The Troubles That Never Came

In my devotional last night I read a story about a lady who had to learn to overcome anxiety and worry. Before she learned not to worry, this is how she was described. "...She was like the old lady who once said she had suffered so much, especially from the troubles that never came..."
I couldn't help chuckling as it sounds so ridiculous put this way. But I can relate! 
May God help us all not to suffer from the troubles that never come!



In two weeks we are traveling to the other side of the world with our little daughter who was in hospital a lot last year. Today I found out that the travel insurance we brought doesn't cover her because she has preexisting medical conditions. She is the reason we got insurance! But it looks like the rest of us will be covered but maybe not her.
Although she has stayed out of hospital this year and is now doing well, there is a fear that she could end up in hospital while we are overseas. 
I was feeling rather anxious about this today while I was working in my kitchen.
I have verses on a little holder above my sink. I put the front verse at the back and the new verse looking at me was "Give us today our daily bread." Matthew 6:11
The word today hit me.
I don't need to worry about tomorrow. Today is what I need to focus on. Most of tomorrow's worries never happen and if they do, God has more than enough grace to help us through. We can only do our best and then leave the rest to God.


The Way to Greatness

Do you ever wish for a life with no troubles and difficulties? The last two years have been more crazy than ever before, and I often find myself longing for a life that is easy, and relaxed with no pressures. These words from my favorite devotional were a great encouragement to me.


What Does a Christlike Women Look Like?

Do you ever wonder what a Christlike mum and wife looks like? Have you ever had the thought, 'If Jesus was a mother and wife, what He be like?'
I wondering about this the other day, but then I realized that God has showed us in the Bible what a Christlike women should be. I started writing a list and this is what I came up with. I'm sure there are many more, but these are some of the obvious ones. This list is taken from Proverbs 31, the story of Mary and Martha and a few other passages in the NT that talks about women.

1) She puts God first.
She makes it a priority to spend time with God and get to know Him. She fears God. He comes first.

2)She loves her husband.
She respects him and submits to him. She fills his physical needs and is pure and faithful to him. She does him good--she's a blessing to him. He can trust her.

3)She loves her children.

4)She is hardworking.
She is not lazy and idle. She works willingly, plans ahead and is not a gossip.

5)She looks after her home.
She takes good care of her house and her household. She builds her home.

6)She cares about those in need.
She does what she can to help and is hospitable.

7)She dresses well.
She is elegant, but isn't focused on her appearance. She is modest and pure in the way she dresses.

 Are you a Christlike woman?


2 Little Black Books

I heard of a man who carried a little black book in his pocket where he kept a record of all the unloving and insensitive things his wife had done to him over the years.
Yesterday I realized that I also have a little black book where I keep a record of things.
This little black book is called "Blessings".
I got the idea from someone a few years ago, and it has helped me with having a better perspective.
I so easily focus on the negative.
Jotting down your blessings helps you to look for them and helps you to realize just how many you have.
I especially find this helpful in my marriage.
My husband is very different to me and its super easy to get offended or have unrealistic expectations.
It sometimes hits me that my husband must simply find me impossible to please!
But when I write down all his positive points and the many ways he shows love.... I realize just how blessed I am. I can be more appreciative and thankful instead of being critical and ungrateful.
It completely changes my perspective!
This week has been a challenge since I was knocked off my feet with a nasty flu. I was reminded again just how important it is to count my blessings. Its amazing the difference it makes! When I remembered to start making the list, it didn't seem so bad after all.
A little black book can be a bad thing or a very good thing.


A Few Money Saving Tips

Life is not about making money or saving money. But I always love to learn new tips that are helpful. Here are six tips that I've tried out lately.

1) Have a date night at home.
My husband loves to go out to restaurants which is nice. We do it every once in a while and get a babysitter. But it is expensive! Last month I planned a date night at home. I fed the children early and my husband got them into bed while I got everything ready. A tablecloth, a candle, our best dishes and wine glasses made the table look attractive. We dressed ourselves up a little and then enjoyed a three course meal by candlelight. Mushroom Soup and warm buns, Bami Goreng (an Indonesian dish) and a Pineapple pudding for desert.
After the dishes were done, we watched a movie together. All up (with using a few ingredients I already had) it only cost about $20 counting the hired movie! Usually $20 would only pay the babysitter! :) And there were enough leftovers for dinner the next night!  So it doesn't always have to cost a lot to be nice and fun. 

