Friday, December 12, 2008

Dude, Where's My Car?

Well friends, I'm sorry I have been pretty non-existent on here for a few weeks. Between Thanksgiving, a wedding (my sister-in-law's) and going out of my house one morning only to find that my car had been's been an insane (but good!) couple of weeks. Honestly, I should have known it was coming. After reading Rabbi Lazer Brody's Garden of Emuna, I have been praying for HaShem to increase my emuna (faith) through the situations in my life. It sure has been a wild (but good!) ride, and I'm excited to see what HE has in store for us next. He is so good, so faithful and amazing. I'll be back soon, but check out my archives if you want! Miss you all!

P.S. Don't worry...He hasn't left me high and dry as a strict pedestrian! My awesome co-workers and husband have graciously been making sure I get around! I was even able to sneak in a CVS run this week to get the 15 ProMax bars for free...Yummy!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Five Reasons I ♥ the Sabbath!

This is our table one Friday evening before we ushered in the Shabbat.

1. God made it for us!
After He created us, what did He do next? He created the Sabbath, by resting Himself. Also in Mark 2, Yeshua literally said that Shabbat was made for man. It is His gift to us, and we should enjoy it!
2. We need it!
Studies have shown, and it's just plain common sense, that human beings need a "day of rest" every week. If you think about it, God could have made our bodies so that we didn't need rest or sleep. He could have made us so that we were able to just go, go, go 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. BUT, He didn't. He created us so that our bodies, our souls, our minds all needed a physical, spiritual and mental break.
3. It's something to look forward to.
All week long people say, "Is it Friday yet?" I kind of laugh to myself because they don't know it, but they are longing for the Sabbath as well. The rabbis say that starting Saturday evening immediately after the Sabbath, we should begin preparing for the next one. I heard a story about a lady who after every Havdalah (conclusion service of the Sabbath) would scurry to the kitchen to begin cleaning her Sabbath candlesticks for the next week. I, myself, remember the first time our family celebrated the Shabbat. I think I was around 8 or 9, but it is such a vivid memory. Immediately after the Sabbath meal on Friday evening, my sister and I begged our parents, "Can we do this again next week?"
4. It's a holiday, only every week!
If you ever get the chance to go to my parents' house for a Shabbat dinner, I highly recommend it. My dad has this theory that the more people they have for Shabbat, the better; the more food for Shabbat, the better. So basically, it is like celebrating Thanksgiving dinner with your family and friends every Friday night. It's not only fun, but a great way to bond as a family. We eat (of course!), sing songs, talk about the Bible, and just enjoy each other. It truly is a beautiful time.
5. It's a rehearsal.
One of the words God uses in the Torah for Shabbat is mikrah, which can be translated as "a rehearsal." What are we rehearsing for? The Seventh "Day", that is, the time when Messiah returns! Remember His words in John 9, "Night is coming, when no one can work." Some rabbis have said that we are entering in to the "Friday afternoon" of God's timeline. It's time for us to work like never before, to be prepared for the "Yom Shekulo Shabbat" (the Day that is ALL Sabbath) that is coming.
Those are just a few reasons I LOVE the Sabbath. If you want to read more about how my family celebrates, go here. How about you? I'd love to hear how others enjoy God's special day!

Friday, November 14, 2008

For Many Shall Come in My Name...

Matthew 24:5 - Do NOT be deceived!

It seems like everyone is talking about it. "The Messiah's coming, the Messiah's coming!" Actually, there's an elderly lady at my synagogue that asks me every Shabbat, "Is the Messiah coming soon?" "I hope so," is my reply every time. And now, I really do mean it. When I was younger, I used to think (which I'm kind of ashamed to admit now), "I hope Moshiach doesn't come until after I get married, or have kids, etc." But now, I really do mean it. If he came today, that would be A-OK with me!

Today I read an interesting article by Rabbi Lazer Brody here that really encouraged me. I like the fact that there is much rabbinic disdain for trying to speculate about specific details of the Messiah's arrival. I like that he encourages "simple and innocent faith" that Messiah IS coming. Read his article and let me know what you think!

Picture available at

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Romans 14

"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. "

If you've ever wondered what exactly Shaul (Paul) is talking about in this passage, I just read this very interesting and thought-provoking post on The Emergent Observer. Check it out!

Yet Another Reason I May Go Vegetarian

As if soaring prices alone weren't enough to convince me to go completely veggie, I just read this eye-opening post at Fresh Thoughts from the Laundry Room. If you want to read more about Kosher eating, go to my post here.

Picture available at

Where Have I Been???

I'm so sorry about my non-existence on here for the past week. In addition to my normal semi-hectic schedule, I had dental implant surgery done on Monday and have just not felt like being on the computer beyond the 8 hours at work. Honestly, the surgery itself did not hurt that much (probably less than my botched root canal a few years ago), but I think I should take it easy so that it all heals up quickly. Actually, only phase one of the implant is done, which is the titanium screw. The crown will be attached in about two months. I'm just so thankful that I didn't have to get a bridge. I feel like I'm too young for that! : )
I'm starting to wonder how women who have children do all of this. I'm tired enough after waking early and going to work and then coming home and cooking dinner and washing dishes and doing laundry! Blogging is fun for me, and I love reading other blogs but sometimes it just seems like there aren't enough hours in the day. I know I shouldn't worry. When God decides to bless my husband and me with a child, HE alone will give me the strength to be able to do it all. It's just that sometimes I feel guilty for feeling overwhelmed, and there's only two of us. I just want to be faithful with what God has given me responsibility for thus far. Does anyone else ever feel this way?

Monday, November 3, 2008

One of My Favorite Things...

Have you tried the new Sharpie Mini? I got one about a year ago, and seriously I love this thing. I take it with me EVERYWHERE. And now, people have caught on. They always want to use it! "Jen, can I use your Sharpie Mini?" I'm not getting paid to say this...although if the Sharpie company would like to pay me I would not object. I don't know if this love for my mini-marker makes me a nerd. If it does, so be it. I heart my Sharpie Mini. really did make my day yesterday when I got
two Sharpie Mini's for FREE at Publix!

Whoo hoo!

What's your favorite thing? Check out Fiddledeedee for more favorite things of the week!

My Favorite Publix Deals of the Week!

