"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, April 4, 2011

simple abundance

spectator to the happenings

Although we live simply,  we are smart enough to know how blessed we are.  Though our income places us at poverty level, our eyes and brains tell us that we are not.  We budget, and make good choices when it comes to purchases.  Our needs are meager and we know how to maximize what we have.  Thrift stores in the winter and garage sales in the summer provide entertainment (truly a modern day treasure hunt), as well as our furniture, clothing, tools, toys, fertilizer, spices, books, games, plants, art supplies, sports equipment, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures.......  If you are patient you will find it.

notice the shorts and Ts!  the first  (and only) day like this  we've had~
it was delicious!

My husband and son hunt elk, deer, and antelope (dependent on the draw).  A couple of years ago my husband was wooed by his friend to a new found love, salmon fishing.  We will benefit from a few laying hens for the first time this year.

local organics

We also frequent the local canned food warehouse where if you pay attention to labels you will be feeding your family very well for pennies on the dollar.  I even find well known brand organics.  Our home is the local drop for a food co-op that  brings bulk whole foods right to our side yard where we unload the supplies from the semi, sort the boxes into piles by customer name, place frozen items in coolers, and tape invoices to the top of the piles for the members to identify at pick up.

sorted into piles for ease of pick up

In the summer, we tend a vegetable garden.  It's a good size for our family but as every gardener knows, no garden is ever big enough.  We add a little more every year.  This year we will take a friend up on his offer of some space (in his huge garden) to grow our potatoes and squash.

My industrious husband is hard working and non-complaining.  Therefore we never pay someone else to do work for us.  Never.  Larry is our plumber, electrician, mechanic, contractor, landscaper, painter, arborist...

those who are smart show up while the muscle is unpacking the semi ~
they get free delivery to their car

I lied.  We do pay doctors but we only go for emergencies (of which thankfully we haven't had many).  We try to eat well, and use natural remedies.  We believe antibiotics are overused and we use them only as a very last resort.  We very rarely need them.

a moments break while the delivery driver brings out the chilled and frozen

These are just some of the bigger things we do to save money and live simply.  When you think this way, you naturally do more.

We encourage our children to be generous as we strive to be generous.  It's only by giving that you realize how very much you have.  As a dear friend reminds us often, it's God's money anyway.  He's just letting us use it for the moment and redirecting it through us.  Rejoice today as you give some away, generously because you are rich...   

Blessings,  Debbie


  1. I can identify with so much of our lifestyle, Debbie. I'm embarrassed to say that we don't garden. I put in a row or two of lettuce & spinach and plant some tomato vines. We eat the surplus of gardens around us! This summer I'll be spending a few mornings a week helping a friend in THEIR garden. They've been so generous with us in the past.

    I AM a great sales shopper in the grocery store. I don't cook "fancy" and usually have a good stock of stables.

    We, too have been blessed with good health. Our needs are simple. Our God is faithful.

    This was a very encouraging post!

  2. I meant to say "YOUR" instead of "our" in the first line of my comment...

  3. Wow! I could have written most of your post about my family. We don't have as many game hunting [we have white tail deer and turkey] as you nor the salmon fishing, but we have flounder. We also shrimp and crayfish. I don't co-op as I live way out of town, but that's ok. I have two gardens a year [spring and fall] and I know how to can. We don't have many needs and those that we do are always met. God is good-no matter the income.

  4. "It's only by giving that you realize how very much you have." ~Amen!

    I *loved* this post! It is always encouraging to learn about how other families are living simply on a single income. Isn't it awesome how God transforms the "loaves and fishes" in our lives? We've been living on a tight budget and one income for our entire marriage, and I can't imagine a more abundant life.

  5. Thanks for sharing... we have lost our home and most of our income and are learning more and more each year. Since we don't have health insurance we too have used natural means to medicate, but would use them with insurance or not. When we did have an accident, our five year old had a horrible broken leg, well God provided through our friend, who set and cared for his leg for free...all 11 weeks, cast and braces.

    God is a good provider.

    Thanks for sharing how your family manages, it encourages me to try harder.

    Thanks for the comment on the video of prayer...as you can see from my blog I am always speaking to myself. Those words are really turning in me and I am praying God will bring the fruit of it in my life, as I petition the throne.

  6. such a great post and a wonderful reminder He is our provider!

  7. Wonderful post and look into your family lifestyle. We eat as much organic as we can and wish we had the energy to garden...We are healing as best we can from Lyme and its coinfections, trusting God for His direction, and serving Him as best we can. He is our Jehovah Jehri...our provider! Thanks for stopping by my Lyme blog to visit. You can find me at My Autumn Years too. www.myautumnyears.blogspot.com
    God bless.

  8. Thank you for the lovely verse you left at my place today. I have always felt that way about it. It all belongs to God and we are but the very blessed stewards.
    I garden for my married kids and grand kids not to mention the ones I still have at home and the people I know.That was why I started in the first place even with my chickens so I could always make sure they had food.
    I think you are very wise and very rich. I think what you are doing is the best. I am so thankful that the Lord has allowed me to be at home and yes, my husband is the same thing you said about your husband.
    I think we have lots in common. :)

  9. Great post, my wealthy new blog friend.

    I think what you have far exceeds the other type of riches. We live very simply too and would rather do without than be in debt. I admire you for what I learned about you in this post.

    And I could NOT agree more about the antibiotics!!! Preach it.

  10. Such a great post. I'm a frugal shopper too. I don't get trying to live beyond ones means. The stress would not be worth it.Your friend is so right, it all belongs to God. He will provide for our needs!

  11. You are an inspiration to me! I like the part about it's all God's money and he is just letting us use it for the moment. Really makes you think, doesn't it?

  12. This so good! I live in MA where health insurance is mandatory! But my daughter is diabetic and we need to have it for her anyway. Where I live there isn't much hunting and you can't really eat the fish from the streams around here because of mercury but yard sales are good and abundant. We have a garden, there are a lot of different grocery stores so I coupon. And you know; blackberries and blueberries grow by the ton around the corner from my house in the town forest. There are things you can do wherever you live. Money is just a tool. Whether it's there or not God provides. Thanks again for an really good post.

  13. ...The earth is full of thy riches. Ps 104:24
    Poverty? By who's standards? I consider myself rich with His Blessings.
    Thank you for sharing this revealing post. May we all rejoice in the bounty He has provided us with.


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