thanking God for His faithful provision

In this Thanksgiving season that focuses our attention on gratitude, it would be remiss of me, I think, to not share one of the many stories I have of God's faithful provision in our big family's life.

We are a large family living a joyfully frugal life on my dear hubby's single income. It is our priority to have mama at home with the kids, and my hubby and I do all kinds of thrifty and from-scratch things to s-t-r-e-t-c-h our one income... frugality is both a game and a necessity, around here.

Another of our priorities is to remain debt-free. God has allowed us to achieve our family's financial goal of paying off our mortgage, and we do not have loans or consumer debt. Praise the Lord for the amazing freedom of having no monthly payments due other than common bills and living expenses.

And each month, as we plan our budget and spend our funds, God amazes us by providing for every need that arises and by blessing us with a true contentment in simple things and an appreciation for what we already have, rather than always desiring shiny new "stuff" that tends to become as clutter rather quickly. We believe that true wealth has nothing to do with money or fancy possessions.

I guess what I mean to say is that we realize that everything we have (material and otherwise) is because of the Lord. Oh, how thankful we are for this farm and land, our critters, our trusty old vehicles, our cozy little farmhouse, closets and dressers full of clothes, a larder and freezer well-stocked with food, enough money to pay our bills, and so on... there is no end to God's goodness and I probably don't even know of all the ways He takes care of us.

Over the years, there have been a few specific instances that really stand out, though. Times when God has so clearly and specifically answered a prayer and provided a need that we couldn't help but smile and say.... wow. Thank you, Lord!

Awhile back - quite some time ago - and I no longer remember all of the particular circumstances, but our big, upright freezer was empty and the stockpile of canned items and such was quite depleted. All of the food storage that I had accumulated was used up. We were grocery shopping each week and had plenty to eat, but it was hard to plan our menu and keep to our grocery budget with nothing in reserve to draw from.

So I told the children that we were going to pray and ask God to help us fill the freezer. We did that... we prayed together and then each of us committed to asking the Lord to provide for our specific need in our personal prayer time, too.

Some time went on. The empty freezer stood on the porch... defrosted, cleaned, unplugged. We kept on praying, and waiting.

As we were driving home from town one day, I suddenly had an idea. We needed to plug in the freezer. It was a way to show God we trusted Him to provide, I thought. I shared my idea with my tribe and as soon as we got home, I plugged it in.

Within days of that show of trust in God, a friend called my dear hubby. This friend was cleaning out their own freezers and had quite a bit of game meat from previous hunting seasons that they no longer wanted. Could we use it? Oh my. Yes! Not to mention that game meat is our favorite! And our freezer was plugged in, cold, and ready to receive it.

I am very frugal. My grown son tells me I should write a book sharing all of my thrifty tips and homemade ways... that would be a very long book. But even more important than my own frugal ways and methods and contentedness is trusting God. All we have, our big family thriving on one modest income, and every step of self-sufficiency we are blessed to achieve on our homestead, is because of Him. I am thankful.


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