Thursday, October 30, 2008

Generousity: My Frugal Secret


People often ask me "How do you do it?" When I tell them that we've lived quite well for six years now on a single part-time income. Yep, that's half of an income. We've always just had one of us working part time. For the first few years it was Chester, and right now it's me who works part time.

I have a slew of answers.
  • "Well, God just provides miraculously for us" (which He does)
  • "It's really not hard, but we are careful with our money"
  • "I have a really great paying part time job"
  • "We don't have a TV - it's easy to live cheaply when you're not viewing ads all day long"


All of these are true. But there's another property that I think is at the core of our living cheaply. And that is generosity. God has called us to give both to our church and to several missionaries. But in addition to that, we're always giving stuff away.

Actually, it's not so much giving stuff away, as it is funneling what God sends to us. A few months ago now, I took two garbage bags of toddler girl clothes to a family who has quadruplet 3-year-old girls that needed clothes. This is not an unusual occurrence around here. That particular week, I'd had three families give me hand-me-downs from their girls. I didn't need clothes for my girls, and told them so. But I was very grateful that they thought of me, and told them I'd be happy to find them a good home.

God has allowed this sort of thing to happen so many times that "funneling" has become part of our reputation. (This also courtesy of my Mother-in-Law, who gives away so much every year that it totals a higher value than their income). Families that have a need know they can ask me, and I'll probably come across what they need in short order. Families with stuff to get rid of know they can call me. I'll use some, and pass on some.

I'm always grateful for what I'm given - even if I can't use it, I know that these people thought of us for a reason, and there's probably someone I know that can use it.

A couple of days ago, a local home-schooler emailed to ask if I wanted her outgrown curriculum. Her youngest is now in second grade -- they simply don't need the preschool and kindergarten stuff anymore. I said "Of course! We had such a fun time with the videos you gave us last time!" (Which was true, even though we don't have a VCR and she knows it -- we gave them as prizes at a party, and it was really fun).



So tonight on our weekly date we went and picked up a bag and a box of her old home-school stuff. Most of it we really don't need (although the kids are completely thrilled at all the new coloring books!) Therefore, I'd like to pass some on to you as today's giveaway. Six books: Usborne's "Ready for Reading", Celebrate Readings!'s "Spelling and Phonics Practice books" levels 1 and 2 (which I think correspond to grades 1 and 2, they are above my kindergartener), McGraw-Hill's "My 1,2,3"s, Modern Curriculum Press's "My dictionary Workbook", and American Education Publishing's "The complete Book of Phonics ( for ages 4-8)". Thanks so much Leeza! Just leave a comment or subscribe (and leave me a comment telling me that you did) to be entered. (Two entries if you do both). Please leave your email address in the comment if you don't have a blogger blog. Blogger does not share your email address with me.

I'm so grateful that God provides for us this way - it's completely fun, and it makes a lot of things super cheap (I'll probably never buy my kids clothes).

I haven't made it all the way through what I was given tonight, so keep your eyes out for another giveaway of home-school stuff next week!

49 comments:

  1. Isn't amazing how He provides!!! What awesome stories :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an awesome testimony! My 3 year is fast approaching Pre-K! My kiddos also love having books in the van to play with!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have many similar stories (God is so good!). I'm a homeschooling mom of 9, so could really use these. Please enter me in your drawing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It seems the more we are generous and giving, the more we receive (in many ways)
    I would love to use these materials with my daughter who is just learning to read!

    Thanks for the fun giveaway!
    foxsquirrelrabbit(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a great post!! We're similar- having lived off of one income for 5 years, and it's always been a PT one, too. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'd love to win! I'm slowly piecing together preschool homeschool supplies!!! Thanks for the giveaway!
    give_me_a_latte at yahoo

    ReplyDelete
  7. I also just subscribed to your feed! Thanks again!
    give_me_a_latte at yahoo

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a great post--I don't do subscriptions, but I've added you to my Sage reader. I'm impressed that you live on a part time income.

