Many times when we are in a financial crisis or on a strict budget, our first response is to limit “non-essential” expenditures. What we determine as “non-essential” however, can make the difference between surviving and living.
We have lived for many years on an income that many people would scoff at. During this process I have learned something:
We need beauty.
Beauty heals. Beauty restores. Beauty brings life.
Looking at the beautiful plants on my porch each morning gives me a feeling of rest and peace. I love the color and variety of God’s creation. I love the feel of the dirt in my hands and the wonder of keeping small things alive over time. I love watching plants grow and change.
So even though we may have to eat cheaper meals for a week or go without an extra pair of shorts, I spend a reasonable amount of money on providing beauty for my family and myself.
The small investment on this “non-essential” is well worth the therapeutic effect on my life.
I once read a saying: “If you have two loaves; sell one and buy a lily. Beauty is important for nourishing our souls. 🙂
Lori Ao says
Hello and thanks so much for your postings Kimberlee!!! I did not realize that you had this webpage as well..lol.. but when I joined Pinterest you had something I repinned to my page and thus had a link to yours. There are a number of little things I’ve been taught over the years and as I feel they are relevant, I will share them with you and your readers. I believe we could write a HUGE book on little hints that parents and grandparents pass on to us and us to ours.
Our souls need the beauty we make – whether it’s to restore a small plant, to declutter our favorite room, make a special dessert for our loved ones, sew an apron as a birthday gift for a friend, etc… it’s the little things that give us such an incredible feeling of all-is-right-with-the-world. And every day that someone in our life is blessed with something we’ve done for them or said to them, you just can’t express how wonderful it makes us all feel. To be appreciated for the tiniest amount of effort far surpasses anything you could buy. Random acts of kindness fill our hearts with such a glow that you just have to repeat the experience over and over and over. To remember the look on someone’s face after you’ve given them a simple yet inciteful compliment just makes you both feel great! Your sharing your experience Kimberlee is such a treat for us!! Thank you for bringing us into your world and sharing the gifts you have for us. I just spent the greatest hour just reading through your blog here..lol.. and look forward to doing more of the same tomorrow. You have made my day so much brighter and full of excitement!! (Of course.. I should have been in bed hrs ago..lol.. but this is all such fun and lovely to hear both sides of a posting)
Oh,… hahahaha… I forgot to share the little things I mentioned at the beginning of my .. uh.. PAGE of notes.. red face…
My Dad shared his simple but wonderful kitchen hint with me. He buys all kinds of onions, celery, peppers, mushrooms and goes home and cuts them all into bitty pieces (any size you like really) and then puts them into sandwich ziploc bags. He flattens them out so that they are only about 3/4-1″ high. Then he puts those small ziplocs into a bigger one to help keep away the freezer burn and freezer smells that may linger there. So whenever you get up for school/work/etc, all you need to do is break off a chunk of whatever veggie you cut up into the ziplocs and add it to scrambled eggs, and your breakfast is fast yet so nutritious and took no time at all to prepare. I went further and buy bulk meat and repackage it into single servings. I fry up 1/2 the hamburger with lots of spices and Oxo flavoring – as when I use it in meals I find that the spicing has weakened. In a second I can add peppers to a stirfry that craves color or their flavor. I cut up cooked sausages into smaller ziplocs to add to spaghetti saice, chili (like flavor not spice..lol), stir-fries, soups, etc. When time is short yet you want good food, you can grab whatever you need to add to a bag of instant noodles to make a very fast and tasty meal. I find the bags go quickly as I haven’t had to fuss with peeling and chopping what I want to put in it.
I also took my bottle of McCormick brand Organic Rosemary leaves and ground them into fine powder in my bullet blender. I love the flavor of Rosemary but not the needle form..lol.. so now add the powder to so many things: soups, sausages, all kinds of meat that I’m frying, even to frying potatoes/carrots/celery. I also add Cloves and Sweet Basil to these same things in cooking.
So, apologies to the long note..lol.. but you got me excited about sharing things.. cheeky grin. Thanks again!1
Hi Lori–Welcome! Thanks for sharing the tip about freezing veggies that way and I never thought about grinding the Rosemary. Thanks. 🙂
Cindy Cristini says
I have plants in my porch too!! I grow a tomato plant in a huge pot of its own. It’s now well over 5 ft and has beautiful promising tomatoes on it. I have hanging baskets of a few flowers. But my greatest joy is my herbs. I grow rosemary, thyme, parsley, basil and oregano and find all sorts of ways to use them in our meals. Even “budget” meals can feel gourmet and special. Beyond that, tending and harvesting them gives me a sense of balance and the smells are so uplifting to my soul. I am really hoping this winter to bring some inside and keep them alive. We”ll see. But each spring I spend $15 on herbs. Bought as small plants they are about $1.25 each. Then I reap the rewards all summer long. ( I recently made my first pesto sauce over angel hair pasta and the family raved!!!!
I love fresh basil–yum!
I was reading in my summer women’s bible study book we are using (a great one by Julie Clinton) about Eve and Lydia in the bible. It sort of tied it all together for me as far as personal beauty – It is about inner beauty, but as temples of God we should take pride in our appearances and add that small speck of outer beauty (i.e. brushedn hair, a touch of makeup, a small splash of nail polish). We also discussed how a level of comfort in our outer beauty is different with every woman. The main thing is for us to feel good about ourselves and our families when we go out and share God’s word. He gave women the ability to see & bring out the beauty in things and let’s face it – he made is cuter than men ha ha….why waste it? 🙂
Oh how i needed to hear this! I was planting flowers yesterday wondering if I should feel guilty even though I bought them “dirt cheap” -it was money that, to me, was spent extravagantly. But I prayed and asked the Lord to bless me even if I was spending wrongly. Reading your post helped alleviate that guilt…because I truly am one who finds so many spiritual truths in tending to and watching plants bloom and flower.
I know exactly what you mean about finding spiritual truths in gardening, Kerry. There are so many verses in the Bible about plants and gardens and when God made man, He placed him in a garden, right? 🙂
This is so true. i just wish i remembered it more often. thank u.
You are very welcome Katie.
Brenda Turnbull says
Ahhhhh! Yes, so true 😉
Gary Stokes says
Good word. Thank you 🙂