Weekend Reads

Tell Your Story

river rocks

I was blessed to grow up with a very imaginative Mother. While most Moms would lay prostrate by the pool, soaking up the sun, my Mother would be splashing around with me as we re-enacted our version of The Little Mermaid. Whenever we would walk to this little woods near our childhood neighborhood, she would pretend my brother and I were the Billy Goats’ Gruff, while she played the less desirable role of the mean, hungry Troll.

Often before my brother, Jason  and I would go to sleep, she would tell of the tales of J-Bob the detective, solving the latest mystery crime and saving the damsel in distress, Jennifer the Ballerina (that’s me)!  Her creativity, playfulness and stories never grew old and they are still cherished memories I hold dear.

The stories I enjoy from her now are the times she heard the Holy Spirit to receiving miraculous answers to prayer, and chapters in between. Her stories offer wisdom, strength, and peace to my sometimes weary, young wife and mother heart.

We all have a story. We have times in our lives where we have experienced God moving and speaking in our lives. Moments where we witnessed the Faithfulness of His promises, leaving the mark of His Hand. We serve a very creative Author- whose creativity is evident in vastness of nature, the intricacies of the human body, and His purposeful design in our story.

What has the Author of our faith written on your heart? What has He done for you? And what does He want you to do with your story?

As I prayed with my Moms in Prayer group this past week, we reflected on God as being our Rock – the cornerstone – our firm foundation. One of the fellow moms shared how she has a special rock collection. Every time God answered a prayer, she would pick up a river stone, paint the date on it, and put it in a large bowl with the other stones. She went on to say that whenever life reminds her of the sorrow in this fallen world, she can refer to her bowl of stones and recall the many wonders of God – the eternal Rock of our salvation.

Over the years, as people have visited her home, they have inquired about her unique rock collection. Every stone has a story. And every story is a testimony. The stones not only re-read to her like her favorite book, it was an opportunity to share of the greatness of our Father.

After all, what good is a good story if it is left unshared? Our stories are not meant to collect dust on the shelf. The purpose of our story is for the uplifting and edification of others and to give glory back to the Author. Share your story with your children, with your neighbors, with your small group at church. Share the goodness of God and what great things He has done!

It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me.”           -Daniel 4:2

Live 4 Him,

Living 31 Homemaking

 

 

 

 

Budgeting, Food and Recipes

The BEST Starbucks Copycat Recipes!

copycat-recipes

In a budget blog I recently wrote, I suggested cutting back on the extras to put some more cash in your pocket. But I have to admit, that in many cases throughout my blogging chronicles, I am either speaking from experience or preaching to the choir- the choir being myself, in this case. As a frequent drive-througher ( yes, I just made up the word “througher”) at my local Starbucks, I came to terms with my love affair for Chai Tea Lattes. And knew very well that spending a shameful amount of money each month on a drink- no matter how perfectly prepared it was with its irresistible cinnamon- spice flavor and foam- is not being the best steward with our resources.

But it was too much to let it go altogether. And yet, still too expensive to continue purchasing. It all seemed too unfair. To top it off, the chai withdrawal brought out a rather tired, pathetic side of me I had yet to experience. Pretty sure my family felt the tension too. I knew things couldn’t go on like this, so I decided to embark on a little journey. A journey I like to call “Search for The Chai Tea Recipe Holy Grail.” Along the way,  I was also pleasantly surprised at how many copycat Starbucks recipes existed in the world- and with ingredients I already had on hand! It was a miracle! An answer to prayer!

With these easy recipes, you are no longer left to choose between depriving yourself of enjoying your favorite caffeinated indulgence or saving…you can have both! And it’s nothing short of amazing!  Homemade Starbucks saves an average of $125/ month (and your sanity)…so these recipes are extra sweet!

