Friday, May 16, 2014

Frugal Friday: The Art of Contentment

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I Timothy 6:6-10 (NLT) ~

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.

 But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

One of the hardest things for us to learn is to be content.  Content with what we have.  Content with who we are.  Content with our lives.  It seems as if so many look over the proverbial fence and think life would be so much better on the other side.  And it's that lack of contentment that gets most into financial disasters.

Want some new gadget?  Charge it!

House is too small?  Go into massive debt to get a bigger one.

Want to look like the model on the cover of a magazine?  Accumulate large amounts of clothing.

Children feeling like they don't have good enough toys as little Johnny or Suzie?  Go out and purchase everything their little hearts desire.

The problem with this is that it perpetuates the feeling of entitlement.  I deserve to have material things the second I want them.  I shouldn't have to wait for anything.  It's my right to have more, more, more which keeps the whole me, me, me attitude going.  When I share some of the frugal things I've done much of the reason I'm able to do this is that I've learned over the years to be content with my life.

It was a struggle for many years.  We never had much money.  Every now and then when I would complain about my husband's measly salary, he would good-naturedly tease me, "Who did you think you were going to meet in seminary?  A doctor or lawyer?"  lol   There were times when I longed to be able to go on a really nice vacation.  Or go buy whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it.  Or be able to go visit my family on a moment's notice.

But the verses above finally sunk in to my thick brain.  When I learned to follow the Lord and at the same time be content, I truly am wealthy.  I find joy in saving money and making our dollars stretch.  I get excited over new ways to cut corners.  I find tremendous satisfaction in making a meal from scratch with just a few items.

Because I've learned to be content in this way, I think I truly am a wealthy woman!

This has been another week of using up my pantry and freezer items. 

Monday - Pork roast, roasted baby potatoes and carrots, fruit salad
Tuesday - Fresh tomato and basil pasta sauce over angel hair, Italian bread, tossed salad
Wednesday - Small Group here and someone else provided the main dish, salad and dessert.  I just did drinks this time.
Thursday - Sausage, apple and sweet potato bake, peas.
Friday - We're off to dinner at a friend's house
Saturday - Roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade biscuits, butternut squash
Sunday - Leftovers

Some frugal things this week:

$ Hung clothes on drying racks out on the deck. 

$ My daughter went to church with a friend last week and they give out day old bread.  She brought home bagels, a loaf of French baguette, and a small bag of white bread.  I used them all for various meals.

$ Brought home some fruit, bagels, lunchmeat and cheese from two church events.

$ Stayed home and didn't grocery shop!

$ Received an honorarium for speaking at a local church (totally unexpected).

$ Got WIFI set up for the church printer so I can start printing to the printer next door for church-related things (about 90% of what I do) so I can start saving my own printer ink.

I think that's it, though I'm sure there are many things I just am not thinking about.  Go over and visit Rebecca's blog for more money saving inspiration!