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. My Mother raised 4 children on her income alone. No matter what she always gave her tithes. We never went hungry. She trusted God for everything! SOOOO thankful for her! Now she is a wonderful grandmother. Teaching her grandchildren & great grandchildren about God.

  2. I have been saved for 15 years now! However, my faith was put to the test 5 years ago. When my son was 3 months old we found out my husband had cancer. The next several years were really hard on us. We were struggling with being new parents, finances, family illnesses and with being married. We were at our breaking point. We were even talking about separating. But, I knew in my heart that was not what God had planned for us. I prayed harder than I ever prayed before and leaned on God more than I ever had before. I am happy to now give God all the honor and glory when I say that my husband has been cancer free for 5 years now and we are fixing to HAPPILY celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary!!!

  3. My husband and I have been experiencing the adventure of trusting God to provide in a new way for several years now. It was not what we would have chosen for ourselves, but it was what God allowed. He has continually, consistently been faithful to supply our daily needs. He is always faithful!

  4. I watch my mother-in-love live by faith every day. She’s my Bible study teacher,
    2nd mom, and an amazing lover of Jesus. It doesn’t matter what life throws her way, she knows the Lord is her strength. My faith & basic knowledge of how to follow the Lord could certainly use some major increase. I want so badly to obey the Lord
    & be a faithful servant.

  5. God has strengthen my faith in many life experiences. In the 1980’s we had to make a move because my husband was in the military. Our home had not sold so we had a house payment and rent payment, on paper their was no way we would have enough income, but God provided and it was during this time of our life that God convicted us to tithe. His ways are not our ways, but He knows best We started tithing during a time with the least amount of extra income to spend. God has been faithful!

  6. We’ve lived this past year in faith dealing with surgery and treatment for cancer. God has been so faithful! We’ve seen His hand at every step and continue to be amazed at the work He is doing.

  7. What a heart-warming example of living out God’s love! Many blessings and prayers for you both.

  8. Thanks for the encouragement Sharon. I always enjoy the encouragement that you give. For several years now, I have had to live in faith concerning my living conditions and finances. About 3 1/2 years ago, my husband lost his job so we made the decision to move into a tiny three room apartment that we owned. During this time, my husband has dealt with a lot of health issues, including diabetes and complications which means he has suffered with heart problems (2 hospitalizations for heart problems), vision problems, and kidney problems. He has been on dialysis for about a year and has been told that one kidney has a tumor and needs to be removed. During all of this, he couldn’t work so is on disability. I have been looking for work and am still looking! We intended to live in this apartment (3 of us) for about six months and are still here over 3 years later! Anyway, God has been extremely faithful by providing for us in every way imaginable! My faith has been tested in a number of ways but I am still believing for my husband’s healing, for my employment, and a new spacious place to live! God bless

  9. Every day as a parent of a teenager I am living on faith. Learning to let go and getting closer to praying that his heart would be for The Lord whatever it takes. Thank you everyone for sharing your faith stories!

  10. When my husband and I were first married, neither of us was working and my daughter was 6. I had just given my life to the Lord and had not had time to let the world interfere with my faith and I trusted Him completely. Friends from church gave us bibles with money in them, cards with money in them, came by and left groceries on our front porch, just happened to have clothes that fit us and that they never wore… etc, etc, etc. God is my all and all!

  11. My husband had a serious back injury and was unable to work for 1.5 years. Our children were 5 and 7 at the time. He had a long recovery time. That was a time of GREAT dependence on God. He was so faithful to supply our needs with financial gifts from friends, food donations and even medical financial blessings, that I know were from the hand of God. It was very scary for me to watch my husband so hurt, not knowing what our future would look like and what his healing would be like and how we would make it financially. He has some residual back pain but is able to work full time – we witnessed the loving hand of our Father caring for us deeply during that time.

  12. Four years ago I was laid off from my job that I had worked for 10 years. I worked several part times jobs to help pay bills. No health insurance for me and my husband. Living on Faith during this time. The Lord provided good health while without insurance. The following year I got a full time job and health insurance was paid and provided for me.

  13. Hearing stories of amazing faith reminds how our God truly can do the impossible and will unwaveringly walk by our sides no matter what! I have been blessed to experience God’s remarkable love recently when I was displaced out of one job and put into another job within the time span of a month. I found that the only way to move forward was going to be through God who truly does strengthen me. Throughout this difficult situation I was given the gift of of true joy which came from turning and trusting in my Almighty Father. I have continued to be blessed by His grace and unconditional love.

  14. I can’t tell you how much I admire this couple’s strength and commitment!! Both of those things are required to live on faith. I have been doing this since July 6, 2008, when my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. My mother went to be with Jesus in July of 2001. The last thing she said to me was “take care of your daddy for me”. I promised her i would, never imagining all that that would entail. I was adopted by my parents at 5 days old and they raised me to love the Lord. I came to know Him through them. He also knew that they would need me. He supplied our needs during my mother’s illness, when I quit my teaching job to stay at home and help my dad care for her. My son was three at the time. God has been providing for my family’s needs again, as I again quit my teaching job two years ago when my father’s conditioned worsened. I’m all he has. I joke that i’m his brain; we just travel in separate bodies. This has been a long road, yet God has continually provided. Dad is now in a facility and they’ve given him six months and hospice has been called in. God has provided so much peace for me in the past month. He knows as a daddy’s girl, letting go is hard. He is also providing His strength and love, knowing that once my daddy goes to be with my mom and Jesus, i’ll still be a Daddy’s girl…Abba’s girl.

  15. My husband has had cancer 4 times in 20 plus years. In the last few months, we have been tested with 2 separate cancer scares. Even in my fear that he could have it again in 2 different locations, I kept telling the Lord how I trusted Him….over and over. He is all I can count on.

  16. Going through 2 international adoptions was definitely a time when my faith was grown and where God proved himself faithful!

  17. We lived by faith when our youngest was born and went through hip dysplasia treatment with weekly appointments and accompanying co-pays and then went right into it again with our oldest having open heart surgery at 4 and a half. God’s provision was incredible.

  18. I am living on faith right now since July 2012 because I have been looking for a full-time job since that time. The job market these days is very hard and unpredictable. I have been on interviews but not getting any offers like I used to without any problems. I am lucky and blessed to still have my part-time independent contracting position. I would be having a difficult time if I was not living with my relative. I miss working because I love the interaction with others and working hard at my job. I pray God will answer my prayers soon if it is in His will. He knows how much I love to work and count on that paycheck for a living. With God, I always manage to find a way since I am relying on my faith to see me through this problem and any other one that I face in life.

  19. My uncle is living on faith as he had a stroke 6 months ago and cannot work. He is fighting for disability and paying for cobra insurance with no income. We are living in faith that God will bless him
    In health & finances . God is great!

  20. Right now, trusting day by day, hour by hour. Mother is on hospice with pancreatic cancer. Daughter pushed into divorce she did not want, 2 precious grandsons having very hard time understanding why dad is now living with the person that was moms best friend. So much pain & sadness. Just continue every morning to trust God to plan & give me the strength to get thru each day. Thank you God for your continual blessings to provide exactly what we need each day

  21. Lord, I lift up this wonderful couple, Lane and Emily, to you. May you continue to bless them with your loving presence, comforting them and meeting their every need. Continue to grow their faith and use them as a shining light to draw others to you.

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