Buying things at really good prices or getting them for free makes me happy.

**NOTE** A while back, an acquaintance read a post of mine wherein I mentioned praying for some needs we had, and she came away with the impression that our family was entirely destitute, and went to my pastor about it, and suggested that she or he or someone should do a fundraiser of some sort for our family.  Um, please don’t do that. Yes, it can be trying, living on one income, and yes, we occasionally have needs that go unmet, but usually, it’s more like wants that go unmet, and I am — by no means — complaining about my lot in life.  God continually provides for our family.

Going over-budget depresses me.  O, groceries!  Why must thou be so expensive??

Offsetting the funk that grocery-shopping put me in, on Wednesday night, are these:

  • We have a hand-me-down of a hand-me-down for an entertainment center.  I do not know how old it is, but it has certainly outlived its life-expectancy.  We’ve had it for six or seven years, and we are the third owners.  The doors are falling off (we’ve repaired them countless times), the whole thing is made of particle board, and it’s a light maple color, unlike anything else in our home.  It is a veritable monstrosity.  Still.  It’s hard to say, “Yeah, I really need an entertainment center!”  We need things like kids’ shoes and to pay our electricity.  We don’t need an entertainment center.  I’ve had a search going, via RSS, on Craigslist, for over a year, hoping to find something that is just right and which costs about $50 or less, is a darker shade of wood, has at least some closing doors, and which will fit our TV, which is 30″ wide.  Not too surprisingly, I haven’t found anything.  A couple of weeks ago, though, I started praying for an entertainment center.  Hesitantly, I prayed thus:  “OK, Father.  I know that an entertainment center is not high on the

    Freecycle!!

    list of priorities, and I really feel like maybe it might even be… wrong, somehow, to pray for an entertainment center.  But I really need Your help finding one, because I’ve not been able to.”  Well, lemme tell you, I feel really cared-for by my God, because what should pop up on Freecycle yesterday???  The lady apologized for it being five years old and dusty.  Um, I don’t care.  It’s free.  It’ll fit our TV.  And, it’s a whole, whole lot nicer than the one we have.  BLESS GOD!!  And a friend of ours, a strong Phoenix policeman, lives right by the current owner’s house, and is going to help my hubby load it.  🙂  I’m tickled.

  • There is a song that so resonates with me right now.  I sing it at the top of my lungs in the truck, whether or not anyone else is with me.  It’s called Your Love is Strong, and was originally done by Jon Forman (of Switchfoot), though I first heard it by the Robbie Seay Band.  The song is a summary of the Sermon on the Mount, and there’s a lyric in it that says “…the flowers, better dressed than any girl on her wedding day / So why do I worry?  Why do I freak out? / God knows what I need / He knows what I need…”  This song both ministers to me and convicts me.  Anyway.  So, another thing I recently prayed over, after initially freaking out, is for God’s provision for clothes for my five children for the winter.  Thankfully, we do get a LOT of hand-me-downs, but there are always one thing or another that needs to be purchased.  This year, among other things, we really needed pants and jeans for Audrey, as she had not one pair — lots of winter dresses, tops, tights, and about five jackets, but no long pants.  And, voila!  There was a Craigslist posting, and the lady happened to be literally a mile down the road from where I go to small group.  So, last night, I went and picked them up.  It wasn’t the cheapest Craigslist find, but I feel really good about what I got for the money I spent.  Four pairs of jeans and four pairs of corduroys.  Eight pairs, thirty dollars. And, they’re all nice brands, and in excellent condition.  Two of the jeans are Guess.  New, they’d be $25 each, at a minimum!  Of course, Audrey’s favorite are the hot pink sparkly corduroys from The Children’s Place.  (Same as these used ones on Ebay for $9.99 plus $3.85 shipping!)
  • I have begun a (slow) process of trying to eliminate more plastics from our home, especially for food storage.  Glass, how I love thee!  How I have always loved thee!  But, glass… did you know how expensive you are????  ~sigh~  Today, though, shopping at Ross for, among other things, Fiala’s birthday present — She is two years old, today!  Happy birthday to the sweetest member of our family! — I got sucked into the homegoods section.  Goodness.  I could easily have plunked down a couple hundred bucks on all the things that caught my eye!  I was looking, dreaming, yet keeping myself composed until I saw these refrigerator carafes, at right.  There were two of them on the shelf, one with a red cap, the other with blue.  $2.99 each.  They’re rather an odd size, 1300 cc, or 43.5 oz.  But, I’m very happy to have them.  I think they are wonderful.
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About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on October 22, 2010, in Budget, Christian Living, Clothes, Music, Shopping. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Happy birthday to Fiala and Ilona!

