We always made a gallon of milk last a week, but it was a pretty important item on our grocery list every time.
"We'll just have to find a way to do without milk for a week," I told them.
"God could send us milk," Kenneth said, "if we prayed for it."
And so we knelt in our dining room, and Kenneth led us in a simple prayer. "Dear God, Mom forgot to buy milk so could you send us a gallon? Thank you, and Amen." We all added our Amens and got up to continue our day.
Only a few minutes later the phone rang. I answered. It was our next door neighbor. "I don't know what I was thinking," she said, "but several days ago I stopped at the grocery store and bought a gallon of milk, I don't even like milk! I hate throwing it away, and thought I'd see if you could use it. You don't have to take it ..."
"We'd be happy to take the milk," I told her.
A few minutes later she was at the door apologizing for bothering us, but happy that we accepted the milk.
She left, and the house was filled with rejoicing at the speedy answer of prayer, and we marveled how God knew we would pray for milk and He had her buy it several days before we prayed for it and waited to give it until we did.
~~~~~All the careful budgeting, the scrimping, the saving wasn't helping much at the moment. The weather had been bad, the trees hadn't been the best quality, and the past few logging checks had reflected that. We were now faced with all the monthly payments due and we knew there was absolutely no way we could possibly pay them.
Again, we prayed, thanking Him for His provision and care for us, and presented our problem to Him and how we didn't have the money to take care of that month's bills.
We had no idea how He would answer, but trusted that one way or the other we would be okay.
That evening one of the local farmers came driving in with his cattle trailer. In the back he had twin calves; a boy and a girl. "These are so small, they're not even worth taking to the sale barn," he said. "Every one will know they're twins." (For cows, a girl/boy twin, the girl will most likely never be able to have a calf.) "I thought you might like them for your children, or do with them what you want. Sell them if you like, you might get enough to buy them each some candy." He laughed heartily.
We accepted them, and the next morning LV and Kenneth took them to the sale barn. We didn't expect much, but at this point every dollar counted.The auctioneer sold them as a pair of twins. The bidding started and kept going and going. After commission was figured off the final price and the check was in our hands we couldn't keep from praising God. It was exactly what we needed to cover our payments.
~~~~~It was fall and time to get our winter's supply of coal to heat the house. Once again we simply did not have the funds to buy coal.
As we were eating supper one evening there was a knock at the door. LV answered it and greeted the old man who was standing there.
"Sorry to bother you," he said. "I have this big pile of coal in my basement, but I'm getting too old to walk up and down the basement stairs to fire a coal furnace. I have intalled an oil furnace, and am looking for someone who could remove the coal. You can have it in return for cleaning my basement."
We accepted his offer, and spent several evenings scooping coal into buckets, dumping it on the back of our pick up and unloading it into our coal bin, and then cleaning up his basement.
We were warm and toasty all winter, and so thankful for the way God met another need.
~~~~~I could continue with many more stories of the wonderful ways God provided for us, but this post is getting too long.
Those years of living in extreme frugality were good for us. They taught us so much, and seeing prayers answered and God's provision were so faith building.
It's not that our life was sitting back, doing nothing, and expecting God would keep us fed, clothed, and warm. He did, but there were also months where we eked by, without any miraculous things happening. We learned to praise Him in everything. EVERYTHING. I really can't stress that enough. Praise God in everything! Even when it makes no sense, continue praising. In Hebrews 13 we are told to continually offer sacrifices of praise to God. If we only praise Him when we think something good happened, how is that a sacrifice? God is good all the time, and worthy of our praise ... all the time!