Liberty is something I think many Americans take for granted. America was founded as a republic which allows its citizens to have a great deal of freedom to govern themselves. Our founding fathers understood though that people are sinful by nature and the only way people can successfully "govern" themselves is if they have a strong moral foundation; a set of standards in which to follow and live by.
It is quite easy to see that the moral foundation of the American culture is on the decline. For the last several decades we have seen immorality and perversion on the rise. When we look at historical documents of America it is difficult to deny that the founders understood the importance of strong moral values, character, and personal responsibility. Something largely lacking in our society today. As an evangelical Christian I believe The Holy Bible is the true Word of God and the ultimate standard for which to live by.
Anyone who does any bit of research on America's founding will find controversy surrounding whether or not the founding fathers of America truly had a Christian religious background. The research I have done leads me to believe many of the founders had strong spiritual convictions of which the majority were rooted in The Holy Bible.
Benjamin Franklin said, "As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see." For reference, click here.
The Bible tells us that as Christians it is our responsibility to pass down our faith to the next generations. Without this, the faith will fade away. I did not understand this divine responsibility until I became a mother and began discovering what God says about motherhood and parenting. Faith in Christ provides the ultimate freedom and it gives us clear instructions for how life on earth is lived best.
I am not saying that by being a Christian or striving to live like Jesus lived makes me or anyone else perfect, far from it. I am saying that having faith in God and following the teachings of Jesus, and all of Biblical scripture, provides a person with an understanding of our sinful nature, why we need a Savior, and a high set of standards in which to follow in our earthly lives. God's word provides a standard of truth that is equal to all mankind. The Bible encourages its readers and believers to live in the most excellent way and it produces personal convictions for us to look inside ourselves to change, not blame others for our own circumstances or look for government to make our lives better. The founders understood this and believed that people did not need a big, tyrannical government to control every aspect of their lives; people could govern themselves, as long as they had an internal compass to guide them.
In Deuteronomy 6:6-7 the Bible says,
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
As a proud American, it saddens me to see the moral decay of our nation. Freedom is not free and if we don't understand our history or what it cost to obtain freedom it can easily be stripped away. What kind of America are we leaving the next generation? What kind of moral foundation does the next generation have to live in this world?
I have created 'Freedom Friday' as a way to help disperse information and insight on liberty and freedom in order to inspire myself and you to keep freedom alive. To inspire myself and you to take a stand for what is right. To encourage each other to live our lives righteously and to stand for truth.
If you want a great resource for American history visit the websites below:
Dirty dishes are something that multiply in our house at rapid speed. I am not opposed to washing dishes by hand, but I would much rather be doing something a lot more fun and a lot more productive. This is why dishwashers were invented, isn't it? But how much does running your dishwasher cost money wise?
I did a little research and found out that on average a dishwasher uses 1 - 1.5kWh per load cycle. A few years ago I noticed my dishwasher has a setting for "delayed" start time and I started to wonder why I might use that. As I said, dirty dishes are constant in our home and I don't want to be a slave to washing by hand, nor do I want to use disposable plates and utensils for every meal, so our dishwasher gets run at least once a day...sometimes two.
I started to wonder if there was any way I could shave some money off our electric bill and I found out that by being a bit savvy about when I used my dishwasher, I could save my family some money.
Energy companies typically have different rates for different times of the day and even different days of the week. Contact your local energy company to find out their rate schedule so you know when your energy cost per kWh is the cheapest. The electric company we have has two different rates. The high rate is from 5pm to 10pm Monday - Saturday and the low rate is all other times. In order to utilize the cheaper energy cost rate I use the 'delay' start time so my dishwasher cycle starts after the cheaper rate time begins. The delay setting is so helpful because I can still load my dishwasher when ever it is convenient for me, but I don't have to remember to start it after the cheaper energy rate begins...I let the dishwasher's brain do that!
Calculating the savings:
When I look at the cost savings by being more diligent about when the cycle runs has decreased my household electric bill, which leaves more cash in my wallet. As I said earlier, the electric company we have has two different rates. The high rate is almost $0.29 per kWh and the low rate is just under $0.07 per kWh. I actually don't know the specific amount of energy my dishwasher uses per load, so I will err on the high side in my calculations.
