Every person has been touched by this countries economic disaster in one way or another. Truth is our paychecks, if you even have one, does not go as far as it used to. The choices and decisions we now make as Americans in our spending practices are more crucial than ever before.
For many years I have often remarked to my husband that the more self-sufficient we are the better off we will be when
the party is over. By this I meant that one day life as we know it will end and it has. The carefree days are gone and
many people have lost their jobs, their homes, their savings and in some cases their lives due to this economic tragedy
we face . Survival is what people seek, no one is immune.
God reigns in the lives of His children, giving a strong foundation to rely on. He is our strength and will
remain so no matter what the world around us looks like.
Our country was founded with a strong belief in God. I think of the portrait of George Washington kneeling in prayer
next to his white horse in the snow. Over these many years since the founding of America what has man chosen to do
with God? If Americans believe in God at all, where is He in this world of economic disaster? I believe that God is
right where man wants Him to be, in their back pocket, to be trotted out on Sunday mornings to say, look at us we are
religious. I am a Christian, although I am not religious. I think of myself as a spiritual person who believes in God, one
who believes the Bible is the word of God cover to cover. I believe man has twisted and turned God to fit the lifestyle
they want, that is the choice they have made.
I love God, I pray, I walk with Him as my guide in all things, most of all I trust Him to pour into my life what is best
for me. During this time of economic disaster as I call it, God will not leave His children.. We will continue
to be blessed by the hand of God. Whether you believe in the same God I do or not is a choice you make and you alone.
Meanwhile I have a few tips that may, I pray, help you through this difficult time
1. Money isn't everything, learn to barter and trade for what you need. The trading of goods and services is a blast for me. What is it that you have that someone else needs? What does someone else have that you need? Let me give you a couple of examples;
Our son, to my way of thinking, is a computer wiz, but has never pursued any education for computers further than high school, in other words he has no documentation of how good he is with computers. Like most kids he has borrowed money form his Dad and I. Due to our economy it is almost impossible for him to pay us back the money he owes us. My husband and I both needed websites, so we trade. Our son builds our websites, we clear his debt to us, everybody is happy.
2. I love doing crafts, not the usual ones perhaps, but still being creative is fun and can come in handy at times. I was given twenty-two, six pane windows from an older home whose windows were being replaced. I broke the glass out of them, which was great fun for me, left the original paint on them, sanded them, added eye bolts for the rusty barbed wire for hanging the window, then I added grapevine from our property, as was the rusty barbed wire, then I added wooden words like welcome, faith, etc. that I found at an area dollar store. I decorated some of the windows by adding ribbon to the grapevine or seasonal items. My neighbor sews like you wouldn't believe. I don't sew much any more because of a visual disorder I have as a result of some surgery. My neighbor made me a beautiful apron, I'm a messy cook and had worn numerous holes in my current apron. To buy a new one was something I couldn't afford to do. I love the apron she made me and she loves the window I gave her, which actually came from the home she now lives in. She bakes bread, I bake cinnamon roles and on and on. We trade all the time like neighbors used to, there are a million ways to barter and trade for what a person needs; the fun is searching them out. It is better than shopping at the mall for me
3. Take simple pleasures from life. If you have the space, plant a garden or some herbs. There is nothing for me quite like walking out to our garden to pick fresh from the vine vegetables for a meal, the taste of the vegetables is amazing. I love to cook using fresh ingredients whenever possible. What is fresher than picking vegetables from your own garden? We plant, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, potatoes, various squash, peas, beets, sometimes cantaloupe, corn, carrots or pumpkins. We also have raspberry bushes, our neighbors have blackberry bushes and we have already agreed to trade berries this coming summer. Last year we planted three hundred Gladiola bulbs, my idea, I love flowers and have numerous varieties on our property. We blessed many people last summer with a bouquet of fresh gladiolas. I think my husband and I were just as thrilled as was the person receiving the flowers. If you have no space for a garden, do not despair, you may have something to trade for fresh vegetables. Since I no longer hold a full time paying job because of my past illness and was told I was ineligible for disability, the only income for us has been my husband's paycheck. We have already learned what many of you are just now learning.
4. Now let's talk about a clothing budget, in our home we have none. I used to make a lot of my clothes, but as I mentioned earlier in this article I no longer sew much due to a visual disorder s a result of surgery, so my creativity has kicked in. Years ago prior to surgery, I helped out with the emergency relief committee in our area. I especially loved sorting the donated clothing for the clothing walk-in. The clothing walk-in is a place where people donate clothing they no longer want. Also shoes, pocketbooks, baby items, toys, most item within reason. The walk-in is cared for by the communities churches, donated items are sorted and placed in the appropriate rooms, women's clothing in the women's room and so on. At appointed times once a month, except summer months, anyone can go to the walk-in and purchase clothing for ten cents an item, ten cents! I have purchase some amazing items there. One year a friend of mine brought in a bunch of teenagers who wanted to go to the school prom but had nothing to wear; they found some great clothing and their dream of attending the prom became a reality for them. All of the money collected from the sale of clothing goes to the community's food pantry; this is a wonderful example of people helping people.
Let your creativity flow during these difficult economic times look around, pray, learn to trade and bargain and most of all be unafraid.
I live in upstate NY with my husband Dan and I am a survivor of a life-threatening illness, a brain hemorrage, brain anerysm, a craniotomy and much more.
You can read more about me on my website, www.lauriemgagne.org
Most of all I love God!
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