Prepare your outside work, Make it fit for yourself in the field; And afterward build your house. (Proverbs 24:27 NKJV)
The Reformation Heritage Study Bible comments on this verse that we will need to focus on supporting our lives before seeking comforts and pleasures. Meaning, we shouldn't be spending more than what we can afford to live on. We need to secure that money is coming in, before we consider building and/or buying a home. One step at a time: prepare and plan ahead (make it fit for yourself), then build your house.
Think of it, if you are having guests over for dinner, you would not just jump into cooking it 30 minutes before they arrive, would you? Instead, you would be planning and preparing ahead of time. You would plan the meal, think of what you will need, make a shopping list of the ingredients, and go to the store to buy them. Then, back home, you would prepare and cook the food. All of this ideally happens in good timing so that when the guests arrive everything is well taken care of. But not only that, you would also consider if you have enough money to buy the ingredients to cook this meal. Could you afford it?
No different, if you were to plan and prepare your home for your future family. You wouldn't go out to buy things for the baby 30 minutes before giving birth to your child, would you? Instead, you would plan and prepare the home - including the child's room before taking the newborn home from the hospital. But not only that, if you didn't want to go into debt, you would consider beforehand what pieces of furniture and layette you could afford to buy.
The way we differentiate between our wants and our needs will affect the way we are using our finances. It's a shame that in today's world most of the financial advice focuses on how to "pay off debt" instead of how to "stay out of debt." The main focus of advertisements is never on the essentials. They are out for the money. So they will give their best shot to ignite a craving in you for more things - even if you couldn't afford to buy them. You want more? They'll offer you to "buy" things on credit. And, if you are already deep in debt, they'll fool you into taking a credit to "pay off" your debt. What they will not tell you is that you will make your self more and more dependent on creditors.
Live Within Your Means
One of the most important things to learn when handling finances is: spend less money than what comes in each month. Easier said than done? Not really. It just takes a good dose of self-control and persistence. Start by keeping a family account book.
Having said all this, it is important for us to remember that:
Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain. (Psalm 127:1 NKJV)
We can plan and prepare all we want to, if the LORD is not the foundation we build upon. we will eventually labor in vain. Sooner or later our family home will begin to crumble - because we've built it on sand.
Link/Tip: I have come across Larry Burkett's books a long time ago. Even though I slightly disagree with a few things he has taught, I have found his books to be the best on this topic so far. Crown Ministries was founded by Larry Burkett. Check out their website. They have many free downloadable resources and also offer a few courses there.
Slow cookers are great kitchen tools. They come in various shapes and sizes. I own a small, round one that has a capacity of 1.5 liters. I also have two oval-shaped ones: one is a 3.5 and the other is a 4.7 liter one. Yes, baking and cooking will happen much slower, hence the name slow cooker. But even if it does take longer for the food to get done, they are still great for saving on energy while cooking. Their consumption is really low. My smallest one runs on 120W, the medium one on 200W, and the larger one uses only 270W per hour. Compared to preparing a roast in the oven within 4 hours, my medium-sized slow cooker would still only use 1600W for cooking it within 8 hours.
True, slow cookers aren't everybody's cup of tea. However, if you haven't done so, why not give it a try? Maybe you could find one on sale, for half the price, or really cheap at an online store? Or else, you could ask your friend if she would lend you hers for a little while?
Stay tuned. I will post more ideas and recipes in the near future.
Have you ever wished that someone would have told you the truth about how hard and painful it can be to become pregnant, give birth and raise children in this world? Or, have you ever wondered why, in a more or less civilized world, men and women are still fighting in a competition of who is worth more than the other? Why are people still struggling to find meaning and purpose in their lives?
I didn't grow up in a Christian home and I regret that I didn't have any older women around who would teach me the principles about biblical womanhood and Christian homemaking. Now older isn't necessarily relating to age here. The women could have been much younger than I but more mature in their walk with Christ.
True, nowadays we will find an abundance of advice available to us – online and offline. So why bother writing more on that topic? Let me explain what kind of studies I have found so far and what it is that I'm really looking for.
There are studies for women arranged by topics. Often enough these teachings will talk about a specific topic that is of more or less interest to us. Throwing in Bible verses doesn't make these teachings Rock-solid, though. They are usually created to be women-ish and all about us and how we will succeed in life.
On the other side, there are studies for women that go through certain books of the Bible. Often enough I don't find any “female” aspect in them.
What I'm looking for is a study for women that would guide us through God's Word, stopping us each time the verses are specifically addressed to women, and then helping us to read them again and to study what God is telling us – so we can apply the principles in our own lives.
Twenty years ago, while still in my 30s, I started writing a book about The Christian Homemaker. That time God had other plans for me, though. Surely I needed to grow a lot more before I could even start thinking of teaching other women. Now, twenty years later, I feel a strong desire to pick up this work again and – by God's Grace – to finish it before my time on earth is up.
I want to share the pleasure with you that comes through digging deeper into God's Word. I want to encourage you to read and study along. You will be amazed, how much God cares for us and how much He has to say to and about us.