  1. Chai Tea Latte The song ” You Are So Beautiful” comes to mind. As well as images of rainbows, sunshine, and all things perfectly made. It happens to be my personal favorite and the unmatched champion of anything served in a mug.

chai-tea-5

 

2. Salted Caramel Mocha Salted. Caramel. Mocha. Three amazing words that together, make one amazingly tasty cup of coffee.  It’s the stuff dreams are made of!

salted-caramel-mocha

 

3.  Peppermint Mocha Ahhh! Chocolate and peppermint are a match made in heaven in this scrumptious peppermint mocha recipe!

peppermint-mocha

 

4. Pumpkin Spice Latte Enjoy your favorite flavor of fall anytime of the year! It’s a sip of spicy-sweetness that is the very definition of delicious!

pumpkin-spice-latte

 

5. Hot Chocolate A rich, decadent indulgence of one of life’s greatest simple pleasures: chocolate. Hot chocolate is the perfect pairing to a warm blanket, slippers, and your cozy PJ’s.

hot-chocolate

 

6.  Vanilla Spice Latte Vanilla. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?  Seriously, there are no words! I simply adore anything vanilla and this is no exception…it’s only exceptional!

 

vanilla-spice-latte

 

7. Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte Never has ice been so happy. Something warm-tasting, yet refreshing. This beverage exceeds the expectations of both!

cinnamon-dolce-latte

Enjoy these favorites in the comfort and convenience of your own home. Knock the socks off of your husband, friends, and even yourself with these taste-worthy recipes, without breaking the bank!

God’s Blessings,

The Humble Homemaker

Budgeting

The Best Principle to Save Money On Any Budget

savings

I’ve come across several articles of “How To Stop Living Pay-Check to Pay-Check” and “Save Your First $1,000.”  While I found many of the articles helpful and equally insightful, they lack one very important practical element of advice.

First off, you may ask what qualifies me to discuss budgeting, saving, and money. I will admit, I do not- I repeat- do not have a degree in finance or have published a well-renowned  book with a detailed synopsis of all the money “How-Tos.”

I have, however, learned through years of set-backs, personal mistakes, and life in general, that financial success requires incredible discipline, sacrifice, wisdom, and patience. While I practice wisdom with saving money, I do not claim to have “arrived” at my financial success destination. Because financial success is not a destination, but a continual, steady process.

 Financial success is a slow, steep climb. You have to keep your eye on the goal (the Summit of the mountain), while managing to carefully find your footing each step of the way up.  Be patient-very patient- with the process.

Everyone’s definition of financial success varies. Some people consider it a financial win to have $30 in the bank before receiving their paycheck, while others consider more lofty means like owning a huge house and driving expensive cars, and anywhere in between both ends of the spectrum.

Regardless of what your definition is, there are practical answers right in the Bible- yes, the Bible. I know it doesn’t sound like your typical, catchy title go-to guide for money management, but Jesus spoke more about money more than almost any other subject- 2,350 verses, to be exact. So there is no secret to financial success-the jig is up- because God has already laid out the answers for us. And you don’t have to be within the financial elite to have this wisdom because He designed His plan for you, me, anyone.

Jesse and I, like many people, thought we needed to get out of debt first before saving money, so we put all our efforts into paying off debts. But when an emergency occurred, we ended up back in debt. You can’t neglect your debt, but don’t wait to get out of debt before you start saving money. And we know better than anyone that when you live off one income, have a family to support, and live in a costly society, saving feels like a very far-fetched fairytale.

So why is everyone talking about saving $1,000?  Well, $1,000 is a good starting point for saving because it is a reasonable amount of money in the event of an emergency. By emergency, I’m not referring to Macy’s One Day Sale- I’m talking about times when we blow out a tire or are saddled with a major house repair. Then once you reach the goal of saving $1,000, push toward saving for 3 months living expenses, then 6 months living expenses, and so forth.

While other articles suggest ways to earn a little extra cash here and there, the Bible offers a very simple, yet effective strategy.  It’s called “The Steady Plodding Principle.” This principle is derived from Proverbs 13:11 which states: “he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” It may not sound as groundbreaking or perhaps even as enticing as some online sources promising simple ways to earn money. But that’s the mentality of our microwave society- a society that doesn’t want to be patient and wants fast results.

Rather than a microwave approach, think of this principle as more like a crockpot approach, so to speak- low and slow, but so worth it at the end of the day. So how do we practice Steady Plodding?

