Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Music and Clothes, Clothes and Music

Shopping for Music books can be every bit as much as an experience as shopping for clothes with your teen daughter. This past weekend, we were off on a quest for some Christmas music that reflected my daughter's advancing skill in solo piano playing.

Off we trotted to Herter's Music in Saginaw to find the right book full of Christmas music. She couldn't seem to decide at all, and had to read and hum each line. After about ten minutes, my day got a whole lot longer when the helpful sales lady gave us a practice room to try out the different music books. I never realized that a music store could have the equivalent of a dressing room available.

Some three hours later, as the intercom notified us that the store was closing, we finally decided on four books. We have the complete score to the Nutcracker, and three books full of Christmas hymns and carols. I am thankful for the talents God has poured into her. She wants to play piano to honor and glorify God. If that means a few hours on a Saturday at a music store, oh well. :-))

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Getting back to basics

Lately in our house we've been focused in more on getting back to basics.

It seems I did a great job training my oldest two children, and somewhat trained my third daughter, but didn't do such a great job with helping the younger two learn how to properly do some chores. My older kids actually did a bit of an intervention recently (LOL) and asked me if we couldn't do some "boot camp" for chores again with the two youngest, so that they will learn how to do things the right way too.

For the record, they are 7 and 8 years old.

Anyway, we have been working on that lately. This week we are focusing on cleaning up our rooms, making the bed, putting away laundry, and that sort of thing (basic non-hygiene self care). All week long, I spend time helping them practice these skills so that we can all work together.

What an adventure!

Hey, don't forget....Sunday is my birthday, which means MONDAY is the BIG SALE! Woo HOO. You don't want to miss 37% off by typing in the right coupon code. Sign up for my newsletter through my shopping cart, and you will get the coupon code for the sale.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Birthday Sale

I am having a big birthday sale on my websites bookstore this coming Monday,
to celebrate my 37th birthday. For that day only, there will be 37% off of
all books and ebooks I have written! This includes:

Thriving on One Income (Book or Ebook)
Quiet Times in Loud Households (Book or Ebook)
Advent (Ebook)
Bread by Hand Ebook (Ebook)
Growing Your Groceries (Ebook)
The Basics of Frugal Cooking (Ebook)
The Ehandbook on Ebooks (Ebook)

Just enter this special coupon code to get the discount: NLOCT06


Jonah and the Vine and a God who PROVIDES

Someone emailed me recently to ask me if I personally ever get down over
financial issues. After reading my book, Thriving on One Income, she was
wondering if I ever have those down days, with discouragement and so forth
at not being able to have all that it seems others have.

The truth? YEPPERS!

I really think it comes and goes in seasons. It depends on a lot of things,
but most especially what I am allowing into my head. I've noticed that if I
have spent too much time with my mom (who has a lot of nice stuff), or
anyone who has "nice things" or at one of those home parties where everyone
is buying up things and I am scanning the list for anything under $5....I
get down. I wonder, WHY ME? Why can't I have what (fill in the blank) has?

I think I hit my low point last summer when my husband finally got a good
job after years of being underpaid....and then in a few months, they just
closed down the shop and moved it overseas for cheaper labor. I was crushed,
and angry. It was rather ironic too because the week that this all
transpired, a large white truck pulled in my driveway and dropped off 4
cases of books--copies of my book Thriving on One Income that I had printed
up and perfect bound with shiny new full color covers. I was really having
a pity party and a temper tantrum all rolled into one over this whole issue,
and so my husband ripped open one of the boxes, and handed me a copy of my
book and said, "You may want to read this. It might help. Some lady who has
learned to be content on a very small income wrote it to be an encouragement
to people in these situations."

I was not amused.

However, a few pages into my own book, I was really convicted. It isn't a
one time thing--that whole "contentment thang". Sometimes we have to go back
to the Lord over and over and over again concerning the exact same issues,
because in our own human strength we just CAN'T! However, in God's power, we
can. His grace is sufficient for us, even in seemingly "mundane" areas like
being a stay at home mom.

Just recently, as I was reading through the book of Jonah in the Bible (as
in Jonah and the Big Fish), God really showed me something. You see, I have
always been somewhat mystified by the part of the story where Jonah is
having a temper tantrum outside of the city, and God allows the vine to grow
up and to shade him, and then God allows the vine to die, upsetting Jonah.
It never really made a lot of sense to me in a practical way, but when I
read that recently, God showed me that I am a lot like Jonah in that regard.
Just when we were having a really hard time to the point where we were both
ready to give up, God sent along a vine (the nice job). Though it didn't
last long, it was shade for a season, so to speak. God allowed it to whither
and go away, and like Jonah, I was upset....mostly because I was missing the
big picture.

God was STILL My provider, no matter what job we had, if any. And even
today, with the job my husband has now, it is all God's grace that we rely
upon, not ourselves, or our employers, or anything else. Praise Him