Senior Fun

Abundance recently received a request for summer fun ideas for seniors, not the high school variety. We've all been a bit puzzled as to what to post for this topic. Not because we don't think seniors have fun, but because we think seniors do have fun - and lots of it. What could we possibly have to add to the vast experience and knowledge our elders represent?

Our state of not knowing what to post has also been because the ideas we posted for vintage games, recipes, and other summer fun throughout the last several weeks were intended for all age groups, not only those with children. Please accept our sincerest apologies if anyone felt left out of the fun. Our family contains such a wide variety of ages that sometimes we forget that others may not automatically tweak activities to make them work for everyone That being said, we still feel that all of the games and ideas mentioned are senior worthy. Music, pace, and other elements can be specifically tailored to every age group. Party goers of all ages can eat, laugh, and play together babies all the way up to seniors.

Horseshoes, a game that has been unjustly relegated to the "old-timers" category, is another classic activity we would like to add to the list of fun times. How happy we have been to observe a resurgence of this ever-popular game. Other summer time yard games are crochet, corn pone, and badminton. Once again, each of these games can be changed up a bit here and there to create one a kind games for everyone. It's true, making adjustments to make something work for you and your situation specifically is a common theme here at Abundance blog. Whether we're talking about recipes, games, or decorating, feel free to take an idea, tweak it here and there, and make it work perfectly for each individual situation. Learning to do this is a major step in learning to walk in Abundance. Happy summer! May your Sabbath be a blessed one that honors our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  


Look At This!

Check. It. Out. An ezine on decorating! Free! House of Fifty is full of ideas that any person with any amount of resources can implement. Here's the link http://www.houseoffifty.com/. There really, truly is something for everyone. Hear the front porch calling you this afternoon? I bet it's singing a little tune about browsing through this new ezine. I'm sure I can hear a little bit of harmony chiming in reminding you not to forget a glass of iced tea too. *giggle, giggle* Couldn't leave out the iced tea - it's summer. OK, subject change. A few days ago, not of this world and I discovered that while still under the name Living Large on Less, this blog was recommended by another blogger to her readers. As a result, Living Large on Less had more views to that one post than any other post in its history. Thank you Sugar Pie Farmhouse! SugarPieFarmhouse is an a.m.a.z.i.n.g. blog - to say the least. I don't know if I have ever been fussed over as much as I was during my visit there - and that was just while reading the current post. We here at Abundance are so thankful for the kind words and the new visitors. As a way of expressing our appreciation, we are asking our readers to return the kindness by dropping in at the Sugar Pie Farmhouse blog. Go ahead and join the Sugar Pie Sisterhood(it was some really cute name like that anyway) while you're there. Have to run, dear friends! The morning is flying away. I'm off to grate castile soap for homemade laundry soap. Just in case, someone missed that post, we'll thrown it in real fast. There are a lot of recipes and techniques available for laundry soap online. Some work better in different types of water than others. We have naturally soft water. This is the recipe that works best for us: 2 C. washing (not baking) soda, 2 C. Borax, 1 bar finely grated castile soap(grating is easier if soap is allowed to dry for a while). Combine ingredients and use 2 T. per load. Amount used per load is for an avg. sized washer. If washing machine is smaller or larger than avg. adjust amount accordingly. Talk to you later! Blessed Mama

Paulette Reed: Restore the Roar

The following word given to Paulette Reed, by God, goes along with yesterday's visit perfectly. Daily we are led by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Please enjoy this word; it is sweet encouragement. Paulette Reed: Restore the Roar


Water-Saving Tip for the Garden

Hey There!
Here's a gardening tip that has helped us conserve water usage, mulching. Mulching is a common gardening practice of placing a thick layer of grass clippings or straw on the ground around plants. (make sure not to touch the stem of the plant with the mulch - it increases the opportunity for rot) Not only does mulching help conserve water, it also decreases the amount of weeds. Three cheers for less weeding!

If mulch isn't available from your own yard, try scouting around and asking neighbors and friends. Another place to check is the local landfill. Some landfills have specified areas for grass clippings and will allow people to gather up and take home the clippings for mulch. 