I didn't get a picture from my Publix trip yesterday, but here are my favorite deals for this week (until Wednesday night in my corner of the world):

Ziploc Easy Zipper Bags with Fresh Shield (various sizes) - on sale 2/$3.00
- Used $1/1 coupons found on displays in many local Publix stores. Makes each box 50 cents each!

Green Giant Steamers Frozen Vegetables - on sale 50% off
Used $1/1 coupons here (Thanks Sarah!) Made each bag of veggies 19 cents each!

Solo Grips Plastic Cups/Plates - Buy One, Get One Free $4.69.
No coupons, but I needed these for Thanksgiving, and I was so excited about the bonus FREE mini-Sharpies inside that it definitely was a good deal!

However, my ABSOLUTE favorite deal was my FREE Yoplait yogurt thanks to the Publix Promise! The sign on the shelf read $2.50, but they scanned $2.59 (I guess the price is going up!). So of course, I quickly pointed it out to my friendly cashier. Yay for free yogurt!

Wanna be a Publix Super Saver? Head back to Fiddledeedee for more great Publix deals this week!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Keeping Lean (and Green!) on a Lean Budget

Yesterday I read a slightly disturbing article on MSNBC entitled "Surprise: Lean times may actually make you fat." Basically the article was saying that during times of economic slowdowns, Americans tend to rely more on "comfort food" and low-quality food, such as "dollar-menu" fast food. Well, after reading it, I thought more about it and how by reading some wonderful blogs I have actually begun eating healthier and less expensively. Here are a few key ideas I've learned recently:
1) At the grocery store, shop mostly from the "perimeter." Think about it, most of the natural, whole foods are located around the outside walls - fruits, veggies, dairy products, fresh meats. Most of the processed, "unnatural" foods are in the middle.
2) Look for seasonal produce that is marked-down. This goes without saying, but right now in the end of October is probably not the best time to be buying tomatoes. However, apples are so cheap around here right now. Be flexible with your taste buds and try new fruit and vegetables!
3) Find a farmer's market or similar place to get really cheap produce. I always used to buy all my produce from the regular grocery store. But a good friend has been prompting me to try a local farmer's market, which I finally did. Wow! Not only were the prices good, but the quality was even better than that of the grocery store produce!
4) Check out sales and coupons for Organic products. You can find coupons for many organic products at Mambo Sprouts and Sarah at Fiddledeedee always has great organic deals posted on her blog.
5) Be creative with "comfort" foods. Just gotta have some homemade cookies? Throw some whole grains (oatmeal, flax, bran, etc.) and some fruit (raisins, cranberries, etc.) in there INSTEAD of chocolate chips. Make baked apples or grill some fresh pineapple. I have the worst sweet tooth ever - but now I am learning to satisfy it in much better ways. Better yet - don't run to food for comfort at all...crack open your Bible and pray to your Heavenly Father. He knows what we are all going through at this season.
Just because our budgets are tighter (or we are simply starting to budget!) doesn't mean we are left to Mac N Cheese and Ramen noodles! We just have to be a little creative and resourceful.
Anyone got any other tips? I'd love to hear them!
Want more Frugal Friday ideas? Head back to Biblical Womanhood.
Picture available at

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Foolish Man Builds His House Upon the Sand

This picture was taken a few days ago on the island where I grew up. It is still amazing to me to think that I lived my entire life on this tiny little barrier island that is less than a quarter mile wide in some places.
When I was a little girl, my mom taught me a little song that goes like this:
The wise man built his house upon the rock.
The wise man built his house upon the rock.
The wise man built his house upon the rock,
And the rains came tumbling down.
The rains came down, and the floods rose up.
The rains came down, and the floods rose up.
The rains came down, and the floods rose up.
But the house on the rock stood firm.
The foolish man built his house upon the sand.
The foolish man built his house upon the sand.
The foolish man built his house upon the sand.
And the rains came tumbling down.
The rains came down, and the floods rose up.
The rains came down, and the floods rose up.
The rains came down, and the floods rose up.
And the house on the sound fell down. CRASH!
After singing this song a few times, I got to thinking..."Mom, why is our house built on the sand like the foolish man? If a hurricane comes, our house could go CRASH???" My patient mom would then try to explain how the "stilts" that our house sat upon actually were dug very deep into the sand, so our house shouldn't go anywhere.
Well, as I was reading the Torah portion this week, I was struck by how much I feel like Noah's family at this time. There's so much going on around us - the economic crisis, a crazy election process for our nation, a "holiday" that exhorts witchcraft and paganism, just to name a few. In the midst of all this confusion where even fellow believers seem to be "going with the flow" of society, following God's Word can definitely make you stick out like that proverbial old sore thumb.
However, as we read about Noah and his family, it's comforting to know that most of the time the people who ARE following the Scriptures ARE different. And that is simply because the Word of God has not, does not, and will not ever change. It is that Rock spoken of by Yeshua in Matthew 7. Yes, in this world it is popular to be flexible, to be fluid, to be like "shifting sands." "The Constitution is living," they say. "It is to be interpreted differently with the times."
It's time for the people of God to be unpopular. To do hard things. To be different. To be built on the Rock and not on the sand. I will not apologize for offending anyone. I'm not being judgmental. God is the Judge of all. He alone judges me and everyone else in the world. However, we can know how to please Him - we just need to look in the Book!
As you read the Torah portion for this week, be sure to check out Matthew 7 along with it.
Shabbat Shalom!
In case you were wondering, read "Do Jews Celebrate Halloween?" here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Man Shall Not Live by Bread Alone

...But by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God!

This week was the celebration of Simchat Torah, which means "Rejoicing of the Torah." We take the Torah scroll out of the ark and lay it out for all to see. Then it is reversed and the rolled the opposite way so that we can start all over at B'resheit, Genesis.

Simchat Torah is one of the most joyous holidays, and for that reason, one of my personal favorites. As I watch people dance around in ecstasy carrying the Torah, it is a feeling that I cannot even describe! It's a fresh feeling of starting all over, that as we march through God's calendar again this coming year and read through the Torah as a community, things will change. That somehow next year will be different, better. It's knowing that God's Word is His love letter to all of us. It's the complete feeling of trusting in Him.

Yes, storms may come - hurricanes, economic downturns, political unrest...but the peace of knowing God and trusting in His Divine Providence will see us through.

