Finding Encouragement To Live Out The Frugal Life
Tears fill my eyes as I read this beautiful missive that speaks so eloquently of the realities of parenting and living out what I would call the "work life." No sugar coating the realities by Ann Voskamp, writing at aholyexperience.com, just simple, almost brutal, honesty about a life filled with hard work, long days and even some sleepless nights. Days like you and I live as we seek to fill our days with what really matters. I am encouraged and may you be as well.
As I reflect on Ann's words and think of what to share on this frugal blog, I realize that my desire is to to encourage you and myself as well, that there is a higher purpose in what we are doing as frugal livers than just saving money. Deal sites abound, and many do an excellent job of sharing how to save money. I, too, desire to share any tips or experiences that I find make my frugal life work better. Yet it is the why of what we do that helps to make the challenge of living out the frugal life meaningful.
Our families are worth the cost of working hard and seeking to live within our means but materialism seeks to make us lose our focus and find our meaning in that which soon dissipates. The temptation to find our purpose in what we own and provide for our families can easily deceive our hearts.
I write letters to my children in a small journal type notebook. Nothing fancy mind you, just pages that hold my words of love and remembrance. My married children have taken their journals with them, but I still write a few times each year to Youngest Son. After a recent addition about his 18th birthday and new driver's license, I flip through the pages of my letters written to him since birth and remember.
After I close this memoir, realization comes that little read had anything to do with material possession. It was ordinary and meaningful moments I had sought to capture and the relationship that I had written about lived out in the midst of fun days and even some heartbreaking circumstances.
So for those struggling this day to make ends meet, you are not alone. For those whose hearts crave just one more thing to make your heart happy, you will be disappointed. We work hard and keep our focus for many reasons, but perhaps one of the most important is to pass on to the next generation the freedom to live within their means and to understand that relationships and life's beauties are not bound by our finances.
I have never looked back on my life and wished for more money to have bought my children more things. Certainly there is nothing wrong when one is blessed with extra funds to use well, but it is time and heart that best suits our families. Fancy trips, big houses and designer clothes are no substitute for ears that listen, mouths that speak truth and righteousness and hands that clasp tight while walking through each day.
May God grant each of us eyes to see what is most important and encouragement to live our frugal lives well.