Nifty Thrifty Week: Day #5 with Sharon Glasgow


Welcome to the final day of our Nifty Thrifty week featuring ideas, stories, recipes and GIVEAWAYS from five frugal guests.

(And it all started with my devotion entitled The Boomerang of Blessing. )

PLEASE NOTE:  As with all the posts this week, you have until Sunday night at midnight EST to comment and be entered in the drawing. All the winners will be announced Monday. So, if you haven’t entered each day’s giveaway, you still have time. My guests are giving out fabulous prizes including Amazon cards, books, Target cards and a $100 baking ingredients kit!

We wrap up this series with my Proverbs 31 sister in ministry Sharon Glasgow.

Sharon is an amazing speaker (many churches invite her back again and again!) who is a picture of how to live on faith when times are tough. She has so many real-life stories of how her family has had to do that over the years that I could sit and listen to her for hours!

Today Sharon, along with providing us encouragement in this area, is giving away a copy of our new Real-Life Devotional Bible and a book about a man who lived on faith: George Muller.

(And can you please do me a favor? Will you stick around until the bottom of Sharon’s post and read an update of the couple who was in the horrible accident the day after Christmas and is now having to live on faith? I mentioned that two of our friends were running the Boston Marathon in their honor and many of you wanted to know if they were alright. The update is below.)

Now, here is Sharon on how to live on faith.


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a one room home like Little House on the Prairie? Well, two years ago, we did it. We moved into an old one room shed without running water, heat, air conditioning, a stove (we had a woodstove) or a kitchen! Yeah, I know—even Little House on the Prairie had a kitchen, didn’t they?

We moved out of our cozy Victorian farm home, and 21 people moved into our house (get more of story here). So, I can tell you from first-hand experience—you can live on less and trust God more.

We lived in the shed for a year and then moved back into our house. People couldn’t believe we would do something so radical, but God led us to do it.  In that year I learned that I don’t need as much as I think I do. A lot of us have a lot of space and stuff we don’t need, and it costs us—in more ways than one.

Shed living was the epitome of “nifty thrifty!” There was no heating or cooling bill. (We live in VA, so winters are cold, and summers are hot as fire!) There was no extra space, so we couldn’t buy anything.  And cleaning time and supplies were down by 90%.

Hard times bring hard decisions. How do you know when it’s time to sell the house? Change jobs? Bring a renter into the spare room? Sell the car? Tell your child you can’t afford college? Gulp!

I can tell you this with all assurance: God is to be trusted with big decisions. He never fails. Psalm 50:15 says, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”

How do you lean not on your own understanding but His? Faith.

Here’s how I live by faith: I read His promises in the Bible, believe them and then watch them fulfilled. I’ve seen God do the impossible in our circumstances and in our finances. He’s done things I would never have dreamed.  Yet He may not have done them had I not been willing to obey His leading.

If you want your faith built up through others examples, read about George Muller. I love George Muller. Now he lived the life of faith. You’ve got to read his story. He ran an orphanage with hundreds of children; some days there wasn’t food to feed them. George believed in the power of prayer and God’s promises to provide. The children would sit down at the table and pray, and before long the door would knock and someone would deliver food. God always provided.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

You can live on less and trust God more. His promises are not only for other people—they are for you!

Now, to be entered in my giveaway, tell us about a time you had to live on faith or about someone you know who is doing so. I can’t wait to read your comments!


UPDATE ON LANE AND EMILY: Karen here again. Thanks to so many of you who have responded to the story of the newlyweds who were in an accident during a snowstorm and now are dealing with the husband having a traumatic brain injury.

Emily always knew God called her to be a nurse. Just as she got married and landed her first job, she instead became a full-time nurse to her handsome, courageous, still-witty-and-sees-his-life-as-a-mission-field  husband Lane. (You can read the full story by clicking here)

Our mutual friends Cathy and Angie ran the Boston Marathon to raise money for their living and medical expenses.

Here they are with Lane and Emily before the race back in Michigan:

From left to right: Cathy (she’s a prayer-warrior friend & my hairdresser who cute-i-fies me in her basement salon in the big town of Fowler: population 1,208) Emily & Lane (most amazing newlywed couple EVER!) and Angie (a decades-long family friend, oldest daughter in a homeschool family with 10 musically-gifted siblings & a politics-savvy servant of Jesus)

Here they are crossing the finish line.

Angie in front being hugged by her sister Becky and Cathy behind her doing the “Praise Jesus” happy dance.