  1. Save Your Change– I realize this sounds elementary and most of us got rid of our piggy banks when we were about 10, but this is such a simple, yet effective habit to practice.  But keep in mind, in a credit card user economy, you will have to use cash in order to make this work!  I know a couple who puts all their spare change in a jar each day and by the end of the year, they have accumulated close to $700. So don’t short change your change! Steady Plodding at it’s finest! (Proverbs 13:11).
  2. Exchange Unnecessary Expenses– Let’s talk about sacrifice. It’s not exactly a word that rolls off the tongue.  Steady plodding  requires some degree of  sacrifice, which again, comes hard in a microwave society- where we are bent toward the easiest method to achieve results. Heaven forbid we give up anything in order to reach a goal. When considering your unnecessary expenses, don’t look in terms of daily or monthly cost. Look at what it is costing on an annual basis. What may seem like a low cost on a daily or monthly scale can actually add up to a larger amount in the course of a year.
  • Daily Starbucks Coffee: $5 ($1,825 annually)
  • Monthly Gym Membership: $25 ($300 annually)
  • Monthly Cable Bill: $100 ($1,200 annually)
  • Monthly Netflix Subscription: $10 ( $120 annually)
  • Monthly Apple Music Subscription: $16 ( $192 annually)
  • Monthly Manicure : $20 ( $240 annually)

These are just a few common examples of extras. If we could reduce or eliminate even just a couple of these, we can exchange the expenses for extra savings. A $10 per month Netflix subscription doesn’t sound entirely unreasonable, which might make you question if it’s really worth giving up. But with steady plodding, it’s not about putting large sums of money in at a time, but consistently adding a little over time in order to attain our financial goals. If you find yourself struggling to save, but have one or more of these unnecessary expenses, then it’s time to put some sacrifice into practice. “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways.” -Proverbs 14:8.

3. Put Back Some Extras– In the event you receive some unexpected or expected extra- you return a purchase, receive a tax refund, or monetary gift- put some into your savings.  There are circumstances when other necessities require attention, but be disciplined not to turn around and spend it on something else. “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.” -Proverbs 21:20.

It is my heart’s prayer that the Steady Plodding Principle becomes your best solution to practice discipline and save money.  Believe me, I know saving is a challenge for most of us, but with God’s wisdom and strength, it is possible! “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13 and “with God, all things are possible.” -Mark 10:27.

God’s Blessings,

The Humble Homemaker

*Extra Resource for Further Reference: “Your Money Map” by Howard Dayton

Budgeting

How I Feed My Family of 4 On $100/Week

Groceries

I know what you’re thinking…I must be one of those “as seen on TV” coupon gurus.  With a wave of my scissors,  I can cast savings everywhere. Not so. Although I envy those who can walk out of a store juggling a mountain of bags that only cost like $15,  I find coupon clipping requires tedious discipline that I reluctantly utilize on the occasional  well-worth deal.  But I have discovered other strategies to be just as effective for money- saving and time-saving as well. Every well-thought out strategy begins with a plan of action. Just as my coaching husband scripts football plays, I make a different sort of game-plan-  instead of formations in my playbook, I chart inventory, carefully create a weekly menu and write out a strategic list before facing the shopping cart traffic jams and bumper to bumper check-out lines.

With these tips, you too can maintain keeping your family full on a humble budget of $100 per week!

1. Be Resourceful.  Before I figure out my weekly meal action plan, I sort through my current household inventory of my pantry, fridge and freezer. Instead of making a dish that requires purchase of a whole list of new ingredients while perfectly good groceries continue to make their journey towards their shelf light at the end of the tunnel, I consider how I can use those items to make something.   I also check for staple items that stretch a meal- like pastas, potatoes and rice. If I bought rice last week to make a chicken and rice soup, then I create a different way to serve rice the next week, like a sausage jambalaya or chicken and veggie teriyaki over rice.  This incorporates ingredients I already have on hand, but in a way that won’t leave my family questioning “didn’t we just have this?!”

2. Plan the Weekly Meals. Once you know what ingredients you already have to work with, creating a meal plan is a cinch. What requires a half hour of time eliminates a week full of maddening brain-scrambling trying to decide what to make, while your kids and husband are looking at you for answers to the age-old question of what’s for dinner.  A meal plan also simplifies making a grocery list to include the items required for preparing suppers.

3. Prepare One Meatless Meal Per Week. I could safely classify my husband as a carnivorous specimen, but once he realized how much meat was adding up in our grocery budget, he complied (eventually) to one meatless meal per week. Make a hearty vegetable soup or pasta with homemade marinara sauce- your family will survive- last I checked, death by vegetables has yet to occur.