Would you like to join us this year as we read through the Torah? This week's portion is B'resheit (Genesis 1:1 - 6:8). is a wonderful new website that always has all the information on the weekly portion as well!

"Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts." Jeremiah 15:16 (KJV)
Picture available at

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

When You Don't Get What You Deserve...

Question for my wonderful blogging (or non-blogging) friends...

What would do you do when a merchant does not deliver what was promised?

Back in late May of this year (2008), my husband and I booked a hotel room with a major online travel agent. When we did so, we used a coupon code (advertised on the travel agent's website) to receive a $50 gas card back in the mail.

Here's the actual terms and conditions of the coupon code from my confirmation email:

1. Offer valid only for bookings of a stand-alone hotel stay of at least three (3) nights made between May 19, 2008 and July 6, 2008, with stays completed by September 1, 2008. A "booking" is a stay of consecutive nights in one room at the same property, booked at the same time on the same credit card. Package bookings are not eligible. 2. You must book and prepay on or through the Contact Center at 1-800-246-8357. Offer is not valid for bookings made on any non-U.S. domain, including, but not limited, to or . 3. Offer only applicable for those properties covered by the Price Match Guarantee located at Bookings at the following brand is not eligible: Marriott. 4. $50 gas card will be mailed to the billing address used for the booking within 30 days of your completed stay. 5. $50 gas card will be mailed to US and Canadian addresses only. 6. Limit: one (1) gas card per booking. 7. Not valid with any other coupon offer. 8. Not redeemable for cash. 9. Offer good while supplies last. 10. Offer may be revoked without notice at any time. Void where prohibited.
As you probably guessed, we still have NOT received our gas card despite at least 3 phone calls and 3 emails to customer care. Every time I communicate with them, they assure me that my gas card is being expedited. I'm very frustrated.

However, I also believe Romans 8:28 - "In ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." I pray that whatever He is trying to teach me through this situation, I will learn. Patience and longsuffering, perhaps?

So, I'm interested, what would you do?
Picture from

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Modesty Survey The Modesty Survey

Hello everyone! It's been so long! Well, as you have probably assumed, I have been enjoying a very "full" life during this wonderful holiday season. I hope to get back to our regular schedule here very soon!

I was doing a little reading today, and I ran across The Modesty Survey. Let me tell you...very interesting stuff. Modesty is something that is very near and dear to my heart, although I have shyed away from talking about it a lot on here. I feel like I tend to get "preachy" when I talk about it, since the "rules" of modesty are not hard-and-fast rules at all. However, the survey has very interesting results, and I just wanted to give you the link in case you might be interested! Enjoy!

I'm over at my parents' house for the weekend, enjoying their sukkah, but I'll be back soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Quick Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Links...

Hey folks, high holiday season is a doozy isn't it? Whew! Well, I'm headed out to our congregation's opening service for the Feast of Tabernacles, but I wanted to give you a few links to click through while I'm gone.

First of all, read Leviticus 23. Tonight (Oct. 13) at sundown is the first day of Sukkot (Tabernacles).

Here's the links:
Introduction to Sukkot (Messianic Jewish Musings)

Gimme Shelter (Searching for Bright Light)

Camping Out (Tammy's Recipes)

Sukkot: A Feast of the Lord (Femininity in a Feminist World)

Download a Free Torah Reading Schedule for 5769

Be back soon!

Picture courtesy of Yeshuat Yisrael.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Creating/Maintaining a Kitchen Stockpile

The number one most important thing I have learned from my year of becoming a frugal shopper is to create and maintain a stockpile. Now, don't think that I mean you must have a large amount of room and you have to have enough canned goods to last you for two years. My husband and I live in a 2 bedroom condo that has just enough space at the present. However, I have learned in the past year to keep my kitchen (and household!) running smoothly, it really helps to have a small stockpile.

First: Create a list of the products/recipes you use most.
For example, here's some of ours:
- Whole grain Pasta
- Brown Rice
- Beans
- Tomato sauce
- Chicken
- Frozen vegetables
- Taco shells
- Almond milk
- Oatmeal
- Raisins
- Extra virgin olive oil
Et cetera...I think you get the point.

Second: Make a habit of collecting coupons for those items.
Whether you subscribe to the Sunday paper or have your neighbors and friends give you their leftover inserts, find a way to get coupons for cheap.

Third: Begin to watch the grocery store flyers for sales of those items. Try to match coupons with sales.
I have to be honest. I am pretty much stuck on one grocery store (Publix). Usually, I do not venture outside of that place; however, I do keep my eye on the sales of other stores. Why? It teaches me what really is a good price for something and what is not. Publix has a great number of Buy One Get One Free products every week. When my stockpile items are on BOGO, I grab my coupons (always use 2 coupons for BOGO's!) and "stock up!"

This "mini-stockpiling" has saved us in the long run, and cuts down on the number of trips to the grocery store. Gone are the days of, "We don't have anything for dinner!" Also gone are the days of paying full price for items that were on sale just last week. If I want something and ran out, most of the time I make myself wait until it's on sale again. Publix seems to run the BOGO's on a fairly short cycle (I'm assuming the other stores do too).

For more great Kitchen Tip Tuesday ideas, see Tammy's blog.

Picture from Healthline.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Floating Bagels

"Who is a God like You, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of His inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea."

This past week we celebrated Yom Teruah (the Biblical name for Rosh Hashanah in Leviticus 23). One of the traditions of this day is to hold a "Tashlich" service, which is based on the scripture from the prophet Micah (7:18 -19) above. In this service, the participants throw stones or bread into a body of water to remember that God does essentially the same as He forgives our sin. It's usually a very short service (at least the ones I've attended) and is usually not belabored because there is a traditionally a mouth-watering holiday dinner waiting at home.

This year something a little unique happened at our service, and I thought I would share it with my precious readers. Usually on Shabbat (Saturday) we have bagels for oneg. Tons of bagels. So on the Shabbat preceding the holiday, I decided to save some of the bags of leftover bagels for the Tashlich service. When Tuesday came around, those bagels were quite hard. So I thought they would be a good mix of rocks and/or bread!

When I got to the water, I started handing out the bagels to the people who hadn't brought anything to throw. Now, it had never entered my mind that people would throw the entire bagel into the water. But alas, that's what everyone did. When I got to the water's edge, I couldn't believe my eyes...about a dozen bagels floating on the water! I wish I could have taken a picture to share with you; it was quite a sight!

