Michelle's Blog

My life as a wife, homemaker, friend, Christian

Savin some MONAYS March 9, 2009

Filed under: frugal,home — mrswade @ 10:46 am
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So, Jake and I are working on trying to figure out the best way to track the best deals and prices on food with a top 50 spread sheet.  I was sorting through receipts and came across this one. reciept This receipt is an example of God’s amazing provision.  This was a month when we had run out of some more expensive things, like Brita filters, some toiletries, etc., so we ran out of food money a little quicker (only $2 or $3 left for the month).  Jake was out of lunch and breakfast food and we didn’t have near enough money to buy him his carrots, ranch and yogurt.  Those three things are very vital to his packed lunch, without them he just has an english muffin and a sandwich all day.  By God’s grace we recieved our coupons from our Fred Meyer reward’s points that month.  We went to the store and were not only able to buy Jake the essentials, we were able to get some brownies for $1.00 that I had been craving!  God is so good and helped me save $5.24 more than I spent!  yay God!

Another really great thing to save a little bit of money and gain a lot of nutritional benefits (which I am SUPER excited about) is making my own bread instead of buying it!  Last night, Jake and I were nerds and calculated what it would cost per loaf of bread (with the recipe that I am currently using, this amount will probably go down when I start using a sourdough starter).

Here’s the break down:

  •  2 pkg yeast = 1.00
  • 8 c flour = 3.20
  • 2/3 cup honey = 1.32
  • 2/3 stick butter = .33
  • salt = .04

This recipe makes 3 loafs of bread (though I think I may use it only for two because I want to make sure the loafs are big enough for sandwiches).  Either way, we were spending 2.19 per loaf of bread, so:

  • batch divided into 2 loafs = 2.95 (we pay .76c more)
  • batch divided into 3 loafs = 1.96 (we save .22c)

We figure that when we start to buy bread ingredients in bulk, and start making sourdough (which calls for fewer ingredients) we will save in the long run, and if we don’t save, we aren’t spending much more but are gaining so much more in nutritional value!

So that’s all, I was just excited about those two discoveries 🙂 YAY


Things that currently make me happy January 21, 2009

Filed under: Random,thoughts — mrswade @ 9:27 pm
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Jake and I just paid off our Amex card that we used for the wedding, total payment was $3,103.98 and now it’s gone 🙂 YAY!  Next to go is Sallie Mae, we’re kickin her out of the spare room as Dave Ramsey says.  After that is our loan from my mom for our honeymoon.  Then all we have to do is pay off my student loans which will hopefully take less than a year if I’m making more than minimum wage once I graduate 🙂

I am growing basil in three little pots on my kitchen table.  I had them in the windowsill, which was much cuter, but apparently they didn’t like the cold and started to mold. 😦  I am quite excited to use them for future pesto excitingness 🙂  

We are going home this weekend and I get to see my mommy.  I am very excited to spend saturday with her. 🙂 We are going to the DMV to get our licenses renewed (fun I know), I am FINALLY changing my name on my license!  This isn’t set in stone but then I think we’ll go look at the apartments I want to move into in May and go get some pots for my other herbs and a book on how to actually take care of them.  Poor herbs.  We’re also going to go over a friends budget with them so they know how much they can afford in rent and finally get their own place 🙂 yay them!  It’s very exciting to see what God is doing in their lives.

I got a new car, that’s exciting.  I like it a lot.  I need new seats, the drivers side is ripped and the passenger is getting there.  The outside is really scratched up, but you can only tell up close and I have one odd-ball rim.  haha, it really is funny, 3 of them match, one doesn’t.  But it’s me, and I like quirky, and she’s quirky.  Her name is Ginger and she is very zippy.  She has a vtec, that’s exciting 🙂  All my other cars have been slow.  AND she’s a manual so I am ACTUALLY driving again stead of just pressing the “go button.”

I’m taking pottery and photography this semester.  I am SO excited to make people’s Christmas and birthday presents.  I am nervous about sucking at both and for my first photography project I took a roll of film that ended up not even “rolling.”  So, I took no pictures and have to go back and do it all again.  Taking the roll that didn’t work was fun though, Jake and I had fun walking all over Newberg picking cool things to take pictures of.  If I end up with any cool photos or pots I’ll take pictures/scan them and upload them to the bloggy.