Using mulch around our plantings in the garden is one of the most successful things we've ever done. We are so glad we tried it. If you don't have hours and hours of time to spend hoeing and/or pulling weeds, mulching will be a huge help to you. Try it - you'll like it! Please excuse me while I go help a little Mister Man. He's attempting to put toothpaste on his toothbrush - by himself. Do you have any idea how much toothpaste a three-year-old man can squeeze out in one squeeze? Maybe we'll do a post on uses for excess toothpaste - ha. Talk to you later! Savoring the summer, intentionally. Blessed Mama

A Bride

Purposeful, yet random, thoughts have been floating in and out of my mind lately, serious type thoughts that make me get out of the comfy bed of usual thought, rub out the sleepies, and visit new paths of thinking. Thoughts like "Why does that irritate you?" "Why do you feel rejected by that?" "Who said only neatly trimmed yards are beautiful? Did I, the Creator, create neatly trimmed, perfectly manicured lawns? No? So you want this done just because you want it - not because I have led you to. Hmmm, that's interesting." "Do you feel this particular thing ought to be this way because I (God) said it did, or is this just something you are wanting yourself?" "Have you noticed that you only get all worked up about the things that you are attempting to create and run yourself? Those areas of your life that I am leading are peaceful and calm. Have you noticed this?"

Can't begin to express how relieved I am that God led my thoughts to the truth. The only areas of my life that get me all tensed up are the ones I am attempting to run for myself. Amazing. After being made aware of this, I immediately began to sift through various areas in my life. One by one I laid down those areas over which I was trying to play "god" and surrendered them to the lordship of Jesus. Bit by bit tension and stress which I had been completely unaware of  began melting away. Most likely this will be an ongoing process, one I am thankful for.

As piece by piece is intentionally surrendered to God and His will, I find myself thinking about the pure and spotless Bride Christ is returning for. I truly desire to be part of Christ's Bride, but too often I don't really live as if I do. My mouth says one thing while my life screams another. "Oh yes, I trust God. He will never leave me or forsake me, He provides all my needs, but we want to make sure we get lots of extra veggies planted in that garden this spring. You never know what is going to happen." Did God want that garden planted this year? Did I even ask Him or did I instead assume the garden was to be planted because that's what made sense to me? Hasn't He read all of the blogs out there? We're supposed to be frantically doing absolutely everything we can to prepare for whatever is or is not coming. Yea, right. Like that's in the Bible. NOT!

Even though I truly Love Him and long to please Him with my entire being, there are still parts of me that have not come under His complete lordship, a definite lack of trust. I've find myself asking myself this question : "Is that how a bride would talk? Is that how a bride would live? Is that what a bride would do?" There have even been moments when I inwardly rebuke myself by saying (to myself) "That doesn't look much like a bride." Thankfully, a few "Ahhh, now that's the voice of a bride I hear." have shown up lately as well.

The verses in Matthew where the Lord tells us "Come to me you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest." "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." are also being used as a measuring stick. Lest there be misunderstandings, I am not implying that all hard or difficult things don't come to those living for God. The verse says the yoke He places on us isn't difficult. That's because He is bearing it with us. When we allow Him to lead and guide in every detail of our lives, everything is easier, even when it's hard--really, really hard. Don't ask me to explain it; I can't. I just know it to be so.

Hard times are most definitely all around. Many are being affected by trial after heavy trial. In the middle of the conflict and torment I hear the voice of the Loving Shepherd calling, calling to the sheep of His pasture. He is reminding us of who He is, and who we are in Him. The peace that passes all understanding is just as real now as it ever has been. God says He is God and He does not change; that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, forever. Psalm 23, Psalm 91, Isaiah 40:11, Isaiah 54:17, Luke 10:19 are all just as much the Words of God today as they have always been. We are just as much His people as we were before. Those things that truly matter have not changed. God and His Word remain; they always will. Through Him we shall do valiantly. It is He who shall tread down the enemy. We'll sing and shout the victory. There will be trials and temptations but do not fear He has overcome the world! 

A bride prepares for her wedding day. Am I preparing for mine, the day Christ returns to capture me and take me home? The time is NOW. THIS is the season for which I have been prepared. There is Kingdom work to be done. Many are hurting, more will hurt. Many are hungry. More will hunger. There are thirsty, there will be more. Jesus in me is everything they need. He has prepared my arms for battle. He has equipped me to meet the task just as He has equipped each of us. My Heavenly Father has works prepared for me to do. I MUST be about my Father's business.

