The newest Iphone, bigger house, better car, newer clothes, the list goes on and on. It seems like all around me there is someone telling me something I need. I get sucked into that idea. I start to want all this stuff, but do I really need to want it? It creates a dicontentment in my heart when I see someone with something better than I have. But then I step back and realize that it’s just not necessary. None of it. I need clothes to put on, but do I NEED the newest and best ones? I need a house to live in, but do I NEED the biggest or most expensive one? I need food on the table, but do I NEED to go to the most expensive restaurants to get it? NO. There is a very short list of stuff I really NEED and a long list of stuff I WANT, but it’s the wants that will get me in trouble.
Our whole married life I have had to pinch pennies to get by. As Glenn’s career has grown so has our family, and thus I have to watch our money. Recently, we have finally come to a place where I don’t have to watch things as closely, if I choose not to. But I realized as I looked at our new budget and tried to decide where the resources we have should be allocated, that this new budget should not change who we are as a family or what our values are. We have had values of being thrifty, out of need mostly, but also because we are always adopting and that takes a lot of money. Adoption is money well spent and I want to continue to spend money on worthy causes and not just get caught up in spending more on stuff just because we could. I don’t want to gain the whole world and lose my soul. God gives us what we need, but he also blesses us, not so that we can hoard it away in barns for a rainy day and not so we can have the newest stuff, but so that we can bless others. It’s not our money anyway, it’s His.
I look at those around me and they are not happier because they have the newest stuff, often they are more miserable, because they are too busy wanting more stuff. It leads me to realize that maybe what needs to happen is that I need to WANT LESS. Be content with that I have and not worry about others. Wanting less looks different for everyone. It’s about you and your relationship with your stuff and with God. I am not condemning buying new stuff or having nice things, but the attitude that you can quickly get sucked into that you must have this stuff to be happy in life. I realize that I am happy with our relatively simple lifestyle and why should I change any of it, just because I could? I am not going to change who I am and have been just because circumstances change.
Glenn and I began our married life living in a travel trailer in his parent’s yard. Some might call that humble beginnings, but I am thankful we started out that way. It showed us perspective. After that we moved into the basement of that house in an apartment we and Papa built, and we were so proud. Then we moved in to a house in the ghetto, but we were so excited to live in an actual house without concrete floors. Now that we live in a real house, in a decent neighborhood, I am content. Could we use more space? Sure, but do we NEED it? No. We redid the floors in this house and lived on concrete for a few months and my mom was shocked that I didn’t care. It seems normal to me to live on concrete because I did it so long in the basement apartment. It’s perspective. You don’t NEED as much as you think you do. And if you never have something you won’t miss it. I don’t have a cell phone right now, okay, so I do have a prepaid one that has 30 min on it that I never use, but have in case of emergency. I have been thinking of getting a cell phone. It would be nice to have, everyone else has one. I am pretty sure I am the last person on earth without one. There are bedoins on camels with cell phones. So, I started researching it and I saw how expensive it is. I realized that I don’t really NEED it. I don’t have one now and it doesn’t negatively affect my life because I don’t know what I am missing. Will I get one? I doubt it unless I can find one really cheap, but the point is that I don’t need to do it just because everyone else has one. I need to want less.