I knew Cathy and Angie run marathons in under four hours. However, Cathy had told me the last time she cut my hair how many horrible hills there are in the Boston Marathon. She joked and said  she hoped that fact didn’t mean they’d cross the line after the four hour mark. (Ahem...I’d be honored to do that. My time might be closer to four days!)

The day of the race I was on the phone with my friend Renee. As we were talking, her husband JJ texted her about the bombs. I hung up the phone and began to see the film playing over and over again of the first bomb going off at the finish line.

My heart skipped a beat as I saw the clock ticking above that finish line and it read “4:09” For a few hours I wondered if Cathy & Angie were near that line.

I received an update soon from Emily’s mom that they had thankfully finished before that 4:09 mark. I lifted this update from Angie’s Facebook:

“My heart is just so saddened by what happened in downtown Boston today… So awful. Wanted to give a quick update…We are back at our hotel thanking God for His protection! Cathy and I passed through the finish line several minutes before the explosions-miracle #1 … then Becky and Brent who standing right were the first explosion went off (waiting for me) left only minutes before explosion-to come find me–miracle #2. My parents and Cara witnessed/felt the explosions-right down by the finish line area-again God protected them. Alison and Christy and Amber were also very close and came to find me…another miracle. Again, we praise God for His protection…while our hearts go out to those fellow runners who were injured…and the families of those who lost their lives… Thank you everyone for your prayers… God is real…and God answered them.”

And THANK YOU for your prayers for the race and for Lane’s recovery. Again, you can read the story of their accident and his amazing effort in getting back even the most basics physical skills (thankfully his mind & memory are as sharp as a tack!) by clicking here. (There is also info for how to give online to them)

And if you don’t have time to read the whole story and your heart is just telling you to encourage this couple living on faith, the way that blesses them most is by mailing a hand-written note or card to them. (If you feel led to tuck in a a check, make it out to Lane or Emily Bargeron) And, If you do email, send a note, or mail in a donation, would you please let them know that you heard their story here? We’d love to see how far and wide our little community of blog friends reaches.

Mailing address:

Mary Free Bed

Patient: Lane Bargeron

235 Wealthy SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Send an email directly through any email account:

• In the “To” field, type: [email protected]

• In the “Subject” field, type “Lane Bargeron”

• Type message and send

Now, don’t forget to leave a comment about living on faith. Or, if you’d prefer, you can leave a prayer for this couple living on faith. Sharon, our Nifty Thrifty guest today, is a FAITHFUL  prayer warrior and would be thrilled to read your prayers for this couple living on faith too!

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  1. During a bad financial/investment decision, I gave my hubby every penny of my savings (very hard for me to do). We were down to out last few $, but God saw us through.

  2. My dear husband and I will have been married for 22 years this summer…but 20 years ago we were scraping to make ends meet…we had a new baby -our first-and I remember standing at the kitchen sink in tears wondering where the money would come from to buy formula..our Rachel was losing too much weight and my doctor ordered me to stop nursing…I remember the Lord speaking so clearly to me at that sink…reminding me that if needed He would cause my milk to flow even though it was truly dried up…and I knew He could certainly do that and more!! Jehovah Jireh- Our Provider!!

  3. We had to exercise faith when we moved to California from Michigan. We moved without ever going there or knowing the area. We drove out there without a house and all our stuff on a moving truck separate from us. We got there and started to look for a house. A few that we liked we didn’t get a reply and then finially we got an answer. The house was already gone but he had another home in the same area for rent with more square feet and slightly cheaper. We got the house and found church slightly after.

  4. Since September we as a family are living on faith and using our faith muscle. That was the time Warren my husband lost his job at Home Depot of 12 years. Not sure how we were going to make it or if we could, but I have found the strength to do it. I think my husband was more concerned for me than him. I had never gone through anything like this before so this was a new reliance on God. People have been awesome helping and supporting us. I clean homes part time and with the economy they have shrunk down to three, but you know that is where the reaince on God comes in. I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has a job in store for Warren and that I can do just the homes I have. It is just a matter of trust and faith in God. God is so amazing in what he is going to do. We are so blessed by God.

  5. I can remember when my husband first excpected the call from God to preach, we were struggling financially and God seen us through. One particular time I can remember is we didn’t have the money to buy groceries and I was really stressed out over it and my husband told me to have faith and God would pull us through and that he did. He (my husband) was asked to come to a church to preach on this particular week so I just didn’t know how we were going to make it. Let me say we needed $150.00 to get groceries and have gas for the wek and after he preached that night the preacher gave him a check. We were in tears when we got to the vehicle because he had never been paid to preach before and this check was for $150.00. God is amazing we just have to have the faith that he will see us through.