There is no time to be distracted by sin and its manifestation in the earth. "I have been given authority over...all the power of the enemy." Luke 10:19 there isn't time for me to do any less than walk in it. People are dying, and I possess the Way, the Truth, the Life. I MUST BE ABOUT MY FATHER'S BUSINESS. With great intensity the truth of God urges me forward, out of my comfy Christianness and out into the harvest fields. Life as we knew it is over, it's gone. For the Christian, the follower of Jesus, that isn't a bad thing. It isn't bad, only different. Quite the contrary, it is good, very, very good for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Intense urgency propels me forward, yet the works He is leading me towards truly are easy, easy and simple. Stirring up Kool-Aid for a meal instead of "just having water", making dessert without a special occasion, drinking iced tea with Giggle, tickling Mister Man, smiling when I want to growl, praying when I want to rant, stopping and gaining focus when the temptation to rush in tempts hard are but a few of the works brought for me to do. Kingdom work isn't always big, mystical, or majestic; sometimes, often, it's random acts of everyday kindness where none had been before. Makes sense really, in a wedding, it's the little details that make the largest impact. Becoming a bride, one glorious step at a time. A bit like from glory to glory, wouldn't you say?


This One Was Too Sweet

Happy Monday Afternoon!  
The last post from A Mother's Rewards shared some new recipes.  After Giggle and I drank our Chocolate Mint Iced Tea, we decided to tweak the recipe a bit.  The recipe is for a sweetened tea infused with Chocolate Mint herb.  After taste testing, it is the general consensus of all those at A Mother's Rewards that the sugar needs to be reduced and the mint needs to be increased.  Following the recipe exactly resulted in an EXTREMELY sweet drink with a scent, rather than taste, of mint. 

Speaking of recipes, we shared a yummilicious looking one over at Abundance today. It screams summer BBQ.  Since good food and fun go hand in hand, I just can't help it.  I have to mention some more games from my earlier recollections. We talked about Hot Potato and Musical Chairs in an earlier post, but can anyone else remember Button, Button Who's Got the Button, or Poor Kitty?  What about those relay races where each person on a team had to suck a baby bottle or eat a cracker and then whistle?  What Autumn party would have been complete without eating a donut hung from a string with your hands tied behind your back or tossing peanuts into bowls placed successively farther away?  The famous Scavenger Hunt was always a favorite, especially if the prize was cash. 

BBQ season is in full swing.  Why not consider creating a revival of simple, memory-making fun that family and friends will remember for years?  Turtles, games, along with some family and/or friends mixed generously with laughter and iced tea might just combine into the perfect summer celebration.

Oh yes, don't forget the makings for S'mores. Using the same basic technique as for the traditional graham cracker, chocolate bar, marshmallow variety, substitute any flat cookie and candy bar. A round shortbread cookie with the bottom dipped in chocolate (I can't remember what they are called) and a peanut butter cup are ever so yummy. A caramel cup is a yummy substitute for the chocolate bar too. Now we not only have good food, fun games, and iced tea, but a sweet ending besides.  What are we doing here?  Memories are waiting to be made, and good times are waiting to be had.  See you later!

Turtle Anyone?

Good Afternoon!  Well, we aren't saving any calories or money with today's recipe, but hey, it's summer and sometimes, abundance means going all out to try something new, right?  With BBQ season going strong, this may be just that "little something new" we've all been searching for.  I just couldn't resist sharing this after receiving it in an email. Hats off to the creative wonder who thought of this:



Here's a new twist on how to serve burgers and if you don't cook,

Give this handy little guide to someone that does and request them.

Handmade ground beef patties, topped with sharp cheddar cheese, wrapped in a bacon weave, then the next step,

Add hotdogs as the heads, legs with slits for toes and tail.

Next step. Place on an oven rack, covered loosely with foil and baked for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees.

A little crispy, not too crunchy...just how a turtle should be, no?


Those Herbs!

With rooting new herb plants and house plants on the brain, thoughts of future gift potential soon came along.  I'll throw out some that crossed my mind.  Have others to share?  Please join in at amothersrewards@gmail.com.  We can't wait to visit with you. 

