I wrote the above verse on my journaling card to place it on the wall against where I usually sit whenever I’m reading my bible, writing, or even when doing my craft (basically I’m going to see it very often okay lol). I found this particular verse couple of months ago and it really inspired me. The concept of “frugal living” is surely not the most popular in the world we’re living in. For example, I find those who have more (usually random) followers in Instagram are usually those who often display their interesting trinkets and branded items collections. They’re surely pretty things to see and get us (or in particular, me :P) to wonder where they can get those ‘endless’ budget buying those branded stuffs lol. Or for more particular example, because my hobby is craft and card making, those who have thousands of followers are usually those who purchase the latest stamp release and embellishment (other than of course, they can produce so many beautiful creations out of them). Well, I’ve started to picking up this kind of ‘pattern’ as if like I was ‘studying’ them huh!? Because I am also one of the followers (in terms of I follow those who can create pretty inspiring cards and seem to have plenty of budget buying the kits and stamps!) hahaha… Well, these pleasure worldly thing is surely eye catching not only to our eyes but also to our heart.
So, “consumerism” is clearly the more popular concept than the “frugal living” and how easily I can be entangled by it too! Now, frugal isn’t mean same thing with being stingy. Frugality (I quote this from Wikipedia :P) means “the quality of being prudent and economical in the consumption of consumable resources such as food, time or money, and avoiding waste, lavishness, or extravagance”. What this author (Denise Glen from “Wisdom for Mothers”) wrote was really inspiring for me the first time I read it, even until now,
“Jesus didn’t worry about His food, clothing or shelter. He didn’t stay up at night anxious over the future. He lived simply but had all of His needs supplied. He worked as a carpenter, and then went into a full-time ministry. He did not worry about money in either vocation. He did not indulge Himself nor did He hoard and live in fear“
“Moderation” sounds like the key. I don’t blame people buying branded stuffs if they personally like it. I personally also like branded bags because I know the quality is at its best and will always be ‘trendy’ (for a classic piece in particular haha). But I don’t force myself (or worst, my husband) for having one especially when this household needs the money for better things (paying mortgage and bills! lol). When I do have branded bags, they are mostly gifts from my extended family or gifts from my husband on my birthdays (what a privilege, right!) – mind you, this was before now we have mortgage lol.
Well, I’m writing this without intention of being judgmental whatsoever. I can ‘confess’ that now my ‘craving’ is not on branded things anymore, but can be as simple as craft supplies (how fancy huh :P). The thing is, these kind of ‘things’ can really consume my mind and hearts and making them becoming “treasure of my life”. Matt 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” and I’m trying (maybe still not as my best) to really put this God’s words into life.
But I am grateful because God gives me His Holy Spirit staying in me, who patiently always ‘alarm’ me whenever my heart has turned into these many idols. “Many times I fail, still Your grace remains“, just like the lyrics from one of my fave songs “From The Inside Out” by Hillsong.
In practical side, I was really inspired by an episode I watch in Channel 9’s Current Affair, about how this family managed to pay off their mortgage ($100,000) within 5 years with single income of $40,000. I’m not sure whether I can go to the length of making my own detergent and cleaning product like how the wife showed us how in the television (hihi) but I’ve started become wiser in my grocery spending, for the most basic practical step I can put into practice. I’m really inspired by this! Yes, I choose to pay off our mortgage earlier than we should have (within 8-10 years?) rather than enjoying ‘unnecessary indulgence’ and have to bear with this loan ‘until the rest of our life’ hahaha… oh Lord, let Your grace enable us 😛
Along the way I have battles with ungratefulness (eg. always wanting more ‘stuffs’) but once again it is to Holy Spirit I must give credit to. Somehow, after His discipline and rebuke, He always gives me comfort, joy and strength to go further doing what is right. For now my husband is the sole provider and I can’t put any more burdens with my selfishness, so I choose to “bring him good, not harm, all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:12). Some things that I can still get to enjoy now are far way more than a privilege (eg. enjoying good food, trips, and yes, craft supplies (in moderation) lol). I’m afraid due to its regularity, I may have forgotten that they are actually have been a life privilege rather than “necessity” and then become ungrateful and complaining when I couldn’t have what I want (and this often happens, forgive me Lord).
Oh well, this is just what I feel like I want to share. The world that we’re living in surely has plenty to offer, however, be careful to which side we’re actually putting our hearts into. Care to share some thoughts? 🙂