  6. I was pregnant with twins in January of 2011 when I learned that I was fighting them with my own blood. I am RH negative and they were both positive and normally it’s not an issue with the introduction of rhogham (a drug that suppresses my system from attacking their positive red blood cells), but in this case, with my previous baby, I had gotten a bad dose. They started becoming anemic and had to receive transfusions in-utero starting in early May. During that time, I had this amazing sense of peace… I like to call it “the peace that passes all understanding time” as they were in grave danger, but God was INCREDIBLY good to us! They were born at 32.5 weeks and are healthy 22 month old kiddos today! :)

  7. FIrst, I would like to speak healing over Lane Bargeron from our Almighty Father! To his beautiful bride, wisdom & love to overflow within her. I speak life into many of the people who are faced with cancer and peace to be about them. It seems many of us are being rocked out of our comfort zone and all I can say is “Jesus hold on to us”.

  8. When your husband is a self-employed truck driver, there are a lot of times when you live on faith. God has always carried us through, providing for us with a network of wonderful family and friends. And we have always had our health. I cannot imagine this young couple and what they are going through. May God richly bless them. We will pray for his speedy recovery, and for sustaining strength for both of them.

  9. I am walking in faith and learning how to truly trust God. My family have so many things up in the air right now. The needs everything to be under control part of me doesn’t do well with all this uncertainty. After fighting through yet another night of restless sleep, the phrase ‘perfect peace’ kept coming to mind. I knew there was a verse in regards to having perfect peace, but I couldn’t remember what it was. Used Bible Gateway when I woke up this morning, and put ‘perfect peace’ in the search box. This is what I found: “You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting you.” (Isaiah 26:2-4) How awesome is that! Working on trusting and not worrying.

  10. Thank you for this post and for the updates on your friends who were in Boston. We lived on Faith after my husband lost his job and decided to return to college. God opened a door for me to obtain a second, part time job, to help ends meet.

  11. My husband & me are having faith for a grand daughter who is pregnant with our 1st Great GrandJoy to find a man that will love & protect the two of them The father of the baby is not living a clean life & does not want to get married or work :( The Lord gave me a dream that a man came into her life & loved her even though she was pregnant & wanted to take care of both of them the rest f his life!!!WOW!!!

  12. I have been “surviving” cancer for over eighteen years. I found out that I had Hodgkin Lymphoma after my son was born. I went through chemo and radiation therapy from my throat to my heart. Having finished at that time, I was told that there was a probable likelihood that I would never have another child again. I can say that my son was 22 days away from his tenth birthday when his sister was born. I never gave up the hope and dreams of having her.
    Today, I walk in faith that God will strengthen my marriage, provide( it’s and will continue to) for us, change and grow the hearts of all four of us to live and depend on Him daily. As some of us are so very stubborn in our respective ways.

  13. I just requested this Bible as a Mother’s Day gift!!! I don’t think anything I can say will match up to any of the other stories already told here. I live on faith daily. Whether it be when it comes to dealing with a strong-willed child, just the need to sit down and Thank God for all my blessings, loving a husband who is worn down after a LONG work week, or looking outside and taking a breath of fresh air. Thank you for your work and God Bless!

  14. I have relied on faith many times…but there scariest and most difficult was when I found out my 9 year old daughter had been abused over a period of at least 4 years by her “Sunday Christian” dad and my now exhusband. I have always attended church and my had always believed the best in people so this was a true test of my faith but over the last 5 years my daughter has grown into a God fearing teen and my faith has been strengthened just by trusting that He would provide a way out of this suffering and grieving state we were in.

  15. 3 years ago I lost my job as a dr. office R.N and soon my husband lost his job in I.T.; both near 60 years old, we have not been able to find jobs so we had to use all our 401 monies to pay for COBRA insurance ( I needed my pacemaker replaced soon after losing my job) and get debt free; we lived in the 75 yr. old house my grandparent and dad had built by hand: sentimental but in need of repairs we did not know how to do: God miraculously has provided for our NEEDS and we have learned that we really need so little: a death in the family provided monies to buy a townhouse that others call tiny and we call WONDERFUL and daily we rejoice in blessings- I am back to sewing with the time I now have, and our church ( across the street) has garden space and a playground: I now Nanny for the grandkids. These are the best years of our life: less truly IS more, in God’s hands.