Gourmet gift basket ideas flooded my mind so fast that I'm not sure I caught all of them as they flew by!  The following are the ones that hung around longest:
  • potted herbs, jar of homemade tomato sauce, homemade bread sticks or bread, recipe for pasta meal, handcrafted card all tucked together in a rustic basket, which was found at a garage sale or thrift store, of course
  • jars of handcrafted herbal beauty products, herbal bath sachets and/or bath salts, some spa articles such as sponges, loofahs, pumice stones, etc.  handcrafted card peacefully arranged in an attractive container, perhaps lined with a luxurious bath towel, found on sale - oh yes, this could also be accompanied by a small house plant that had been propagated from a plant already owned such as a parlor palm (don't forget a handcrafted chocolate truffle)
  • potted herbs and a recipe book detailing a variety of ways to use them
  • homemade pasta, jar of homecanned sauce, and several bunches of herbs all gathered together with love
  • a newly potted plant, current phone book with numbers of important businesses highlighted, coupons for local restaurants and attractions, a list containing the names and numbers of the best babysitters (with the permission of the babysitters and their families of course) and a card for a welcome to the neighborhood basket
  • herbal cookings oils (handcrafted from herbs grown at home) with bunches of herbs and recipes
  • homemade herbal cleaning products, crocheted dish scrubbies, crocheted dish rags (cotton yarn best for this) with recipes for the cleaning products
Quite a variety of items such as CDs, glassware, books, notecards, and candles (merely examples) could also be tucked into the baskets.  Keeping an eye out for huge savings on spa slippers and other bath accessories can yield significant savings as well as add those extra extravagant touches that make a gift of abundance. 

Whether simple or exceptionally indulgent, rustic or elegant, gourmet gift baskets can be assembled for very little expense; especially if a person is able to make much of the items themselves.  Not only does creating gifts using their own hands save a person money, gifts made by hand with love also tell the receiver they are extra special.  After all, someone took the time to create a uniquely handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift "just for them".  Herbs and plants grown at home could enlarge gift-giving potential tremendously.  Abundance eagerly anticipates your own ideas for gift basket giving.  Remember, you can share them at amothersrewards@gmail.com.  See you there!

Photos Galore!

Good Afternoon!  Giggle and I are getting ready to pour ourselves an iced glass of chocolate mint tea and share some "girl talk".  However, the tea isn't quite ready yet.  While we wait for it to chill, we're each engaging in some creative pursuits.  The project that has me excited today is the sort of thing normally posted on our Abundance blog but for some reason, I'm gabbing about it over here today. 

Recently while browsing through a periodical, I saw an idea for photos that was perfect for me FINALLY.  After years and years of gently placing pictures inside of boxes, something that works for me, right now.  Individual photos placed on recipe card style sheets of cardstock provide the perfect compromise between scrapbooking and short little bursts of time within which to work. Each individual card holds one to three photos, depending on the size of pics, and either a small handwritten label at the bottom OR a bit of journaling on the back of the card.  Backs of cards could also hold another photo.  That's the great part, each person can place their pictures and journaling in whatever manner works best for them.  Cards are then divided with labeled recipe card dividers.  Journaling could also be done on the divider.  Here is a link to printable recipe card dividers. Seriously, there is no excuse not to organize those photographs now.  Place  card stock of your choice (I used my favorite patterned paper) in the printer, print out the dividers, and cut them out.  That's it!  We've started!

That's nice, but what are we going to do with all of these photo cards?  This is another one of the fun parts; we can place them in any place we want to.  The article displayed them in a shallow wooden tray, ideal.  Thing is, I don't happen to have a perfectly aged shallow wooden tray, nor do I desire to throw one together any time soon.  For me, right now, they will be displayed someplace wonderful, just not sure where that is yet.  All things in time.  I haven't gotten any cards completed yet, just the dividers printed out on my favorite cardstock.  The cardstock I've been carefully hoarding saving for a project just like this.  The next step will be to convince myself that yes, I really should write my journalling out by hand instead of printing it off of the computer. 

Oh yes, photos aren't the only thing that could be placed on recipe cards and divided with perfect dividers.  A person could actually put recipes on their recipe cards.  Favorite family recipes could be printed (or written) and divided with customized dividers for personalized shower, wedding, graduation, Christmas, just because gifts. 