Of course, there is some spiritual application to this story. Sometimes I pray and repent of a certain sin, but I don't forgive myself. I accept God's forgiveness of my sin, but I leave it floating there on the top of the water. The sight I saw this Rosh Hashanah was one that will stay with me for some time to come. We have to remember that when God forgives's over! Let it go! The Scripture says He throws into the DEPTHS of the sea. Don't allow the enemy to trick you into "floating your sins" so that you can live in guilt. God has forgiven us much, so we must do for others...including ourselves!

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Favorite Publix Deal this Week: Almond Milk!

I know this isn't a weekly deal at Publix (it's an Advantage Buy special that's good for a few weeks), but it really is exciting for me (it doesn't take much!).

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze almond milk is on sale for 2 for $5. Add in the abundant $1 coupons (recent inserts, blinkies in Publix) and you've got yourself a half gallon of almond milk for $1.50!

My husband and I found that we LOVE this stuff, even more than soy milk. The half gallons are refridgerated in the organic section of Publix.

Give it a try!

For more Publix deals, be sure to check out Fiddledeedee. Sarah is one amazing woman!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Feast of Trumpets

Ahh, the Feast of Trumpets, also known as Yom Teruah, also known as Rosh HaShanah, also known as the Jewish New Year, also known as the Day of the Blowing of the Shofar, also known as the Birthday of the World, also known as the first of the "High Holy Days"...well, I think you get the point. A day known by any other name will still be as sweet!

Yes, this Biblical holiday is known by many names. From that perspective, one might draw the conclusion that this is a holiday that the Bible has a lot to speak. Actually, that is not the case. Yom Teruah, as it is called in Leviticus 23 (God's calendar), is spoken of only briefly throughout the entire Bible.

Here's what we do know about this holy day from Leviticus 23:

- It is to be celebrated on the 1st day of the 7th month (Tishri 1).

- It is to be a "day of complete rest."

- You are to have a "holy convocation."

- You are to sound the shofar, a ram's horn.

- You are to present an offering made by fire.

Sounds like a party, right? No work? Blowing horns? I'm there!

Here's how we celebrate Yom Teruah, 21st century style:

- Taking off a day or two from our occupations. Yes, people that follow the Biblical holidays do end up using quite a bit of PTO on these holidays.

- Going to synagogue or meeting with fellow believers (our version of a "holy convocation"). This is the time when people that you never see at synagogue decide to show up and have their annual rendezvous with God. Which is better than never, in my opinion. When God makes a few dates with you, at least keep one or two.

- Praying special prayers and singing special songs. The prayers and songs of this day focus on God as King, beautified by rich melodies.

- Having a big meal. This, of course, is the Biblical way to celebrate anything. Ok, maybe not Biblical. But the People of the Book sure do enjoy a good feast! Hey, they aren't called the Feasts of the LORD for nothing! We eat things like roast chicken or turkey, kugel, that stuff I'll never like called gefilte fish, tzimmes (think honey glazed carrots with prunes and other yummy stuff), honey cake and of course APPLES AND HONEY. I cannot overemphasize how important apples and honey are to the modern Rosh HaShanah festivities. You see, the theme of the day is "Have a SWEET New Year."

L'Shana Tovah! For a good new year!
For more on Rosh HaShanah, go here.

*Congratulations to our winners for the Rosh HaShanah giveaway:
1st prize = babybeth07
2nd prize = wendymom
Thanks for participating ladies!

Publix Rosh HaShanah Deals!

Have a frugal Biblical holiday...with a little help from our friends at Publix! Here are the deals you can get this week that relate to traditional Rosh HaShanah foods:

Streit's Matzo Ball Soup Mix - BOGO (2 for $2.59)

Empire Kosher Turkey - $1.89/lb.

Manichewitz Noodles - 2 for $3.00 Perfect for noodle kugel!

Manichewitz Wine - 2 for $7.00

Publix Baby Cut and Peeled Carrots - BOGO (1, 2 or 3 lb. bags) Perfect for tzimmes!

Royal Gala Apples - $1.29/lb. Gotta have apples and honey!

Round Challah Bread - $2.49

Chinet Classic White Plates - BOGO (2 for $6.39) My Publix also has 75 cent off blinkies for the Chinet...use 2 coupons and get 2 for $4.89!

For more Rosh HaShanah recipes, see

For more great Frugal Friday ideas, see Biblical Womanhood Blog.

*For a New Year, how about a "new do"? Leave a comment on this post by 8 pm EST on Sunday, September 28th, for a chance to win a $10 coupon for any salon service at Regis Hair Salon. I'll do a random drawing that evening and post the winner on Monday morning. You must live in the continental US to win.

Picture courtesy of

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fall Feast Time!

Well, I finally think Blogger is going to let me publish a post, and just in time for the fall feasts too!

As the fall feasts are less than a week away, there's no time like the present on starting with an introduction. For those of you that were reading during the spring feasts, you've got a head start so feel free to skip the next paragraph.

God's Biblical Calendar

Did you know that God has a calendar, and it's not the one that has January through December on it? God's calendar is (of course) in His Word; specifically, Leviticus 23. As you read this chapter, you will find that there are four feasts in the spring (Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits and Pentecost - Pesach, Matzah, HaBikkurim and Shavu'ot) and three in the fall (Trumpets, Day of Atonement and Tabernacles - Yom Teruah or Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot). Additionally, Leviticus 23 discusses one more special day, but this one comes every week. Shabbat, or the Sabbath, is a day of rest that God's people are to observe every seventh day.

God's Calendar = Messianic Prophetic Timeline

The Messiah Yeshua is the living Torah. That means that everything (EVERYTHING) that He said and did was in accordance and in fulfillment of the Torah, including the feasts of the LORD. With the spring feasts it is very evident how Yeshua fulfilled them. He died on Passover and arose on Yom HaBikkurim, the Feast of Firstfruits. Fifty days later on Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks (also called Pentecost), the Ruach Kodesh (Holy Spirit) came down and filled the believers. For more on the spring feasts, see here and here.