That’s pretty much it for now.  I just needed to focus on happy for a bit because I am SO NOT motivated for this semester and have bad bad bad senioritis.


desire January 2, 2009

Filed under: thoughts — mrswade @ 3:01 am
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A dear friend of mine, my kindred spirit, recently told that I show her that ” if we are persistant with what God wants us to do with life then we will get the ‘desires of our heart’… because then our desires for ourselves will match with his desires for us.”  I got to thinking about this and I really don’t know how I do that.  I’m glad that she saw that in me but I can’t see it in myself.

I got out of bed tonight while Jake was sleeping because I was feeling unsettled.  Not physically, spiritually.  I have been thinking a lot about a friend I’ve had for a while, the closest friend I’ve ever had that doesn’t know Jesus.  My heart has been aching for her and I have been so conflicted.  Galatians 5:17 says it perfectly “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”  My spirit want’s so bad to share the hope I have in Jesus with her, but my flesh so badly doesn’t want to for fear of the unknown, more awkwardness, the wrong words and so much more.  So much and yet I know that Jesus is SO much bigger than all those fears.  

Anyway, I got out of bed to come look up some reviews on a book I want to give her and to open my Bible for the first time in who knows how long and try to figure something out.  As per usual (is that proper grammar? who cares) I got stuck on facebook instead of looking up reviews, or more importantly, reading my Bible.  I think God actually used my facebook addiction tonight.  🙂 I was up late enough to do one last run through of: check bruinmail, check facebook, check gmail.  This is when I saw what my friend said, and what prompted me to actually go open my Bible.

I got Psalm 36 in my head and decided it must be from God so I opened it up.  You should read it, but it talks about our sinful pride and how we think we’re so great we can’t even see our sin and wrong ways.  It then goes on as a familiar (to church folks) song “your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies…” and so on.  It exalts God for his love, faithfulness, righteousness and justice.  I couldn’t help but notice the stark contrast between our total depravity and God’s perfection.  I couldn’t help but be reminded of my friends words about seeking God’s desires as our own.

I then decided I would look at Philippians because it’s one of my favorite books of the Bible.  In flipping through for Philippians I stopped off at James because I apparently like it (the whole book is highlighted or underlined in my Bible!)  I started with the first chapter (a very good place to start) where verses 2 – 18 stuck out to me (click the link and read it 🙂 )

Let me give you a little back ground on where I’m coming from on this thought process.  If you’ve talked to me recently you know about Dave Ramsey :).  I admit openly that Jake and I are a little crazy about his money plan.  We are on a debt-payoff, savings and essentially wealth building plan that requires a very strict way of living now to have a better future.  “Live like no one else, so that later, you can live like no one else” says DR.  So this plan requires that Jake and I have little spending money, a very strict food budget and have to save every penny.  It is a good plan, we like it, but it can be hard at times.  What gets us through the “but I really really really want to buy that” phases is thinking about what we will have later on, when all our debts are paid off, when we have a house, are saving for retirement and have more income to buy our wants as well as our needs.

So this is the problem.  I start reading “consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” a familiar verse, I have it memorized, nothing new.  I start to think about how “hard” life is right now (even though I have nothing to complain about in the world, Jake and I are in a very good financial position and our marriage is great, both healthy, etc).  I think about all the trials I am going through and I think that I all I need to do is persevere so it can “finish its work so that I may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  Sounds wonderful doesn’t it?  It then goes on to speak of wisdom.

Jake and I recently listened to a sermon my pastor did on spiritual gifts, one of which is wisdom.  Jake and I both felt like the gift of wisdom was something we had been gifted with (my mom has been telling me this since I could talk) but that it just needed to be cultivated more.  Verse 5 says to ask God for wisdom and he will give it generously.  I think “why haven’t I done that?” “why don’t I do that?”

Verses 9 – 10 say “Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away.”  Verse 13 says “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”  Here is the kicker, verses 14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”  And then another, verses 16 – 18 “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

This is when I start feeling like captain obvious and where what my friend said really comes into play.  In this one (I know there are more, but this is the one at the fore front currently) area of my life, my desires do not line up with Gods.  This financially plan is a great plan in and of itself, but my own sinful, selfish and disgusting desires for wealth and things and pleasure taint the good that it could be.  I look at verse 18 and how it says that we are the first fruits of what God created.  We are the best that he created, and all I can think about is keeping my first fruits.  Jake and I tithe, and we know that what we have is Gods, given to us to steward.  This is a helpful attitude, and is a right attitude.  But my sin nature seems to always be able to sweep in and swipe my focus off of giving back to God the best of what I have, and focus it on giving me the best I can give me.

I am told in verse 13 what will happen to me if I keep down this path, desire leads to sin, sin leads to death, I know that.  Thanks to the cross I know that doesn’t mean eternal death, Jesus paid that price for me 2000 years ago.  I am God’s first fruit, made in his image, he will freely give me wisdom if I just ask, he is a loving father who brings me through trials to teach me and love me so I am “not lacking anything.”  What grieves me is that I have not made it a priority to match my desires to his.  

I am not saying that building wealth is bad at all.  Jesus talked about money a lot and I believe it is very important to be building wealth for the right reasons.  What I need to do is repent when I start to covet things in magazines or store windows.  I need to repent when I start dreaming of all the wonderful things I could have with the money that we will have.  What my focus should be on is giving it to God.  I’m not saying I am completely selfish in this either, I LOVE giving.  But I need to move beyond convenient giving.  Jesus told of the widow who gave one coin and the rich man who gave many, the window was the one praised by Jesus for her giving even though it was less.  The window gave, and it hurt.  She gave out of what she didn’t have.  I believe that even if you “have” you can give so much that you can really notice.

I’m not even really sure if what God is calling me to give is all purely monetary.  I think that our time and energy is just as important.  So I guess to sum up (maybe), I need to/am going to be praying for wisdom and for desires that match those of my heavenly Father.  I am going to pray that he will show me ways to give.  Even as I write that I get nervous, asking God to show you ways to do something, or how you can serve him more is not always the most pleasant of experiences.  But if I am praying for his desires I guess the ways he shows me to give and serve will be as joyous for me as the will for him right?  Funny how that works.

I sit here, 26 hours into 2009 and want to bad not to waste this year.  I really want to pray the things I say I will pray here, I want to serve and give the way I say I want to.  I want to desire God and desire his desires.  So to help me do that I think I’m going to read Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper and Desiring God by John Piper (both are actually available online to read for free).

wow…that was a lot, hope it made some kind of sense, I kind of feel like it went no where and everywhere at the same time.  All I know is that I definitely think I’ll sleep better now…good night


We’re not swimming naked November 18, 2008

Filed under: Random,thoughts — mrswade @ 11:23 am
Tags: ,

I think this article was really interesting, you should read it

In conclusion, the gathering storm has arrived. It will be long, painful and destructive. Those who prepared for the storm by not taking on excessive debt and living above their means, will ride it out unscathed. Those who built their house on sand by leveraging up and living the “good” life, will see their house swept out to sea. The storm will pass and we will rebuild. Our country is resilient. The purging of this massive debt will result in the creative destruction that is the hallmark of American capitalism. New opportunities, new technologies and a new attitude will put us back on course.

There has been and will be resistance to the inevitable deep recession that is coming.   The American consumer is not cutting back willingly. They are being dragged kicking and screaming towards the joys of frugality. The “material generation” needs to dematerialize. My biggest concern is that our politician leaders and their cronies running our government will continue to try and reverse the normal capitalistic course of recession and expansion. Companies need to fail, housing needs to find its bottom based on supply, demand and price. Those who gambled must be allowed to lose and suffer the consequences. If the government attempts to shift the losses to those who lived lifestyles of thrift, an angry uprising will ensue. Government intervention in this natural process could lead to a decade long depression. Let’s hope that reasonable heads prevail.