If my dishwasher uses 1.5kWh per load and I run it during the high rate of $.029 that equals $.44 per load...not much money. This is actually less than a U.S. postage stamp. However, if I run my dishwasher on average 1.5 times per day multiplied by 30 days in a billing cycle, that is almost $20 ($19.80 to be exact). Again, most folks will say, that's not a lot of money. However, when I look at the difference in cost for running the dishwasher at the lower rate, the savings is quite significant.
The low rate from my electric company is $0.07 per kWh and using the same 1.5kWh energy consumption, the cost per load is $0.11 per load. And the monthly cost (again 1.5 times a day for 30 days) is $3.30. Therefore, the overall savings per billing cycle is $16.50. I don't know about you, but I could find a lot of fun things to do with $16.50 rather than letting it go down the dishwasher drain!
I have also started doing my laundry during the cheaper energy times. I don't know the actual cost savings, but I know it is there.
It is definitely an ideal situation to utilize the cheaper energy rating every time I run these appliances, but I know it is not always practical. I give myself grace and I don't fret if I use my dishwasher or do laundry during the higher times, sometimes it's unavoidable. However, I strive to work these chores in to my day during the "cheaper" rate times as often as I can.
Now it's your turn: Does your dishwasher have a delay setting? Did you know that electric companies can have different rates? Do you have other ways of being thrifty? I would love to hear from you; let me encourage you to comment below.
I hope this post has given you some ideas for being "Thrifty". If you have found it helpful, please share with your friends.
If you want to know more about saving money and being financially wise, check out Dave Ramsey at www.daveramsey.com.
I was talking with a sweet mama several months ago and she told me that her husband spends about $20 every day of the work week on eating out. $20 x 5 days x 4 weeks…that’s $400 per month! I am not opposed to eating out at all, but when it becomes a daily routine it can be quite expensive. A homemade lunch can cost a fraction of $20 and can be considerably healthier too.
Making my hubby’s lunch is a part of my morning routine almost every day of the work week and sometimes on Saturday if he does a side job or is volunteering. Whether its a sandwich or leftovers for the main course, I make time to put together a healthy meal for him to take to work. Remember I did say “almost every day”. There are days were I sleep in because it was a rough night with the little ones or I get so busy with stuff in the morning I completely forget and hubby either makes his own lunch or decides to eat out instead. But making his lunch is something I strive to do on a regular basis.
Some may say “That’s nice, but I just don’t have time for that”. With two little ones under the age of 4 and lots of tasks to complete myself, I understand lack of time, but I believe that taking time to make my husband a lunch is well worth the investment.
Although this task does technically take time away from things I might be working on, I believe it is an interruption worth having. A strong marriage takes time and effort and most times, the little things can have the biggest impact. Something as little as a sandwich and an index card makes a big impact in my marriage and I want to share this experience with you.
I honestly enjoy making my hubby his lunch, even on the really hectic days. It is just one of the many ways I can serve him. It makes me stop what I am doing and take some time to focus on something that benefits him. It helps him maintain a healthier lifestyle, helps us stay on budget, and is one way I can connect with his heart.
A strong marriage takes time and effort and most times, the little things can have the biggest impact.
A typical lunch for my hubby is a sandwich, chips, carrots and celery sticks, granola bar or snack crackers, apple slices with a scoop of peanut butter, a beverage, and of course some type of dessert like cookies or a brownie. The apple slices & PB he likes to save for an afternoon snack. It’s a good healthy energy boost for the afternoon drag. Trail mix is great too. Leftovers that won’t be enough for a second meal for the whole family can make a great lunch too.
When I go grocery shopping, I buy as much organic, non-GMO, whole foods as I can and most of our baked goods are homemade. We like to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of really good stuff and 20% of the not so good stuff. Eating healthy is super important, but I think if I tried to have us eat super healthy food 100% of the time I would go crazy…so would my family.