As for the fall feasts, we know that Messiah Yeshua will be fulfilling them as well. Rosh HaShanah (known Biblically as Yom Teruah, the Day of Trumpets) will be the day that the great shofar is sounded, and Yeshua will be revealed. On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, will be a day of judgment. Finally, on Sukkot (a seven day festival), God Himself will dwell with His people. We do not know the day (which year) or the hour (what time on that day), but we do know if Yeshua fulfilled all of the spring feasts on the exact day, then it's pretty clear that if He is who He said He was, then all the fall feasts will be fulfilled as well.

A Quick Note on the Meaning of Fulfillment

When I say that Yeshua "fulfilled" the feasts, please do not read "ended" or "stopped." Just like on my wedding day, my husband "fulfilled" his role as my husband but did not stop being my husband after that day. I am using the word "fulfill" as in "to make complete" or "to bring to fullness", as I believe it was used in Matthew 5.

Fall Feast Schedule for 2008

Days that are a Biblical "day of rest."

Rosh HaShanah - Begins at sundown on Monday, September 29.
Yom Kippur - Begins at sundown on Wednesday, October 8.
First Day of Sukkot - Begins at sundown on Monday, October 13.
Last Day of Sukkot - Begins at sundown on Monday, October 20.

More To Come...
Check back in the next few days for specific posts on how we celebrate each holiday. I'd LOVE to hear how you celebrate the feasts, or if you are new, if you have any questions. Maybe you'd like to share your favorite holiday recipe or another idea?

Picture available at

I'm trying to do a new post, but the "New Post" screen is really messed up! Is anyone else having this problem? Does anyone know how to fix this? Thanks!

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Favorite Publix Deal of the Week

Since I am in a season of life right now that does not give me as much time as I'd like to devote to posting ALL of the Publix weekly deals, I decided to post my favorite deal once a week. That way, I'll be able to tell you the absolute best deal, in my opinion, as well as remind you to go to Fiddledeedee for the WHOLE scoop!
As you probably guessed from the picture, my favorite Publix deal is on the Pompeian Olive Oil. It is Buy One, Get One (BOGO) and there are $1 printable coupons on the website. I was able to print at least 2 coupons (haven't tried for more yet), so:
Buy 2 Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil 32 oz. ($11.99 each)
Use 2 $1 off coupons here
Get 2 for $9.99!
Remember, Publix sales run Thursday to Wednesday (in Florida) and Wednesday to Tuesday in other states, I believe.
Thanks to Sarah at Fiddledee for alerting me to the coupons!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wellness360 Can Really Pay Off!

I have been waiting a long time to tell you about wellness360 because I wanted to try it out myself first, and make sure that it is legitimate. How does it work?

First: Sign up.

Originally, I had signed up to get that old $5/$15 CVS coupon that everyone was raving about months ago. I started receiving emails that claimed that I could make money just by clicking around the site, and using the tools there.

Second: Start using the site.

They actually have some pretty useful components on the site, including health articles, exercise videos, and my personal favorite - a food/calorie journal. Your points do seem to add up slowly, but little by little, you start earning more.

Third: Invite others to join.

This is the highest point-earning activity. Within 3 months of using the site and inviting my friends to join, I had earned over $30...not bad for clicking around a site for about 5 minutes here and there.

Finally: GET PAID CUZ!!!

A few weeks ago, I had received an email saying that wellness360 needed my SSN to send my check due to tax regulations. I didn't do it. I'm really into this whole privacy thing and not having my identity stolen, so I was a little disappointed. However, tonight when my husband was cleaning up our office he found a check from wellness360 (it actually comes from Aperture Health) for $36.07 made out to me! So I guess they didn't need my SSN after all!

All in all, I think this is a great idea. They have advertisers (of course) on the site, and they share that revenue with the users. I am wondering if anyone out there has had any experiences with wellness360 that they would like to share? I can see how if I spent a few minutes a day doing this it could be very rewarding!

ALSO, if you decide to sign up because you read this on Tavita's Purse, I would REALLY appreciate if you input my enrollment code (ahm803124) when you sign up! : ) Thanks!

For more Frugal Friday ideas, head over to BiblicalWomanhood.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

CVS Deals 9/14 - 9/20 2008 - Free Aleve and Excedrin!

I know I haven't been doing a lot of CVS blogging lately, but since this is a pretty good week, in my opinion, for beginners I'll post a few deals. I hope I can turn a few more people on to this wonderful system!

Deal Idea:
Buy 1 Aleve D Cold and Sinus or Sinus Headache at $3.99
Buy 1 Excedrin Express Gels at $3.99
Buy 1 Purex Laundry Detergent (50 oz.) at $2.99

$2/$10 (if you have)
$1 off Aleve
$1 off Excedrin Express Gels CRT (if it prints for you; mine printed yesterday at the card scanner)
50 cents off Purex from 8/10 SmartSource insert

Spend: $6.47 OOP (or use ECB's to pay!)
Make: $8.98 ECB's!


For more deal ideas, see MoneySavingMom and The Centsible Sawyer! I love these gals!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Putting Your Spouse First

"If you treat your husband like a king, he will treat you like a queen." This wise advice from the Talmud is not something we have an easy time putting into practice. We're afraid we'll get stepped on, become doormats, we're concerned our needs won't be met, we don't want to feel like shmattes, we don't want it to be about him. ~ Emuna Braverman

Read the rest of the post here at

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Parasha Ponderings: When You Go Out

This week's parasha is Ki Tetze or "When You Go Out" for us English-speakers, and can be found in Deuteronomy 21:10 - 25:19. At first glance, it seems like a bunch of random rules all thrown in one chapter and stirred a bit for good measure. I seriously had to read the portion 3 times before I felt confident even to even write about it. Why all the "random" laws? If God is so powerful, couldn't He be a bit more organized???

Here's the thing - God's idea of organized is much, much different than our idea of organized and this portion is yet another to prove this theory. For example, the first section talks about what to do if you go out to war and see a pretty lady from the other side that you want to marry. This follows into a section about what to do if you have two wives, one loved and the other unloved. Hmmm...and then of course, the very next section talks about what to do if you have a very rebellious son...which a few verses later digresses into what to do if you are walking along and happen upon a nest with a mother bird and some chicks. See what I mean?

