Guest post from Shelly of Frugal Family Home
Are you content with what you have? I mean really content… or do you look at what other people have and long to have those things, too?
The better car, the bigger house, or the kids that look perfect. Why is it that we also long for the things we don’t have instead of treasuring what we do have?
There is nothing wrong with striving to be more, to do more, or to learn more. However, when you are content with what you have, you can make better decisions on how and what you want to pursue, purchase, or change. When you are discontent, the “I want it, too”, can lead you down a path that can be destructive.
When you are discontent, it can lead to purchasing things like clothes, cars, or even a newer bigger house you don’t really need or can afford. This can lead to bigger payments and a tighter budget which often results in strife in a marriage, stress at work, and a feeling of hopelessness in your situation.
What can you do to combat these feeling of discontent? Here are a few things to think about:
Count Your Blessings
Concentrate on the things that are most important, like your relationships with family and friends. Be thankful for the house you have even if it is a little small for your family. Be thankful for that ugly car that is not showroom quality but gets you to work each day. Being thankful for what you have can help you become more content.
Practice Waiting and Patience
Many people today want the big house as their first home. They are discontent with starting in a starter home and moving up when finances allow. They are discontent at the entry-level work that it takes to get to the job of their dreams. They want a brand-new car when their budget screams that an 8-year-old car is all you can afford.
When you practice patience, and wait to buy things until you can afford them, the joy will be so much greater. Instead of dreading the bill that comes each month and having to figure out how to pay it, the new purchase can be a blessing instead of a curse.
Being Content Isn’t Limiting
Being content doesn’t mean you have to stay where you are (in the starter home or the entry-level job or the old car) forever. It just means you are willing to stick with those things until you are able to move on to what you desire.
Your Desires May Not Be What You Need
Recently, we wanted a different house. Not a bigger house just the same house with more land. We wanted a bigger garden, maybe some chickens and a goat.
The timing just wasn’t right and, after many failed deals and compromising on our part, we gave up on selling our home and decided to stay put. It just wasn’t the right time.
Then we had a small bump in the road: Our son went into the hospital and because of complications we ended up staying a week. Our neighbors who we had lived along side us for 15 years knew something was wrong.
They just jumped in. They watered our garden, mowed our lawn, and helped to keep the outside of our house up for us during that week. They checked on our dogs each day and offered more help if we needed it.
This is a blessing we would have missed if we hadn’t decided to be content with the home we have. Sometimes the thing you desire most is the thing you need the least.
Being content doesn’t mean you stop striving or working towards something better. Being content just means you are willing to be happy with what you have until the time is right to move onto what your heart desires.
What is your best advice for being content?
Shelly Olson is a homeschooling mom of two, with a loving husband of 23 years. She loves to encourage others in there quest to live within their means. She shares about recipes, budgeting, homemaking, gardening, and family fun. She writes at Frugal Family Home.