Another option, you didn't actually think I could share only two did you?  would be to hole punch the bottom edges of both photo cards and dividers and create miniature scrapbooks by joining with metal rings or ribbons.  Holes punched in the bottom corners instead of along the bottom edge could create a fan type album if joined with a brad.  Empty cards and dividers could be given as a gift for new mothers to fill with pictures and antecdotes of sweet new babies.  Another one of those "the possibilities are limitless" projects. 

Visit with you later.  Giggle and I have some chocolate mint tea to drink.  Here's the recipe:  4 c. boiling water, 2 tea bags, 1 c. sugar, 2 full sprigs of chocolate mint, 4 c. of cool water or ice - Place tea bags, sugar, mint in heat proof pitcher, add boiling water - stir to dissolve sugar - steep 5 min. maximum - remove tea bags and mint - add cool water or ice - time to sip some tea!

For those preferring something fruity, here's a recipe for homemade lemonade concentrate.  Unfortunately, with the current price of lemons, this isn't very economical unless you happen to have a fruit bearing lemon tree.  Nonetheless, here's the recipe: 1 c. sugar, 1 c. water - place in saucepan heat to boiling, stirring constantly, boil 1 min., remove from heat - stir in 1 1/2 c. fresh lemon juice (approx. 8 lemons).  Place in freezer container and freeze.  Will keep up to 6 months.  To make lemonade from concentrate mix equal parts water and concentrate.  To make entire batch at once add 3 c. water to concentrate and stir until completely mixed.  Fruit ice cubes, mint, or other tasty additions can be added to create one of a kind summer yumminess. 

*A Mother's Rewards has not taste-tested this recipe.


I Heart Summer!

Did I mention that I adore summer?  I'm sure I did.  It's true, I do.  Everything about it, well...almost everything.  Big, nasty storms that beat my sweet little plants to smithereens...not so much.  Other than big, nasty storms and tiny nasty mosquitoes, summer is almost perfect. 

Not only is summer almost perfect, it is swiftly passing by.  With that thought in mind, I started composing a mental list of things left to do before crickets begin heralding autumn's soon arrival.  So many sights and sounds of summer are left to appreciate and/or experience! Once I began my mental list making, I found myself eagerly anticipating the next gift the current season has to offer.  Interestingly enough, not one of the experiences added to my mental list required abundant financial resources. Not even one cost more than a few dollars, if any. Proof positive that the richest treasures can't be purchased.

Let's think about the treasures of summer. Can the scent of newly mown grass ever be experienced enough?  What about the aroma of hamburgers and/or hotdogs being cooked on a grill wafting across the back yard?  Would any summer season be complete without at least one afternoon spent on the front porch consuming a red (yes, it has to be red) popsicle as the sticky juice runs down the arm and drips off of the elbow?  S'mores, campouts, water fights, bees buzzing, the scent of wild roses, lawn darts, lightning bugs, intense starlight, brilliant moonscapes, fresh tomatoes, cucumber slices in vinegar, sweating glasses of freshly brewed sun tea/iced tea, the soothing refreshment of a lukewarm shower after a long, hot day of work, simple meals eaten outside, sandy days in the sun, listening to children squeal as they run through the sprinkler, on and on the richest gifts of summer stretch out in a smorgasbord of delight for the senses. 

As a matter of fact, there is a chair on the front porch beckoning to me right now.  First, I have to brew some tea.  Join me?  Feel free to.  Just pause for a moment (or two) to drink in the sights and sounds of summer all around.  Every good and perfect gift comes from above, (James 1:17) and summer is filled to overflowing with them.  Thank You, God!  You did good!


It's Thursday and We're Thrifty - Or Are We?

More random thoughts on being thrifty, frugal, and all of that jazz make up today's chat.  The main thought being this:  is purging always a good thing?  Hmmm, let's think about this for a moment.  Economic despair and downturn are now commonplace.  Predictions of dire financial situations, economic depressions like the world has never seen, and other hope-killing scenarios abound.  While we at Abundance trust in the Lord and believe in the provision promised in His Word, I'd still like us to stop and think about this for a bit. 