I was listening to the radio as I was getting ready for work this morning, and one of the morning show hosts was telling a story about how one day he prayed for a car. "And make it a convertible while You're at it," he added, rather sarcastically. Well, about two hours later, someone had given him a car. Yep, it's a convertible. He went on to say that while he's very thankful for the car and still amazed that this happened, the only explanation is that for some reason God decided to give him a car that day. A convertible.

People could say that was random, or that it was just "coincidence." Well, I happen to not believe that anything is coincidence, but I also do not believe that there is a "magic formula" when it comes to prayer. God is just not like that. Yes, there are prayers in the Bible that are all fine and great to pray, and I do so myself quite often. However, we have to get passed this idea that this infinite, all-powerful, King over kings over kings confines Himself to this teeny, tiny little box that we so often deduce Him down to. He just doesn't fit.

So, back to the "random rules" of Ki Tetze. I actually don't think they are random at all. Do I have an explanation for why they are where they are? Not at all! I actually don't have a clue...but that's the beauty of God. When you read these teachings, they actually make a lot of sense and I think we would do well to observe them today. (Read my last post here). Especially the part about paying a hired worker before sunset! I would LOVE to get paid everyday!

The last part of the portion seems really out of place, especially the first two times I read the portion this week. However, this evening as I was reading it, it all made sense. Deuteronomy 25:17 -19 says,

Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and cut off all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God. When the LORD your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!

Today, the seventh anniversary of 9/11, we remember what was done, in hatred and evil, to our country. The motto of the day is, "Never forget!" How fitting that we read this portion this week as we remember that infamous day when modern-day Amalekites allowed evil to prevail and killed many precious lives. May those who perished be remembered for good, and may we all be reminded that life is short and we must use the time that we have to do good and live for what is ETERNAL.

Shabbat Shalom!

Picture courtesy of, who is having a $4.98 poster sale!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

In Review: The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs

What happens when an agnostic writer for Esquire magazine decides to live the Bible, every single verse, LITERALLY for one year? A lot of funny stuff...mixed in with some very serious lessons learned.
I picked this book up recently at the library, and thought it looked interesting. Wow, once I started it, I was not able to put it down! Whenever I was reading it, I would literally be laughing out loud, which my husband thought quite humorous in and of itself.
Not only is A. J. Jacobs a very witty writer, but of course, the subject material was highly interesting as well. However, after reading this book, I think that Jacobs could be writing about the life of rocks and it would still be a best-seller on the NY Times list. This chronicle of Jacobs' journey into the world of Biblical laws, both well-known ("Thou shall not murder.") and a little less known ("Don't take a mother bird with the chicks.") is both entertaining and informative. His experiences include spending time with the Hasidics in Crown Heights, hanging out with a Jehovah's Witness and even a service at a snake-handling church!
Actually, I have to say one thing that truly surprised me. This book went beyond informative for me. It actually delved deep into the devotional realm, which was highly unexpected coming from an agnostic source. However, I found myself being challenged to see some of the more obscure Biblical commandments in a new light. I discovered that as much as I like to say that I take the Bible literally...sometimes my life does not portray that.
As you can probably tell, I highly recommend this book. To anyone. Anywhere. I never buy books, but this is one that I'd love to have on my shelf (hint, hint). Check it out!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I'm Still Here!

I can't believe I haven't written ANYTHING in over a week on Tavita's Purse! I'm sooo slacking, and I apologize big time! If you want to know what I've been up to, here's a short list:

1) Preparing for the fall Holy Days (see Leviticus 23) - Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot.

2) Preparing for imminent hurricanes that, thank God, never come. We've had the Weather Channel on almost 24/7 at our house, and I have never heard the words "Local on the 8's" so many times in my life!

3) Preparing lessons for my Shabbat School kids...I love them! They are the best. The class is kindergarteners up to fifth grade, so it's been a huge struggle to make lessons that will suit all of them. But I love the kids, so it's all good.

4) Spending quality time with my husband. I love him so much, and I realize that this season we are in right now will not be forever. So I am trying to treasure every moment that we have together right now.

5) Spending more quality time with friends. There's been birthday parties and impromptu get-togethers, and it's been so good. Friends are truly a gift from God!

6) Spending more quality time with God. As we have now entered into the Hebrew month of Elul, this is the time of preparation for some very important times in God's calendar (see number 1 above). I will try to write more about this soon.

Anyway, I know there's a lot of cool stuff going on in bloggy world, and I'm sorry for not being around lately. I hope to see you all back soon....Thanks for your patience!

Picture available at

Friday, August 29, 2008

Parasha Ponderings (Re'eh - "See")

This week's parasha (see my Hebrew Dictionary on the sidebar) is Deuteronomy 11:26 - 16:17, and is called Re'eh ("See" in English). It begins with a frequently quoted passage,

"See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse - the blessing, if you listen to the mitzvot [commandments] of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; and the curse, if you don't listen to the mitzvot of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way I am ordering you today and follow gods that you have not known. (CJB)

Seems like an easy choice, right? I mean, who is going to say, "Well, God, I think I'd rather have the curse." But here's the thing: We do it all the time. I do it, you do it, we all do it. We all do things, at times, that end up bringing not-so-good consequences into our lives. That's the bad news.

The good news is that God is very forgiving - VERY, VERY forgiving. Just read the Torah and the Prophets through one time, and you'll see how many times He forgave His people time and again for some pretty bad stuff (bowing down to idols, child sacrifice to other gods, etc.). It's funny to me when I hear preachers read from the Scriptures, and contrast themselves with the children of Israel. Basically saying, "Look at how bad THEY were, but look at how good I am!" Come again? I'm pretty sure it says, "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

Ok, so God promises amazing blessings for those who follow His Word. But, the thing is, not everyone who lives according to God's teachings drives a Mercedes or has a Coach purse. Actually, and I have seen this myself when I traveled to China and Israel, some of the people that live their lives totally for God, end up having the most trouble and are, by this world's standards, quite impoverished. How is that fair???

I love this story about the Chofetz Chaim, a Polish rabbi from the 19th century:

There was once a man traveling through Europe in the 1800’s. He came to the town where the Chofetz Chaim had lived. The traveler stopped in to meet the great Talmid Chacham. When he arrived at the house, he saw that the Chofetz Chaim lived in a tiny home. He knocked on the door and when he looked inside he saw a nearly empty one-bedroom apartment. The traveler asked the Chofetz Chaim, “aren’t you the great Chofetz Chaim? How can you live like this? Where are all of your possessions?” The Chofetz Chaim turned to the traveler and posed the same question. “Where are all of your possessions? All you have with you is a suitcase.” The traveler answered, “Well, I am just passing through,” to which the Chofetz Chaim responded, “I too am just passing through.”

