This is something that i like to remind myself often to keep my heart in check. of course not loaded by American standards but definitely worldwide. An interesting thing to do is to go to http://www.globalrichlist.com/
and find out where you rank in terms of wealth in the world. it will blow your mind. i know i could not fathom that we are apart of the top 1% wealthiest people in the world. it shocked me because money is so tight, tightest it has been in our 11 years of marriage. We are down to one vehicle(only 8% of the world’s population even owns a car) and live many months paycheck to paycheck anticipating how God will provide for our needs. So when my heart begins to long for unnecessary things i like to remind myself how loaded i am and how much i already have. The basics were take for granted are not basics for much of the world. As Americans we have such a warped view of wealth, constantly wanting more and believing the lie that what we have is not good enough or shiny enough. One of my favorite quotations comes from a book that i pray changes my life and the way i view life. “If you don’t feel rich, it’s because you are comparing yourself to people who have more than you do- those living above even the 99th percentile of global wealth. It’s also because we tend to gauge whether or not we are wealthy based on the things we don’t have. ” from The Hole in Our Gospel. I want to be able to say with Paul in Phillipians 4:11-12, ” I am not saying this because I am in need, for i have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. i know what it is to be in need, and i know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” I have asked the Lord, ” this time of little money is just a season, right??” Not because i want to buy more stuff but i want to have money to vacation, take trips and make memories. my wise mother in law pointed out that it could be a long season. my human heart so wants it to be a short one. but who is to say it is a season. The Lord could have it be this way for the rest of our lives. and then so i need to ask myself, i am okay with that? i want to be content with what i have. and i feel like i am getting closer. =) I feel like i have learned so much during this season. I have gained such a different perspective. I would not trade this time for anything because i have learned so much.
WHAT I HAVE GAINED(LEARNED) FROM THIS SEASON OF LESS MONEY:
- my happiness is not measured by my bank account
- i don’t need as much as i think
- the more i shop the more i accumulate(it used to be a habit to just walk the aisles of biglots or 99 cents store, my favorite stores ever, looking for good deals, things i thought i needed. it was easy to drop 50 bucks on stuff. i don’t do this anymore, not because i am so self controlled but because it is silly to shop without money. but i hope i shop less when i do have more expendable money.
- the more i shop the more my heart longs for things. this is true for my kids too. so avoid shopping with them, even grocery shopping. it is good to shop less
- friday family fun nights are now a tradition and they don’t need to cost a lot. our kids just want our attention and love
- learned to be more resourceful and creative. i needed curtains to darken Isaiah’s room so i went to the thrift store to look for fabric. i am not a seamstress at all. but i found this sticky tape to iron a hem. i found perfect fabric and curtain rods.
- we waste a lot less food. i try to use stuff up in fridge and cupboards before shopping. lots more leftovers too
- trying more to develop a heart of thanks in my kids and myself. regularly talk about what we are thankful for
- letting my kids know that many kids don’t have the basics like we do(clean water, shoes, clothes, heating, air conditioning, floors in their home, walls and a roof, food to eat every day, and to eat several times a day, doctor/medical, warm water to bathe, toys, books, schooling, freedom to learn about Jesus and to worship him, our own copy of the Bible, and so much more)
- i really want to continue to simplify and keep giving away and have less. I want the next time we move to have a smaller moving truck