Friday, November 4, 2011

“Life isn’t about what you don’t have..


It’s about making the most of what you have.” 
 


These wise words were said by my daughter Emily several years ago to one of her siblings who was complaining about what they did not have in life. Contentment is an issue I am sure we have all struggled with from time to time. A pastor that I admire once said in a Sunday morning sermon on contentment, “How much is enough? Just a little more than I have.” If I just had this or that then my life would be great. But if we do get “this or that” then there is always something else to long for. 



Many years ago my family was living in the city in an 1100 square foot house. We had 7 children in that 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom home. Oh how I wanted a life in the country with a bigger house and room for my kids to run and play. I prayed a lot for this and still nothing happened. There was so much in this situation to be discontent about! This situation provided one of the biggest lessons in my life on learning to not just be content with where I was at but to make the most of what I DID have. It is so easy to overlook the very things that are sitting right in front of us while wish, hope and pray for more. 



So I decided that if I didn’t have my dreamed of homestead I would make my home on my 50 x 100ft city lot my homestead. I worked at the life skills that were needed for my family to live a “homestead” life right there in the middle of the big city. I worked to be a better house keeper and to keep organized in a small space, I learned how to cook frugal meals, bake my own bread, and I studied herbs and herbal medicine so I could do more home care when my family got sick. A friend of ours would come to our home in the spring and rototill my garden spot for me in my back yard. I planted veggies and was even able to have enough to can a few things. I took my kids out to the u-pick farms and we picked strawberries, peaches, apples and more to can and preserve. 



During those years I was homeschooling and having those 7 babies and I learned so much on how to be organized with my days, how to plan and shop and cook to save us money. We did not have much extra income for entertainment but we found ways to have fun. My children and I spent countless hours walking the neighborhood, going to parks and the library. For very little money I was able to get my children involved in the activities that were at available at our local community center. 



I still continued to pray for that home in the country. And after a great deal of searching we did find a home that worked for us. Today I am thankful for God allowing me to have the time and circumstances to understand what it means to make the most of what I have. Life is to short to spend wishing for more, better, different. Being thankful for today and making the most of the blessings that God has for us each day will make a content heart. What incredible lessons and blessings are there if we accept our lives for what they are today and not just accept them… but learn to make the most of what He has blessed us with!!

 

14 comments:

  1. Hi, wow :) Amen to that. I really needed that. I have been grumping about for a long time, wishing that we had a better place to live. We live in a single-wide mobile home right now. We did not expect to live in a mobile home park. And I have wanted to move as soon as we can. It is old and not safe. And I worry about getting sick. I keep it as clean as possible, but I still feel like it isn't. I need to remember that God loves me and all of us of course. And He has a plan for us. And I may get that nicer more roomy house some day, but it will be in His time. And I just have to be patient and be grateful that we have a roof over our heads and make the most of what I have, like you said. :)
    Maybe I have some growing and learning to do, like you did before it will be time for a new house. What if you did move when you first wanted to? Would things have worked out as good? If you hadn't learned how to do the 'homestead' living first? Maybe not. God knows when we are ready. Wow, I hope all that made sense, I babble on sometimes lol...thanks for your blog and this post. I have put you on my blog list. If you'd like to stop by mine the url is http://www.throughthewoods2.blogspot.com I just started in a few days ago. I have already met and emailed and phoned some neat people here. I like this. Take care , Janet

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  2. Thank you,
    I was just going over that with my husband on what a good place were at when we finally are content. We both grew up in the country and would love to get back there someday, but for now our home in the suburbs and that will do just fine. Who knows maybe that perfect place that we will find will be in heaven, when we finally go home.
    God bless,
    Jeanna

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  3. Thank you for sharing your testimony. I have learned to ask God for my true desires and then seek to be content with what he gives me. Of course, it's always a process. Contentment doesn't come without the Holy Spirit doing a work in my heart! But the process is worth it!
    Have a great weekend
    Karen Twombly

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  4. Patience is a special virtue and we don't get it unless we HAVE to practice it!
    I guess we've all been there and in different degrees realize that having our own way when we want it absolutely stalls the character building that we need as Christians.
    So we can count our trials as blessings, because a more perfect plan than ours is in the making.

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  5. Thank you Crystal for sharing your story! It is sooo true, I need to get my whole family to read it.
    Bless You,
    Donna
    http://homeschoolingsunnyflorida.blogspot.com/

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  6. I so enjoyed reading this! It took me back to the days when, like you, we lived in the city and I was homeschooling our five older children, gardening in our 50 foot-wide backyard, canning, and learning some of those same skills that you just talked about. Isn't it wonderful how, if we will give Him permission to do it, the Lord will endow us with all we need to bloom where we are planted? Good article, Crystal! Thank you for sharing it and taking me down memory lane! <3

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  7. This was so sweet. My mother always taught us that it was okay to dream and to want more, but to be happy with where we in the meantime. If we learn to do both at the same time, we have such beauty in our lives. It sounds as if you had figured it out. :-)

    Lana

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  8. Thank you Crystal! We have been wanting to get farther out (away from town) for some time now. Just recently I have decided to be content where I am and Lord willing some day we will have our quiet place in the ozark mountains! Until then I will learn all I can!

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  9. Crystal,
    Thank you so much for posting this. I really believe God uses your website as a wonderful ministry. I felt like God sent me a message through this post tonight to really trust in Him. For ten years my husband and I had wanted to move to the country. We were looking up north. Just this past year, he lost his job a month after we had our daughter and the Lord opened the door for a wonderful job for him so I can still be home with our 3 beautiful girls and homeschool. We found a home in the country. In the south. Very rural. Very, very far away from the place I called home for 31 years. So now, states away from our family, we have a little homestead and I never realized how hard it would be.Planning and dreams of country life are certainly different from actually living the country life! We are both very grateful for this amazing opportunity the Lord has provided us. And I always ask Him to always make me content with what I have and where I am. He knows what is best, not I. Thanks again for sharing this post of yours. I love your blog! Blessings, Jamie

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  10. Each move has been one up for us. Our first house was a one of two little farm houses on about 1/2 acre of land in the middle of town. Then a larger home in an older subdivision. We left with two children and a dog to 2 acres and an even larger house with a pool. That two acres was where we really got into farming. Then the next move was hundreds of miles away on 4.3 acres just DH and me. Now we are onto 42 acres complete with an off the grid log home.

    Each move has given us blessings, lessons and a journey. What we have agreed to date is "peace of mind can't be bought" "less is more" and "the things that really matter aren't things at all."

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  11. He was preparing you from smaller scale to larger scale. I wish I would have listened and not been so impatient, but God is good and has blessed us considerably given the mistakes we have made.

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  12. Thank you for this post Crystal. I am in great need of this. I am presently working at a job that I am unhappy at (in my mind)....circumstances at home make me yearn to stay there. I know that day will come, but for now I need to be "happy" in the season I am in.

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