I think this story is a beautiful way to explain this enigma. As my father always says, "We live in an upside down world." That is to say, the people in this life that are called "poor" are many times very "rich." However, there is good news. And that, I believe is summed up in an awesome way by the words of Yeshua in the following parable (Matthew 25:31-46):

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

(Copyright New International Version)

Therefore, we have two choices: blessing (obedience) or curse (disobedience). The blessing may or may not come in this life, but rest assured that God will reward the righteous in the end.

(Picture from Flickr)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Why I LOVE LOVE LOVE Frugal Shopping!

This is why I love what I have learned from all my frugal bloggy friends!
Guess how much I paid for all this stuff? $25.61!!!!
That's a total savings of $71.94!
It's been a little over a year since I started reading MoneySavingMom, and boy, have I learned a thing or two about saving, spending wisely, etc.
This haul is a combination of my shopping at CVS and Publix today. The biggest excuse I hear against shopping frugally is that it takes to long to plan and print/clip coupons. Ok, so to blow away that excuse I spent less than an hour planning/printing coupons on this trip. So how many of those people that give me that excuse get paid $71.94 an hour???
Another excuse I hear a lot is that coupons make people buy things they don't need. Ok, out of all that stuff up in the picture (wish you could see it in person!), maybe the only thing I don't need is the fizzy energy drink stuff from CVS (which is free after ECB's this week, by the way)!
The most annoying excuse I hear is that coupons are for poor people or "needy" people. First of all, who in this world does not need anything??? Secondly, look at the stuff I bought. ALL name brand stuff (except for my Publix water, hehe). ALL good quality stuff. I don't feel "poor" or "needy" at all. In fact, I feel very blessed!
The Bible says to "give credit to whom credit is due." So I have to thank Money Saving Mom for all she's taught me, along with The Centsible Sawyer and Sarah at Fiddledeedee.* These ladies are the ones that do all the hard work, so we don't have to!
Thank God for good friends and for always providing MORE than enough!
*For some reason, Blogger is not allowing me to add links at the moment, but all of the links to these sites are on my sidebar - just scroll down a little!
For more Frugal Friday ideas, head over to Biblical Womanhood!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Publix: $1 Sabra Hummus this week!

Since Sabra brand hummus is my very favorite store-bought kind of hummus, I wanted to share this great deal at Publix this week:

10 oz. Sabra Hummus on sale for 2/$5

Use $1.50 coupon here

Get hummus for $1!

For more Publix deals, see Fiddledeedee.

Shabbat Shalom!

Frugal Friday: I'm a Frugal Misfit...

Ok, I have to admit something on this beautiful Frugal Friday. I feel really weird sometimes as I am reading all these wonderful frugal blogs that talk about using the Dave Ramsey cash envelope system. For those that don't know what I’m talking about, check out Dave Ramsey’s site here. The basic premise of the cash envelope system is that when you set your budget for the month (or week or whatever), you are to put that amount of cash for each category into an envelope. The idea is that when the cash is gone for that particular category, it’s over. No more until next month (or whatever time period you budget for).
Logically, this method of budgeting makes a lot of sense and works for a lot of people. Actually, from what I read on the frugal blogosphere, it seems that the majority follows this method (please correct me if I am wrong!).
However, what I want to tell you today is that the cash envelope system does NOT work for me personally. It does make me feel like an oddity, but I’m fairly used to that; as if being a 5’10” female doesn’t make me stick out enough, then I have this Messianic Jewish thing going on too. So let’s just add this one to the list of my quirks!
I find that when I have cash anywhere around me, it always has this sneaky way of finding itself in someone else’s pocket very quickly. I know, I know…I need more self-control. That’s why this frugal lifestyle and couponing has done wonders for me. But, honestly, I have found that I have to do what works for me, which is not the cash envelope system.
What does work for me is using a credit card for all my purchases and then, and this is MUCHO IMPORTANT, paying it off at the end of the month. I can see how dangerous this is, but we really do pay it off EVERY month. I know all the financial statistics about how terrible and bad credit cards are, but really this is what works for my family.
Here’s the factor that makes this system work for us: accountability, which is a powerful and wonderful part of marriage. I know that when that credit card bill becomes available, my husband will see every penny that I spent. And where. And when. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? I’m not being sarcastic; I really do love it.
But the key is that this is what works for US. It might not work for you in your situation. The important thing about frugality/budgeting is that you have to know what works for you and then do it.
So my three criteria, in order of importance, for any budgeting strategy are these:
1) The Bible. Does your budget include a portion for charity/others in a way that glorifies God? To be honest, I’m not a big fan of using the word “tithing” (another quirk) because the tithe related to the temple. However, that being said, I still think that the same principle applies today that a “firstfruits” of what we have should be shared with those in need.
2) Your authority. Does your husband or parent (or whoever your authority figure is) approve? Maybe you don’t like that word authority. In our society, that word most of the time has a bad connotation. Even if you don’t like it, it’s always good to run your budget by someone that is knowledgeable in this area.
3) What works for you. No matter what everyone else is doing…you have to do what makes your particular situation work. And mine is not cash envelopes, no matter how much they make sense.

What works for you? Do you use the envelope system or something different? Leave a comment...I'd love to hear!

There’s my Frugal Friday tip for the day. See more great ideas at Biblical Womanhood.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In Review: Mudhouse Sabbath

Despite my initial misgivings about this book ("Is this just going to be a treatise on why Christianity is better than Judaism?"), the more I read Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren F. Winner the more I enjoyed it. Ms. Winner is "an Orthodox Jew who converted to Christianity", and yet finds herself longing for the traditional/Biblical heritage she left behind. In the book, she picks a few of the "highlights" of the Hebraic lifestyle (Sabbath, mezuzot, mourning, etc.) and tries to reconfigure them for her new-found faith (or is it?).
What I particularly liked about this book was that is it not only highly anecdotal, but also very informative. Even I, who has been studying Jewish/Hebraic life for over 15 years, learned a few things! For example, in all my 15 years in this "Jewish stuff", I have never (that I can recall) learned that the shin (a Hebrew letter) that is on the mezuzah can also stand for the phrase "Shomer daltot Yisrael" - Guardian of the doors of Israel.
It is interesting to see Christianity from Ms. Winner's perspective, how someone who has lived their life (or at least part of it) based on the Torah and all the traditions surrounding it can go into a very different lifestyle, and yet still keep some of who they were before. As Ms. Winner points out a few times in her book, I do believe that Christianity does have a few things (if not a lot more) to learn from traditional Judaism, especially the joy of the Sabbath. I highly recommend this delightful, quick-read to anyone of any faith. As R. Ben Zoma is often quoted, "Who is wise? One who learns from everyone."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Giveaway Winner!

