What IS the best of my ability? Bringing glory to God in all that I do.
"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31
Honoring my husband.
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord."
Training my child in righteousness.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it."
In that order. What this doesn't mean is being the best at every endeavor. It doesn't mean having a perfectly clean house. It doesn't mean making everything from scratch, perfectly, every time. It does mean being joyful, knowing my limits, and not feeling guilty over them.
- If buying name brand is important to you, cut your entertainment budget.
- If buying organic or whole foods is important to you, use coupons and buy off brand when you can.
- If time is important to you, cut your budget somewhere else so that you can afford to buy things you might otherwise make. Make your budget fit what's important to YOU.
- Don't waste your time and money trying to meet other peoples' goals. Figure out your own goals, and aim for them. You'll save lots of time and money when you know what is important for your own family.
- Pick an obtainable goal, and work towards it. One at a time. Don't overwhelm yourself, but don't let yourself off the hook either.
- When your life is honoring God, He will provide all your needs. Your needs might not be what you think they are, but He will always provide.
- If God has called you to be a wife and a mother, I can promise there will be sacrifices. You won't drive the nicest car. You won't have the biggest house. Your kids won't be wearing the fanciest clothes. There will be times when your budget is just too tight. But you will find your fulfillment in God. And true joy only comes from Him.
- Making your own meals, instead of take out or packaged, is a great start!
- Make your own yogurt.
- Make your own chicken broth.
- Make your own Starbucks.
- Make your own baby food in the blender.
- Make your own gifts, cleaning products, and even play doh for your kids. Pinterest is a great resource for making homemade.
- Use only half a pound of meat per meal (depending on the number in your family, of course!)
- Add beans or lentils to bulk up a meal, and add important protein for much cheaper than most meats.
- Use spices (they are relatively inexpensive, and last a long time) to pack flavor.
- Make soup. Soup is a great way to stretch ingredients. Bonus- homemade bone broth is extremely healthy! Leftovers also usually freeze well.
- Have your kids (and you!) drink milk at meals- the protein fills them up, it is incredibly healthy, and while it has gotten more expensive, you can still often find good deals.
- Don't waste leftovers. Find ways to combine things into a new meal, or have a "smorgasborg" night, when everyone eats a little bit of everything.
- Buy the instant foam pump dispensers, and refill with 1/4 dish soap and the rest of the way with water. Don't shake, but rotate gently to mix. This is simply a marketing ploy by soap companies to get you to buy their "special" refill soaps, but the only difference is that it's more watered down! So you're paying more money for less soap. As long as you have the dispenser, any soap will work once it's watered down. This makes your dish/hand soap last much longer!
- Craigslist, thrift stores, consignment sales, and garage sales are my favorite places to shop. They often have great deals on practically new items, especially clothes.
- Learn about your town/city's resources and use them.Thrift stores, local sales, websites that post local deals, etc.
- Re-purpose an old shelf into a spice rack, a vintage wooden crate into an end table, and old spoons into coat hangers. Get creative! Again, Pinterest!
- Don't buy it unless you need it and have a plan for it.
- Don't buy it unless it really is a good deal. Know what something costs new, compare that to the life of a used item, and consider if you will use it enough to get your money out of it.
- Lastly, don't be to hard on yourself. I'm not saying be a lazy couch potato and live in a pigsty, although there may be a time for that! But, keep your priorities straight (see above!), and give yourself a break now and then. Realize the value of playing with your children...even if the dishes don't get done. Don't freak out if you order pizza too often. Don't beat yourself up if you didn't get the yogurt made this week (or burned two gallons of it...) And don't despair if the WalMart bill is higher than it was last month. Try your best. If you don't like some of your habits, try to change them. And glorify God.