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This post is written as part of Ruth Soukupâ€™s Secret 13 Blog Tour, which I am excited to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more about the blog tour and join us, click HERE. To find out more about the Secret 13 Essay Contest and your chance to win a weeklong Carnival Cruise for 4, click HERE.
I was privileged to get a preview copy of Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life. I’ve been following Ruth’s blog Living Well Spending Less for over a year and I love what she has to say. Her new book made a lot of sense to me! I’ve read it once – a quick read through and now I’m re-reading it.
She talks about the good life and how it isn’t what we expect. It isn’t more things or more money.It is a life rich in faith, family, friends, and creativity. It is a life full of the richness that God has to offer; a life spent building treasures in heaven rather than here on earth. It is not a life of laziness and greed, but one of discipline, hard work, and self-reflection. It may not always be easy or comfortable, but it is always full in abundance and completely secure in Christ.
Last year, we moved across the country and did a major downsizing. We had to really think about what we wanted and what we could part with. I remember the final day of loading the truck – we still had more stuff to put it in and were rapidly running out of room. We had to reassess the leftover stuff and part with more of it. We left some stuff for the new owners – 25 lb dumbbells (the thrift store wouldn’t take them) and our glider swing (that was a tough choice!). The day we left PA, we made a final stop at the local thrift shop to drop off the stuff that wouldn’t fit. After the truck arrived in Florida and we started unloading it, we found more stuff that we didn’t need! For several weeks after we arrived, we were filling our dumpster each week, plus adding some to my parents! So much stuff that we paid to move and then just threw away! We also had enough stuff for a yard sale and then donated the leftover stuff to a local church for their rummage sale.
One of the things we don’t have right now is cable or satellite tv (we get the local networks via antenna). I honestly don’t miss it. My hubby and kids do, but they’ve found other ways to watch (Netflix, free shows on TV websites, DVDs). One thing I noticed is that I’m a lot more content when I can’t watch a lot of HGTV and DIY. I used to love watching Bathroom Crashers and Kitchen Crashers and any other show where they remodeled. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it made me very discontent with what I had. When I looked at my kitchen, all I saw were cabinets that were at the very least in need of painting (preferably replacing), the floor was old linoleum and never looked quite clean, the layout was all wrong…. You get the picture. What I should’ve seen was a huge kitchen with tons of storage that was perfect for a family with little kids that are going to spill things. Don’t get me wrong – the kitchen was dated, but updating it wasn’t a need. It was something I wanted to do (very badly!), but it wasn’t in our budget and that bothered me more than I should admit.
When we moved (to a house that I had only seen pictures of), the kitchen was smaller and even more dated (hello yellow countertops & backsplash), but you know what? I didn’t care! Why? Because I chose to be content – we were moving to Florida, close to family, & near the beach. We were simplifying life – hubby was leaving a job that had become too stressful with too many hours. He got a job teaching – something he’s always wanted to do. We left behind a big house with a huge fenced yard that we rarely used because of a neighbor we didn’t get along with. Our new house has a much smaller yard, but both neighbors enjoy seeing our kids out playing and have never complained about the noise. We try to get to the beach often (it doesn’t always happen though).