Friday, January 10, 2014

A Baby Shower Devotional and Priorities

I hope you don't mind if I take a small detour today and share a devotional I'll be giving at a baby shower this weekend. I've often wondered if you think that I live and breathe to stretch a penny. It must seem like it at times since that is the focus of this blog.  There have been seasons when frugality had a greater focus because it was essential that I learn all I could to stretch our downsized paycheck. Today I try to see being thrifty in the same light as I would a part time job and I pray that it never ranks above loving God and others.

So it delights my heart to be able to share something else this week. :-) My money saving week is posted at the end!
 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
 the fruit of the womb a reward.
 Psalm 127:3


We are all so excited for you, Jenny, and ready to meet your baby. I haven't known you very long but long enough to know that God's Word is important to you because I've heard you quote Scripture many times in our Bible study class. Praise God for mothers who know and love God's Word.

You have been blessed Jenny with a life that has been woven inside you by the very hand of God. Your baby is being fearfully and wonderfully made. All of his days are written in God's book before he even takes his first breath. Imagine this! There is an eternal, living soul created inside you.  God says that children are a heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb a reward in Psalm 127:3. God has abundantly blessed you with not one but FIVE blessings! Praise God for His goodness!

As Christian mothers we often hope that our parenting will positively effect the outcome of our children. We hope that if we are consistently patient and understanding or if we can teach them enough scripture then we can love these babies into the kingdom of God.  But, it doesn't take long into our parenting to realize that we fail the test daily. Although we are filled with such love and delight in these darlings beyond anything we could have ever imagined we acknowledge that the daily training can be physically and mentally exhausting. Our patience is tried by sleepless nights when our babies are young and possible sleepless nights again when they are teens. A mother's day is filled with fat little chubby squeezes and slobbery kisses but along with those joys come the endless mounds of laundry, dishes, runny noses and a million questions. If we put our hope in our parenting then we will soon become discouraged. But oh what hope we find when our trust and confidence is built on Jesus who calls Himself the author and the finisher of our faith and of our children.

If we are graded on a curve and compare ourselves to other mothers we will always find those who are more patient and consistent in their training than we are. If we compare our children to other children we will surely find those who follow harder after Christ. Most importantly, if we are graded instead on an absolute scale of God’s law—as I believe scripture teaches—we fall short 100% of the time. Even our best efforts at parenting are as filthy rags, dare I say it, a dirty diaper.

The knowledge of our imperfect parenting does not mean that we throw up our arms in despair and say 'why even try?' It means we put first things first when we acknowledge we can do nothing apart from Him as it says in John 15:5. 
That is why Jesus came to die in our place and give us His perfect record of obedience... because we could never obey the law perfectly to satisfy God's holy requirements.  What hope that brings because now my eyes are firmly placed on the only One who can really change a child's heart ... Jesus! 

There are many examples in Scripture of parents who BY FAITH put their trust in an all sovereign, wise and powerful God to do what no parent could!

By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. Hebrews 11:7

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. Hebrews 11:23

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. Hebrews 11:20


Children will humble us and bring us to our knees so that the Lord’s power can be displayed in our very weakness.  There is hope as we read 2 Corinthians 12:9:

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

It has been said that, “We will parent imperfectly, our children will make their own choices, and God will mysteriously and wondrously use it all to advance his kingdom and for His glory.” 


Providentially, Jenny, our Lord will be there for you in the wonderful opportunity He has given you and your husband to train up this child in the power of His strength and His love.  And please know that you have our support and prayers. May God bless you!

 
Here are a few things I did this week in my home to stretch our income. I'll also post my typical frugal day here! 

~ Since I shared a baby devotional with you I thought I'd share the nursing covers I made. These are fun to make! They take 1 yard of material plus an 1/8 of a yard if you want a contrasting color at the bottom. I bought a package of baby washcloths at the dollar store and sewed one into the corner to wipe babies mouth. I found the boning at Joann's. I used a 40 % coupon which helped with the cost of this project making it very affordable.  I used this tutorial:

              Nursing Cover Tutorial


~ I have been freezing bits and pieces of vegetables since this summer. Some veggies were leftovers from our garden that I didn't want to can and some have been smidgeons leftover from our dinners. The shelf is too full. So my goal this week has been to start clearing out that shelf. I threw about 1/3 of the veggies into a soup this week. I defrosted some pumpkin and added it to my chili. I also used a bag of Spicy Tomato Sauce for the chili.  


