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!