"And having food an raiment, let us therewith be content." I Timothy 6:8There is one matter of conversation that every one of us has in common: finances. Whether you have tons of money, or seemingly no money, I'm sure you still discuss your finances with someone. For us it is a frequent topic of conversation. We believe we are doing the right thing by choosing to live off of one income so that I can stay home with the children. This will probably be a topic that appears on this blog from time to time as well. However, I want to share some thoughts from a conversation my husband and I had this morning.
All of us have dreams. Some of these dreams are goals that we would like to attain, and some of these are things that we will only ever dream of doing. Some of our dreams are desires for things that we would like to have, and some of these desires are for things we will never have. I have dreams. So many things I would like to have. I struggle so often to be content in the current situation in which I find myself. I can never just be satisfied with the fact that God is meeting our needs. I always want more. I want to be able to buy new clothes now and then. I want to get my hair cut and styled. I want to get new shoes. I want to have clothes for my children that fit them properly. I want them to have toys and books. I want them to have a nicely decorated bedroom with matching bed sets. I want a nicely decorated home. I want pictures to hang on the wall, paint to paint my walls with.
But you know what? These are wants. I have clothes on my back. My children have clothes to wear. I have hair on my head. I have a place to call home. And I have children who know that I am here for them.
My husband and I were observing people at church today. This is sadly the place where I find myself struggling with contentment the most. So many of the women look nice. Every hair is in place. Their makeup is perfect. Their clothes are new and nice looking. They have a purse to match their outfit. And their children are wearing the latest designer clothing. But as I sat their today and observed these things yet again, I asked my husband how these people do it. And the answer was simple: the mother works so that the home has a comfortable income so that the family can enjoy these luxuries.
The answer was simple, and what that meant to us was refreshing. Yes, I may still be jealous at times. Yes, I will still want to be able to buy something new at times. But to us, nothing is worth sacrificing our children. I believe God called me to be a mother to my children. It is my job to raise them, to love them, to nurture them, and to be there for them. I do not want to miss that opportunity. I don't want to hand my children over to someone else to raise just so that I can buy things I want when God has already supplied the things I need.
I keep a list on my bulletin board in the kitchen of reasons I stay home with my kids. I plan to make a page on by blog with those reasons, and will add to it as I come up with more. But I use this list during these times of discontentment, or on days when I'm ready to pull my hair out, to remind me that my children are worth the financial sacrifice.