Saturday, January 10, 2015

On Abundance & an Update

This month is going to be tight. In the fall our 4-person family celebrates 3 birthdays, Halloween (celebrate is a strong word – more like participate with minimal expense), Thanksgiving, and Christmas. All this between October 27 and December 25. It’s a budgeting challenge (read: nightmare). We spend pretty conservatively, but up to this point, no amount of planning prepares us for financial-peace-of-mind in the month of January. Ever.

One of my strategies this month is to grocery shop in my own pantry and freezer. I do this a few times a year simply to avoid waste but in January it is a necessity. Now, we eat a lot of fresh food so the pantry is slim pickings – few canned veggies, fruits, or soups. You might already know that we are gluten-free and virtually grain-free so pastas and breads are absent from the cupboards. I just say this so you can imagine the scene. I was originally squirming at the idea of fewer fresh fruits and veggies but as I inventoried (yes, inventoried – complete with notepad in hand and headlamp on head) the freezer and pantry, I realized that things are not bleak. In fact, despite my financial/culinary distress there is, in fact, an ABUNDANCE.

-->Freezer contents: 12 lb. turkey, 1lb pack of cubed pork, 1.5 lb pork belly, chicken apple sausages (which we ate last night, so cross them off the list), frozen blueberries, a bag of shredded cheese, frozen cranberries, lots of broth, marinara sauce, butter, and frozen bananas.
-->A grocery shop last week added a Costco pack of chicken thighs and 6lbs of ground beef, lunch meat, cheese, and milk.
-->Pantry contents: almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca and arrowroot flours, raisins, sunflower seeds, rice rollers, applesauce (unopened), sardines, coconut milk, 3 buttnernut squashes, onions, and more boring stuff.
-->Plus, there is food in the fridge…like cabbage and condiments and eggs :-)

Most of this stuff has accumulated over the last 6-9 months. Suffice to say, I don’t think we’ll starve. You know what? I don’t even think we’ll WANT for anything.
Sometimes I have the tendency to look at things and see what is missing. Obviously, we are missing bacon in our freezer right now. Sad, I know. 

But the truth is…well, having bacon would be nice. Maybe that’s a bad example. See, a metaphor can only take you so far.

Back to the point. I see what’s missing rather than celebrating the abundance that God has provided.  We ate those chicken apple sausages over roasted acorn squash and onions last night. IT WAS AWESOME. It wasn’t settling for seconds. It wasn’t meh. Neither were the mini-pizzas we made with the frozen marinara sauce and shredded cheese from the freezer on homemade crusts.

In the midst of our need – our January—God continues to supply. In support raising, Andy and I have been resting at 60% funding for a while (two months or so). We tend to focus on the 40% that’s missing rather than what we have and what God provided us with over the last two months.

We’ve had extra time with family because no one wants to meet in December to talk about giving money. We’ve had time to begin the purging process in preparation for moving and downsizing. We’ve spent time with our friends – the first people to be neglected when our schedule gets hectic. We’ve built fires in our fireplace because we are home to enjoy them. I cleaned with cleaning products rather than wet paper towels.

The point is – OUR FREEZER AND OUR PANTRY ARE FULL! This month’s budget might be slim but God’s provision doesn’t stop. His provision began before our time of need arose. Those things have been in the freezer for a few months and tonight I’ll roast a turkey that’ll feed us for days! 

There are lots of areas in my life where I see what’s missing rather that what has been provided. Today, though, we will celebrate 60% rather than moan about the missing 40%.

If, however, you’d like to be part of that missing 40%, well – we would welcome you happily as we celebrate! 


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