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Until recently, my husband and I (especially my husband) had been frustrated by the rate at which we have been able to accomplish some of our financial goals. We made the decision once our first baby was born for me to stay home part-time, and we knew it was the right decision for us. But sometimes we would say, “Boy it would be nice to have this or that” or “imagine what we could do with another full-time income.” Levon was frustrated that he worked so hard and yet we couldn’t do all the things we watched others do, and I was frustrated that I couldn’t give him the green light all the time. I hated having to tell him, “It’s not in the budget,” especially when I felt I was the reason we didn’t have more. I’m ashamed to admit it as I look around at all our blessings, but we had become financially discontented.
So when I saw that Erin Odom (from The Humbled Homemaker) was accepting applicants for a book launch for her new book, More Than Just Making It: Hope for the Heart of the Financially Frustrated, I was all over that opportunity. I was elated when I was accepted and received a free copy of the book to review. I thought it would give me new ideas on how to improve our finances.
And it did.
But it also did so much more than that.
I was deeply affected in ways that I never even expected. I figured I would learn a few tips about frugal living. What I didn’t see coming was the change it made in how I viewed our lives, God’s provision, and the people living around me.
It opened my eyes like never before to God’s provision in our lives. And this fresh recognition of his blessings in our lives actually made me want to be a blessing to others. Whereas in the past I had been more wrapped up in our own financial position, after reading this book I began to actively seek out ways I could be a conduit for God’s provision to other people.
When I started the book, I assumed my path to becoming less “financially frustrated” would be through tips on frugality or income generation. And this book has plenty of those to share. Great ones, in fact, that will bless you tremendously. However, much to my surprise, the cure for my financial discontent was actually found in learning to recognize God’s provision and being grateful for what I already have.
I am not exaggerating when I say this book changed my life, and I believe it will for you, too. Whether you’re struggling to get by and you’re desperate for help, or you’re on solid financial ground but searching for more, More Than Just Making It is a book that will change you from the inside out.
What’s It All About?
More Than Just Making It is, in Erin’s own words, part memoir, part practical help guide for the financially frustrated. It is the story of how she and her family found themselves in a very bleak financial season and how they scratched and clawed their way out, trusting God through it all. It is encouragement for anyone finding themselves in lean times, not knowing where to turn. And it is a practical guide for anyone wanting to learn how to better manage their money.
Erin’s story may sound very familiar to you, or it may shed a new light on a story you thought you already knew. But I can promise you, it will impact you in some way.
I’ve had the privilege of being on the book launch team, and that means listening to a lot of other readers’ reactions to the book. I’ve seen many ladies saying things like, “Thank you for giving me the courage to ask for help,” or “I have felt so alone in my struggles and now I don’t.” By sharing her story, Erin is going to help hundreds of people across the country conquer the shame of saying, “I need help.”
However, mine was a very different response. As I stated at the beginning, going into this book I thought I was financially frustrated. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have what the X’s have,” or “If only I didn’t have to watch our budget so much.”
As I started reading Erin’s story, however, my eyes were opened. I read the first several chapters with my mouth agape and my hand clutching my heart. I couldn’t even imagine being in her position. The fear, the anxiety, the struggle. I read so many quotes to my husband that he basically read the book himself. I said to him at one point, through tears and a broken voice, “Levon. We don’t even know how good we have it. We are not struggling. This is struggling.” I was deeply convicted of just how ungrateful and ignorant we had been of our many blessings. And how little we had been trusting God to take care of all our needs.
No part of the book inspired me more than the chapter called “Persimmons and Provisions.” The title of the chapter comes from a story she tells of receiving a free box of persimmons that she used to make muffins for her little girls during a time when food was a precious commodity. She uses the story as an example of the many unique ways that she saw God provide for their needs. They may not have had all their wants, but they had everything they needed.
That chapter really touched my heart and opened my eyes to the ways that God works in our lives every day. It made me realize that I had been taking credit for many times that it was God, not me, providing for my needs. As Erin says, “When we choose to believe events like these are simply coincidences or somehow our own doing, we fail to credit the One who has orchestrated our entire lives…”
Erin’s story and her words caused me to start looking at happy little “coincidences” in new light, and I am now quicker to thank the One who placed them in my path. I am also quicker to be the “persimmons” to others. You never know what your gift is going to mean to the one to whom it is given.
Would I Recommend It?
YES! A thousand times yes. And I’m not just saying that because I’m on her book launch team. I mean it with complete sincerity because I know how this book affected me and the many others I have gotten to know in the book launch group.
Who Would Benefit From This Book?
There are books that I read that I would recommend to specific groups of people but not necessarily to others. Some people I know would greatly benefit from them, whereas others could probably pass.
This is not one of those books. This is a book that would benefit many different people in many different stages, seasons, and circumstances of life.
Here are a few examples:
- Those who know they need to curb their spending, but can’t seem to reverse the cycle.
- Those who have cut their budget everywhere they can, but still struggle to make ends meet.
- Those who need help but are too ashamed to ask for it.
- Those who have a healthy bank account but know they could steward their money more wisely.
- Those who have big financial goals they would like to achieve.
- Those who have prejudice or judgments against those on the welfare system.
- Those who are afraid to be generous to others for fear of not having enough themselves.
- Those who are tired of struggling to get ahead.
- Those who doubt that God hears their prayers or meets their needs.
- Basically … everyone!
This is a book that will be many different things to different people. For some it will be the ticket out of financial bondage they thought would enslave them forever. For others, like me, it will be a revelation that will rip off the blinders that have kept them from recognizing their blessings.
Though I initially began this book thinking the key to becoming less “financially frustrated” would be learning how to save more or earn more, it turns out it’s actually learning how to be grateful for what I already have. And I have Erin and this book to thank for forever curing my financial discontent.
You Might Also Enjoy:
- How Gratitude Changes Everything
- How I’m Going to Rock Our Finances in April
- 8 Simple Ways to Save Serious Cash
- The Decision That May Have Saved Our Marriage