The perception of wealth is not as valuable to me as economic viability where debt and frugality play crucial roles. What good is a false perception of wealth that is supported by increasing credit card indebtedness and a hunger for the things of this world? A thrifty lifestyle can bring a "taming of the self" towards the much greater end of looking to God for everything. This mindset and pattern of living can prevent losses when job changes and economic down turns are a constant possibility for all of us bringing contentment and security in our Lord by pleasing Him.
Our economy is not improving as we all know, and I have found that sometimes it's best to keep my Lincoln$ in my pocket even where "cost savings" are concerned. BEWARE of those offering thrift for a price!!! As part of our family's testimony of God's goodness in our lives, He has sustained us through an economic downturn that occurred well before the rest of the nation's situation became apparent. God convicted my husband and I of mounting credit card debt and spending habits that were literally sending us to the poor house. It wasn't elaborate spending either by many standards, but it was a constant spending on "sale items" and other manner of letting my money out of my pockets that was the problem. I mean, WHAT'S WRONG with this picture: "Hey honey, I saved $50~today. . ." but I actually spent forty on items that I could have lived without or were stock-pile-rs? Think about this for a moment. We are so bombarded by television and other media such as print and NOW INTERNET marketing to remove our money from us~do I dare say that even homeschooling can suck us dry if we are not careful~that we become discontented and hungry, purely upset over what we DO NOT HAVE?~This is the sin of covetousness. SIN...the sin of lusting after something, and I'm not talking about sex, but about the problem of a desire for things. I was one of the biggest yard-sale-rs out there. I have filled our home with so much stuff that I could decorate for any season at least twice or more. Yeah, I didn't spend "much" on any one thing, but the addiction for the HUNT to buy was within me.
So how did I solve this issue? WHAT did I do? I had to replace my activities with other activities so that I didn't feel a loss for the former things, and I have had to HONESTLY give my desires over to God. If you have read much about me, you know I have a Victorian home for sale HERE that was not my god, but when we were relocated to serve in ministry, our new home pales in comparison. WHAT was more important? Serving the Lord in a new ministry in a home that frankly is so much less while walking in faith and His light or living in the home of 'my dreams?' God impressed upon me much earlier than even the call to another area that I needed to put THINGS into perspective. God first~His will~and that LESS is MORE! As part of the preparation for the move, God showed me that I would need less and want less than ever before. Now this sounds silly I can well imagine, because this is not what we hear in our have it all society. Oh I used to watch the home shop TV and drool. . .pick up that phone. . .drop $100 at wally world for new dish towels and the like because mine were a little. . . or this high end ___ or that name brand that~OH YEAH, this was me too in a smaller sense, because the "sale ads" convinced me I was saving. . .saving WHAT? The only real benefit I can see I gained was some notion that these items were "quality" when others were perceived less or not as good. Well, I confess: Cheep as it may sound, and you may not be where I've been or where I am or hopefully you aren't headed this way either, but I really enjoy finding what we need for less money. There is GREATER satisfaction in purchasing products that will work just as well, just as long, just as...YOU NAME it~compared to all the high end stuff out there that WANTS MY MONEY for perception's sake!
Am I building up riches so I can haul them with me in that van behind my hearse? No way, but rather I am more able to spend on items of importance such as giving and sharing, things of the ministry, opportunities that are from Him.
You will find me sharing as many inexpensive and good things as I can find here on my blog to help us all out in such a time as we are living. And like I have said, if this isn't your need, then please think that it could be your situation and begin looking toward your future with some saving and thrifty living so that if you need to economize in such a drastic way, you won't suffer such a hardship as those who deeply grieve over the losses they sustain. I can't help but think of two instances of people hopeless over their economic futures that propelled them into despair so deep that in the stock market crash (1929) they jumped out of tall buildings to their deaths, and just a few years ago, where we used to live there was a couple who had both lost their jobs and together committed suicide. While these are extreme examples, depression and despair are realities when money is tight and stress abounds.
HOPELESSNESS~Oh, we are not a people without hope, because our hope is in God. But we have become slack, lazy and greedy as a nation. I do believe that as homeschoolers we are seeking higher ground with our Lord, but we still must look to Him and be accountable for our financial moves.
I hope that you understand that it's my desire to share each and every good thing I can find on my blog to make homeschooling and life the kind that will be pleasing to God and helpful to us as parents. Thrift/frugal living is a subject I am acquainted with, and while my methods of thrift are extreme for some, just remember that we are laying up our treasures in Heaven, and what's important is eternity.
We must pass on this lifestyle to our children so that they will also know how to live without should they need to do so.
Frugality is a choice to live within our means without the perception of wealth underpinned by debt to remove arrogance, greed and self from my life. If we are consumed by anything other than our Lord and His will, it is sin anyway, and we need to confess it and learn to do better. True wealth occurs on the inside and within His will!
Wishing you the blessings of learning thriftiness and grace along side me. I have so much to learn~If you have a suggestion for me, leave a comment.
I am blogging @ Thriving With No Green$ http://sistertipstersthriving.blogspot.com