Saturday, August 3, 2013

Book Review "Enough", Part 1

How much is enough? There are times we know the answer. If I need to buy some fruit at the store and it costs $1 and I have $1 in my purse then I know I have 'enough'. But, when it comes to owning material possessions we have a difficult time discerning when enough is enough. This is the argument in the opening chapter of the book entitled, "Enough: Finding more by Living with Less" by Will Davis Jr.

O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die.  First, help me never to tell a lie.  Second, give me neither poverty or riches!  Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.  For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, "Who is the Lord?"  And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God's holy name.  Prov. 30:7-9 NLT

So the question posed in Mr. Davis Jr.'s first chapter is, "What do I really need?"

"I need clothes but I want Levi's jeans and Ariat boots. That's why we have such a difficult time defining enough. In the increasingly gray area between wants and needs, finding enough can prove to be very elusive.

Enter Jesus. The man we worship as King of Kings and Lord of Lords never struggled with the concept of enough.

Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11

In one sweeping statement, Jesus presented his followers with a clear picture of what he considered to be enough.

In Jesus' mind, that's all God promises. He promises to give us what we need today.  He doesn't promise to provide for tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. He doesn't promise to provide in advance for our retirement. All he offers is today. According to God, today is all you need."

Pretty radical, huh? If we truly lived this way and only had enough for our immediate needs today then I'm sure we would be considered poor. Yet, in God's vocabulary, we would have enough.

But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 1 Timothy 6:8 ESV

It sure is not the way we've been trained to think in America. I hope to write more about this book later. I've enjoyed it very much (even though I don't agree with every jot and tittle). It has encouraged me to take another look at the way I think about my finances. 

So, here is a birds eye view of my week.

1.  My workload (along with my husband now being home full-time) has created a challenge to my bible study time. It's been hit and miss and I oftentimes let the day's workload dictate whether I study or not  I.  I had to come to the conclusion that I was just not fighting hard enough nor making it a high enough priority. I love studying God's Word and by His grace I am committed to getting back to spending my first hour with Him before the demands of the day take hold.  I want my life to reflect the delight that I find in God's Word! The busyness of life can choke out the Word of God if we're not careful.
2. My daughter- in-love gave me some butternut squash from her garden. I rarely buy butternut squash so I did an internet search to find some recipes. I made oven baked fries out of the straight part of the squash and used the round bulb part for a butternut custard which is steaming in the crockpot as we speak. Update: I like the custard but hubby is reluctant to try it since I told him it tastes like pumpkin. He liked the fries and so did I. After I cut them to look like fries I put some dabs of butter on top  and then sprinkled with salt.  I roasted them at 350 for 45 minutes or until done. 

3.  My in-love's were here for 1 1/2 weeks. We had a wonderful time! My mother in love is one of the best cooks I know! She showed me a cheaper way to fry okra and catfish. Instead of using egg , flour and cornmeal she just made sure the okra was wet from rinsing it and then shook it in a bag filled with cornmeal. Same for the catfish nuggets. I'm getting okra every day in my garden and hubbin's loves it! I'm cutting up the extra okra and freezing it for winter. Oh, and my mother in love brought a new Christmas crocheted pattern to teach me which consists of granny squares. I've just finished the first one. I hope to make a few for Christmas gifts. 

4. I found catfish 'nuggets' on sale for $2.88 a pound  last week. The whole catfish was $5+  a pound. The nuggets were just as good. 

5.  Our local thrift store has a 25% coupon in a weekly magazine that comes in the mail. I try to cut out the coupon when it first arrives and place it in my purse just in case I stop by unexpectedly. I do this with fast food coupons and Joann's coupons, too. This past week my mother in love wanted to stop by a thrift store on the way to get some groceries. Thankfully I had 2 coupons in my wallet and could share one with her. I bought 2 tops, 1 capri and 1 shirt for my husband for $10. 

6.  I didn't do all my little money saving tricks while my husband's folks were here. I wanted to enjoy my time with them and not spend one extra minute on anything that would take me away from visiting since we only see them once a year. I only did what had to be done. It was like a mini-vacation from frugality.

7. I made a batch of Spicy Tomato Sauce from our San Marzano tomatoes in the garden. They are a beautiful paste tomato but I'm finding that the flavor is not as rich as some of the juicier tomatoes. We have 14 of these plants producing right now. Next year I will plant half as many and then plant a few other varieties. I'll use the paste tomatoes to can whole tomatoes and the juicier tomato for the tomato sauce. 

8. I continue to find morning glories popping up in different parts of the yard. I will dig them up and plant them against the cyclone fence in the backyard. One side of the fence is almost completely filled in by the leaves and has made a lovely privacy fence without spending a dime. The other side of the fence is coming along nicely, too. Next year it will be very thick. It would have cost me $100 to buy the privacy slats. 

9. I'm cracking nuts that were given to me. I'll freeze them for the holidays. 

10.  Chicken legs and thighs go on sale in the 10 lb. bags for .69 cents a pound every few months. I buy up as many bags as I can fit in my freezer. I separate the chicken into freezer bags that will hold 2 meals. Or sometimes the entire bag goes on the barbecue and then gets frozen for a quick meal when I've been too busy to cook. 

Well, that is a smidgeon of my week. What did you do this past week? I love to learn from other women!


  1. What did I do? Not as much as you, for sure.

    For better meditation and prayers I did move my Bible study time to the computer with listening to the Daily Audio Bible (and some days catching up) and reading and marking my wide-margin Bible. This way as I go through the Bible each year I can reflect and apply. I love committing each day to the LORD.