OK, first off.  What if these predictions are accurate?  What is an economic fallout does indeed occur?  Is there a possibility that all of the purgings that we have been performing to simplify our lives might, in some cases, actually do more harm than help?  A couple of summers ago when I began ridding our home of clutter, I was asking myself what items were essential to our family's living.  To my surprise I found myself purging much less of certain items and more of others.   I will attempt to be brief in sharing the results.

Beginning stages of clutter elimination found me assessing which items we possessed in abundance.  When all was said and done, only a few categories rose to the top: books, magazines, craft supplies, dishes, and toys.  Ready to "do battle" on the wicked clutter master I tucked my emotions away and prepared to examine each belonging with the unfeeling, practical face of reality.  Magazines were sorted, carefully gone through, favorite ideas and recipes removed and filed, and remaining magazines either recycled or donated.  An atmosphere of victory over the spirit of packratedness prevailed!  Score one for the gatherer!  She defeated her habit of collecting! 

Clothing out-grown by children, toys, and craft supplies all fell to the same victorious fate of the magazines.  Victory was real.  Clutter was almost gone.  Simplication was almost complete, then I faced the dishes.  As the moment of simplifying my collection of dishes arrived, I went into battle ready to face down and defeat clutter with the same determination that brought down all of the other hot spots in our home.  Victory in this area, however, came slowly, with little to no actual purging taking place.  In fact, the answer that came to the "what is essential to our family's lifestyle?" surprised me greatly.  Honestly, heady with the thrill of purging other areas in the home, the realization that not purging was the correct choice for the dishes was a bit of a let down.  I was going to eliminate all excess and prove once and for all that I AM NO LONGER A PACKRAT.  Yeah well, we'll move on as I share why purging maybe shouldn't be entirely about getting rid of everything that doesn't live and breathe and even some that may. 

A cupboard in my pantry at the time of simplification was devoted to a growing collection of snack sets.  These clear glass and milk glass sets have been used for birthday parties, teas, and other very special occasions.  They are not, however, an essential part of everyday life.  Then a thought came very soft yet strong.  If the economy should ever fail, there is a possibility that there will either not be beautiful paper plates to purchase or that funds may not be available to purchase them with.  What would we use to serve guests on should our daughters get married during such a depression?  Ah, a new perspective, one based in common sense and a thought for the future, one that extends beyond the conveniences of right now.

Simplication continues on a regular basis at the Abundance home.  Now, however, I listen much more closely to the still small voice of God the Holy Spirit as He leads me into the life perfectly created for me.  A life that, for this moment, includes a collection of snack sets.


A Prayer to Shut the Door

Inner inspection of the words I write and speak and the lasting value they fail to possess has led my heart to bow before the Heavenly Father crying "Oh Dear Lord, please shut my mouth and open my heart!"  Becoming a woman whose heart beats the beat of Her Father's is a changing process.  Changing, shutting up some things, and opening others, "old things have passed away - all things have become new" (2 Cor. 5:17) 

The closer I draw to Him, the more clearly I see how unclean I still am.  Oh what wondrous grace that saved a wretch like me!  So thankful to be found.  So grateful that He cleanses, transforms, and renews me day by day.
  "What can wash away my sin?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus.  What can make me whole again?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus.  Oh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow - no other fount I know - nothing but the blood of Jesus"

The rush of the world, its cares and trials pass by
I don't feel despair for under His wings am I
The enemy tries to destroy me through fear
But I'm resting by still waters lacking nothing am I
My Father knows I have needs, He knows my heart's cry
He cares for and loves me and provided for am I

Oh heart do not waver, or worry or fret
These trials and hard times they're really so small
When you look at the Savior, the Great Lord of All
My life is His now, with Him I am safe
He's given His all, steeped in love, drenched in grace
Yes these winds they will blow, the storms they will come
But I'm never forsaken for I'm His, through The Son

Thanks to Jesus for His blood and His grace.  May you serve Him and love Him 'til you meet face to face in Heaven's great splendor, the glory of God.  For we're safe now in Jesus.  To Him we belong. 

