My cousin Julie rules and she’s loves a deal.
We are night and day in area of finances. I should be ashamed, really, at my spending and pure waste. She would be considered um…. a saver. Yes, but to a serious degree. This girl has been known to reuse a ziploc. GASP! WHAT! I’ll throw away a ziploc if it’s just in my way on the floor. My husband better not read this. He might leave me for Julie.
She is also an amazing mother of three beautiful kids and a devoted wife to one of the sweetest dudes on the planet. What I love is that her thrifty ways have SERVED the LORD and SERVED her family in the past and HE was preparing her for what was to come.
Julie and her second and only girl.
I believe we all have gifts. Unique strengths and talents that God placed in us. I believe when they match up with God’s plan – big things happen. I believe we all weren’t designed to write a blog or adopt kids or write books or work in a ministry. I believe it is different for every one of us. Part of our journey as moms and women is to figure out WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE burning inside of us and how can we use that passion or skill or time or talent or overflow of something for HIS KINGDOM! FOR GOOD!
And, yes, bringing up kids to know Jesus and serve others is a VERY high calling.
Our two oldest together at a family reunion last year.
I happen to believe God can still use us outside of that role in about 100 million different ways.
Here is one example.
Julie began couponing when her family went through its toughest times financially. She didn’t just pray or panic. She got serious about helping her husband fight their way through the situation they were dealt. And, this girl is determined when she gets on something. She became a MASTER of her trade. Yep, one of those moms you see coming with her folder and her ducks in a row. The one that spends $1.50 and feeds her family for the week.
I love that only God knew He was preparing her for something bigger. Her church began an effort called “Walk Through Bethlehem” to pass out groceries in the surrounding community.
Last year, they were able to feed 402 and this year with master coupon here …
Here’s what Julie said about this amazing project,
“I was put in charge of the purchasing of the groceries because of my ability to capitalize on a deal. I do this by combining sales & coupons or “extreme couponing” as most people have come to know it as. Back in February, when it was decided what was approved for this upcoming Walk Through Bethlehem, I was told that they wanted 1,500 bags of groceries prepared this year. They also gave me a list of items that were wanted in each bag (all based off of my suggestions of items I know I can get for a certain price when on sale or with coupons).
Once I had the list, I started watching sales and when an item went below the budgeted amount, I would go ahead and purchase that item. It took me ALL YEAR to purchase all of these items. Thanks to couponing we were able to purchase all these groceries for about $3.41 per bag including the re-usable bag! There were SEVEN items in each bag.
90%, or so, of the people touched this week will not even know why they were chosen or what/who we are ‘affiliated’ with. This is an effort to bless people and show them God’s love with no strings attached or an agenda in mind. We want people to feel loved and blessed!
1 of 2 rows of pallets of food delivered from her basement to church.
Couponing has been a huge blessing to our family and, literally, helped get us back on track when we hit hard times and were living paycheck-to-paycheck for the first time in our lives. I’m excited that the Lord has blessed us in such a way that we can turn it around to bless others lives! With simple items like a newspaper, scissors, file folders, and the internet, we are able to do such amazing things as buying 1,500 bags of groceries with a budget that normally would only be able to buy a fraction of that. God is good!
May God bless you, so that you may bless others!” – Julie
I am so astounded at her dedication and her diligence. How she was never paid one penny to do this. However, this is her passion and she KNEW this would help others.
I love that this shows that God can use ANYTHING for His glory. We all have a part in His story. It doesn’t mean quitting our jobs or taking a job. It doesn’t mean working for the church or NOT working for the church. God is very creative and He can work anywhere and through every one of us.
There are hundreds of thousands of stories out there and this is just one. I hope to share more and more with you of other moms.
DO YOU KNOW OF SOMEONE LIKE JULIE?
TELL ME ABOUT A MOM THAT HAS TAKEN A PASSION AND USED IT FOR GOD.
OR DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE STILL SEARCHING FOR HOW GOD CAN UNIQUELY USE YOU FOR HIS GLORY? TELL US ABOUT THAT.
THIS BLOG IS A CONVERSATION. LET’S DISCUSS IT.
Side note… If you are thinking, “I thought this blog was about teaching our kids stuff.” It is, but the core is always about empowering moms. And, I think there is no better way to teach our kids something than by DOING. If we can SHOW them what it looks like when our passions/talents/skills meet up with God’s plan and will for the world around us – whoah! That’s a powerful lesson for them to see up close and personal. Imagine the discussions Julie and Paul had on this day. I imagine Julie got to explain why it’s important that they try to feed thousands of people in the community of Bethlehem that they may never meet but that God loves. On a budget that helps the church do more of the same.
I am so proud of you my cousin. You’ll just never know how much.