Home Essentials – Stewardship

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I’m part way through a helpful finance workshop courtesy of Christian Personal Finance, (christianpf.com). I came across this site when looking for a free downloadable budget planner, as mentioned previously.

Well, the site is really interesting, and I signed up for a 20 day finances ‘makeover’; one lesson comes each day via email. So far, the lessons have been very straightforward, and most have been relevant to my household. (Except for advice about refinancing a home-loan – we are renting at the moment and don’t have a mortgage to consider.)

Apart from the workshop, there are numerous free budgeting tools, templates, reviews and articles – there is even a self-employed, homeschooling mother among the contributors. And I really appreciate the the Scriptural perspective of the writers.

Our circumstances recently changed, and my housekeeping money has decreased, but I’ve been amazed at how easy it has been to adapt. This must be due, in part, to the finance workshop, and also to my changing relationship to money, which has come as a result of planning a home-business.

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The following Scripture reference was posted on the CPF website in an article about adult children returning to the parental home, but it was relevant for me today as I made time to help with my little grandson:

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. – 1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV)

They are rather strong words, and a good reminder that charity does begin at home, and that we are also called to be good stewards of our time.

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The generic mum enters the 21st century

Dear reader,
I thought you might enjoy some Morris and Co images today.

A colourful WM print

Well, today, I did it – I signed up to Facebook. I feel that my life will never be quite the same – it is so public now. I am very glad that I will be able to keep in contact with my family who are spread around the world. Perhaps we can mend some bridges together. Thanks to my teenagers for teaching a 46-year-old how to make friends…

This tapestry is called “Woodpecker” – I hope to make an applique based on this, some day…

Dave and I had an interesting conversation today: I asked him what he thought about us having Christmas presents this year. It’s been several years since we have done so – it really reduces the Yuletide stress, and gives us a chance to concentrate on the real meaning of Christmas. But, I feel like exchanging gifts this year, as a one-off.
Dave stammered: “But, then we would be like everyone else!”
I thought to myself; “I would love to be like ‘everyone else.’ I mean, you can’t get much more counter-cultural than being a committed Catholic, home-schooling, and having 13 children. (I know that this is perfectly normal in Traddie-World, but that only makes up a small portion of the population.)
I don’t really mind if we fill a couple of pews at Mass, but it would be nice to blend in a bit more, sometimes. It’s kind of fun to be counted while we sit at a red light in our van, I suppose. But I kind of shrink when the checkout operators roll their eyes as I approach them with two trolleys of groceries. That’s a lot of Flybuys points…
I like sharing conversations about our large family, but I sometimes forget how totally foreign that is to most people. Even to many Catholics, it’s just an ideal, perhaps something from the nostalgic past when all marriages lasted and when true love usually waited.
Speaking about true love usually waiting, I am reminded me of those poor women who had their illegitimate children taken from them, in that same ‘nostalgic’ past, without consent, by some charity institutions. What an offence, and how hard it must be to forgive that offence. I wish that the Catholic church had not been involved in such things, but is has. How sad that some people’s only experience of the Church was such a terribly traumatic one. Thanks to spokesmen like Pope John Paul II, who have had the courage to apologize to groups of people who have been hurt by the actions of Catholics. I hope that some will give the Church a second chance.

A woodcut by Edward-Burne Jones, from the Kelmscott Chaucer.

I made up a new budget for our family today, using a simple program from the ASIC website. Perhaps it will help you, too. (moneysmart.gov.au)
Unfortunately, I can’t find the excellent editable spreadsheet that I downloaded last year. It allowed me to track our spending and update totals in various categories. I’ll keep looking, or try something else. However, as I found out today, there sure are a lot of very complicated systems masquerading as Simple.

“Acanthus” by William Morris

I’m going back to Facebook, now, we’ll talk again tomorrow.