If anyone doesn't know Jesus as Lord, Savior, and Friend, please go to God, Admit you are a sinner (we all are you know), Believe that Jesus is the Son of God, came in the flesh, died on the cross to pay the price for the sins of mankind, rose the third day and now lives with the Father, and Confess Him (Jesus) as Lord.  He loves you and has good plans for your life, plans to give you hope and a future.  I know that there isn't a lot being said about hope and a good future in the world right now, but God has good plans for us, and in Christ Jesus there is hope and a glorious future.  Not a perfect life without any trials or struggles, but a life of loving care with freedom from sin and the bondages sin brings.  Living for Jesus is the experience of a lifetime, a true adventure.  The Bible, God's Word tells us everything we need to know about our new life in Christ.  Jesus!  Thank You so much for Jesus!

Searching...It Saves

Searching, examining, I've been trying to put in black and white the various things that allow us to live within the boundaries of our current financial resources.  Cook from scratch - except during branding week, redefine necessary, repurpose, reuse, recycle, simplify, and eliminate needless clutter are all actions we live out on a daily basis.  Another, less mentioned money-saving practice caught my attention as well.  It is this resource for living abundantly we're sharing today.  The resource that has blessed our family profusely is the internet.  That's right.  You read correctly.  The internet.

 The internet is filled to overflowing with information, instructions, tips, tutorials, videos, teaching resources, study resources, sources for research, lessons of any and every kind.  Wanting to cut down on the amount of money spent at the beauty salon each month?  Get online and search out how to articles that teach everything from cutting your own hair, styling hair, recipes for homemade hair removal, skin treatments, recipes for skin products, how tos on spa treatments, massage instructions, that's not all; most of these topics have videos available for visual learners too. 

Maybe there's a kitchen appliance that isn't working quite right.  Do an internet search.  Just don't be surprised to find dozens of tutorials providing step by step instructions and photos of the repair process.  My most favoritest Kitchen Aide stand mixer broke down.  An internet search revealed that only certified repair centers would work on that particular brand.  Way more shipping than I wanted to pay.  Another search revealed a step by step photo tutorial for repairing it ourselves.  My Beloved, ordered the part, (approx. $12) followed the steps, and Viola!  my favorite kitchen "servant" is helping me again.  Time and money were saved. 

Keeping in mind that very few of us have the luxury of spending our time extravagantly, some of us may need to monitor the time we spend conducting our online searches.  A kitchen timer is a helpful, yet frugal, tool to use for this task.   Most libraries have computers available for the use of their patrons.  Even if a person doesn't personally have internet access, a trip to the local public library makes this resource one most people can use.  The list of services, information, and instructions available through the internet is simply too vast to list in one blog post.  We at Abundance don't want to take advantage of your valuable time.  Therefore, we are ending our visit today with a small sampling of further ways the internet allows us to extend our financial resources.   

  • free printables for students, teachers, parents, organizers, musicians, scrapbookers, budgetting, more
  • free lesson plans and worksheets for teachers
  • free tutoring in most school subjects for students
  • free college classes
  • books, textbooks, poetry, children's stories, quality literature available for download - many FREE of charge
  • mechanical tutorials
  • information for genealogy - including free printable forms
  • online forums to discuss specific topics and questions with experienced professionals
  • recipes for any and everything under the sun
  • pictures and ideas for parties, showers, and get togethers
  • downloadable identification guides for flowers, fruit, trees, grasses, insects, etc.
  • coupons
  • free patterns and instructions for crafts, sewing, knitting, embroidery, etc.
  • classified ads
  • blogs, blogs, and more blogs devoted to every topic imaginable - and even topics that aren't
  • bibles, concordances, other study resources
  • music instructions and lessons via video
  • free cooking lessons
  • pet care information
  • coloring sheets for children available for printing
  • free newsletters on almost every subject
  • ideas for fun family games, activities, and outings
  • information on local amusements and entertainment options
  • weather maps
  • menu planning tips, forms, and services
  • grocery list assistance
  • did I mention recipes? 
  • natural remedies
If you're not utilizing this money-saving resource to its maximum potential, I would strongly encourage you to do a little investigating and put the internet to work for you and yours.  There truly is something for everyone.  Speaking of that...there's this sweet little idea for turning a t-shirt into a peasant blouse that I've been wanting to try.  Talk to you later.  Maybe we'll remember some more party games from "you remember when" land.  Whatever the topic, we know we'll have fun - in Abundance.  God Bless You!