They say food is a way to a man’s heart, which is true, but you can connect even deeper to his heart by your written words. One special touch I do often for my hubby is write a little love note to put in his lunch. The note is not long, but it’s genuine. I put my notes on 3” x 5” index cards. They are a good size, more durable than regular paper, and they don’t have the sticky stuff on the back.
On one side of the card I will write a Bible verse or two and on the other side a personal note. The Bible verses may be pertinent to a situation my hubby is dealing with at the time or it may be something God laid on my heart during a recent quiet time. If I am short on time one morning, I scan my Bible and because I highlight and underline verses, I can locate a good inspirational verse rather quickly to write out for him.
The personal note can be what ever you want; a love note, a note of encouragement, maybe a reminder of something funny that happened in your family to make him laugh. No matter what though, this note must be a positive one.
One thing I do often in my note is thank my hubby for working so hard to provide for our family. If my hubby is struggling with something I will offer words of encouragement specifically to that situation and I might remind him that I am praying for him. I will often tell him how thankful I am that he is my husband and how good of a hubby he is and what a great Dad he is and how blessed our children are to have him as their Dad.
No, my life is not all sunshine and lollipops. My hubby is not perfect and neither am I. We have our differences; but even on days I don’t “feel” like serving him, these are the days I know for sure that I should. If I have hurt his feelings or upset him in any way, this “love note” is another avenue I can use to offer my sincere apologies. I always end my notes with Love, Me or I love you always.
I can honestly tell you these notes don’t just affect him, they affect me too. Words are so powerful and when written they have tremendous impact. The world we live in is harsh and can be very cruel. Our hubbies need and deserve encouragement every day. Let’s use the power of the written word to lift our husbands up. Their jobs can be really demanding and so often they do not receive recognition for their hard work. We can help fill that void. Words of affirmation and love go a long, long way.
After I started putting these notes in his lunch I saw the impact they were making. My hubby began to show me even more affection than usual. He began telling me more often how much he appreciated me. I also noticed that my hubby saves his notes and just recently he told me he keeps a stack of them in his desk drawer at work so when he is feeling discouraged he can pull one out and it lifts his spirits.
This tiny investment is making a big impact in my marriage and I am so thankful for it. I hope that something I have shared today inspires you. Maybe you are already make your hubby’s lunch and write him notes…that’s awesome! What other ways you can connect deeper with his heart on a regular basis?
If you do not write out little notes to your hubby and want to do so, here are a few great scripture recommendations to help you get started…
Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you have a wonderful day!
Grace to you,
Hubby and I have been diligently searching for ways to reduce our monthly expenses and one way I found was going through our cell phone bill. Last month I went line by line through our bill and discovered a few things to save us money.
One thing I found was that we are paying for twice as much data as we are using. By switching to a lower data package we are able to save $15 per month. Our carrier makes it real easy to monitor the data we use and gives us the capability to increase our data before the end of our billing cycle to keep us from the higher overage data charges.
I also discovered that our cell phone carrier was charging us $4.99 a month per line for an extra service we were not even using. Apparently, when we bought new phones over a year ago we were signed up for a "free 30-day trial" of a special application, but after the 30-days we were automatically enrolled in the program and therefore, began incurring the extra monthly charges. Unfortunately, we have been incurring these charges for over a year! I am not mad at the carrier. It is hubby and mine's fault for not catching it sooner. Life can be so hectic that things like this can slip right under our noses. I am just glad we caught it.
I have also discovered our carrier offers promotions from time to time. Calling your carrier or looking online for promotions is a good way to find any discounts you might be eligible for. It does take a little bit of time, but being more intentional about checking your charges and discovering promotions you can take advantage of can save you money.
How about you? Do you have any "thrifty" suggestions? What ways have you found to shave some money off your monthly bills?
Want to know more about dumping debt and living better financially? Visit www.DaveRamsey.com to find out how.
Hi! My name is Mandy Jo.
Thanks for visiting my blog! Being a mom in this modern age is a blessing, but no cake walk. So many expectations are imposed on us and it can be overwhelming and often discouraging.