a lesson

I've been conducting a little experiment slash life lesson this week... 

On Sunday night, it was evident I needed to make a grocery run when my pantry shelves were looking pretty bare.  But funny how I looked at my budget and concluded that the remaining balance for the week ahead would barely buy me a can of soup and nothing else.  That wasn't going to cut it.  

Let me be clear: this isn't a post to make you feel bad for me because I didn't have enough money to buy food.  Farrrrrr from it.  This is me saying, "Hey, SHB - why don't we take a harder look at you being a better steward of what God has given you?"  A true test of not living beyond my means -- a lesson in Philippians 4:19... God will provide everything I need, even if it looks like my shelves are bare.

Let me be even more clear:  all of this is a result of grocery shopping at "the Bull's-eye Store" that is sooooo conveniently located between my home and office.  {I will not name names, because this isn't the store's fault for being so dang awesome.}  When I grocery shop in this store, it is way too easy to start browsing in the other departments, and before I know it,  my cart is full and my wallet is empty.  {"Knock-knock, self-control calling...!"}

So with this realization, I decided to shop my kitchen and see what kind of meals I could come up with using the ingredients I did have, instead of going out and buying groceries with money I didn't really have.  Breakfast has been easy, because I had an almost new box of cereal and a quart of milk to boot.  Done.  Lunch has been a pimento cheese sandwich every day, as I'd picked up a pint from a local restaurant last Friday {with a coupon, no less!}, and I still had a half loaf of bread.  Supper has required a bit more creativity, so I decided to document the process.

Monday night's meal was actually really great:

The last Brussels sprouts I had in the freezer -- just roasted those in the oven, a few pieces of aged cheddar cheese & crackers, and sliced homegrown tomatoes brought back from my last trip home.  {And let's face it, I could live off of those alone in the summertime... this just sadly happened to be my last tomato.}  This was truly a perfect summer supper.  And let me state that this is one of the times that it is great being single and/or not a mom, because I know if I had other mouths to feed in my household, they'd probably not be as enthused over my little mealtime experiment.  {That's when I'd bust out the Scriptures and tell everybody to eat up!}  :)

Tuesday's supper... well, it was not as bad as it probably looks:

Whole wheat pasta seems to always live in my pantry, so I cooked some of that.  This would appear to be a creamy tomato sauce if you were in a legit Italian restaurant {think Pasta Alla Vodka at Brio...}.  It's actually a can of cream of chicken soup combined with a can of diced tomatoes, plus some olive oil, garlic powder, and basil.  It was really not that bad, and I had leftovers.  Score!

Tonight, well... I am starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel:

Brown rice, flavored with olive oil, lemon juice, & seasoning, with kalamata olives and the last of my aged Alpine cheddar.  Filling, just not very exciting. 

This is the seasoning I used, and one that I use quite often to make salad dressing or add flavor to grilled chicken:

So, I just have tomorrow night left to come up with something {it may very well be cereal or those pasta leftovers}, then I have some kind friends who have invited me over for dinner on Friday -- not because of this, ha!  It just worked out that way... not really.  God provided.

This has been a good test for me, to truly look at how God provides and see where I need to be more mindful of how I spend what He gives me.  It's all His anyway.

I will say, I am really missing fruits and greens this week.  I'd typically have a salad with all kinds of veggies and nuts in it for supper, and I love having blueberries with my breakfast {as has been well-documented here}.  But let's face it -- I am not starving by any stretch.  

How about any of you?  Are you good at stretching a dollar or making do with what you have when it comes to good meals?  Obviously, I could use some tips!


St. Augustus the Feline

Last weekend, I enjoyed a good visit at home and celebrated Father's Day with mi padre.

It might be safe to say, Dad's day got a bit overshadowed by the newest addition to our family, though...

... Gus!  My parents got a new cat.

He's pretty quick on his feet, so I had to resort to some still shots while he napped.  I think he's going to be super fluffy, and we can already tell he likes to be around his people.  He is very sweet.

Adorable, right?

Of course, I will enjoy this while it lasts until he grows up to be a cynical, ain't-nobody-got-time-for-humans, adult cat.  


{I promise I won't turn this into a cat blog.  You have my word.}


in summary

When I looked up from loading the dishwasher in my kitchen this evening, I saw this...

And then not longer after, I ran across this...

Both from the Maker.
Both good ways to sum up my day.



Can you even begin to imagine being in this boat?
My heart gets stuck in my throat just thinking about it.
Where would we be without their courage?
The bravest of brave.

Don't forget.