After I wrote my “Thank You” post in September, I received an outpouring of email from readers, telling me about their financial struggles.
I want to tell those of you who are struggling to make ends meet and to pay for your basic needs that you are not alone. You are not the only one who is barely getting by. Even though you may not know anyone personally who is going through financial difficulties, there are others who struggle with the same difficulties each day. They wonder how to put food on the table. They wonder how to keep the roof over their heads.
I am ever so grateful for those of you who have shared your struggles with me. It reminds me again and again why I am writing, and I rejoice that you have found my website and blog and are finding ways to stretch whatever resources that you have.
I am excited to hear about your opportunities to glean apples when you don’t have money for food.
I am thrilled when you share the blessings from a friend who saw to your needs and shared of their abundance with you.
I am happy that you are finding ways to cut your grocery bills significantly.
My husband found a video the other day that echoed his feelings. It’s a good reminder how important it is to be grateful for all that we have received this day. It’s called Daily Bread:Experience, and it really made me think about the fact that today I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food to eat. Today I am warm and have my family around me.
If you’re struggling to see the good, I encourage you to count today’s blessings. Write down the good that you saw today. Tomorrow, do it again.
Be grateful that today you saw the morning come. Be grateful for each smile. Be grateful for each bite. Be grateful the tonight you have a place to sleep.
Count today’s blessings. There was good in your life this day.
I do my daily gratitude journal, every night just right after my daughter falls asleep. Today she was asking me why do I write there and I told her how important is to remember the blessings God gives us during the day and how important is to not be angry or mad (or at least to let go faster those feelings) so we can pay attention to the blessings. Thanks for your time doing your blog and your website. I love the recipes, the ideas, everything!
This is a timely posting for me. My oldest has been diagnosed a brain tumor. She is in treatment and we expect her to be “OK”. For the last 2 months we have been struggling financially but for the most part I had been able to pay the bills. Now the bills are exceeding my income and I am trying to have faith. I am trying to count blessings–the biggest being my daughter is responding well to treatment and her vision is returning to normal. Today is pay day so I hope I have the wisdom to use my money wisely. I signed up for serving Thanksgiving dinner to the indigent and to serve meals at the local shelter. While the uncertainty of my daughter’s illness continues to hang over us, we are grateful for her health. My friend lost her child so I am humbled by my family struggles. I have my daughter. Yes, even in times of despair or struggles one needs to count their blessings.
So timely – we are in the midst of reminding ourselves of the blessings we have, and “daily bread” was a phrase I was thinking about just today. This week my son read “Dust for Dinner” as part of his reading, which was another great reminder of what’s important, and we studied Matthew 6 on not worrying about food or clothing in our Bible study. We are so blessed, and I find myself spending more time with my kids in the hard times, cherishing the time I have with them.
It’s been quite some time since I commented Brandy but I think you will remember me. We are the family that are able to grow their own bananas, coffee, passion fruit and a fruit that tastes like chocolate pudding, still waiting for the fruit to come on that though – patience is required with some trees and in several years I will no longer have to buy macadamia nuts! I set up a home based business (vintage china hire) so have little time these days to write my blog (posted yesterday though!) Even my reading of homemaking blogs had to be seriously curtailed but I still visit here and follow your facebook page. I went and read your thank you post and all the comments – so moving. You are helping so many people and as the Word says ‘He who refreshes others, will himself be refreshed.’ So I am not surprised to read about groceries literally landing on your doorstep! Our economy seems to hold out but that does not mean times are not tough, I have a market stall and notice when people stop spending. They don’t buy what they perceive to be luxury items (like my cake stands!) but the plant sellers always do well. Food is so much more expensive here and I am always amazed when you post price alerts for foods – ‘oh if only’ is often my response or ‘how can they sell it so cheap?’ Not sure when I will find time to comment again but know I am still here gleaning wisdom and your beautiful photos always brighten my day!
Indeed!Thank you for being such an inspiration!Yesterday I was running some errands on foot and I was suprised by a very heavy rain. I was soaking wet when I got home. How grateful I was! I have a warm and dry home, no matter how small it is!My father likes to say it in a different way (he is 84 and he has his own style to say things, not straight but kind of hinting). Usually after every meal he says: There’s never been a day without bread. Though times he has seen, but every day there were something to eat. I’d like to share a story he tells over and over again. It’s about a father, whose children are asking something to eat. The father, unable to feed his children, pulls the curtains close so no light comes in and says: we are not used to eat at night time… These are his ways to say and to teach us his children: I am grateful, you should be too.
I just discovered your blog yesterday, and I’ve been going down the wonderful rabbit hole of just exploring one post after another. Wonderful information, and such beautiful living it seems like your family does! I was wondering if you might do a post on what a typical day for you looks like — morning to night. You seem to get so much done and I’d love to know how much time you spend on all the things you do to keep your family running so beautifully!
I’ve missed your comments, Ann; I’m glad you are still able to read here from time to time. I remember your garden well. 🙂
I thought of you specifically when I wrote this post, I noticed your last comment on my last post.I understand the money not covering the bills. Even so, there are still blessings in each day. Looking to those helps me to see that God has not abandoned us; He still loves us and blesses us even while we must struggle in other things.
It is interesting how as you spend more time with them, this time may be a better memory with them than if you had not. I think sometimes the blessings in adversity surprise us.
