Today at church we had a lesson that really hit home with me. It was on simplifying our lives. I guess it isn't something I had thought about recently. A lot of the stress in our lives we create ourselves. During the lesson we were told about a man who lived by himself in a cabin for two years. After that time he said he had determined that we have four basic needs. Now I don't know about you, but when I start listing my "needs" my list is way longer than four things! I "need" my cell phone, Internet, cable TV, extra money to eat out, you get the picture!
Well the things on this mans list were food, shelter, clothes and fuel(spiritual fuel is what he focused on). We had a really good discussion about each one of these things and really I think it just helps you put into perspective your own idea's about needs and wants and priorities. For quite a while getting out of debt was very high on our priority list. We had ran up credit cards and gotten loans and most of it was unnecessary. We wanted to pay off our debts so we could start living more within our means and more frugally. We finally paid off our debts, every last penny! We did for a while live fairly frugally. But it really hasn't been a permanent or long term thing. We still have no debt, except for a car loan we unexpectedly had to get BUT frugal living has not been our motto. We tend to spend a bit more than we need/should on non-essentials and "fun" stuff. Now there isn't anything wrong with having a bit of fun EXCEPT when it prevents you from doing other more important things like establishing a savings or working on gathering food storage which our current spending habits have done.
I love that the Lord is patient with me. I have heard the message of frugality, living within our means and simplifying my life to what really matters time and time again. But like my four year old who is told at least 5 times a day not to harass his brother , I don't always get the message the first time or the second for that matter!