February 25, 2014

Living Within Your Means.

(This is what our pup did on Sunday morning-- destroyed my one and only house plant.)
(The professor left him out, unsupervised.)
(Sweet Jakob cleaned the mess without complaint-- can you see Rocco laying beside him??)
(See Jakob's gloves- he's a bit OCD.  And that is why he is amazing at cleaning up after his dog.  Yes, we officially have a mess of a puppy.)

As a mother of eight who just spent the past year on bed rest anticipating and recovering from a major surgery, I have learned one principle.
We can DO LESS.

There are two extremes in this modern-day world.  The extremely lazy and the extremely busy.  Both are dangerous and unproductive.  I believe that Satan uses both extremes to keep us less effective.

We live in a day and age, even a country, where we are bombarded with information, money, opportunity, THINGS.  We really can do anything, be anything, and have anything we want.  We have time saving devices that have revolutionized daily living.  We have been given an extra arm, we have been given ten more hours in our day.  It is not enough.  {Insert Ariel singing in her best mermaid voice, "I have gadgets and gizmos of plenty, I've got whozits and whatzits galore... no big deal, I WANT MORE!!"}

What do we do with all of our extra time?  We do more, we buy more, we NEED more.  We are cows on hormones.  We are trees whose branches are growing bigger than our roots.  Our intentions are good, but we are unwise.  Doesn't it feel like we are always busy and never getting anything done?  Everything is expensive and urgent while not much is important.

"More" is a slippery slope. As we spend more, we want more.  Our homes and our dressers become cluttered with stuff.  We try to do more than is humanly possible.  We cannot do it all, so we seek escape.  We numb with so many things.  We blame.  We complain.  We medicate.  We try harder.  We seek for short cuts.  We are constantly thinking that if we were just a little better, more organized, had more money, a bigger house, better furniture, better clothes, a cool vacation, if we could find a better doctor, or if we were more skilled THEN we could do it all.

Our children are rushed from lesson to practice.  They spend way too much time numbing out on computer games or television.  We say things like "They don't have time to keep their room clean or read a book."  Really?

Let me tell you a secret...

WE ARE DOING TOO MUCH.

There is great wisdom in learning to LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS.

Living within our means financially is so important- but it is only part of the equation.
How much money do you need to feel that you have sufficient for your needs?  Contentment is not something you get with a raise.  It is a quality you can develop no matter your income.

Living within our physical means is essential.
We have 100% of the the health that we need to do what God want us to do.  We need to care for our physical bodies and respect the limits that our health places on us.  Rest is essential.

Time is a boundary that helps keep us grounded.

My goal is to find just the right balance.
Peace comes as we live within our means.

We can do less, spend less, want less- so that we can do more of the really important things, spend purposefully, and want realistically.

We must find the balance in life between striving and being content.
Contentment is a skill we can cultivate.
It begins with gratitude.

Today, I'm grateful for the natural borders that time, money, and health place on my ambitions.  I want to feel that I have sufficient for my needs.  Because, I do.  We all do.

Love this-- (read the whole beautiful talk here- Mothers who Know)

Mothers Who Know Do Less

Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. 

Life is good!
We have sufficient for our needs!

1 comment:

cheryl cardall said...

one of my favorite talks of all time! Thank you, this is just what I needed today!

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