  16. In the past we had some very “lean” times. Having built our house and sending our boys to private Christian schools, took a lot out of our savings. I did work part-time, but we had to be ever so careful with funds. Through a friend, I was recommended for a term teaching position for 5 months. It helped us out financially, and all 4 of us were very grateful.

  17. Lord Jesus, i lift up to you the young newlywed couple mentioned in the devotional/blog post today. Please put your healing hand on the husband and please meet all of their needs. Be glorified in that provision! Amen.

  18. I am humbled and convicted about my own lack of faith when I read these stories from others.

    Lord, we don’t always understand why, but thankfully, we know Who is in control at all times. And You are good, Lord, and You love Lane and Emily with an everlasting love. Please watch over and bless this precious couple. I pray for healing for Lane, for strength and patience and freedom from pain. I pray for strength and peace for Emily as she supports Lane. May this tragedy only increase their love for each other and bring honor and glory to You. In Jesus’ precious name I pray.

  19. Living on faith is what my husband and I have done since we married. A second marriage for both of us, God has brought us up out of the messes of our lives before living for him and taught us how to fix our old messes and value what is true, HIM! We have worked diligently in 7 years to unload debt (more tens of thousands than I care to mention), we have taught our children by walking them through what we did wrong and what we did right hoping they will do more of the later than former! :) As we continue on our pathway of faith filled frugal (insert good stewardship here) living we learn new things each day and are so very thankful!

    On a side note It was super exciting to see pictures of my dear friend Angie in your blog Karen! What a blessing she has been in my life, my heart skipped a beat as I heard the radio reporting of the bombing and I did not stop making inquiries until I learned she was okay! Thanks for this week of posts I LOVE them and hope you do more!

  20. I’m living out my faith commitment right now! 3 weeks ago, I quit my job of 13 years to go back to school. I get my last check for unused vacation at the end of this month. We are trusting God to provide in every way. Right before I quit, a tractor became available that was perfect for what we needed on our little farm. The seller even offered to buy our old tractor for more money that what we would normally get out of it. My husband prayed about it and just felt that we needed this tractor. It was bigger than the one we had and in much better shape. So we planned to borrow the money. The tractor was delivered on Tuesday and on Good Friday, the Lord provided…my husband received an unexpected bonus that was almost exactly what we needed. We didn’t have to borrow the money and now I’m looking forward to what God has in store for us and that tractor. Somebody asked me about my decision to quit work and I said it wasn’t my idea, I’m just along for the ride!

  21. I am living on faith now and have done so many times as I raised 2 children alone. Right now both of my children are facing some challenges that led me to prayer and faith and reduced me to tears. I am walking in faith and trusting God!!

  22. About 8 years ago we bought a new home and within 6 months my hours at work were severely cut back. At the same time I was doing a Beth Moore study and she mentoned George Muller’s story. We prayed Phillipians 4:19 and God provided as He always does.

  23. Two years ago my husband was in a horrible working situation doing the job he had always felt God had called him to. In June 2011, we were driving and talking about “maybe this isn’t what God has for our family anymore…” A couple months later, he got recruited to do his job in a permanent location. We felt God moving us. He took the offer and we moved in June 2012. The catch was that the job wasn’t available until September. Our pay ran out in August. But we knew that God was leading our steps. So, he left the military, we moved, and then he applied. All the while knowing we were taking the right steps. And they would have been VERY scary steps if we took our eyes off Jesus! He went through all the interviews and was hired. We are still adjusting to the shifting pay dates, the different pay check amounts, and living in a non-military community. But we love where God has placed us and have so clearly seen His hand through every step!!

  24. My husband and I lived on faith many times throughout the first year of our marriage. We moved several states away from home because of what seemed like a great job offer for my husband…he was there two weeks and realized his employer was unethical and fraudulent. Since we had just moved, I was not yet employed but we decided he had to quit his job. We had no income. So we headed back home for my husband to look for a job. While staying with his parents temporarily, my father-in-law woke up in the middle of the night and was having a stroke. He recovered fully from the stroke but while in the hospital they discovered that he had cancer. Throughout that first year of our marriage we dealt with watching a loved one struggle through chemo treatments and we experienced two miscarriages. My father-in-law passed away but we were so blessed to be able to spend every day at the hospital and countless hours with him, due to the fact that neither of us was employed at the time. We didn’t understand why my husband’s job fell through, until after we found out about his father’s cancer. God knew right where we needed to be and he had a plan for us. And after much agonizing and heartache, we put our fertility situation in God’s hands…and eventually ended up being blessed with six children, the youngest of which was just born in December :) Praise God for his wisdom and faithfulness…my cup runneth over :)

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