4. Eat Left-Overs. Left- overs used to only appeal to me for lunch the following day. But I discovered that we often still had left over left-overs, so not only was this habit wasteful, but it added more expense- and time- to cook something new every night. Now when I cook, my family has left-overs the next night, followed by a night of cooking a different meal. And the cycle repeats.  This requires me to cook only 3-4 times per week. The benefits are great for your wallet, but also rewarding with more quality family time, rather than time spent over a hot stove.

5. Make A List. I stand by to-do lists and grocery lists. It’s like having an organized visual of my thoughts.  Making a list and sticking to the essentials will help to avoid those impulse buys that accumulate dollar signs (and buyer’s remorse) during check-out. And being armed with a well-devised list, you can kiss last minute “Oops, I forgot something” runs to the store goodbye!

6. Alternate Organic with Regular Items. Like so many others I know, I threw my grocery budget to the wind and jumped on the organic band wagon at one point…but the reality of doubling my spending left my checkbook feeling pretty depressed. But after counseling my budget and consoling my wallet, I derived to a new plan of action- and alternating was my simply profound solution. Some weeks, I purchase organic meat and vegetables, but buy regular snack food and cereals. Another week, I buy regular meats and purchase the organic granola bars and frozen yogurt. Organic items seldom go on sale, so it is important to mix and match.

7. Mix and Match Fresh with Frozen/Canned. The key to buying fresh ingredients on a budget is buying in-season. During the summer, I love taking advantage of the beautiful blueberries, strawberries and melon.  In winter months, if I crave a delicious fruit smoothie, I purchase frozen fruit to keep cost down. As I make meals throughout the week, I alternate making fresh vegetables, like freshly roasted garlic asparagus one evening with canned carrots with a homemade ginger glaze for another night.

8. Limit the Purchase of Beverages.  Pop and juice not only wreak havoc on your body, but your budget as well.  Buying a couple liters of pop and juice can easily wipe out 10-15% of the total budget. Even bottled water can add an unnecessary expense- consider buying a personal water bottle to re-use instead.

9. Don’t Be Fooled by Sales. Red- sticker savings usually give the illusion of getting a deal, but sometimes, a sale may be taking advantage of you instead of you taking advantage of a sale.  Watch for the items labeled “Buy Two for…”  Some of these savings only add up to a matter of pocket change, so you basically got duped into doubling your purchase spending.  Sometimes it saves to not “save.”

God’s Blessings,

The Humble Homemaker

Budgeting

Making Cents On A Budget: Part 2

piggybank

Experiencing God’s faithful provision for our dining table challenge further instilled my perspective in the other areas I contribute to our household finances. With the power of persuasion, I might have been able to talk my husband into that table, but I chose to accept defeat and find an alternative without compromising our budget. Instead of using the power of persuasion, I opted to operate under the power of wisdom. As the women of our homes- we are by nature- the homemakers. Whether you work or stay at home, it is safe to say you perform the majority of the tasks that keep your home running like a well-oiled machine. We take weekly inventory of the household needs, we typically plan the meals and do the grocery shopping, oversee the decorating, buy the clothing items for ourselves, husband and children, and the list goes on!

After Jesse and I decided it would be my role to stay home, reality quickly hit that saving was no longer optional-it was necessity! My task was to learn how to save money even in the simple ways, which can easily be overlooked and may seem insignificant, but actually makes all the difference. But before we could create strategy in areas of savings, we first had to evaluate our spending. Jesse and I began by keeping every receipt and listing every purchase made over the course of one month. We tracked every coffee purchased, gas for our cars, entertainment, grocery shopping- EVERYTHING! For the first time, we had a clear picture of where our money was going each month- and it was eye opening. After reviewing our spending habits, we could easily figure out where our money was being spent and that knowledge pinpointed us to the exact areas in which we could save.

Some of my methods of financial budgeting may not be groundbreaking news, but they have stood the test of time and have proven over and over again to remain effective- I am testimony to that!

Here are my top 10 ways to contribute financially without earning a cent!