    Come enter my Amazon giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a great testimony -- we homescool our 3 kids and He has provided generously to us for years.. Not entering -- just praising (we're good on cirric.)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great blog, and nice of you to want to pass along some useful books! I'd like to be entered, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I plan on homeschooling my toddler in a couple years and would love some supplies!
    Great prespective on living only on what we actually need. Loved your entry.

    minnesotapeachy@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. We "funnel" too! I have a whole basement full of clothing, toys, kitchen appliances, etc. Somebody is always in need of something, and people know to come to me if they need something, or have something to give away. I would love the books for my granddaughter who will be homeschooled!

    smchester at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I enjoyed reading your post. My kids love learning and I really enjoy teaching them. Thank you.
    girlygirlsboutique(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. AS a homeschooling Mama to 4 we could really use this stuff :-)

    amitymatthia[at]hotmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  15. God is faithful!

    Enter me!

    livinglocalnh (at) gmail . com

    And come enter my giveaway at:
    http://livinglocalnh.blogspot.com/2008/10/blog-giveaway-for-my-100th-post.html

    ReplyDelete
  16. wow i realy like them i think thay are realy grate thing to have and i love to win them for my little one right now shes not yet 2 but will be here in 4 1/2 more mo's. and well the more books i can fine or get will help out a lot thanks

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am starting to teach my 3 yo with the intention of homeschooling so I could use these! Thanks for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a great blessing!! We're starting with K and PK next year!

    Michelle
    chellegoodson at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I came seeking the prize giveaway, I'm leaving with much more than that. Please don't enter me, I can do without them, give them to someone more in need. And thank you for your blessing, I"ve subscribed now, as I need a little inspiration every now and then

    ReplyDelete
  20. How wonderful! My oldest is 4 and these would be great for him. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  21. How wonderful how God provides! Sometimes it seems like just when we get comfortable, He shakes up our little worlds to make us trust him more... That's where I am, and I am learning new ways of dependence, that's for sure! Thanks for your stories.


    gitrecca (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I would love these. Thanks for the chance to win. Your family sound very blessed and very giving.

    ReplyDelete
  23. This would be wonderful. I am considering homeschooling my daughter. these would really come in handy. Thanks for the chancve and the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I really love your blog. I think you're posts give advice that may be a big help to me. So I also subcribed to your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Those all look like great books!

    princesslimey (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Your post was lovely - very nice! We homeschool (3 kids - 6,4, and 2) and could really put those books to use :)
    homeschoolcyn(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  27. what an encouraging story. i'm in the same boat...but i need to look at things more optimistically, like you. our needs have always been met...and then some. God is our loving Father. Thanks for your sweet post.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Please throw my name in the hat. This is my first year homeschooling. I'd say pre school is the best place to start and we'll take all the supplies we can get.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I totally agree! :)

    lilacbutterfly [at] earthlink.net

    ReplyDelete
  30. Very nice!

    lilacbutterfly [at] earthlink.net

    ReplyDelete
  31. What a wonderful testimony. I homeschool and would love to win these wonderful items. Thanks for the chance.

    cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  32. this would be great...thanks for sharing. i tend to worry about money more than i should, considering how awesome a provider we have. :)
    andrewandkristan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thank you for sharing. I have had many times where i didnt know what we were going do and then god came through

    ReplyDelete
  34. Wow! that is a great story.

    mama.may24(at)ymail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. i'm in.
    katelynthames AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I would love to be entered. I have homeschooled both my kids and no we have another one on the way.

    michelle at northofthe49 dot com

    ReplyDelete
  37. This is a great one! Thanks for the chance to win :)
    chantellesabino at mac dot com

    ReplyDelete
  38. What a beautiful story - truly inspirational. Those books sound great - count me in. (thank you for sharing your blessings with us all)

    ReplyDelete
  39. God really is amazing in the ways he provides for us. What a fabulous post!!

    ourhappyhappenings@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. What a great story to read about! Thanks for sharing too! I have a kindergartener who would enjoy these!

    ReplyDelete
  41. wow, i'm really happy to have found your blog. i'd love the homeschool supplies.

    sarahn4639 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  42. I love stories of how God provides. He has given us exactly what we need at the time we needed it so many times.

    Great giveaway! Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  43. Our God is an awesome God...that is for sure!

    owatz (AT) telus (DOT) net

    ReplyDelete
  44. I love that you are a funnel for things to bless others. I have to come back and visit you.
    Please enter me in the giveaway.
    Kathy
    bigfamily8 (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  45. You can't outgive God. Thanks for sharing.
    I subscribed to your feed.
    Kathy
    bigfamily8 (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete