There have been many, many times we have wondered where the money would come to pay for this bill or that need. So, we go to the Lord in secret, revealing only to Him our need(s)...and our wants. Of course, we generally know what the other may be requesting/sharing with Christ, but none other (typically). Over and over again, we have been blessed with answers to those requests; every time I am amazed at how God answers! However, though the answer is definitely appreciated, I find that I appreciate something else entirely more: knowing how to listen and speak to my Lord in private.
The communion I have with Christ in those times is precious. I am so sweetly blessed by His loving presence. Too often I neglect that gift; too often I waste time selfishly, rather than sitting at His feet. Yet, when needs arise, I am humbled back to a position in which I need to be every day.
When we are in positions where things unexpectedly arise, there has been a lack of discipline, or downright foolhardy behaviour with money, we go to God in prayer. Money is what makes the house run, right? WRONG: GOD IS!
I know that the world requires money for practically anything you want/need. Yet, God is the one that is in control of what is going on in the world: whether He is Himself doing it, or allowing it; He is in control. The money, demand for money, or a life revolved around money, is not in control.
Yet I, like probably so many, seem to live thinking that without money things will go wrong. However, after I prayed today, I mused on the fact that I am praying to God for our need(s), not money. I do not pray to the great money in the sky to rain down wealth upon us. No, I go to GOD to give us our need(s), however He sees fit.
Did you know that many times God will meet a need that seems to require money, by giving it another way? Or, when you think that it will only work this way, (that there is no other possible way it can work), God trumps your way of thinking by showing that there is another way? Oh, how foolish I am to think that I can figure out everything!
When times were/are getting difficult, it is easy to live fearfully. I can be full of care and worry that all my fears will come true. I get caught in the trap of self-preservation, that all I care about is myself. Disgusting!
It is in these times that God speaks firmly to my soul:
- That even if all were taken away, I would still have Christ.
- That even if I perished, I would be home with Christ.
- That even if the worst happened, I would still be cared for by God.
- That I need to talk to Him minute-by-minute, not trial-by-trial. (Please do not misunderstand me. I do talk to God daily; yet, it is a habitual/surface talk. I allow people/time/self get in the way of talking to Him in-depth, for one reason or another. The same goes for listening to Him, too.)
- That when I treat Him respectfully in prayer, He hears me.
I could continue in the many things of which He reminds me, when I am full of care. Yet, these are the thoughts that predominantly come to mind. These lessons are always good for me.
I would like to speak a bit on number five on my list. I do not mean "respectfully" as "Dear Heavenly Father...blah, blah, blah...Thou art...blah, blah, blah." Words matter, yes. Heart matters much more.
When I respectfully approach the GOD, my Heavenly Father, my Saviour, I need to do so reverently. I need to treat Him with more reverence than any person on the face of the earth. I also need to be reverently honest and open to Him: not afraid to share with Him my struggles with doing right, all the while acknowledging my sin(s), and seeking (honestly) correction, not justification; my needs, even if my sin(s) brought me to the current position; my thoughts; my feelings; etc. I need to WILLINGLY, THANKFULLY accept whatever He tells me: to do, how to feel, how to think, etc.
When I am in this prayerful position, He sets my spirit right. Even if things are still haywire, my heart is established. I know that whatever comes, God is in control. I know that whatever I get/do not get, is of God's doing. He either allows it, or does it Himself. Whatever the situation, I learn to trust Him more, and love Him more.
What does all of this rambling have to do with being frugal with Dear's money? Well, if I am not seeking God's counsel, or utilizing the counsel He has already given me, then I will be wasteful with his money. I will waste, waste, waste, due to want, want, want of the flesh.
So, when money is tight, or absent, I go to the Lord for thrifty, creative behaviour. I seek Him in how to be a good steward of His supplies that He allows Dear to earn for us. I can, by my Lord's enablement, create a lovely home environment with hand-me-downs, or thrift-store finds. I can, by my Lord's grace, healthily feed the two of us (and any guests) with what is in our pantry, or many times, what God puts on the hearts of others to give to us to use. When there is only so much to utilize, one becomes creative in how to use it, so that spirits are content and blessings abound in thanksgiving to God for what we do have!
One of those blessings are healthy bowels! Yes, I said "healthy bowels!" Bowels of mercy, bowels of love...If you read the Bible, undoubtedly you have heard the term "bowels." Bowels can be good!
You do not need much money to have a healthy meal. One of the staples that were in my home growing up as a child was cornbread and soup beans. MMMM...Goodness! It is so tasty, done right. It is so healthy, done right. It blesses the recipients, done right. It blesses the giver, done right. Much prayer, and Godly-intervention, it turns out right!
Renee's Soup Beans
(**These do not turn out exactly the same each time, since I eyeball it every time. Yet, each time has been a blessing to us: in the wallet, and in the gullet!)
1 large yellow onion
Garlic (powder or pressed: if pressed, I would do 7 cloves or a whole head, depending on the size of the soup; if powder, to taste)
Pepper to taste
Ham hock (I personally like to use leftover glazed ham bone, but if it's just a basic ham hock, I add honey to taste)
Salt to taste
Pour beans in mixing bowl. Fill mixing bowl with water to just about 1-in. above beans. Let soak 6 - 8 hours. Rinse beans, throwing away any bad ones (rotted; sometimes there are even tiny stones, so beware!). Pour beans in stock pot, and fill with water above beans at least 1-in. Add ham hock and garlic. Let cook on low - medium-low for 7 - 11 hours. Add the onion, pepper, and salt midway through the cook time. Check the soup, making sure to stir the beans occasionally. The beans should be tender, but not mush. The ham should be tender, able to pull off the bone with the stir spoon. Ladle into bowls, with whatever cornbread you wish. Top with a dollop of butter, and you are on your yummy way!