Matthew 19:24 states, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
This is the second post in the current blog series on finances. The upcoming posts will be reflective of helpful books and information regarding how to spend and save money in godliness.
Today, I wanted to share with you some wisdom I received about a recent experience I had on a shopping trip to IKEA (a massive warehouse type store that sells cheaper items for the home). Up until yesterday, I had never been to this store and scoured the website for a last minute planned girl’s trip. Needless to say, it didn’t take long before my discontentment arose and I wanted literally everything on the website! I felt (notice how quickly our emotions can keep us from the truth of God’s word) like my home would not be complete without x, y, and z. I also desperately wanted everything to be decorated in order to feel settled in our new place. Ever had this feeling?
After talking with my husband and praying through my sin tendencies towards consumerism. I asked a dear lady who I respect and admire on my problem. I asked her how to be content with what I have; how to use our budgeted money towards Ikea on wise choices; and finally her general wisdom and advice on the matter. Though you may not be going to Ikea, I think her suggestion is worth the read. Here’s what she says,
Well, I have weaknesses too, but whenever I am tempted to look at what I don’t have I always think about what I do have. I mean, living in New Guinea you saw people with NOTHING, and it was the same for me in Belize. We were very content with nothing. So why are we more discontent when we look at things?
I don’t think that “things” are bad in and of themselves. I like to think of home making as a game. I set up challenges for myself and then I reward myself when I make the challenge. For instance, when we bought this house we had almost nothing to fill it. Many people would have gone out and charged on their credit cards for things they couldn’t afford that are legitimate needs.
I like to buy used and from IKEA. I say, “I will pay $50 for a bed for the boys.” Then I rig up a sheet and blanket and make them a fort to sleep on until I find it. It may take years. God ALWAYS brings me better than I wanted for what I asked. For instance, I was given my dining room table and chairs from my husband’s sister. I loved the table. I hated the chairs. Did that make me discontent? No. I gladly used them for 3 years until I found 5 free chairs on craig’s list that I dreamed of. Then I sold the unwanted chairs for $50.
My entire house is story after story of challenges. It has taken me years to amass the things I love, but I have decorated my entire house with antiques for a few hundred dollars. We did our entire kitchen re-do ourselves, even though it took over a year. I saw the end… I looked down the road… and it was always more than I had when I was in Belize, so I could hardly complain.
Right now I am doing 90 days with no clothes dryer. Just because I want to. I’m using the energy savings for a beach trip next May. I also buy and sell things on Craig’s List for extra $$$. I always do that for Christmas presents. Last year I made $500 doing that. I purposefully live frugally, work hard and know that I will never have a millstone of debt tied around my neck. If you buy things you can’t afford then you resent them, but if you wait for God to bring things to you then you have treasures.
I think the important thing for living in a flat is going vertical (up the walls) with shelves, baskets and framed art. You can frame dried flowers you find for free, drawings and old photos you already have. I love the textiles they have there, so you can make new curtains or room dividers or even frame scrap fabric for cheap. Also, think multi functional. Things for the kitchen are often worthy of display. Their $6 stainless bowls, $4 flour sifter and other small things are for me to use and when I’m done they are on display instead of kitchen “stuff”.
Finally, I LOVE the hunt more than actually parting with my money. I detest going to an actual store front, but I love doing research online to find the cheapest things. If it is of God then it will wait, and I NEVER make impulse buys. I walk away.
I take my lunch and snacks, make my own coffee, etc. “Be careful little eyes what you see.” Get rid of catalogues if they make you lust for stuff. Don’t go window shopping if you can’t come home empty handed and satisfied. Fill up your time being busy around the house instead of around town. Take walks at the park instead of around a mall. Just distance yourself from “stuff”.
Is that lame? I have no bed, nothing on the walls in our family room and the office is a wreck. Se la vie! My soul is satisfied with Jesus.
LOVE and more love,
Was this not so encouraging and challenging to work hard as godly women?! I am so thankful for the Titus 2 women God has placed in my life. Who are your Titus 2 women? What are your struggles in this area? How has the Lord helped you to succeed?
Thanks for reading!