Extreme Couponing

I've been meaning to blog about this for a while and by now everyone has heard of this show about "Extreme" Couponing.  The title itself kind of gives you a summarization of what it all entails but there is more to this than meets the eye.  I've seen others become obsessed about couponing to the point its all they talk about.  I wonder to myself - is God so limited to them that he can't provide them with what they need that they must eat, sleep and breathe couponing?

I watched a few episodes of this show on youtube and the whole "spirit" of it is very disturbing.  My husband, only seeing the register clips - also commented on the "spirit" of it all.  Somehow it doesn't seem right to take advantage of a store like that.  It seems greedy, selfish (no regard for others) and obsessive to where it becomes an addiction.  Then, you have those that try and quench the conscience of doing this by "giving" it to those in need or for charity, as if that somehow makes it all ok.  Is it ok?  Do you honestly mean to tell me that stores expected people to come in and clear out their shelves without paying anything?  No!  They were probably thinking a few coupon deals could help out the Average Joe and then they are taken advantage of in such a way that now many stores have to place "limits" on how many per family and placing more rules on coupon use.  YET, you have those that will even work around this by going out of the store and coming back in - that's stealing!  They said 2 per family, not visit!

I can't tell you how many times I've gone to the store for needs of ours and they are completely cleared out.  I may not have known about the "gotta-have-it" sale.  Sally May bought enough toothpaste for the entire town, however, she was only thinking of herself, definitely not anyone in town - because they are flat out of luck if they needed any!

Just what is greed?

Greed: a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed.

What is an addiction?

Addiction: the state of being devoted and surrendered to something habitually and obsessively.

What is an obsession?

Obsession: a persistent disturbing occupation with an often unreasonable idea of feeling; broadly: compelling motivation

What is selfishness?

Selfishness: : concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others

Really thinking on those definitions above, you have to search yourself; your intents; motivations.  Are you regarding others; being considerate; displaying courtesy by having it all for yourself?  Is this Christian behavior?

In summary, I'm all for preparation and storing up for your family by having a stockpile of goods, that is pure wisdom.  However, when it becomes the be all, end all of your life and you are literally CONSUMED by couponing and it gives you a "high" - this isn't the "spirit" of Christ.  The mind of Christ that we should share is servant-oriented.  Christ looks on the things of others more than Himself.

Greed, selfishness, obsession and addiction can take a hold of anyone that is highly consumed about money - don't let it destroy you.  You can coupon wisely, pray before you go to the grocery store!  I do this almost every time and God just blesses all over the place and I didn't have to spend 20 hours clipping coupons and scrounging garbage bins!  My God is more powerful than that and he has never failed us yet!  We are still able to make it on $120 a month and even times I wasn't sure what to do (when I tried to do it in my own ability).......I stopped and prayed and God gave me wisdom on how to make it all work and that much more efficiently.  He even filled up our maple syrup jar when I was worried about it running out too quick!  Is the God that fed the 5,000 not able to feed you and your family that you have to use "Extreme" measures?  Our God is able and willing but are you willing to have that faith?

Psa 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Php 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Joh 21:6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

How about some EXTREME FAITH for a change!?  Hallelujah!?

Keepers AT Home

Several people have asked me the "how" question.  It is a series of questions that seek to know HOW one does such a thing and I'm here to finally answer that.  A few of the "how" questions are:
  1. HOW do you keep your house clean all the time?
  2. HOW do you make most of your food and snacks homemade?
  3. HOW do you spend so little on groceries?
  4. HOW do you homeschool and do all these things?
  5. HOW did you learn to do all these things?
  6. HOW, HOW, HOW........?
I will give you the answer to all of these and first and foremost, it is God helping me.  Secondly, it is because I'm doing what GOD called me to do (and all women) by being a keeper AT home.  Now you may be agreeing with me and most people do that ask these how questions because they are also "homekeepers" but there is a place where we differ.  I'm AT home and they are most of the time not AT home.  That is it in a nutshell - that is the answer!  If you are never AT home but are a busybody going from house to house, etc - HOW can you do anything?

It isn't just an occupation to be a homekeeper, it is a duty to be at home, managing our home and making it better.  We should never attain and say we don't need to learn, we should always be learning and bettering ourselves and our skills to make our calling as homekeepers worthy, so we don't give an occasion for reproach upon Christianity and so that the word of God be not blasphemed. (1 Timothy 5 & Titus 2)

The common criticism of those against our church and the women being at home are based on some truths sadly.  They have seen "homekeepers" who don't keep their home, their homes are filthy and they eat off ramen and hot dogs and throw their kids around never spending time with them.  There are women who work that still find time to make homemade foods for their family and keep their house and then they look at women that are supposed to be at home all day and see how lazy they are, NO WONDER they stay on the job!  What do they have to look at?  What example are they given?

