I bake my own bread – knead my own dough. Any kind of bread machine or mixer that could handle 4 pounds of dough at a time is too expensive for me to purchase. Plus, I get great arm muscles!
Today as I was baking 3 loaves, I thought about the fact that a year ago, I only made 2 loaves at a time, and maybe 3 years ago, only 1 loaf at a time in a bread machine, and 6 years ago I bought the 20-ingredients-you-can’t-pronounce-bread at the store that lasted for over a week in the fridge.
I like making bread. I like that it is only 6 ingredients. I like that I can nourish my 9-person family with bread for the same cost as I did 6 years ago for my 5 person family. It’s amazing how far things can stretch when you have to make them stretch.
Big families help us stretch ourselves, but not the way the world defines stretching. The world wants MORE, stretching to reach unattainable goals of treasure, power, success. But those things can be gone in the blink of an eye. Christian stretching brings forth the fruits of imagination, innovation, frugality, charity, selflessness, helpfulness, and generosity, to name a few.
There’s no room for spending money on unnecessary things, no room for unkindness, selfishness. You are required, prepared or not, to use your imagination and innovation to provide for the spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being of your family.
And it is a tremendous blessing! I’m using parts of my brain that I never had to use before, growing up in an affluent 5-person home. Strrrreeetchhh!
And my children are getting an early start on learning the benefits of stretching – serving others, offering to help when help is needed, finding fun when they’re bored, sharing and playing with younger siblings, whose age group they would never engage in public school, I might add!
The blessings of big families go on and on. Share your blessings!