I am reading through the bible in 90 days (which unless I catch up is now 92 days, but who is counting??) I am currently wrapping up 1 Samuel. But I have so I have so much to say about the books that I have read. I will have to be behind in my blogging so I can fit in all I am wanting to say.
In Judges, we come across Deborah. She is unique in that she is the only woman to be a judge for Israel. These people continually found themselves in the same position. (Hmmmm, sounds like most people I know, including myself!!) And God was continually delivering them, like it was fun! He enjoyed it to some extent, knowing, though, what was to come for these people. They were intermarrying with other tribes and turning away from God to pagen practices. They were turning back and crying out, yet again, for God to save them. Here is Deborah, an unexpected hero again. Just as Christ would be. God tells Deborah to tell Baraak to lead the severely outnumbered Isreal army into battle with the Cannaanites. He agrees to go but only with her. Here are the two things I see when I read this. 1. He has faith in her, if not in God. and 2. She is an incredible courageous woman with all of her faith and trust in God. Faith is a very difficult thing for most to grasp the concept of. Why do you believe in God??? How about, why do you believe that you will win this battle that is sure, on paper, to destroy you, just because you say God is leading you to it? Ha!! Try that on for size! Not only was she courageous and faithful, but she is humble. She gives all of the honor of the credit to God, being sure to give credit where credit is due. We often grab the glory for ourselves, failing to offer up the humility that God had all to do with our successes. In this victory, without God, they could never have won!
The next part that truly stands out is Gideon. I love the this story. When I read about Gideon, I pictured this fearful little guy sitting under the tree when the angel of the Lord sat there beside him. He was like the underdog! "Uh, okay! If you say so!" Midean couldn't go any lower, really, but it teaches us that, as low as we can go, God has something to teach us that brings us back up...IF (and this is a big if!) we are willing to learn and listen. Now, again, Isreal is crying out and instead of sending them a judge to carry them out of their despair, he sends them a prophet. He brings them to the realization that they are in need of God and that they are severely in the wrong. Seems like a recurring theme, doesn't it? What is the source? We can't just say, "Please forgive me Lord." and move on. We must find the source of the problem and correct it. I am often told, "I can do whatever I want, because all I have to do is tell God I am sorry and then I am forgiven." Well, I suppose that is partially true, but then, that same person is still saying, 'Why does this keep happening to me?" I must also add here, that this has happened to me. Over, and over...and over. It wasn't until I came to the root of the problem, that change happened. Gideon did not give up in the face of strife. He powered through. He did as God wanted him to do. He was weak, but with God, he was strong. What if you are that weak person? What if God decides to choose you to fight? Can you do as Gideon did in the face of what looks like the liklihood of total failure? Gideon wanted a sign. Wouldn't you? He was just an ordinary man! God didn't reach down and pick out some WWF wrestler to beat down the opposers. No. He chose the underdog! He chose you, or me.
I will leave you there for now.
Friday we will be on week 4 of Dave Ramsey. We have done a full on zero budget. Takes some time, might I add. I thought we knew what we were doing, budget-wise, before, but now I feel like we have pennied outselves to death! BUT, we can see our money working! It is so rewarding. I know there are a few people who don't like this method, and I understand why, to be honest. But, where we are right now, this method will work for us. Every year, we face the chance that Mike will lose one or both of his jobs right around mid-year. With our bills and our savings, we are headed in a decent direction. Seeing our money on paper in the detail that it is, feels so liberating!
I have not been shopping this week. I have done some cooking ahead. I made pot roast and chicken pot pie. This gives us two nights of dinners and two days of lunches, (possibly more). We also avoided some "I deserve it" eating out and some "Oooo, we need one of those" purchases! I like to document those because it shows our growth and our discipline! Not that we don't EVER make those purchases, but anytime we avoid them, I think of the money we saved!
We had an amazing fun family day at Sea World! It was unexpected and so perfect. Mike was able to join us, which is a rarity. We even got to ride a roller coaster!
Mackenzie's first birthday is coming up Saturday and we used that Sea World day as our day out for her birthday. We all get one of those for our birthdays. So, in turn, we gave her her first taste of sugar in the form of a cupcake!!! Oh, wow!!! Can we say mess??? We got some great video and pictures!!
Don't forget to check moneysavingmom.com and southernsavers.com if you are heading to the stores.
TIP: ONLY buy the sale items. You can make it work!!! Use cooks.com and plug in the ingredients you have and it will spit out recipes you can use for what you have on hand!
-Mackenzie's face COVERED in icing! Then her standing up, turning around in her seat and sitting in it!
-Madison and Mackenzie hugging. She is the best big sister and is a total natural at it.
-Madison reading whole books and words that I don't know how she read!!
-Unexpected trip with all 4 of us! Wish I could wake up everyday with that feeling! There are endless possibilities when we are all together!
Our path as a family is getting wider and wider. I love what happens when we are all on the same page!