Tuesday, August 25, 2009

little bits and pieces.

Today I was reminded about all the little parts of living. The bits and pieces that make life... life.

-coffee with my husband. doing our Bible reading. talking about what it means to follow the King.

-arranging the bouquets in our produce/flower stand. all those beautiful sweet smelling blossoms.

-visiting a friend I haven't seen since getting home. sharing about my experiences. hearing about hers. seeing her precious baby. feeling encouraged and loved.

-getting a few groceries (what I could afford on my new 'budget'.)

-talking to my mama about all the pain she's feeling and the joy that's building inspite the pain.

-crying about things at church. again. thought I was over that. then laughing because...it's just there, part of life.

-rejoicing in a savior that loves me. that is changing me. inch by inch. moment by moment. day by day.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Frugal Friday: Homemade Laundry Soap

Homemade Laundry Soap for .14 a load!

The last time I went to buy laundry soap, I cringed at the price. With a mechanic-husband, who goes through 2 sets of clothing a day, laundry was getting expensive. So, I did a bit of research and made my own detergent! I absolutely love it so far. It gets out all the grease and still leaves my clothes smelling and feeling nice.

Per Load:
1/3 cup baking soda (to clean)
¼ cup vinegar (to soften)
3-4 drops essential oil (for scent)
I usually use lavender or some other “flower” scent but the last time I went to buy oils there was an orange spice on sale- and I actually like it a lot! My mother uses peppermint… so, anything, really, will work.

I also have a lavender sachet {look here} that I throw in the dryer when I use that instead of hanging out the clothes. It just adds a little extra scent and keeps the static down.

Just a little breakdown in the price for you…
Baking soda (bought at .48 a pound at Sam’s Club) .09 a load
Vinegar (bought at 2.00 a gallon at Sam’s Club) .03 a load
Essential Oil (usual is about 9.00 a bottle although I found some on sale for 2.50 a bottle which would have lowered the total price a lot!) .02 a load
That makes detergent/softener at .14 a load!

Compared to commercial detergents: Detergent (using an average of $9 for a 32 load bottle, although I don’t usually get as many loads as they say!) .28 per load
Softener (using $9 for 40 loads) .22 a load

This makes $.50 per load for commercial detergent/softener and $.14 a load for homemade!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

An ever-glowing life...

We've been home for two weeks. Has it really be that long? Has it only been that long? Time seems to have drifted all together. One moment I turn, expecting to see James peeking in my kitchen window, only to be met by the looming red tractor parked in front of the house. Other times I feel as if I never really left home. Weren't the towering mountains of LaColline just a dream?

Today was Anna Mae's funeral. How is it that death steals upon us so suddenly? We all know that it is coming, yet, still, we are shocked when it arrives. Yes, she was old. Yes, she was sick. But did we really expect her to die? No. Not yet. But... yes. Yes, here is the end. Am I ready for mine?

We built a vegetable stand at our place to sell Ez and Brianna's produce. Are the prices okay? Do the vegetables look good? We still need signs. My posterboard signs are being lost to the wind. I hope someone stops! Oh, a bouquet is sold. Lovely.

Meeting about VBS tonight. Christmas in August. I can't believe it's really happening. To think that a dream I had while in Haiti is actually turning into a production! The story of our salvation. Jesus comes to earth. What did Isaiah do? What did the shepherds do? What did the wise men do? What did Simeon do? They sought the baby Jesus. They sought him until they found him. And now, years and years later, we can find him too...

I need to stop eating processed foods! Why, oh, why, do we all eat things that are so bad for us? Since being home I keep finding myself feeling SO hungry and the only option is pasty white storebought bread or potato chips or pizza.... No! I want to eat brown rice and steamed vegetables! I want to snack on fruit and carrots. I don't even mind the hamburgers. Just NOT pizza! ah!

Danielle is leaving in just a few days. I love that she's having an adventure. I pray that God will use each day to draw her closer to him. But, oh, how I hope that she comes home when she is finished! (I just like all my friends to stay put so they will be here when I return home!)

God is faithful. Still. I know, obvious. But true, nonetheless. I love dwelling in his greatness. His holiness. His faithfulness. Jesus, you are my light. My strength. My song. May every aspect of my life reflect you. Make me "glow" with your goodness, your faithfulness, your joy, YOU.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Here We Are

And once again, the wanderer has returned home...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Thoughts on life from a hotel room in Port au Prince, Haiti, West Indies

So, I am sitting here in Port au Prince. We just went to the market. I was stunned that what had once been horribly confusing and overwhelming when we first arrived, was actually quite fun today. The reason for the difference? I understood about 90% of what was being said as opposed to the .5% that I comprehended six months ago.

Isn't that just the way life is at times?

When the man who decided to help us wanted money, Amos said, "I don't have any." We asked around and someone had 10 gouds. Okay, 2 dollars. Not much. But it was all we had. Amos gave it to him and the man said, "This is nothing." So Amos took it back and said, "If that is nothing then I will keep it." Finished. End of story.

Six months ago, that conversation would have been impossible. We would have had to find an interpreter (who would have then wanted money as well.) We would have fussed around and I would have been thinking, "Let me get out of here!"

So, what is the lesson to be learned from this adventure? When things in life are overwhelming me, perhaps I should stop and pray for a minute... saying, "God, I know you speak this 'language' and what seems to be a huge problem to me, is actually just a lack of communication. Help me see this situation with your eyes."

The scriptures says, "If people who are evil give good gifts to their children, how much more your Father who loves you!"

If we need help, will he not "transalate" for us? When I am overwhelmed, is it a case of "you have not because you ask not"?

Today, there were 6 people with us who were experiencing the overwhelming confusion that I did when we first arrived. After trying for several minutes to handle things themselves, they came looking for Amos and I and said, "Please, help us!"

Amos is no relation to them but he willingly dropped what he was doing to go and dicker prices for them. Actually, he had quite a lot of fun doing it.


Just minutes ago, I was stressing because my seat on the airplane tomorrow is not confirmed. The flight is overbooked and I haven't been assigned a seat. For several moments I let myself stress out because a million thoughts came flying at me... "What if we can't fly with everyone else? What if someone has to drive down to New York City just for us? What if... what if..." And then I remembered the market.

I was stressed because I didn't know the "language" of overbooked flights. But God does. He knows. If we are supposed to stay in Haiti another night, will that be the end of the world? Certainly not. We will just stay. We will enjoy the time alone. We will get home eventually. And maybe God wants us to stay. Maybe he has someone that Amos needs to talk to. Maybe there is someone I need to talk to. Whatever the case, God speaks this language and he will interpret the meaning if I just ask him to...

God, teach me this language. And teach me to call on you- even for things that seem "unspiritual". Show me, again, how you watch over every detail.