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. 


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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!