Learning To Be Content

I don’t know if anyone else ever saw this commercial but I think of it every time I see people drowning in debt and hope I am never in the same situation. (For the record I’m not endorsing the advertising company, please don’t go get a home equity loan like they’re trying to tell you to do!).

I am learning to be content. I’m learning to appreciate what God has provided in my life instead of longing for the things He has not. In our society this is anything but easy. We are trained to believe that if we want it, we should have it.
A new car? You deserve it.
Those cute shoes? You need them now!
You owe it to yourself!
You’re worth it!
Why save for tomorrow what you can spend today!

Okay so I’ve never heard an advertising campaign use that last slogan but they might as well. Society makes us believe that debt is not only acceptable but necessary. How else are you going to get what you want? Can’t wait until payday? Get a cash advance on your paycheck! Credit card offers fly at you from every financial institution imaginable boasting low balance transfers and high credit limits. I haven’t worked for pay in over two years and I still get credit card and loan offers sent to me. One last week asked if I needed some extra cash and proceeded to offer me $15 000! Wow. Thanks but no thanks. If I don’t have money for something it makes logical sense that I shouldn’t be buying it. Doesn’t it take money to get stuff? And if I don’t have money, I shouldn’t be getting stuff. How can something so simple be so incomprehensible to most people? Why are there so many people in debt up to their eyeballs, barely able to pay their finance charges?

They only thing I can think of that is good debt is a mortgage on a house you can afford. A house is something most people won’t be able to pay cash for and is a good investment. We mortgaged our house in the city when we lived there and it was the most wise financial decision we could have made. It was good debt because we paid less for a mortgage payment than we could have for rent, and we made almost twice as much money as we paid for the house after only 3 years. With the sale of our house we had money left over after paying off our mortgage and buying our current home.

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Isn’t it cute? ;) The truth is we bought this place because of its land value. We paid less than the lot is worth and hoped to build a new house here this spring and move the trailer off. After we moved I was thankful to have a roof over my head but definitely thought of this place as temporary. I wanted a new house come spring! Then a few months ago my thinking began to change. God has been teaching me so much about contentment and thankfulness. When we’re honest with ourselves, we realize we can’t afford to build a new house right now. And we definitely can’t afford to sell this place and buy something else! Our home may not (okay, IS not) the nicest on the block. But however humble it may be, it is ours. We owe nothing to anyone and I can’t even begin to tell you how good it feels to be debt free! We have money in savings for emergencies and a savings account for a future house. I’m sure that a mortgage will be in our future sometime or another, but right now we can’t afford it and I am happy to stay here in the home the Lord has provided for us and continue to save for our future home. This one is warm, cozy, surprisingly roomy, and has a bathroom we can actually turn around in! We live in a small town, which is exactly where we wanted to be when we started having kids. We have enough room for the four of us, and I’m sure could fit one or two more in here if need be ;) Whatever the Lord has in mind for us is ultimately better than anything we could dream up and I’m so thankful that He takes the time to reveal these things to us.

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