A vast majority of the time, I am pretty content with the resources God has blessed us with.  God has truly taught me the gift of contentment and learning to make do with whatever He chooses to give me.  

And though I occasionally long for something new or "better" for the most part, I am very happy with hand me down furniture and used vehicles.  

I am very grateful for this as I believe it has kept Garrick and I from plummeting into the pit of major debt many others face.  We try very hard to live within our means and pray diligently before we make big purchases.  

About six years ago, we were on a diligent pursuit to pay off the debt we did have.  We still had a car payment and I still had a student loan from UNI.  Once we made a committed decision to do this, God blessed us with the ability to do so.  We paid off our car and the loan within two years and it was an AMAZING feeling!  This just made our desire to stay out of debt stronger.  

I can honestly say, once you allow yourself to jump into debt, it becomes much easier to continue racking up more.  You kind of get the attitude... "well I'm never going to pay it off, so I may as well have more!"  

Finances have always been somewhat of a stressor for me, probably due to the way I grew up, with money, or the lack there of, always being a stressor that produced many heated quarrels in our home.  From a very young age, I kind of became a money hoarder.  I always wanted to save my money.  Having money tucked away, I believe brought me some type of security.  And while this can be a very good thing, I believe I took it to extremes, leaving no room for God's provisions.  I made it MY job or Garrick's job to provide and if I did not have that money, I felt we were doomed.  

Because of my somewhat "unhealthy" obsession with staying out of debt and keeping a decent savings account, making large purchases causes me much stress and anxiety.  

Recently, we began having one issue after another with our vehicle.  It was ten years old and had 155,000 miles on it.  We milked the car as long as we could, throwing large chunks of money at it left and right, trying to avoid taking on a car payment.  

The thought of a car payment did me in.  I longed for a newer car and would look at them often, but when it came time to actually buy one, I could never do it.  

Well, after putting mega money into the car, recently another major thing started to do wrong with it.  As Garrick and I prayed for God to reveal what we were to do, the car continued to have issues.  I think God was making it clear, however, we continued to focus on the NO DEBT mentality.  

That is, until God spoke to Garrick and told him is was time to purchase a newer and safe car for his family and at the same time God revealed this to him, I happen to stumble upon the very car I wanted, in our price range mind you. 

It all fell together pretty perfectly and we dove in, in faith and purchased the car!  While I am convinced this was the absolute right decision, I still struggle with having debt and a car payment after not having one for many years.  

So much so, that it has lead me to pray and ask for things that I normally would not!  On the way home from Chicago at Christmas, we stopped at a big oasis with food establishments.  As we were walking out, I saw a scratch off ticket lottery machine.  I thought to myself, I had a dream the other night I won the lottery with a scratch off ticket, I think I'll buy one!  I want to pay off this car!
Mind you, I have not bought a lottery ticket in a zillion years!  For no other reason other than, I trusted the money I was given is the money God wanted me to have and playing the lottery is telling God I am no longer content with what you give me, I want more!!

Well, I bought 3 tickets and won $8 total.  So, I got back what I paid in, but I did not hit the jackpot by any means and it left me feeling frustrated!  

I know.... how silly is that???  I kept saying, God, all I want to do is pay off the car and maybe put money toward Addy's braces!  I don't want luxuries!!  I just couldn't understand why He didn't want me to win that darn money!! LOL

Then this morning, I read this.... 
"Remove far from me falsehood and lying;give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you." Proverbs 30:8-9

I am asking for riches because at the core, I do not trust God to faithfully provide what I need to make a car payment every month or feel comfortable doing so.  If God were to give me that money, it would deny me a very rich and needed lesson in faith and trust.  Each month I will learn to trust in God's provisions. knowing He will always provide as I know He will.  

Though God often blesses me with things I want and don't necessarily NEED, His goal is provide what I NEED to survive, while finding contentment in Him not stuff or things!  

If He gives me riches, I may begin placing my trust and contentment in money and things rather than Him. Believing, I have everything I want, I don't need God!

 If He brings me to poverty, I may struggle with wanting to steal or take things that aren't mine so I can have the things I want!

My goal needs to being content with whatever God provides, trusting He will always do so.  Knowing what He chooses to give me, is what He knows I need and not placing the security of money over His great provisions!

So today.... I understand why God does not want me win the lottery or have a bank account overflowing with money!  I understand why He has allowed me to have a car payment and how His only goal is to draw me closer and closer to Him.  