Thank you for the posting. My church members ask me over and over what can they do to assist and I say pray. The reality is we don’t need material things (as yet). We need hope and faith. Personally, I want to feel satisfied and “happy” again and I want that for my kids. I want to have faith and feel blessed as the Xmas season approaches. Money does not provide those feelings only God and myself.On the flip side, bills do have to be paid. Medical treatment is expensive so my family and I will have to “buckle up” and be frugal for many months to come. I can’t wait for the “gift a day” series. That is a special blessing to me :).
Sometimes it is all about having perspective. My family is blessed – by almost any standards in the world, we would be considered affluent. But because we live in a particularly wealthy NY suburb, and we are raising 4 kids on one salary, we have to follow a strict budget and do not have any extras for fancy vacations, new cars, designer clothes – all the norm around here. Whenever my children (teens and pre-teens) start to complain about how “we have no money,” my eldest looks at them and says something like “Really guys?” He was in the 4th grade when he came with us to Ethiopia to adopt his younger brother, then 6. He remembers the children begging on the side of the road, and families living in boxes. He gets it – in a visceral, tangible way the others don’t. Even my child from Ethiopia, who remembers true hunger and poverty, was complaining the other day that we don’t have a POOL. Guess it’s time for another trip to Ethiopia.
Although I cannot say that I have to worry about which bill gets paid or let go each month, my family does live paycheck to paycheck. It would only take a major illness, disease, or accident to put us in a really bad position, therefore, I truly value each post you put on your blog because they help me find ways to build up my pantry, cut corners, and save money so that I can be better prepared in the event of a life altering event. Not only do I value each post, I value all of the suggestions and ideas given in the comments. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better manager of the money and resources that the Lord has put into our care. May He bless you and your family abundantly in this upcoming holiday season of thanks and all throughout the year.
I posted this AM but maybe it got lost. 🙁
Laurie, please try again. This is the first comment that came to me from you. I checked my Spam box and there is nothing there either.
A friend opened her heart and was honest about her struggles with me last night. It reminded me that even though things are hard for us, God is providing.Blessings,LauraHarvest Lane Cottage
Brandy, I want to thank you. A few years ago when we were going thru our challenges it was your website(at the time there wasn’t a blog) and a couple of others that taught me how to be frugal and enjoy what we have. You have made a difference in my life, and I try everyday to do the same for others.
It is funny how easy it is to lose sight of blessings. Both my husband and I have had catastrophic illnesses that we barely survived, and we were left with almost $200,000 of medical bills AFTER insurance. That was when we were first married, in our 20s, and I thought then I would never stop being grateful to be alive and I would not complain about anything ever again. HA! Here it is a few decades later and I am always reminding myself to be thankful…the thing I am best about is not being resentful when my doctor is late, as I know of many, many times when she was late for others because she was tending to me. And I cannot remember the last fight my husband and I had, since all it takes is for one of us to say, “Wow, we are so lucky to be alive to argue!” But I fail every day to be thankful for the other blessings in my life…your post is a good reminder. Thanks for posting it.
I would love to see a post about this, too! I am constantly amazed at how much Brandy gets done in a day! I only have one child and I feel like I don’t get even half the stuff done that Brandy does!
What a beautiful reminder! I’m always reminding my kids to be grateful for what they rather than complaint for what they want. I notice my day goes better when I am grateful first thing in the morning.
I posted this morning That I am grateful that I found your blog. I have learned a lot from you about the Eat for 40 cents a day. And you have reminded me to use up what I have, to think outside the box. I also wanted to say that if you have a Cash & Carry warehouse in yr state near you they have long grain rice for 17.87 for 50 lbs. I never would have thought much about it until I read your post about how you break down the cost of food items. It ends up being 35 cents a lb and the sale goes through Nov. 3 here. I am grateful for you 🙂
Thank you for a wonderful pause to my evening. Today it rained all day, and instead of feeling down about it, I was thankful that was rain helped to relax me, I had shelter to return to after work, and my car made it home without incident. Typical, everyday things, but miraculous in nature when things do not go right.
Please let people know you need money for bills. I am sure your church would love to help you out. I have a goodmfriend who is currently adopting; her husband makes good money, but it is a difficult adoption and costing about the same as buying a house. She mentioned it in passing to the schol and now they are fundraising formher, which is a great blessing to her family. Let people help you. It will bless you but it will also bless them.
Thank you..i am grateful to just be alive..i have wonderful children and a fantastic husband. Its the small things that make me smile and realize just how lucky i am.sara
Thank YOU Brandy for all that you do. I have been truly blessed by your website first and now your blog. You inspire me to think about how I can use what I already have and make the most of our income. We have 30 weeks now until my husband’s job is done and we are in our Internship years for his new career in Ministry. I am so grateful for this time of “practice” and saving and reworking our lives and our budget. I am continually amazed at how the Lord works all things for the good of those who love Him. You have been such an inspiration and I’m so very grateful.Long distance hugs and prayers for continued blessings and abundance for your family,Lea
Thank you Brandy You are so inspiring and you have gathered a wonderful community around you that is so helpful. We are trying to get out of debt after a layoff and poor money management. I try to remember to count my blessings. Yesterday was both easier and harder than most since I was in a car accident in the morning and one of the back doors on my car is now all dented and can’t be opened. But it was a blessing that no one was hurt in the crash and even if this is an extra unexpected bill I am praying that we can find a way to not add to the debt we are trying to deal with. I knew I would find inspiration to help me out if I read your blog and sure enough I did. Denise