Thursday, May 10, 2012

Part 2 - Let Your Heart Be Broken - James 2:17

I promised last night that I would explain the random title of the post and how it correlated with saving money.

Like I stated yesterday, I love to read. I am therefore also emotionally connected to books. Truly, I am emotionally connected. I almost never get rid of them. I am willing to lend, but (thanks to a thoughtful friend) they are each stamped with a lovely "From the library of Colleen Daigle" stamp.

While we are going through the process of adoption, I have promised to not buy any books. This has been especially hard, but I have stuck to it pretty closely. After I completed the James Bible study by Pam Gibbs, I squashed the desire to run out and buy another Bible study by relying on something that I heard during the Senior Adult Retreat that our church hosted in the fall. Yes, Larry and I did attend the Senior Adult retreat. All of the church staff and their spouses were invited to attend. It was wonderful to soak up wisdom and I would love to go again. One of the women that spoke, shared about her daily quiet time and how she always starts by reading a hymn from one of the older hymnals. She went on to point out that each of the hymns has a scripture reference under the title.

BINGO!!! Who needs to buy a devotional/Bible study when there are 734 hymns, responsive readings and benedictions in the hymnal, each with a nugget of scripture attached to ponder, stew in and soak up? By going through one per day, I have 2.01095 years worth of devotionals without spending a penny! Isn't that just perfect, considering our adoption agency recently announced that the wait times have been extended to 18-24 months?! ***Please note, I did not steal a hymnal. I have one from one of the churches where we attended which purchased all new hymnals and encouraged each of the members to take one of the old ones homes. Just sayin'!***

An added bonus in all of this came about 3 weeks into my hymnal/devotional journey. Larry came home with a piano one afternoon. Just like that. He just showed up, as if it was as common as the mail. We hadn't discussed my current quiet time literature. He just happened to have a piano donated to the youth group garage sale and knew that I had always wanted one. So, for the bargain price of $100, he bought me a piano. (Just a little FYI, he also sold 2 more for $, we paid a fair price...don't be judging!)

The advent of the piano kind of messed up my method of going through the hymn in numerical order. As a little girl, I took piano lessons for several years. So, I was completely distracted from my first plan and took a new approach determined by what key I could sit down and play first. I started hopping around from page to page...willy-nilly style.

I stumbled on this precious jewel. The reference is to James 2:17.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Let Your Heart Be Broken
by Bryan Jeffrey Leech

Let your heart be broken for a world in need.
Feed the mouths that hunger,
Soothe the wounds that bleed,
Give the cup of water and the loaf of bread.
Be the hands of Jesus, serving in His stead.

Here on earth applying principles of love,
Visible expression
God still rules above,
Living illustration of the Living Word,
To the minds of all who've never seen or heard.

Add to your believing deeds that prove it true.
Knowing Christ as Savior,
Make Him Master, too.
Follow in His footsteps, Go where He has trod.
In the world's great trouble, risk yourself for God.

Let your heart be tender and your vision clear.
See mankind as God sees,
Serve Him far and near;
Let your heart be broken by another's pain,
Share your rich resources...Give and give again.  

Gorgeous, is it not?! The words were written by Bryan Jeffery Leech. When those stanzas are read and then compared with the scripture in the second chapter of James, I am overwhelmed by the notion that risking ourselves for God, giving, giving again and serving others as a "living illustration of the Living Word" can only be accomplished by putting our faith in Him.

All of the money-saving, coupon-clipping, book-reading, webinar-watching, Karyn Purvis-listening in the world won't accomplish anything, if I am not relying fully for God's patience, provision and protection in this process. While I am still doing all of those things, I am not sure that we could endure this process without absolute confidence that God had put a burden for a world in need in our hearts and more specifically, for a little boy in Ethiopia.

May we be constantly reminded that Jesus is not just our Savior, He is to be our Master, too. Please, Lord, help me to risk myself for You. I want to be a living illustration of Jesus to people who haven't seen or heard. I want to let my heart be broken.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Part 1 - Let Your Heart Be Broken - James 2:17

Like so many adopting mommas, my brain is constantly partially focused on our adoption...even if I am dealing with/planning for/thinking about something that has nothing to do with adoption. Please...if you understand what I mean, comment. Don't leave me hanging here thinking that I'm alone in my bizarre state!

One of the classic symptoms is that I have to, Have To, HAVE TO buy everything at a discount. My already weird couponing habits are nearly out of control (only on things that we really use). We've cut our eating out to a miniscule portion of the budget. Speaking of budgets, Good Ol' Dave R would be so proud! We've paid off all of our credit card debt (which wasn't too bad) and should be done with our car payment soon. That will leave us with only our mortgage payment in the debt column! Yee-haw!

If you've been around me, you know that I love to read. It's nearly as overwhelming as the couponing. Hello!!! I found a way to get books for free. Yes, I am aware of the library. But, I'm talking about new, pre-release books. Check it out!

I also like to rearrange the furniture and redecorate rooms that have already been decorated and redecorated repeatedly. However, that tends to be a big budget buster....meaning that it's out of the picture at this point in time.

Does it stop me? Do you really think that it stops me? I am not dead, I'm just saving money like a crazy woman.

Finally, I couldn't take the heinous brass colored fixtures in our home any longer.

Eeewwwww!!! I just despise them. I'm sure that some number of years in the future, a sweet couple will buy this house and move all of their stuff in and then change all the fixtures to the new trendy brass. But, I'm thinking that's at least 50 years out. So, I did what any nerd would do...I made a spreadsheet.

I found the door handles that I want.

I wrote down the manufacturer, the item number, the UPC...I documented EXACTLY what I WANTED.

I then counted all of the doors in the house...29.

I figured in the different prices for dummy doors, privacy doors (locking) and the doors to the outside.

$874, plus tax. Ugh. I can't replace all of the door handles.

But, I can paint them!

For just $27, I have already painted the 11 doors that are downstairs.

I removed the hardware, sanded (don't skip this step) and then cleaned everything well. I punched holes into a cardboard box to hold the knobs and screws in place.

I primed everything.

Then painted them with this.

Much better! (The chalkboard on my pantry door was completely and unabashedly copied from Bethany's at What's Mine Is Yours. However, I did ask if I could copy it before doing so!)

Tomorrow, I'll post again. I promise! And, as an added bonus, I will tie the seemingly random title in with my money-saving madness! This post was just getting a bit too long to stand!