Friday, August 28, 2009

Appreciate What You Have

I admit that I have a lovely home. It suits our every need. It is far more spacious than the apartment we lived in for eleven years. It was cramped, but we never felt like life would be better someday when we _________. (fill in the blank)
I can't say that I am any *happier* now, than then. Am I more satisfied? Yes, in some respects; Knowing that I am buying my home and somehow contributing to my own welfare, verses paying someone else to live in their abode is gratifying. But it isn't what brings me genuine contentment.
Mowing my lawn, planting trees, nuturing the land, repairing the home as it needs it is all rewarding by virtue of it's own design. But my contentedness comes from my love of God and family. God has shown me in His word that my needs are simple. It is society that puts the pressure on us to have luggage and purses of certain varieties that send the message to the world that we are on board with whatever the latest fad is and willing to pay a premium, no less.
I am not against a quality product. I prefer certain brands over others, but do try to find my favorite brands at outlet prices, or better yet; gently used. I know that Ralph Lauren and Eddie Bauer Comforters outlast the Walmart brand by a longshot, and buying a cheap product often times results in a short life-span of the article, therefore causing more expense in the long run.
But when are our appetites satisfied? Well, I will tell you something that many a Grandmother knows: What is appreciated most is what was created with your own two hands. The things I treasure most in my home are probably not a lot to look at, but someone who loved me took the time to stitch it, spin it, crochet or knit it. I have a little bit of cross stitch from my Sister In Law that reads: "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.". It is lovingly hemmed in red ribbon and has hung in my home for years. I know the love she put in it and wouldn't trade it for all the tea in China.
So while magazines, and the government are pushing us to spend, spend, spend... may I suggest gently to the reader that this will never satisfy. You must create contentment from within, and it simply cannot be purchased.
As a Christian, I fall on this scripture : "I belong to my Savior and God, and He is the almighty One. I am the recipient of His love and of His grace. Therefore I am heir of the kingdom of God. All things are mine" 1 Cor 3:21
So yes, I agree we all have needs, but do we really understand the difference between a desire and a need? Looking at the homes I grew up in, they were very small in comparison to todays rambling 3000 plus square foot houses. I fear that some people think they couldn't bear to live in less and that makes me rather sad. Sometimes, it is the closeness of family... of cousins sleeping in the same bed, or brothers, and dogs, and whatever else we could manage to sneek in that brings me the greatest joy in recollecting. Learning to share space, time and manage is a greater lesson that we can pass on to our children that will give them temperance and compassion as adults. Is giving our children the very best of everything really helping them or hindering them? Not to fear; I do not begrudge anyone a happy childhood, but my question to you is; what creates an atmosphere of happiness and contentment? Is it your own room and all the electronica your parents can afford? Does this produce happiness?

Or does the decisiveness of the parents that LIFE IS GOOD, and it's not based on how many toys you have, or what kind of car you drive. The fact that your alive, healthy, and able to help others is what you teach those children, and amazingly, the cycle will continue with their children if you plant the seeds of joy now.
I have never spent one moment happier in better living quarters. But I have had many moments that I realized how happy I am regardless.
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