The neglect of your duty, your calling as a woman, only shames the gospel.  We are to be examples and testimonies that what God called a woman to be is right.  HOW can others see that when you have no works to show?  You should be working an 8-hour day inside your home.  Your husband is out all day working so you can stay home and do what?  Feed your face, facebook and play games!?  Have you earned your keep lately?

So the answer to all the "hows" and the flattery of how great I am because I can do all this is really a farce - I'm not anything great, I just DO.  If others would DO, they wouldn't think it so "great" to make homemade things and keep a clean house.  It isn't some special gift that I have - it's not being lazy and doing what we are supposed to and I don't need any praise and I actually loathe when people flatter me, I try and make them stop.  For real, I should be doing way more!  If we truly work 8 hours a day at our "job" - we should have something to show for it right?

If you got paid for being a homekeeper, how much do you think you are worth?  That is something you really have to think about.  My husband expects me to keep the house managed, provide healthy homemade meals most of the time and teach our daughter - I can't do that if I'm not at home.  I'm tired of others thinking I'm something when this should be the "norm" for homekeepers.  If homekeepers were truly at home DOING,  they wouldn't think I'm some sort of rare, gifted being.  If you set the bar at Jesus, we are all nothing.  I compare myself with Jesus and I see how far I have to go and how nothing is nothing great about me, besides Jesus.

It is time we put in the time and then the "hows" will come!  Are you worthy of your hire?  Are you shortchanging your employer; your husband?  Are you taking a free ride by doing nothing and being lazy all day?  Are you neglecting your own family to be with friends?  Do you do good deeds outside the home for the applaud of men but nothing good for your family inside the home for those that matter most?

Clark's commentary is spot on:
Keepers at Home - A woman who spends much time in visiting, must neglect her family. The idleness, dirtiness, impudence, and profligacy of the children, will soon show how deeply criminal the mother was in rejecting the apostle’s advice. Instead of οικουρους, keepers of the house, or keepers at home, ACD*EFG, and several of the Itala, have οικουργους, workers at home; not only staying in the house and keeping the house, but working in the house. A woman may keep the house very closely, and yet do little in it for the support or comfort of the family.

That the word of God be not blasphemed - The enemies of the Gospel are quick-eyed to spy out imperfections in its professors; and, if they find women professing Christianity living an irregular life, they will not fail to decry the Christian doctrine on this account: “Behold your boasted religion! it professes to reform all things, and its very professors are no better than others! Our heathenism is as good as your Christianity.” These are cutting reproaches; and much they will have to answer for who give cause for these blasphemies.

This doesn't mean you can't ever leave your home, obviously you do for church, shopping and fellowship but the majority of your time, your job, is at home!  Don't give an occasion; a place; reason; for others to decry the gospel and our doctrine!  Rather, give them reason to see Jesus in you by your works, love, diligence, discipline and the role God designed us for will shine as the stars of heaven before all!

The question is: Is God glorified by your life before others or have you given an opportunity to the enemy to reproach God's calling for women?

"See how the little busy bee Improves each shining hour, And gathers honey all the day From every opening flower! In works of labor or of skill, We should be busy too; For Satan finds some mischief, still, For idle hands to do." Dr. Watts.

The Awakening

I've had for this saved for about 7 years now and go back to read it and it still really speaks to me! Sometimes we just need a slap upside the head to make you realize.  Author is unknown.

A time comes in your life when you finally get it...when, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying and struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening.

You realize it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change...or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You begin to realize that serenity comes with acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are ... and that's OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions. And you learn the importance of loving yourself...and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it's not always about you. So, you learn that with God's help you can stand on your own, to take care of yourself and in the process a sense of safety and security is born.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties...and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the junk you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, how much you should weigh, what you should wear, what you should do for a living, how much money you should make, what you should drive, and how and where you should live.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing. You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing, and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life. You learn that you don't know everything, and that you can't teach a pig to sing. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry.

Then you learn about love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. And you learn that alone does not mean lonely. You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won't settle for less.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone...and that it's OK to risk asking for help. You learn the only thing you must truly fear is the greatest robber baron of all: FEAR itself. You learn to step right into, and through your fears, because you know that whatever happens you and God can handle it. And you learn to fight for your life, and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening.

And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state -- the ego. You learn negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself, and to never, ever, settle for less than being the person you want to be. And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you
make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. Finally, with courage in your heart you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live.