I pray today, that you find contentment with where God has you, trusting that sometimes, what appears to us to be His lack of giving, is often His greatest blessing!!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend 

Well... some of you may have already thrown in the towel when it comes to the whole "trying to save money thing," around this time of year.  Believe me... I get that!!  

However.... I ask you... don't give up quite yet!  We all have those little last minute gifts that we need to grab for coworker, friends, neighbors, teachers or any other person you can think of.  All of those little gifts can add up.  And then of course you are always stumped on what to buy at least one person on your list.  You know... the person that has everything or doesn't really like anything??

I have been researching some great last minute, easy, inexpensive and thoughtful gift ideas that just might help you out!  


This is my all time favorite idea for anyone!!  It is versatile, fun to put together and who doesn't love getting a box or basket full of their favorite goodies!  

Now, I wish I had thought ahead and put together some baskets to show you, but, this is me we are talking about and planning ahead, often does not happen! LOL  So you will have to create the vision in your head!

The other great thing about gift baskets is you don't necessarily have to know specifically what this person loves because choosing a few different things, you are bound to include something they will use and adore!

Do a combo of practical gifts as well as fun, inspirational and tasty!  You can normally find all of the items to fill a basket at one store such as Target, Walmart, Dollar General or The Dollar Tree.  

First choose a basket or cute box. Depending on the size you can get these relatively inexpensive and there are some adorable Christmas and holiday boxes out there!!

For a male, a basket may be more appropriate. Now,, choose some cute Christmas tissue paper!  I found adorable tissue at... you know it... TJ MAXX!!  

Now start filling!!  

Here are some ideas..

FOR THE MAN-  Men can be a little more difficult, however, being married to one, I can tell you some items he would love to get in a basket that most people may not think of.  

-A nice and healing hand cream!  My husband gets horrible dried and cracked hands this time of year, especially working construction.  A lot of men probably do, but would never go out and buy themselves hand cream!!  There are manly hand creams out there and more importantly, some really good ones for skin that is in rough shape!  

-A box of their favorite tea or coffee and maybe a big mug or travel mug!  My husband can be somewhat of a coffee snob.  He likes GOOD coffee.Being the frugal woman I am, you get what is on sale! LOL  You could also throw a $10 gift card to Starbucks or any other coffee place in with the mug and coffee!  There is a great basket!  

-A subscription to the Dollar Shave Club!  This is the best thing I have really ever gotten my husband, well... almost.  For $6 a month they have nice new razors delivered to their door and you can also purchase different shaving creams and such to go along with it.  Here is the link
The Fall giveaway basket I created!!

-Little flash lights, handy tools and gadgets!  I don't get it, but my husband loves little tools and gadgets!  I bought him a stocking cap for his birthday that has LED lights on it and you would have thought I bought him a new truck!  LO Men love gadgets.... 

-TEACHERS- You could fill their basket with a favorite treat, even homemade. You could also find a cute little picture or sign that has a quote about children or teaching. Hand sanitizer from Bath and Body works is another great idea as well as a cute mug, insulated water glass and for humor you could throw in a bottle of ibuprofen!!!

- NEIGHBORS- I love the idea of homemade goodies, I do this alot.  Other ideas for neighbors would be if it's a couple, matching coffee mugs and some nice coffee or tea.  A basket with items to make a meal, such as; a box of noodles, some good Spaghetti sauce, a loaf of nice french bread and a candle for their dinner!!  

-COWORKER or SECRET SANTA- You can get really creative as you may not know what this person really likes at all!  Go with a practical gift such as; a mild smelling hand cream or fun chap stick (they have gingerbread and sugar cookie chapstick this time of year!!) It it's a female... a cute pair of fuzzy, warm socks, some nice warm gloves, a cute scarf, CHOCOLATE, some fun pens and note cards.  I could on and on with this one!  Women are fairly easy I think!  Men think we are difficult to buy for.... I don't know about you.... but I would love anyone of the above mentioned items!  

One last gift idea I want to share that would be GREAT for a female you are not sure what to get is a subscription to IPSY.  I have one and it is one of my favorite things... EVER!  For $10 a month (so $120 a year) you get an adorable make up bag delivered to your door full of make up, skin care and hair products!  It is so fun and it is something to look forward to all year.  It is a little more costly, so this would not be for everyone, but perhaps a close friend, mama or family member!!

Here is the link...https://www.ipsy.com/

So there you have it! I pray these give you some ideas for those last minute or gifts that have you stumped!!


Peace and Blessings
Your Friend