~ I was given approximately 7 boxes of material. Most was older material and not suited for clothing but would make nice quilts. Since I already have 3 quilts that need to be finished I didn't save those pieces but passed them on to the church for their Mexico missions. I saved 3 large pieces of polyester to use as protective coverings for chairs in my office (where Miss Sassy has been filing her claws! uh hem!) and quite a few nice cotton pieces to make everyday aprons. My aprons are terribly stained! The material was a huge blessing!


~ I was also given more greeting cards. I will glean through them saving teh ones I think I'll use and then pass the other on to bless someone else. I love to send cards.

~ I am still harvesting Swiss chard, broccoli and kale from our garden. These will likely become winter staples because they are easy to grow, take very little water and last a long time. I tried growing a winter garden when we lived in the 'barn' but it was a flop. I'm glad we didn't give up. Vegetable prices continue to climb and we are saving money by growing veggies by seed. I use the Swiss chard in my eggs and soups and salads. The kale is tough so I only use it in soups.  

~ I tried something new in my chicken vegetable soup this week. I found a recipe on All Recipes that added 1/2 cup peanut butter to the soup. It made a wonderful addition and you could not detect it was peanut butter. 

~ I found 'One Second Needles' at the dollar store this week. Sometimes I'm amazed at what I find there. I bought a few for gifts (and one for me!). 

~ I've been composting through the winter. My quick mind did not realize the compost was not breaking down. I read an article that said the compost does not heat up enough to break down the compost during winter months so I'll wait until the weather heats up before I start again. 

~ What I didn't throw away this week in order to stretch my pennies:

  • Baggie that I froze LC muffins in. (washed to reuse)
  • Sunflower seed plastic bag (washed to reuse)
  • Twisty ties (I save these to reuse with above plastic bag)
  • Toilet paper cardboard tubes (tore up for compost)
  • Twine on a gift card (reuse to tie plants)
  • Tea bags (reuse 3 to make one cup of tea)
  • Old 2013 calendar (used blank pages for scrap paper)
So how did your week go? Did you learn anything new this week? 

Blessed to be home!
Georgene


19 comments:

  1. Love your devotional and the nursing covers you made. Going to keep that link.Praying for your speaking at the shower.

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    1. Thank you for your editing advice on the devotional Carol and for your prayers!

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  2. Beautiful devotional ... thanks for sharing,
    Mrs.B

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. Thank you for all the ideas. I am sorry but I have no idea what one second needles are? Are they ones that have the open eye that you can thread in a second??? LOL Sarah

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  5. Yes Sarah! Those are the ones! Thank you for helping me to clarify! :-)

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  6. Our daughter & her husband are expecting their second child. We live a few hours drive from them, however, they have some good friends at the Church they attend.
    Yes a new live is an absolute miracle. Psalm 139 13-16
    Best wishes
    Angela (Devon) UK

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    1. Congrats on the new 'soon to be' grandbaby Angela! How fun!

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  7. Hi Georgene! I have been very blessed by your blog! You introduced me to a great book - Enough and I'm just finishing a great book just like it called Satisfied. I was thinking that you might like my copy. I could send it to you if you'd like. :)

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    1. I haven't heard of that book but it sounds wonderful. I would love to read it. How sweet of you to offer.

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    2. I'm happy to send to you. What's the best way to get to you? I could email you privately if you wanted to give me the best address. Is there an email address for you on this blog? I can send it out this week. :)

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    3. Here is my email address: akeeperathome@aol.com

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  8. Georgene, that was the most beautiful devotional. Thanks for sharing with us. Hope y'all are having a wonderful new year so far! Many blessings to you and your family.

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  9. Would you mind if I was to use this at an upcoming baby shower- it is so well thought out and full of scripture. Many good reminders for us all as Moms!

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    1. I'm thankful you have been blessed by the devotional. Are you thinking you'll just read it or had you planned on printing it and passing it out?

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  10. I really appreciate your response back! I have come up with my own devotional and thank you for the scripture and points you made above to get me thinking for the talk will do. God bless you!

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    1. I'm sure you will give a wonderful devotional!

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