Saturday, October 9, 2010

fighting to be frugal

Let me give you a word of advice... if you are trying to be frugal and save money, don't move to New York! In my case, there wasn't much choice in the matter, which was a gift from G-d to make it harder for me to get in His way!! I used to be pretty good at being frugal: clipping coupons, repurposing and reusing things, only buying items on sale or on clearance. However, I wouldn't boast in being very frugal at this point in my life. Just about everything costs more in New York! Although I still do all of the things listed above, it doesn't seem to make as much of a difference here. And certain stores that I knew and loved just don't exist here, or I can't get to them! Frugality has become something that I truly have to fight for. Indeed, in our materialistic culture, we all have to fight for it. There is a big difference, however, between spending money on things that we truly need and spending money just to spend fill a void that we are experiencing in our lives. I know that I am certainly guilty of doing both. I enjoy shopping (and it's a good thing that my husband doesn't) for certain things (not groceries). And perhaps because he is the "breadwinner" and provider for our family, my husband is more prone to worry about how much money we have or don't have. I, on the other hand, don't spend much time worrying about where the next dollar is coming from (probably because I am thinking about where I am going to spend it!). The L-rd has truly provided for us in miraculous ways while we have been living in one of the most expensive cities to live in the world! That is no excuse for me to spend money on unnecessary things, though.

In thinking about this, I have come across this verse a couple times in Isaiah (Yesha'yahu): "Why spend money for what isn't food, your wages for what doesn't satisfy?" (Isaiah 55:2) I think that is sometimes the key for us, especially as women, to understand. The world is constantly telling us what we need to spend our money on, but none of it will satisfy.What do you like to spend your money on? I can't say that I look forward to spending money on food. It's usually other things that I think about.

There is a beautiful song that also came to mind. You can listen here: "Jacob's Well" by Nicol Sponberg. This song, especially the second verse: "It's a long hard journey, all the pain it brings... try to quench my yearnings with material things... So I will go to Jacob's well to fill my cup with living water...", sums up what 'shopping' becomes in many women's unsatisfying and unending quest for fulfillment. It doesn't have to be that way. Let us instead continue our fight to be frugal... for our sake, for our family's sake, and for the sake of telling the world that we have the Living Water-- and it was free.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

new adventure and new siddur...

With the new Torah cycle, I have started doing "Torah school" with my toddler. The lessons are only about 5 minutes, but it's fun. My plan is to homeschool my children, and I have also started a new blog just for that journey:
Visit it to check 0ut the siddur we made! I look forward to this new and challenging adventure as my baby grows up!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

the reluctant chef

The picture was taken from my daughter's children's Bible. It is Martha in the kitchen, begrudgingly working in the kitchen. (My husband tells me that I look like her at times when I am in the kitchen.) I truly wish that I enjoyed cooking/washing dishes more, but that is why I dropped out of culinary school after 6 months, after all... I could never cook for a living! But I would like to cook more for my family. A good friend (who is a good cook) told me that cooking is like her outlet for creative expression because she doesn't scrapbook or anything like that. Well, I write... so I guess I don't need to express myself in cooking! :)

Becoming a mother has made it even more necessary for me to cook, and also helped me to realize that cooking is one of my ministries to my family. I need to be able to provide good, healthy meals for myself, my husband and my daughter to enjoy. Healthy eating habits are formed at home also, so it's really my responsibility to feed them good food. After three and a half years of marriage and nearly two years of motherhood, I am still learning to view my time spent in the kitchen as a blessing. Slowly, slowly... we are all works in progress.

If you are married (or not yet married) and love to cook, then good for you! Keep it up! But for the rest of us, keep trying to serve G-d as you serve those plates to your family! The only way to truly learn to cook for yourself is to practice! As Michelle Duggar says, practice makes progress! Our husbands and children will appreciate the attempt and the love that we pour into each meal. I am forever grateful to the ladies who gave me recipes at my bridal shower, and I'm actually starting to use them! If you need to buy a wedding gift, a bread machine is a wonderful gift... the bride might take a few years to use it, but when she does, she will be singing your praises! ;)

Happy cooking!