I still can’t believe what an amazing family God has given me. I don’t deserve these precious people, but they are incredible and they are mine.
Once again I am in complete awe of the way God provides.
In sales like we are, income is unpredictable. The slow times make us even more grateful when the sales do come in. But things have been slow.
On Thursday of last week, I stood looking in the fridge and prayed for God to provide once again. My fridge and pantry were getting empty again.
Friday morning I got a phone call. Our pastor’s wife had been asked to clean out someone’s house, and she wanted to know if I could use the food.
I cried and said yes.
She wanted us to come pick it up immediately.
It filled a huge tote box and then some. What was amazing to me was that while it was non-perishable foods and canned goods, much of it was food that we do regularly eat and some were items we don’t buy often but that we really enjoy. There were tons of peanut butter, beans, and rice, and canned vegetables. All things we definitely use and needed.
We had to rearrange the pantry to make room for all the food.
Once again, God provided for our needs, exactly when we needed it.
Last week someone dropped by, and brought us $200 for groceries. It was right after we had used the last of the grocery money I mentioned before. My kids drink over a gallon of milk a day, so groceries add up quickly. This was an incredible blessing.
Today someone dropped by the house because they had something to bring us. It was ANOTHER $500 check for clothes and shoes for our family. I’m floored. Oh, and this was not the same person that sent the first check. They didn’t even know about the first one.
Several of the kids still needed shoes. I bought what I could with the previous money God sent our way, but hadn’t been able to get all the shoes we needed. Now I can finish looking, and have the added money to buy new items where we need to.
Living by faith isn’t always easy, but God always provides.
God has provided again. Over and over and over. It’s been amazing.
I got a phone call, asking if we could use money for clothes, and if $50 a person was enough. I said yes (and thank you). When the check arrived, it was for $100 more than $50 apiece, AND they had included money for Stephen and I for clothes as well.
The next day, a friend stopped by with a $100 Aldi gift card. I cried. We didn’t have money for groceries, the pantry was bare, and I didn’t know when we would get to go shopping. So God brought the money right through my door.
We went to Value Village for clothes and found a TON of what we needed……then off to Aldi for groceries.
We knew we needed it and had been praying God would provide. He did, right when we needed it.
A friend had gone junking in the “rich district” and brought over 3 bikes for my kids…..bikes they needed because theirs were broken.
And then today God provided just a plain want. For years I have wanted Le Creuset cookware. Today, a cousin who works at the Le Creuset store brought a bunch of things to the family reunion. One was a stock pot, and I got to take it home. It matches my kitchen perfectly. It’s like God said, “Here’s even something you want, just because you wanted it.” We could have made do with what we have for longer, though it is wearing out. But no, God just blessed me with a completely new, gorgeous pot, that matches my kitchen.
I’m so blessed.
These past few weeks have been intense.
In February, one of the platforms we sell on had a huge financial mess. Things were slow before that, but afterward, views and sales there have been almost non-existent. I’ve averaged 17-20 sales a week since then. Across ALL shops. Together.
This business has been our sole income. We don’t have a second job or a fall-back.
Honestly it’s been terrifying. Watching income dwindle instead of rising is scary. But it has been a wild ride too…..
Every step of the way, God has provided what we needed, just when we needed it.
We had one week where I didn’t have the money to even ship the orders that came in. We started selling off the old design stamps I don’t use. There was more than one time when the money would come in Paypal just in time to transfer it to pay for shipping.
It’s like the woman and the cruse of oil. There is just enough money, every day, to do what is needed. Not any extra, but we have not overdrafted. It’s been really hard.
It been hard to run my business too. I haven’t had the money to buy supplies when we need them. I’m making necklace cards again, stamping boxes myself, using different sizes instead of what I prefer, to use what we have. I started making necklace chains again, because making them is a cheaper investment than buying chains (and from a supplier with $100 minimum).
This is not how I imagined we’d run our business.
Last fall, Stephen and I both felt God calling us to shut down the supplies arm of the business. That was great at first, because of the extra family time it gave. We were free.
Then time went on and it set in that we weren’t making the money we used to. It got tight. Then tighter. And even tighter. And then terrifying.
We both feel that shutting down supplies was the right thing to do.
So the purpose of this post is to document to see what God does. He has truly supplied everything we have needed, right when we needed it. We are truly living by faith. It’s both terrifying AND freeing at the same time.
One thing that really encouraged me was watching how God has provided other needs when we needed them. On Wednesday right before supper, Anna was telling me she thought she’d need a pair of size 4 tennis shoes next time she gets some. We’ve been super gluing the soles on her shoes for a while now. I prayed right there that God would provide new shoes for her.
