Monday, May 5, 2008

The Ol' Bartering System is Back

This week we'll return to our study of Proverbs 31. In verse 18 we see a description of a business woman.

Proverbs 31:18 - She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

Now, I don't have much of a business mind, but I've dabbled in a few projects since we've been married. For the first few years I ran a little craft business. Going to craft shows, baking goodies and making fun things occupied a lot of my time while we were living in VA, far away from family and friends. After we had our daughter, I sold Discovery Toys for a few years. Both of these ventures were quite fun and helped our family's needs at the time (occupying my time in VA and providing AWESOME toys for our new child), but they were certainly not profitable! Oh, well.

Eventually, I was able to help out in the home finance department, as well as actually use some of my degrees (imagine that!), by serving as Director of Senior High Youth Ministries at our church.

Of course, looking at the text, it isn't necessarily referring to earning money. It just states that her "trading was profitable." This makes me think of the bartering system. For many of us, this may be how we help our family the most. Do you swap babysitting duties with neighbors or friends? Saves on paying a babysitter. Do you exchange coupons with someone else? Do you have a skill that your neighbor doesn't or vice versa?

My hubby is a computer geek, as I've mentioned before. Our neighbor is not. However, he is skilled in all the plumbing, yard and handy man things you can imagine. When one of our appliances brakes, we call John. It never seems to fail that he is excited about our plight as he responds eagerly, "Great! I've got a computer problem I need fixed!" And thus our friendly neighborhood bartering system continues to this day!

A few years back I babysat my Physical Therapist's newborn. And each week I'd get some great massages and continued PT. Another time I taught Biblical Hebrew to one of the homeschoolers in our church in exchange for babysitting. The opportunities are endless if you just allow yourself to be a little imaginative.

So maybe you're like me - lacking in the business mind department. Be creative with the skills, talents and gifts with which God has blessed you and your family. Could be your neighbor has something to offer you too!


fortyb4forty said...

We just did this over the weekend. A friend came to help my husband finish some electrical work and I entertained the kids all afternoon. It was a great trade and was followed with a fun cook-out afterwards.

sarah said...

Great thoughts! Have a happy mother's day!