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Lately I’ve had a few conversations where the other person ends up saying something like, “You MADE that?!?” It amazes me.
For us, it’s simply making do with what we have. We went through an incredibly hard time financially a few years ago. Things had been tight for us for a while, but when Stephen was laid off, things got much tighter. We worked so hard at trying to just pay our bills, that anything outside an absolute necessity was pretty much put on the back burner. We did our best to live on as little as possible.
It was very difficult. I learned a lot about faith. God provided for us in some really amazing ways (you can read about some of those ways by clicking on the Miracles category in my sidebar).
I really struggled with feeling deprived. There were many things we chose to do without, but I missed them. One of the hardest things for me then was hearing about little things in other peoples’ lives that sounded like luxuries to me. One day a friend mentioned that she was having chicken cordon bleu for dinner, and it absolutely devastated me that we couldn’t afford it.
Strangely enough, that was a turning point for me. Rather than complain that I couldn’t have what she could, I decided to learn how to make some of the things I missed. We already cooked from scratch, but we learned how to make more. We started learning how to make things most people just buy. Bread, tortillas, dry mixes (taco seasoning, flavored coffees, ranch seasoning, dipping spices, to name a few), yogurt. . .I could go on and on. Some things were a total flop, and some turned out well.
Many of those things we continue to this day, even though our finances aren’t as tight as they once were. Some we’ve stopped making or doing because they’re not worth the amount of time to make them or we didn’t like the results.
It really was a learning experience. Would I change it? Honestly, no. I wish I could say I handled it with more grace, but I didn’t. But God showed me just how mighty He really is during that time, and that makes it worth it.
I told one of the ladies the other day that I’m not going to complain about not having money. I’m going to get creative and figure out how to make things myself. It’s nice. I don’t feel so deprived. And it’s gotten to be enough of a habit now that for some things, I don’t ever intend to go back.
Just because money is tight doesn’t mean people have to feel so deprived. It just means getting creative in new areas.