  1. Make a Grocery List and Stick to It. “The plans of the diligent lead to profit” (Proverbs 21:5). Sounds simple, right? But this actually requires a degree of self-discipline! If we do not go into the store prepared to buy what we need, will likely buy anything that sounds good and easily go overboard and over budget. If you still struggle with impulse buying, bring cash only to the grocery store and leave your cards and checks at home. You will be forced to only purchase what your cash value allows.
  2. Break Up with Cable. I know this is a close relationship for most Americans, but considering that the vast majority of things on TV are not very edifying and offer no greater purpose in life, we chose to break ties with our commitment to cable. But instead of completely saying farewell to TV, we decided to purchase an Apple TV and Netflix. The Apple TV was a one- time purchase that allows us to stream live TV, while Netflix is a monthly subscription of $10/month. So we still reap some of the benefits of watching TV, but on our own terms, so to speak. Not only has this decision allowed our family the availability to spend more time together, but we now save over $1,300 per year without cable. We thought it was going to be a huge feat, but honestly- we do not miss it!
  3. Collect Coupons. Think even outside the box of grocery shopping. If you search online and mail ads, you can discover coupons for recreational events, clothing, household items, take- out food, you name it! I once witnessed a customer in front of me at the check-out who had so many coupons, she actually got paid by the store for her purchases at the end of the transaction- I believe I witnessed a miracle that day. I do not profess to be one of those extremists, but why not save on every day purchases if it only requires us to utilize elementary skills with some scissors?
  4. Cook More and Eat out Less. “She (the Wife of Noble Character) gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family” (Proverbs 31:15). When Jesse and I were first married, I seldom cooked. We ate out for almost all our meals. When the Lord prompted my heart to stay home, I knew I had to turn over a new leaf in this area and limit take-out to maybe twice a month. Learning how to cook was a challenge of trial and error, but it has been beyond a rewarding experience. The nostalgia to sit with your family to a home-made meal is something to never take for granted- it will amaze some families what sitting together for a meal can do in a household.
  5. Shop Outlet Stores, Consignment Shops & Garage Sales. “The prudent gives thoughts to their steps” (Proverbs 14:15).  Buying clothing and necessities for a family can be expensive, but sometimes changing where you shop makes all the difference. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t have to sacrifice quality on a humble budget. Instead of buying shoes at the mall, our family went to the Nike outlet and purchased all new Nike tennis shoes for our whole family for $100. You can barely afford one pair of Nike’s from department shoe stores with that budget. Children are hard on clothes, so consider buying at least play clothes items at a consignment shop, rather than pay full price for clothing that will ultimately become decorated with spaghetti sauce and finger paint. And like our dining table blessing, consider shopping at re-sale stores or garage sales for your furniture and household needs- furniture loses value quickly, so don’t spend a fortune.
  6. Eliminate Extras. “He who gathers money little by little makes it grow” (Proverbs 13:11). Oftentimes, even the small expenditures in our lives make up a big difference in the grand scheme of budgeting. For instance, let’s say you buy a Grande Starbucks coffee Monday through Friday. This “little” purchase adds up to about $90/ month. Think of the possibilities if you re-direct that money to your savings instead. Opt for making coffee or tea at home and use a travel mug, if you’re on the go. Gym memberships are another area of extras, because you can exercise without a gym. Buy let’s be honest, running outside year round in Ohio’s inclement weather does pose a motivational challenge. Jesse and I decided while physical fitness was important (I’m married to a coach, after all), working out at a premier gym didn’t have to be a major monthly expense. So you may want to consider shopping around for a more feasible gym membership.
  7. Shop Around. “She (the Wife of Noble Character) is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar” (Proverbs 31: 14). I know what shopping is like with kids. I am pretty sure the term “pulling my hair out” originated from a mother taking her kids shopping. But sometimes limiting yourself to making purchases in one store could be more costly. Some items are simply cheaper at other stores- even with coupon discounts. I have tested this theory and discovered shopping at multiple stores saves my family an average of $20/week. Do not underestimate the power of small savings! That adds up to almost $1,000 a year.
  8. Budget-Wise Entertainment. Keeping kids entertained on a budget can be difficult- to say the least- but not an impossible mission. For instance, the Cleveland Zoo offers free admission on Mondays if you are a resident of Cuyahoga County, so our family treks to our local zoo on Mondays to take advantage of this opportunity. But if you live outside this range, consider other local places to enjoy family time- dollar theaters are an economical alternative to paying for the overpriced movie experience at traditional theaters. Even roller-skating rinks and bowling alleys offer community or family night discounts. The key is to do your research and find what savings await!
  9. Limit Advertisements. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). This is easier said than done in a society where ads are everywhere! Although I openly profess my love for HGTV, I had to limit my exposure to it. Every time I would watch a show, I either glowed with inspiration for an idea or felt green with envy. It was as if everything in my home suddenly became hideous and I felt compelled to just gut the whole house and start from scratch. I want my house to look beautiful, but thankfully, my family does not require an HGTV worthy house to come home to.
  10. Stay out of Debt“The borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it! Revolutionary- I know! But it is a wonderful practice of discipline to avoid financing at all cost. Of course- this is a bit unrealistic for larger purchases, such as funding for college or a house. But try to practice patience even in the smaller areas of spending. If you really want something- save for it first. It goes completely against the grain in the way most Americans operate, but Jesse and I have probably learned the most from this lesson. It truly gave us a new insight on life- what’s really important and how much do we really need those earthly things we think we need? Considering I do the vast majority of the shopping, I play a huge role in maintaining debt.

