Friday, February 03, 2012
Our Words ... And Setting Limits
So yesterday our dear realtor friend, Cher, came over to lunch and oh! She said the last time she was here with us, it was a house... but now we had turned it into a home. If she liked something, she said so and by the time she left, our house felt prettier and I felt more creative. Wow.
And well, I couldn't help but compare this visit to the one by our neighbor out on the farm , who, after a half hour, said nothing about our home. And after she left? I kinda felt like a decorating dud.
Over and over again I see the truth in these verses:
"The power of Life and Death are in the tongue." ... Proverbs 18:21
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pitchers of silver." ... Proverbs 25:11
Weekly I tell myself, "Let the encouragement flow. Don't keep silent out of shyness, fear or anything else. Bless people by the truth. Never hold back."
And today I'm saying that to you, too....
Limits! Lately I'm thinking about the value of limits.
I get Stan Brown's (savingsangel.com) weekly emails and in last week's he gave a list of the price limits of groceries he'll pay before stocking up on each item. Here's a sampling:
Healthy/organic cereal: $1.25 per box
Spaghetti sauce: under $1 per jar
Pasta/noodles: under .50 cents per package
Juice: Under $1.25 per 64 oz. for 100% juice
Cheese: under .50 cents per shredded 8 oz. package
Facial tissues: .90 cents for 200 count
Yogurt: .24 cents per 6 oz. cup
Oy! Those are some pretty low limits. They inspired me much, though, especially since I'd just finished reading the old book, How I Feed My Family on $16 per Week, by Jo Ann York. Her book radically talks about setting limits on the prices you will pay for groceries, especially if --because of your financial situation--you must.
Well, I was able to skip supermarket shopping last week, but when I returned Tuesday I noticed that with Stan and Jo Ann's influence, I left things there that I otherwise would have bought. Seems I, too, have lowered my own personal price limits for in some cases I've had to.
I mean, oh! I now have enough pasta sauce to feed an Italian village. At first my limit was 1.69, then 1.49, then 1.00, but now I'll not buy another jar unless it's lower than that. Sure is hard to stop buying stuff sometimes, especially when all the times you've paid full price still haunt you.
And just with this whole couponing thing... oh my! Have you seen how involved you can get online? There are tons of coupon blogs and coupon websites, some which you can earn points for higher value coupons and some where you can buy coupons (something I never do since it's technically not legal) and stores have their websites where you can get coupons and companies have coupons at their websites and there are Facebook coupons and ecoupons you can load on your shopper's card and refunding clubs and of course, there are a ton of huge stores out there which will take your coupons and some will double or triple them and others will give you back vouchers for dollars off next time if you buy just the right amount of stuff and--
---- on and on until--if people get in over their heads--they get all exasperated, walk over to the trash can, throw their coupons all away and scream, "It's not worth the hassle!" And yes! If you're going to push yourself into coupon insanity, then I agree, it's certainly not worth it.
But that's where blessed limits will save us. They save me, anyway. I already told you I refuse to shop at WalMart--the hugeness of it overwhelms me, turns me into a frightened little girl who just wants to run away. :) And with the whole coupon thing? I only am involved on a comfortable level. I've got my sorting and clipping routines down and my times of day set for reading my daily coupon blog emails. And I'm enjoying it all: that's the key, too. Recognizing when Grace is upon you to do a thing--and when she's left the building forever--is vital. Grace brings a kind of ease, an extra strength, an extra joy in the doing.
Well, anyway.... I hope this makes sense and I also hope you realize I'm not just talking coupons here. Limits are necessary so to help keep our sanity through many of Life's situations, for as we all know, there's always something..... something designed to push us over the edge and turn us into emotional zombies. But setting limits will help keep us sane, at least a little while longer. :)
Cher was remembering my dressing table closet in our first suburb house so I sent her a picture of it for her friend who likes such things, along with a link to photos from that house which I'd practically forgotten I had. If you'd like to visit there again, go here. I'd also forgotten how creative I used to be--must have all dribbled out my ears while at the farm. :)