Some days, it seems like we’re just scraping by; our talents and our time are stretched too thin. We’re barely making it when Christ has promised us abundant life. I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to be doing More Than Just Making It….
Yesterday, I found myself rushing to the ER with my son who needed stitches. A lot of them. As I sat and watched a doctor gently treat him, I remembered a visit to the same ER just about a year ago with a daughter who jumped off her bed right onto her elbow and the weeks and weeks of doctor’s visits and x-rays that followed.
That child kept the clinics in business last year. There were hearing tests, speech and behavior assessments, blood work, genetic tests, and physical therapy, too.
It was a long year, and y’all, it was expensive.
I know most of you have been there. Unexpected expenses. Sometimes, like last year, they just keep coming.
Things get tight, bills pile high, and stress takes its toll.
I’ve been at home with my kids for almost a decade now, and though I’ve had times of earning a decent freelance income, since our twins were born, the amount of work I’ve done (and money I’ve earned) has dwindled. Last year’s medical bills renewed a strong desire in my heart and head to look for ways I could contribute more significantly to our family’s income.
Not so we could buy more stuff but so I could ease the burden I’ve seen my husband bearing and, to be honest, so we can be more free to give and to go.
I wish I could tell you that so far my efforts have paid off big, but often I feel like a failure.
That’s why I have to share with you about one of the most encouraging books I’ve read in a long time: More Than Just Making It by Erin Odom.
Erin, the Humbled Homemaker, is the wife of a friend of ours from college. Will and my husband served as summer missionaries together twenty years ago, and though we haven’t seen much of them in the last two decades, I’ve followed them on Facebook and watched Erin’s blog grow. They are a couple who, like us, have long felt the pull to take the Great Commission personally.
They also have been through some very hard financial times.
Erin’s book is more than a financial how-to; it’s an honest look at life lived at the poverty level, a memoir of a mama barely making it. It’s a testimony of a Father who provides everything his children need, even and especially in unexpected ways.
More Than Just Making It offers simple, easy-to-apply tips for day-to-day living on a budget, but the best part of the book is the fact that it addresses things much deeper than our debit cards. Writing beautifully about her experiences, Erin asks hard questions about our hearts, about how middle-class Americans perceive the poor, and about what we can do to overcome financial instability or to help others do so.
Take it from this no-numbers kind of girl: this is not a book about budgets, though Erin does emphasize the importance of having one. This a book about God’s provision, his goodness, his grace.
It’s also practical because God has given Erin wisdom as she’s walked through hard times. She offers helpful information about meal planning, grocery shopping (no coupons necessary!), thrift shopping, generating income and more!
When I began reading More Than Just Making It, I could not put it down because I wanted to know how God helped my friend and his family through such hard times, but I also wanted to know how he might help my family, too. Erin’s honesty and her faith help me believe he will; her tips encourage me to look deep and see how God has equipped me to contribute more. Her heart has challenged me to be a better steward and live with a lot more love.
Because I don’t want to contribute more so that we can have more. I want to serve more, to share more, to give more, to go more.
That’s abundant life, y’all. Not an abundance of stuff (though God sometimes blesses BIG) but an abundance of grace that we can give away.
And, in her honesty, Erin does just that.
No matter what your financial situation is, her book has something to say to you. She’s lived in plenty; she’s been in need. She writes, “Sometimes I feel as if I’m still standing with my feet in two worlds, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I believe we walked there so God could use us here.” (p. 180)
If you order your copy before September 5, you can qualify for some really great bonus gifts!
To find out more, visit MoreThanJustMakingIt.com!
I know this post isn’t much like most of my Encouraging Word Wednesday posts, but I really wanted you to know about Erin’s book. And it’s FILLED with encouraging words from THE Word. I can’t wait to read your posts this week! Link up below!
More Than Just Making It Giveaway
And guess what???? If you join the link up this week, you’ll be entered to win your very own copy of More Than Just Making It! That’s right: I’m going to give one away because I know it’s a book that will bless you. I’ll randomly select one blogger who links up and announce the winner next Wednesday!
Disclosure: I am thrilled to be part of the More Than Just Making It Launch Team! As part of the team, I received an advanced copy of the book to review. All opinions expressed are my own.