Monday, July 21, 2008

Freezer Cooking and Frugal Living Part 4

There are many others way to be frugal other than using coupons every time you go shopping or only buying things when they are on sale or making everything from scratch because it is cheaper. Yes, those are all great ways to be frugal but I believe that true frugal living starts in your heart with being content with what you have and making the most out of what God has blessed you with.

I frequent a blog called “Like Merchant Ships”, the author, Meredith, focuses on cheerful frugality. She also posts at Frugal Hacks on Cheerful Frugality. In one post she tackles some comments that were left by her readers who were telling her that it is easy for her to be cheerful when she had so much. Her response in her own words was, “There are negative aspects to my life right now, but you won’t hear me complain about them often. Be relentless in your pursuit of cheerful frugality, and you may just be surprised at how often you feel cheerful, or how you inspire a cheerful attitude in those around you.”

I believe cheerful frugality and contentment go hand in hand. If we are content with what we have then it will be easy for us to cheerfully be frugal. We won’t care that we can’t buy a Starbucks because we are content with the coffee pot God has provided for us at home. Make sense?

Let’s take for example dinnertime. Oh this was one that I had to work on big time. You make a dinner that is not so extravagant because the pantry is bare and the funds are low. Now, do you plop dinner down on the table and apologize for it? Or do you serve dinner with a smile and thank God for what He has provided? Proverbs 15:17 says, “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fated calf with hatred.” I have so found this true when we go to my in-laws for dinner. Don’t get me wrong they are all great people but whenever we are all together there is always strife. My MIL always makes really great meals but it is so hard to enjoy the food when everyone is bickering. Now I could stay home and eat a sandwich for dinner with my family and it tastes wonderful because we are all happy. So don’t apologize for what God has provided for you. He has given you everything you have no matter how much or how little and we are to be grateful.

Hebrews 13:5 says “let your conduct be without covetousness, be content with such things as you have. For He himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’.”
Truly the best way to live a frugal life is contentment. I can’t say that enough. If you are always coveting what someone else has or wanting to improve this room or that room in your house by re-decorating or buying all new furniture, when there really is nothing wrong with what you have or how the room looks then you are not being content and you will go out and spend unnecessary money. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “Make sure you decorate your house to the nines and it is always up to date with the latest fashions”.

1Timothy 6:6-7, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” Hear that, we will carry nothing out of this world with us. So why do we need to go out and buy a bunch of stuff? We don’t. Instead we need to focus on being content with what God has given us and again, being happy about it. Cheerful frugality!

Philippians 4:11, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned that whatever state I am in, to be content.” Yes, it is easy to be content when we have a fridge full of food, a closet full of clothes, and a house all decorated. But can we be content when we only have enough crumbs to get us by, when we haven’t bought a new outfit in years, or our house is not as pretty as someone else’s?

So while we are being good stewards of our money we need to remember to be cheerful and content and know in our hearts that we are blessed by God!

I hope you have enjoyed reading these posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Living frugally is a road that I have been traveling all my life. It has not been an easy road (especially when it comes to the cheerful part) but it has been a road that God has walked with me on, sometimes even carried me on, and He has always blessed me on. I hope that you, too, can find contentment and blessings, cheerfully on this frugal road.



Cena said...

Oh, I read a "frugality" book one time that began by saying that what our husband brings home as his pay, is enough no matter the amount. Enough. What a concept. Whining in our hearts for a little more instead of cutting back ruins the budget and tears down our home life.
Good post.

rebecca j said...

Fantastic post Caroline! And a truly inspiring talk at HED. Thank you so much for sharing all you do. I am encouraged- and the freezer is filling up. : )