2)Make your own sauces etc.
I have learned to make satay sauce, pasta sauce and carbonera sauce. I used to always buy tins of pasta and carbonera sauce. But it is cheaper to make. The satay sauce only takes a few minutes, only has a few ingredients and is delicious! Hummus is also easy to make if you have a food processor.
Butter chicken and korma chicken sauce is next on my list to try!

3) Sell on Trademe
I have started to sell some things on trademe instead of putting them in the opp shop.This doesn't work well for everyone, but I only live a few minutes from the post shop.
 A few years ago, with the best of intentions I brought a second hand exercycle! I have hardly used it, and the children cut one of the wires so the mechanical part of  it didn't work anymore. We talked about taking it to the dump, but I decided to try selling it on trademe for $1 reserve. I explained that part of it was broken but there were many people who wanted it, and it sold for more than I had paid for it!

4) Use up what's in the freezer/pantry/fridge.
This week I tried to only buy the basics and then use up what is in the freezer. It's easy to freeze leftovers etc. and then forget about them!

5)Make the most of leftovers.
Leftover chicken sauce, bacon, sausages etc. make nice pizzas. And so on.

6)Conquer impulsive spending.
I am sometimes afraid to go shopping, because I know I will usually come home with things I never planned on getting. I am impulsive, which is not helpful most of the time! So I am learning how to deal with that. But that is a whole new post in itself! So I'll save that for another time.


God will Provide

This post is a follow on from one of my last posts. I mentioned I was reading a book about God providing. It is a book that has many testimonies of God providing for different needs.  I finished it yesterday. It has made me think back of specific times I have seen God providing in my life. I will share just a few...
My wedding dress
   I had been engaged a week when I stumbled upon a little wedding dress shop that sold dresses with sleeves. In our country, that's generally unheard of! I found a perfect dress for a very reasonable price. It blew me away! Specially when a short time later, the shop closed down.
Money to publish my first book
I put together a devotional book for teen girls but had no idea how to publish it. I found a way that I thought would be good, but I needed a big chunk of money that I didn't have. Around the time, I had just had a baby. From the government we were given a lump some of money as support for our new baby. It was the exact price I needed for the book! (And our baby didn't need that much money!)

There have been times when I've really needed a break from the children and felt really behind on jobs. 
Sometimes God provided by...
         ...my husband offering to take the children out (without knowing that I wanted a break)
         ....a friend asking if she could take our children for the morning/day
         ....the children playing so well that I could get lots of things done
         ....giving me the grace to still cope
Also, in the first year of our last baby being born, we needed help looking after our children for a total of 6 months. God provided that too, without having to move our kids around from place to place. He also provided a way for us to see our children when they were far away from us.

Enough money to get through a difficult time.
  When we were in hospital a long way from our home, my husband was able to work half the week then fly up to see me for the rest of the week. His boss was helpful and allowed him to have lots of time off. The government/hospital paid for a free flight each week for my husband. Other people gave gifts of money so that there was no financial stress during that time. Not to mention the Ronald Mcdonald house that provided free accommodation.

More grace
There were many times in hospital when I felt I couldn't handle it anymore. But God always picked me up and gave more grace to keep going.

Support with a special needs child
We have  a friend from our church who is very experienced in working with children with Down Syndrome. She voluntarily works with Lydia once a week helping with her development.

Looking back at the way God has provided in the past gives me faith to trust Him for today and for the future.

Next month, we will go overseas. It is a like a big mountain looming in front of me!  Lots of flying with small children and language barriers when we get there are two of the difficulties.
But God is teaching me to look forward to seeing how He will provide and help me through this time. I have a journal ready to jot them down!

In what ways has God provided for you?