  2. Happy Birthday, Fi!
    And kudos to Audrey on the awesome pink sparkly cords. She’s going to look like a rock star.

    And Karen, I find it so funny and wonderful that someone wanted to do a fundraiser for you.

    • Erin, I found it funny and wonderful, too, in a way. It was touching that someone would act on our behalf. However, since the person went to Pastor Dennis with that (and several other) suggestions to increase my family’s income, and was quite insistent about the whole thing, leading Dennis to have to (among other things) caution me about what I was writing on my blog… well, I just wished that the person would not have taken the task upon themselves. 😮

  3. Karen, I find that His crazy love for His children is more than I can comprehend some times. It floors me to know that not only the large things that happen or are needed in or lives, he cares about. But the small things that we think are insugnifficant He finds just as important. What a crazy love that this is. I feel that He wants us to be Whole and that, at times, includes the small stuff. I look at it this way. As a parent we always want to bless our children with not only the needs but the needs as well. It warms my heart to see the face of my children when I am able to do this for them. What this does to them, an added bonus to reafirm that we value them and they’re heart. How much more does God’s heart warm when he does this for us, his children.
    What an encougement this is to know that when we are faithful to God, He is also.
    Anyway, I’m not a writer and not sure this really is making much sence but in my head it does. I’m encouraged by this testemony of Jesus going above and beyond for his children..

  4. Oops, That would be the needs and wants. Like I said I’m not a writer.. LOL

  5. Karen…I can relate on both counts…

    First- I live simply. It’s only been in the last year or two that I’ve been able to buy a few pieces of electronics (that I got on sale WITH a coupon). My big splurges are usually breakfast with our bookclub and an occasional meal out with a friend. This comes after almost a decade of scraping by…

    during that time I was humbled by someone at my church having noticed that I wore the same two dresses every Sunday…and they gave me money for some clothes. There are a couple more examples, but you get the picture. I took it as a challenge to live wisely with what I had.

    Since then, when I get rid of something I no longer need, I just give it away for free. I know I could get money for it on Craigslist or Ebay, but I feel the need to “pay it forward”…and I have been doubly blessed to get to know some people at my apartment complex by giving things away (like a young married couple with a baby on the way who were in desperate need of a couch and had no money for one). Much like with tithing, I’ve noticed that it’s not about my being able to afford to or not, but I’ve been blessed untold times by giving what I had to give.

    I also enjoy a great bargain. I confess I smiled the whole way home when everything I bought at the grocery store was on sale (for its best sale price) AND I had coupons…my total saved was $105 and my final price was $102 (so I saved over 1/2). The cashier grinned as she read my savings and the lady behind me in line asked me how on earth I managed that. COUPONS and SALES…always purchase when you have both to maximize your buying power!

    One hint I’ve learned recently, it if you know you are traveling during the year…check to see if your destination has any special tax laws,etc that can work in your favor. For example: If I’m going to OR to visit my folks and sis, they have no sales tax, so I can save the tax there. I’m in MN right now and they have no tax on shoes, clothes or food so I hit my favorite shoe store they no longer have in AZ and not only got a sale price but had no tax! I LOVE A BARGAIN!

  1. Pingback: Ten things I have enjoyed in the last few days « Only Sometimes Clever

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