I kept Joy home that night because she’d been sick. Anna walked in the door with a bag of clothes from Stephanie. In it was a pair of almost brand new Nike shoes, a size 4. Of course. 5 hours after I prayed God answered my prayer……and He had provided the shoes for that need before I even prayed for it.
That’s my God.
It has been amazing to watch. I can’t wait to see how else He provides.
We’ve been experimenting with different keto dough recipes, trying to find one we really like.
This was a variation on the fathead dough, using melted cheeses and almond flour. I tried the recipe here, but made a couple changes to it. I kept the Parmesan cheese but used mozzarella instead of pepper jack. I also made it in a different order, but after making other fathead doughs, I don’t think that made a difference with this particular recipe.
As far as fathead doughs are concerned, this one was good. I liked the flavor the Parmesan cheese gave the dough. I think the recipe had too much coconut flour in it – but that is because I really don’t like the coconut flavor in savory dishes. (I think the coconut flour blends beautifully with chocolate). It had a really nice texture because of the coconut though.
Next time I make it I will probably try it with all almond flour, and adjust from there if needed.
It was a nice crust you could pick up with your bare hands though – that was really nice.
I topped it with tomato paste, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and mushrooms. Since the sauce was plain tomato paste, I sprinkled on a little onion powder, oregano, and hot pepper flakes as well. It was pretty good. We’re making progress.
Caleb asked for pumpkin spice scones for his birthday breakfast, so that’s what we had today. The recipe is a family favorite, and we’ve made it many times over the years.
I personally don’t eat them as they’re not gluten free, but they smelled wonderful, and Caleb said they tasted amazing.
You can find the recipe here. I omit the raisins and drop them onto the pan instead of rolling them out. They really are incredible.
For years I offered printable household notebooks on my site.
Then my site crashed. I was able to recover some of the files I had online, but not everything. We got my blog back online a few months ago, but didn’t add the notebooks back at the time.
Just recently I discovered digital planners and notebooks, and WOW am I ever hooked! It all started with getting an iPad, and buying the notetaking app Goodnotes, just because it looked handy. Then, in one of the printable planner sticker groups I’m in, someone posted about her digital planner and I was intrigued. Did some research and discovered that I can make interactive planners that are digital, complete with tabs on the side and hyperlinks. How FUN!!
Expect to see the old planners back up on the site here, as well as the new files.
I took a small break from dieting after my surgery, and did a pretty good job maintaining. At the beginning of this month I decided to go back stricter keto again.
Since then I’ve lost 3 pounds, which is encouraging. But what’s more exciting is the non-scale victories.
My tight skirt that I avoided wearing is now comfortable, and even falls down if I place my phone in the back pocket.
A friend told me last week that I had “lost a TON of weight!” – I can’t remember the last time I saw her though.
The leggings I bought in December and hated are now looser and therefore almost comfortable. I thought I bought the correct size, but because I carry my weight around my middle, the waistband was tighter than I like. They’re still not loose enough for me to love them yet, but I can wear them now without hating them. That’s great for the super cold days in the shop now!
And another victory that IS scale relate……I hit the 35 pound mark yesterday! I was very excited to see that in MyFitnessPal. I’ve actually lost 41 pounds since Joy was born, but really didn’t start losing weight until last April.
I also hit my first number goal. At this point my next number goal is down another 20 pounds, with my official “on the record goal” at 35 more pounds, and my personal final goal at 45 more pounds. The last goal may not be realistic because I don’t know how low my body will go now that I’ve had kids. We’ll see.
This has me very excited and motivated to keep going!
I received a puzzling call yesterday that resulted in me being on the phone for what seemed to be all day long.
The hospital billing coordinator I’ve been working with called me yesterday. I had called asking for an itemized bill to submit to Samaritan Ministries so we can start paying on it. She returned my call, but had a question.
She said I was no longer in her division for me to set up payments. My bill has been transferred to another division and I am no longer responsible for paying this surgery out of pocket.
I spent quite some time after that on the phone trying to fully understand the details. After all that time, I learned that yes, my surgery really is being paid for.
We prayed that God would provide. We trusted that He would. And He did, in an amazing, incredibly huge, way that we NEVER expected. I don’t feel completely free to share all the details how and why publicly, but wanted to shout loud and long that my God WILL provide! He DID provide!
I went in to this surgery anticipating needing to make payments on a $50,000+ surgery while we wait for the money from Samaritan Ministries to come in. They have always been fantastic with our other medical procedures.
God had an entirely different idea, and chose to have someone else pay for it.
I’m humbled to watch how God has worked it out.