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 www.swagbucks.com.
My referral link isLyndsay's Swagbucks Referral Link