School started this morning!  YAY!!!!!

But that’s not what the post is about…it’s just a YAY!  LOL 

I got paid yesterday and headed for the grocery store as is my every Tuesday ritual, and as I’m standing in line with my very little groceries, it suddenly hit me:  this BITES!  Not very lady-like, but I’m not lady-like all the time.  Here is my very few groceries that I can afford to buy now and still have some money for gas, it costs the same amount of money as it did a year ago, but my cart has hardly ANYTHING in it!  I just realized it as I stood forlornly looking at my cart.  I still only have $120 a week for gas AND groceries, and I’m still having to feed my family of 5, PLUS the 5 I babysit.  Running back and forth to church for as many services as I can afford the gas to GO TO, I have to spend a MINIMUM of $60 a week just on gas.  And that’s if we don’t go Sunday nights.  How awful is that?  So I have about $60 a week for groceries to feed 10 people. 

That’s just wrong!  And totally not acceptable.  I wanted to call someone HIGH UP and yell at them!  But instead I sat depressed in my chair, zoning out to the Olympics.  I wish one of those high ups in Congress would have to spend a WEEK trying to juggle what *I* have to juggle!  Maybe then they’ll start some drilling here so I can have gas to get to church for all the services.  I know that’s not very nice, but I need a break here!  I work 11 hours EVERYDAY!

And God did provide me with a couple of talents to help make those ends meet and I am SO GRATEFUL!  So that’s what I’ve been doing.

The photography has been pretty steady for me, although I’m hoping it will pick up after summer heat is gone!  I’m still portfolio building, so my prices are alot cheaper than others, but when I do get asked to do pictures, that does help to fill in the gaps.  Adds to my grocery cart and my gas tank!  LOL  It is a lot more work than I ever DREAMED, but I sure do LOVE it!  And I’m thankful I have somewhat of a talent for it.  It helps to provide for my family.

One of my latest photos I did for the Youth worship band at church:

And this won’t provide any extra money for me, but I had such a good time doing it with them.  They are an incredible group of young people and I am BLESSED to work with them!  I am just grateful for my camera and my God-given talent for photography.  Lord, I thank You for helping me provide through the talent You blessed me with.

And Christmas is coming; faster than I’d like.  And that means I have to start shopping RIGHT NOW or I’ll never be able to afford Christmas.  I am lucky that my kids understand when I can’t give them EVERYTHING they want, I can’t buy them every brand of clothes or shoes they want, but I’m working on it.  And that brings me to my other little talent:  sewing and crafty things.  LOL  I make little custom outfits that I either paint, or sew.  And last Christmas, it was paid almost exclusively with money from this!  Who would have thought that sewing outfits, or painting little paintings for someones kids wall decor would provide a Christmas!  LOL  But I worked for MONTHS and pretty much nonstop to do it. 

On the left is the little custom shirt that was ordered from a friend for her daughter’s first day of school.  On the left is one of the 2 matching dresses I made for another friend’s twin daughters to wear to DisneyWorld for their vacation!  I know it seems odd to do, but this is something I can do that provides for my kids.  It buys Brooklyn ALL of her Gymboree that I buy (mostly secondhand) and provides birthdays and Christmas.  It’s just another way that God has provided for us!  And yes, it’s crazy time-consuming and some days I feel like I’ve gone nuts, but I can do it!  I work HARD for everything we have and because I want my kids to have more.  And they are such good kids and appreciate everything they have because they have gone without. 

Anyway, I was watching Good Morning America the other day and they did a story on what people are doing to make ends meet during this “non” recession.  Many have taken on second jobs, but some, like me, have utilized the talents that God gave them to bring in that extra money.  I am unable to take a conventional second job because of the kids and my FIRST job is 11 hours a day, but there are STILL things that I can do.  And yes, I’m tired, and some days it IS depressing, but I need to remember that God DOES provide for us like He promised us in Matthew.  And I am so thankful.

Lord, I thank You for my very being.  I thank You that You gave me the means and the ways to provide for my family.  Give me strength and stamina to make it through my days.  Give me peace that You are always with me.  Help me to always remember that You will take care of our needs and You even care about my WANTS.  Help me to be grateful and gracious.  Give me JOY to make it through the hard times and patience to get through each day.  Thank You for the food on my table and the gas I am able to put in my gas tank.  Lord I ask that You keep providing for us, and help me to stay grateful for everything we have.  Oh and Lord….my roof still leaks.  Give me patience…..In Jesus name…..