That's congratulations to those that don't read Hebrew yet. My hubby helped me out with our random drawing tonight and (drumroll, please)...a big MAZEL TOV to Robyn for winning the giveaway from last week! The consensus was that I leave Tavita's Purse one big hodge-podge, instead of splitting it into two blogs, and being that with work and everything I don't have a lot of extra time to devote to that project, I think I'm going to take her advice. So for now, Tavita's Purse is where you can find everything from great deals to spiritual thoughts. It's kind of an eclectic mix, but I like it for now, and apparently a few others do too!
Robyn: Send me an e-mail with your address, so I can send the book!
Again, I thank everyone for their comments and be sure to check back as I continue working on Tavita's Purse!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Shabbat Nachamu

This week (tomorrow actually) we observe Shabbat Nachamu ("Sabbath of Comfort"). The name comes from Isaiah 40:1 - 26, beginning with the double entreaty to nachamu:

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the LORD's hand
double for all her sins.
Thus, we end the period of mourning and fasting dealing with the destruction of the two Temples (and many other heinous crimes committed against the Jewish people throughout history) and begin the ascent toward the High Holy Days.
This Shabbat, let us remember the people of Israel in our prayers and remind ourselves to "be watchmen on the walls." Shabbat Shalom ~ May your Sabbath be filled with peace!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Penny for Your Thoughts...

Actually, your thoughts are worth more than a penny to me! They are worth a copy of A Sacred Foundation: The Importance of Strength in the Home School Marriage by Michael Farris. That's can win it by giving your comments below.
Here's the question:
Do you think I should split up my blogs into two - one about saving money and leaving everything else (Bible studies, random thoughts, stuff about Israel) on Tavita's Purse OR should I leave it the way it is now (one big hodge-podge blog!)?
Leave a comment with your opinion by SUNDAY, August 17th at midnight. I will announce the winner on Monday!

Why I Buy Things I Don't "Need"

This week I noticed there was a moneymaker at CVS with the Alavert deal (between the ECB's and the printable coupon). So I decided that although I was not in "need" of some great allergy medicine at the moment, I would get it so I could get something I DID need instead, and try to grow my ECB stash as well.
So on Monday here's what I bought:
1 - Alavert (on sale for $5.99, giving $3 ECB's back)
1 - CVS Brand Tampons 80 ct. (on sale for $2.99, usually $9.49!)
1 - CVS Brand Advanced Healing Flight-Sized Lotion ($1.49)
Coupons used: $2/$10 (only available now if you SAVED a copy), $2 CVS Skin Care Coupon, and $4 off Alavert coupon.
Paid with: $2 ECB's and 47 cents OOP.
Made: $3 ECB's (from Alavert)
Head over to Keeping the Kingdom First for more on the CVS Challenge!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Today's Dose of Wisdom: Proverb 11

This past weekend I went to a women's conference led by my Rebbetzin and another Rebbetzin called "Daughters of Righteousness" (Banot Tzedek). It was such a refreshing time of fellowship and refocusing our lives on what is most important. One of the things that my Rebbetzin encouraged us to do is to make it a priority to read one chapter of Proverbs a day. Now, this was not a new idea to me, as it was actually something that my husband taught me to do when we first met. But recently, I have gotten out of the habit, and I have noticed that in many situations I could have used more wisdom and discretion, both of which Proverbs is filled with!

In today's Proverb, is one that I have always thought kind of funny, but it is so true.

"Like a gold ring in the snout of a pig
is a beautiful woman who lacks good sense." Proverb 11:22 (CJB)

To me, this is saying that although outward beauty is nice to have (like a gold ring), the substance of a person is who we are in the inside. If we go around living our lives without giving thought to our ways, we might as well be compared to an animal (and not a pretty one at that!).

I am so grateful to HaShem for the G-dly women in my life who, this past weekend, spent so much time teaching us and encouraging us. Thank you! May we all be called "daughters of righteousness"!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Knight Rider and the book of Numbers

Last week, we finished the book of Numbers for our yearly cycle of Torah portions. As we heard the Torah reader say the traditional "chazak, chazak, v'nitchazek!" ("Be strong, be strong, and may we be strengthened") this past Shabbat, I know there were at least a few thoughts of relief that we are now headed for the exciting book of Deuteronomy.
Sunday morning I was reflecting on all that I've learned from studying the "boring books" of the Bible. My absolute favorite Torah portion, Pinchas, is found in Numbers, and I am still awed every time I study Leviticus. But then I had another thought...I didn't always like studying the books of Moses. When I was young, Psalms and Proverbs were my favorites. What happened?
Then I started thinking about how I used to sit down and watch TV with my dad. One of the shows he regularly watched was Knight Rider. When I was young, I thought this was such a boring show. I had no idea what was going on; the only thing that excited me was when Kit, the car, would talk. The only reason I would sit and watch it was because I wanted to be with my dad.
Little did I know that one day I would marry a man that has loved Knight Rider since he was a little boy. What a surprise it was when he pulled out his collection of Knight Rider DVD's and this time, I actually didn't think the show was so boring. I finally "got it"!
And so it is with the G-d's Word. The books that are above our level are "boring" to us at the time. But one thing we have to remember is that not even a yod or a tittle is wasted in the Bible. Every little word is there for a reason. There are so many parts that still seem "boring" to me, but I know that's only because I don't understand them. There's still so much more to learn...and that's the exciting part!
If you haven't begun reading the Torah portions with us yet, now's a great time to start! This week, we begin the final book of the Torah, Deuteronomy (D'varim).
This week's portion: Deuteronomy 1:1 - 3:22