    As a senior citizen I am adjusting to slowing down. I can't really brag much about all I saved and did, but I do cherish His provision and nudging each day. His mercies were new every morning last week.

    We now have church Sunday afternoons and I love more time starting my worship at home.

    Hugs and prayers,

    1. Oh my Carol. I hope it doesn't seem like I'm bragging. My hope is to encourage those (as I have been encouraged by others) who are living on a small income that it is possible to live on less.

      I don't go full force every day either. Today was one of those slower days and I enjoyed it so much.

      Yes, His mercy is new every morning.. for which I am so thankful!

    2. I don't read it as bragging, but just beautiful contentment. I love the LORD in you, Georgene.

  2. I don't get much time for bible study when Hubby is home for a weekend. I spend much of the morning getting the house back in order as I don't have energy for that at night. Usually when he is here there are big projects in process with all sorts of things out and in the way, also my kids and grand kids come over a great deal so I am cooking and playing with babies a lot.

    I do spend time usually the day after all go home, 'settling back' into my normal routine with some dedicated time for prayer & Bible in the morning usually. :)Other than that of course-- pray as you go. :)

    What did I do this week?
    boy.. dunno. I've been having a bit of a migraine/ fibromyalgia problem for the past several days--makes it hard to remember. :) But I do frugal things all the time--as a hobby. ;)

    I've been growing a lot of herbs/perenials in pots and am also trying to grow more cuttings. I have some bits of Crepe myrtle rooting right now--I'd love some of those beautiful colorful trees/shrubs so decided to grow my own.
    I also have a pot with some Rose of Sharon I got from a lady at my last church-- I need to get those in the ground very soon.

    I got my kitchen in nicer order last week-- it looks really pretty and the things I use most are most handy. I am painting an old wicker tv stand cabinet that was left here when we bought the place--it is now a pantry on top and small appliance storage on the bottom. it was white and dirty - I found a discounted can of 'new black' paint at the store and I did need more than that--but I'm using some for a dresser. Its got a bit of a purple in the black--i love it.

    I've been thinking seriously about getting a table at a nearby flea market on the weekend mornings that Hubby is not home. I have some things I'd like to try to sell and I'm thinking there are things I could 'trade up' for eventually. It would be a nice way for me to be more profitable in my home I think since I don't work a 'real job' anymore.

    I'm also doing more with my etsy shop--selling more inexpensive things as well as my wedding items. Crosses and cute toys mainly. My money does help since we are running two households and also own a place that we need to oversea that we rent out. There are projects hubby's paycheck is not covering right now--so I'm looking to see what I might be able to do without wearing myself out too much--so I don't get worse.

    We shall see..


    1. Oh Mary! I'm just so sorry that you are suffering so much! I don't know if you have every read anything about how wheat and sugar can affect Fibro.? It's quite interesting yet I'm sure it's not a cure all for everyone.

      You are so blessed to find things you can sell from home.

  3. Oh forgive me...I can't help it ;) but if you read in correct grammar, you'll understand why this gave me a chuckle! She showed me a cheaper way to fry okra and catfish and my husband. LOL!!!! I am sure you did not cook your husband, regardless ;o). Great post.

    1. Oh my! LOL!!! My grandson had played a computer game that caused crazy problems with my mouse. It caused all kind of typing problems and took forever to finish the post. Thank you for pointing it out. I've fixed it! I sure don't want people thinking that I fried my husband! Ha! :-)

  4. i don't think we ever feel like we have "enough" but we really do. If life in our country got really hard we certainly would have a different perspective. This reminds me of the cookbook, The More with Less cookbook.

    1. I remember that book! I looked at it recently but it had a big focus on beans which we have to limit these days but it sure would be a great book for someone who could eat them. Hope you are well!

  5. I just cooked okra like you said, though it was before I read this. We are watching carbs and calories so I used just a couple tablespoons of cornmeal and oil each, cooked the okra in a nonstick skillet and it was delicious. I hope you enjoy a plentiful okra harvest.
    Our spending has been looser than it should be so we worked on a new budget together and went back to the cash envelopes for groceries, fun and our personal spending, and a prepurchased gas cards.
    Like you, I cut out the Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon every week and keep it in purse even though I only use it maybe once every 2 months.

    1. Good job Rhonda Sue! We're still getting okra and I don't think it's slowly down. I continue to cut it up and freeze the extra so we'll have some this winter!

      I love Hobby Lobby! :-)

  6. I borrowed crock pots one year when I had a bumper crop of juicy tomatoes. I poured the tomatoes that were run through the sieve into the crock pots. Left the lid off and ran all night on low. Next morning I had some with paste like consistency and some sauce consistency. It used a lot less jars as I had already put up so many things that year. I did not end up buying more jars doing it this way.

    1. That's a great idea which I will remember! I did put the tomato sauce recipe in my crockpot and cooked it for the afternoon. It was nice not to have to cook it on the stove for hours.

  7. Could you share the custard recipe and how you do it in the crock pot? I see your containers are on top of each other in the crock so stacking must be ok.I have so enjoyed your blog. You always have something new to share I haven't heard of and can use for our household too! :) Thank you! Sarah

  8. Hi Sarah.. here is the link to the custard recipe. You could use dairy milk instead of the coconut milk. I can't tolerate dairy the older I get so I used the coconut milk instead.

    Yes, I stacked them because there was not enough room otherwise. I also used small jelly jars because they fit in easier.

  9. Thank you very much for answering me. Sarah


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