August 20, 2010

Coupons and Spirituality

Last night I was thinking about how amazing God is. Isn’t it fascinating how he works in our lives? Meeting people, seemingly little decisions, and even problems can be used for His bigger picture to work for good. I was thinking about how the last few years have been some of the most exciting spiritually for me since I first became a Christian.

I have been reflecting on my life quite a bit in the last months. During this time, I’ve had 2 occasions to read through the book of Job and reflect on how it relates to my life. I’m especially awestruck when God answers Job, demonstrating just how amazing He really is. This is my favorite part:

"Can you bind the beautiful [c] Pleiades?
Can you loose the cords of Orion?

32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons [d]
or lead out the Bear [e] with its cubs?

He uses not only the challenges in our lives, but also the smallest things that we can’t even imagine being a big event at the time for His work.

Years ago I was working a garage sale fundraiser for Peninsula. Being the friendly gal that I am, I met one of the shoppers. We started talking about a multi-generational program that I was facilitating at the time, and she told me about a book that she had just written that might be useful. Nancy Twigg gave me a copy of her book before leaving the sale.

Fast forward to the year 2006. I was sitting on the couch, nursing our daughter and watching Live at Five. Nancy was a guest on the show talking about coupons, of all things. I was a stay at home mom trying to find ways to save our family money. I was taking not just hours, but days, getting all of my coupons organized, making my grocery list, and working to do the best I could to save a little money. She mentioned the blog Money Saving Mom, and it was like the sky had parted and the angels were singing. Having access to that blog taught me how to coupon and energized me to use the skills to help others.

Fast forward a couple of more years to, of all things, a social work continuing education class when none other than Nancy Twigg was talking about saving clients money. She and I started talking and exchanged contact information. A short time after that we started a Yahoo group called Knoxville Bargain Buddies as a way to network thrifty folks in our area.

God took what was a simple meeting that I might not have thought another thing about and turned it into a life changing experience. I learned how to coupon, became energized and led to use the skills to start a coupon ministry in our church, that led to a coupon workshop that I led called “Couponing in Critical Times”, which in turn led to a close relationship with Coupon Mommie, which in turn inspired me to start this blog, which in turn led to more opportunities to teach and help others.

Couponing has given me an outlet to minister and reach out to others. I start up conversations with people in grocery store aisles and check out lines almost every time I’m in a store. The Knoxville Coupon Fair that we hosted earlier this year was even in Outreach magazine, and I’ve heard from other churches from around the country who want to host similar outreach events. It has been so exciting to look back and see how God has used my life and something as unusual as coupons to help meet human need.

I’m not sure what God has in store for the next few years of my life. In many ways I’m in a transition period right now, and I feel pretty certain that I’ll see some changes in the coming months and years. Being human, I have some anxiety and worry about that, and I’ve been reflecting and pondering a lot lately. Just like Job, though, I have been humbled by God and cannot question how my life will unfold with His guidance. If He can use something as small as an off the cuff meeting at a garage sale to work for good, it will be amazing to see how He uses other events and situations in my life.


  1. Just found you through blog frog. :) It's nice to meet you! I'm following.

  2. Just found your blog on BlogFrog, just wanted to drop in and say hi! :)

    This post just rings so true with me right now. I'm in such a huge transition moment and all I can do is let it unfold as it may and go with whatever may happen.

  3. I found you through blog frog tonight too! I'm a follower now. I look forward to getting to know you.

  4. Gabrielle, that was beautiful.

  5. Found your blog through Blog Frog too!!! lol I will DEFINITELY be reading through your blog because we are in financial hardships due to unemployment. Looking forward to reading!