fill her cup with milk and put it in the refrigerator.

Now for the feeding my family. Well for me that is pretty easy. Sarai gets yogurt and fruit in the morning. Daddy gets coffee and a cereal bar unless I am making a big breakfast. And for me? I usually eat something around 10am. I have found that I tend to have an upset stomach if I eat anything within 2 hours of getting up.

And that is today's step to becoming a proverbs 31 wife!