As a homemaker, you may not be contributing with a second income, but do not assume you have no influence in your household finances. Our heavenly Father designed you and me to play an intricate role to help our husbands by making wise decisions with the resources He has provided. I want to encourage and challenge you to evaluate your spending habits. Pray and ask God for wisdom to make good spending choices, discipline to resist impulsive buying and increasing debt, and learn contentment with what you have already been blessed with.

God’s Blessings,

The Humble Homemaker

 

 

Budgeting

Making Cents On A Budget: Part 1

 

One of the greatest insecurities I faced beginning my homemaker journey is having the desire to contribute financially without the tangible means to do so. I used to think that if I did not bring in a pay check, I had no effect over the financial situation of my household. Fortunately, this theory has been proven wrong over the past six years and I have discovered quite the opposite was true. As it turns out, women have more of an effect in the financial climate of the home than we may realize.

This epiphany occurred to me when Jesse and I moved into our current home. Our old house had a quaint eat in kitchen with a small, round table to seat four chairs. Hosting larger events proved to be a creative challenge to accommodate seating arrangements. So you could imagine I was thrilled beyond measure when our new house had a dining room. I have dreamt of dinner parties and family holiday gatherings around a large table for years.

As eager as I was, I was ready shortly upon moving in to set out for the perfect dining table. We shopped at some local furniture stores and one store had exactly what I had in mind. The table had that beautiful “Fixer Upper” look to it- a perfectly rustic, farmhouse table for eight.  I was sure Clint had made this table! When I found it, I placed my hands on the back of the captain’s chair, stood straight up and gave that persuasive smile to my husband as if to say “I want this one.” My husband agreed it was a beautiful table. Just then, the sales representative, who must have seen my smile as well, eagerly hurried over to seal the deal and  stamp her name on the commission.

I asked the sales rep how much the table and chairs cost. I do not recall if my jaw actually dropped when she gave the figure, but I am certain that my smile had disappeared when I heard the figure come out of her mouth. Then it was my husband’s turn to offer a facial expression and his clearly stated “let’s keep looking” or “did I hear that correctly?” or something like that. I left the store feeling discouraged. But Jesse and I had worked hard to keep debt at a minimum and I didn’t want to place another financial burden on him. So I accepted this opportunity as a challenge.

I began my search on consignment furniture stores and online private seller websites. I came across a table that was not quite the style I had chosen in the store, but nevertheless, it was a large, solid table. Even better, the seller was only asking $100. I found a set of six chairs the following week, coincidentally, selling for $100 as well. The upholstery was torn and weathered, so I went to a fabric store and purchased one I thought complimented the dining room paint and stain of the wood. It was such a blessing to find a beautiful table for my family  that did not set us back months in payment installments. With the cost of fabric, we spent $215 total!

Maybe my table isn’t HGTV worthy and I’m sure it would not qualify for a spot in Home and Garden Magazine. But it’s the place my family and I can sit together to give thanks to the Lord for all He has done, enjoy good food, laughter and make memories.  For me, a full heart is found at a full table, surrounded by those I love. I am humbly blessed that God provided us with a full table when we didn’t have a full budget. I am so thankful we did not jump in to that brand new, designer table and allowed God to show His faithfulness.  I have found through experiences like this that God’s provision always exceeds our expectations.

God’s Blessings,

The Humble Homemaker