Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kidney Stones, Couponing Craze, and a Special Birthday

It's a Saturday night and all is quiet in the Merchant home after a very different couple of weeks. Josh has suffered for about 2 1/2 weeks with kidney stones, thanks to eating way too many beans and way too much tuna while on a Daniel fast. We have missed a Sunday in church, drank LOTS of lemonade, and rushed to the ER at 1:00 am Tuesday night/Wednesday morning of this week with two sleepy little girls in tow! He finally passed the large kidney stone yesterday, relieving him of a great deal of pain! Praise the Lord!

Through many of the times Josh has been at home in pain, I've been there with him going through sale papers and coupons! It amazes me how God works in our lives and how He provides at times in such different ways. During our fast, I found out about a couponing class and decided to check it out. In all honesty, I was pretty skeptical. I thought there is no way these people save what they claim to save by using coupons. To my amazement, I learned some very practical tips in how to save grocery money through shopping methods and coupons. Since then, I have averaged savings of about 40 to 50 percent each time I go to the grocery store. Our freezer and pantry are fuller than they have ever been, and we are staying within our budget! We have seen God's provision as a direct result of fasting each time we have fasted. The fact that God gave me a way to help our family help ourselves reminds me of the old saying, "Give a man a fish, and feed him for a meal. Teach a man to fish, and feed him for a lifetime" comes to my mind. He put a tool in our hands to help that single income go a little further. What a God!

All our savings over the past few weeks came in handy for this really special weekend. We were blessed to celebrate little Aubrey's 2nd birthday! Yesterday just the four of us headed over to Chuck E Cheese to use a coupon from the paper PLUS a birthday coupon, mind you, to give our girls a good time! (I had to share the part about the coupons! Kylee calls them cou-cons.) Today we celebrated with friends and family at our house. It was a big day for Aubrey with no nap. That turned out to be a little bit of a treat for Mom and Dad. Having the kids tucked in around 7:45 and asleep by 8:00 is a rare and treasured treat!

We pray God's richest blessings on all of you! You are not just friends to us, but family! We treasure you and count you in on all the ways God has blessed us!

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