Welcome to the final day of our Nifty Thrifty week featuring ideas, stories, recipes and GIVEAWAYS from five frugal guests.
(And it all started with my devotion entitled The Boomerang of Blessing. )
PLEASE NOTE: As with all the posts this week, you have until Sunday night at midnight EST to comment and be entered in the drawing. All the winners will be announced Monday. So, if you haven’t entered each day’s giveaway, you still have time. My guests are giving out fabulous prizes including Amazon cards, books, Target cards and a $100 baking ingredients kit!
Sharon is an amazing speaker (many churches invite her back again and again!) who is a picture of how to live on faith when times are tough. She has so many real-life stories of how her family has had to do that over the years that I could sit and listen to her for hours!
Today Sharon, along with providing us encouragement in this area, is giving away a copy of our new Real-Life Devotional Bible and a book about a man who lived on faith: George Muller.
(And can you please do me a favor? Will you stick around until the bottom of Sharon’s post and read an update of the couple who was in the horrible accident the day after Christmas and is now having to live on faith? I mentioned that two of our friends were running the Boston Marathon in their honor and many of you wanted to know if they were alright. The update is below.)
Now, here is Sharon on how to live on faith.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a one room home like Little House on the Prairie? Well, two years ago, we did it. We moved into an old one room shed without running water, heat, air conditioning, a stove (we had a woodstove) or a kitchen! Yeah, I know—even Little House on the Prairie had a kitchen, didn’t they?
We moved out of our cozy Victorian farm home, and 21 people moved into our house (get more of story here). So, I can tell you from first-hand experience—you can live on less and trust God more.
We lived in the shed for a year and then moved back into our house. People couldn’t believe we would do something so radical, but God led us to do it. In that year I learned that I don’t need as much as I think I do. A lot of us have a lot of space and stuff we don’t need, and it costs us—in more ways than one.
Shed living was the epitome of “nifty thrifty!” There was no heating or cooling bill. (We live in VA, so winters are cold, and summers are hot as fire!) There was no extra space, so we couldn’t buy anything. And cleaning time and supplies were down by 90%.
Hard times bring hard decisions. How do you know when it’s time to sell the house? Change jobs? Bring a renter into the spare room? Sell the car? Tell your child you can’t afford college? Gulp!
I can tell you this with all assurance: God is to be trusted with big decisions. He never fails. Psalm 50:15 says, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”
How do you lean not on your own understanding but His? Faith.
Here’s how I live by faith: I read His promises in the Bible, believe them and then watch them fulfilled. I’ve seen God do the impossible in our circumstances and in our finances. He’s done things I would never have dreamed. Yet He may not have done them had I not been willing to obey His leading.
If you want your faith built up through others examples, read about George Muller. I love George Muller. Now he lived the life of faith. You’ve got to read his story. He ran an orphanage with hundreds of children; some days there wasn’t food to feed them. George believed in the power of prayer and God’s promises to provide. The children would sit down at the table and pray, and before long the door would knock and someone would deliver food. God always provided.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
You can live on less and trust God more. His promises are not only for other people—they are for you!
Now, to be entered in my giveaway, tell us about a time you had to live on faith or about someone you know who is doing so. I can’t wait to read your comments!
UPDATE ON LANE AND EMILY: Karen here again. Thanks to so many of you who have responded to the story of the newlyweds who were in an accident during a snowstorm and now are dealing with the husband having a traumatic brain injury.
Emily always knew God called her to be a nurse. Just as she got married and landed her first job, she instead became a full-time nurse to her handsome, courageous, still-witty-and-sees-his-life-as-a-mission-field husband Lane. (You can read the full story by clicking here)
Our mutual friends Cathy and Angie ran the Boston Marathon to raise money for their living and medical expenses.
Here they are with Lane and Emily before the race back in Michigan:
Here they are crossing the finish line.
I knew Cathy and Angie run marathons in under four hours. However, Cathy had told me the last time she cut my hair how many horrible hills there are in the Boston Marathon. She joked and said she hoped that fact didn’t mean they’d cross the line after the four hour mark. (Ahem...I’d be honored to do that. My time might be closer to four days!)
The day of the race I was on the phone with my friend Renee. As we were talking, her husband JJ texted her about the bombs. I hung up the phone and began to see the film playing over and over again of the first bomb going off at the finish line.
My heart skipped a beat as I saw the clock ticking above that finish line and it read “4:09” For a few hours I wondered if Cathy & Angie were near that line.
I received an update soon from Emily’s mom that they had thankfully finished before that 4:09 mark. I lifted this update from Angie’s Facebook:
“My heart is just so saddened by what happened in downtown Boston today… So awful. Wanted to give a quick update…We are back at our hotel thanking God for His protection! Cathy and I passed through the finish line several minutes before the explosions-miracle #1 … then Becky and Brent who standing right were the first explosion went off (waiting for me) left only minutes before explosion-to come find me–miracle #2. My parents and Cara witnessed/felt the explosions-right down by the finish line area-again God protected them. Alison and Christy and Amber were also very close and came to find me…another miracle. Again, we praise God for His protection…while our hearts go out to those fellow runners who were injured…and the families of those who lost their lives… Thank you everyone for your prayers… God is real…and God answered them.”
And THANK YOU for your prayers for the race and for Lane’s recovery. Again, you can read the story of their accident and his amazing effort in getting back even the most basics physical skills (thankfully his mind & memory are as sharp as a tack!) by clicking here. (There is also info for how to give online to them)
And if you don’t have time to read the whole story and your heart is just telling you to encourage this couple living on faith, the way that blesses them most is by mailing a hand-written note or card to them. (If you feel led to tuck in a a check, make it out to Lane or Emily Bargeron) And, If you do email, send a note, or mail in a donation, would you please let them know that you heard their story here? We’d love to see how far and wide our little community of blog friends reaches.
Mary Free Bed
Patient: Lane Bargeron
235 Wealthy SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Send an email directly through any email account:
• In the “To” field, type: email@example.com
• In the “Subject” field, type “Lane Bargeron”
• Type message and send
Now, don’t forget to leave a comment about living on faith. Or, if you’d prefer, you can leave a prayer for this couple living on faith. Sharon, our Nifty Thrifty guest today, is a FAITHFUL prayer warrior and would be thrilled to read your prayers for this couple living on faith too!