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Necessity Is The Mother of Invention: Living Naturally on a Budget

by Landon Gilfillan on December 15, 2013

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Necessity is the mother of invention

For those of you who know me well or who have been following my blog, you know what things I value:  Nourishing my family with wholesome, healthy foods, keeping a clean and organized home free of chemicals and clutter, and continuing on this journey of grace God has given me.

You may also know the roadblocks I have faced in the last year or so, to include newfound food allergies and illnesses with my children, very tight budget restraints, and the fight to keep my head above water as I learned to reconfigure my thinking, my skills, and my knowledge base as it related to these very things.

A key phrase I have come to know all to well is, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”  Whoever spoke those original words set a precedence for those of us who face circumstances that seem less-than-appealing.  In fact, they look downright depressing and impossible!

But the truth this anonymous person knew was that if there is a will, there is a way!  Praise God that through many different factors and forces, I found my way through what seemed like a vast wilderness!

To Struggle is To Grow

I have faced lean and difficult times at different points in my life, but I don’t know if they hold a candle to what I’ve faced this past year, financially and personally.

What made this struggle so different was that my decisions, my mindset and my actions did not only affect me, but my family as well, and this changes things.

This can make a difficult situation weightier.  It can put pressure on you that you cannot bear alone, and rightly, you should not.  I am reminded of a verse that I held close to my heart during these times.

“Cast your burdens on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.”  Psalm 55:22

There is so much truth in this verse!  I have struggled for so long to find my way through all the past year has presented, but God held me steady.

Though I faced depression and failure, I never hit rock bottom.  Though I threatened to give up cooking (and more), there was always someone there to persuade me otherwise.  Though I saw many sides of myself I didn’t like, God showed me grace.

He never let me forget that He created me with a purpose and a plan, even though at times I viewed my life as miniscule and unimportant.

I am so thankful for this time of struggle!!  I know it sounds weird, but it has allowed me to come to a place that I would not have found otherwise.  I have new skills, new knowledge, a renewed vision, and the confidence to press on towards the goals and values I have always held so fiercely.

And this is just how God works!  He allows us to struggle, to fight desperation, to think there is no way out of our situation.  Then He slowly begins to reveal hope, to strengthen us in our weakness, to place people in our lives that encourage us, and to open our eyes to truth.

I have many people to thank, but mainly Hubby, who continued to encourage me even in my lowest, not-so-pretty moments.  I know God used him to speak truth to me, and his words were always the same, “You have many gifts and talents, Landon, and I have no doubt that you can find a way to make this work.”

Seems simple enough, but knowing Hubby believed in me fueled me to not give up.  And as frustrating as it was sometimes, he did not enable me or make excuses for me when I struggled to believe in myself.  He just continued to press me to figure it out.

While he definitely gave me some ideas and strategy, the bulk of the work, the research, and the endless searching and experimenting came from me.

See, I Am Doing A New Thing!

“See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up [begins]; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:19

So, what is my new thing, you ask?  The fusion all my passions, all my knowledge and my skills into a full-fledged effort to provide the things I desire most for my family on a budget:

  1. Healthy, wholesome foods, to include organic fare, locally purchased and raised foods, and unprocessed real foods
  2. Natural, green cleaners (that work) devoid of all the chemicals and junk that have taken over the store shelves
  3. Natural personal care products that not only help me look good (hee hee) but will give my family a break from the chemical burden they face on a daily basis.

God knew long before I did that my background in nutrition and cooking, my love of all things green and natural, and my deep-seeded determination to do all that I can to nourish and protect my family would play a large role in this turnaround.

It was His sovereign work that put everything and everyone in order and allowed me to sing this new song!

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”  I state it again because this truth is what drove me to realize that everything God has equipped me with over the past fifteen to twenty years are all coming together to allow me to keep our home running in a way that is helpful to our current budget and in line with our ideals.

I’m known for saying, “God is in the details,” and this is just another example to prove it is true!

So, over the next few weeks, and probably months, I want to share with you the things that I have done to cut spending, cut chemicals and cut chaos out of our home.

Topics To Look For

Homemade Food Items:  This includes condiments, dressings, sauces, spreads, and a number of other things you would generally buy in the store but can make at home.

Homemade Green Cleaners:  This includes commonly used items such as dish soap, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, hand soap, all-purpose cleaners and more.

Homemade Personal Care Items:  Deodorant, makeup, hair color, hair spray, toothpaste, shampoo and baby care products and, yes, more.

I will link to these pages as I publish them.  But for now, check out my Pinterest Page where most of these items are posted.

How has the phrase “Necessity is the mother of invention” played out in your life?

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