Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tupperware storage bins make good end-tables....

1.satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.
 Philippians 4:12-13
  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

    When we first moved into our new apartment, we found we were in need of a few things.  We splurged and bought a few brand new items at discount stores, and I've been hunting down craigslist ads and thrift store finds since then.  The one thing I haven't found (cheaply anways) was some sort of end tables to go next to our couch.  We use them a lot; we set our cups and plates on them while we eat dinner and watch Netflix, I put my morning devotional books there, all the game controllers and remotes go we really do need something.  I've been looking for the ottoman/storage basket type, with a sturdy enough top to place things on.  I finally decided last week that my storage bins, with a small blanket placed strategically to hide their bright colors, will work just as well, if not better than anything I could find.  Yay for not spending money!
  I suppose I have learned to be content.  We have moved a total of 10 times since we've been married (only been married 7 years...) and it has taught us so much on what kinds of possessions to value and what things must be let go of.  It has taught us to live simply and not accumulate.  It has taught us the value of a paperless system.  It has taught us when to invest in a nice item that we know we will always take with us, versus getting something used and very cheap, in the anticipation that it will be gotten rid of before the next move.
  We are content.  We are happy.  We don't have much and we don't plan on getting more, but we know where our true and deep joy is found.  We are TRULY happy.
  We've heard that so many times since our recent move to the city.  It's not that we like the city better (no, we will always be wide-open-spaces-country-folk), and it's not that we are any healthier down here (probably the opposite).  We have no close friends or family.  I have only a few of my animals left, and one of our dogs is living with her grandparents until we can get a house with a yard (we recently lost our dragon - so sad - he was a huge part of the family and was around before we were even married).  My apartment complex is clean and semi-pleasant, but the walls have lead paint, there is an on-going mold issue, cockroaches will come in if you don't keep it treated, and there's plenty of noisy people blasting their 'oompa loompa' through the walls at night.  I have only 2 dining table chairs, and one is broken.  All our clothes fit into three dresser drawers and one closet - combined.  We work physically hard all day long, sewing holes in our socks, repairing our vehicles ourselves, cooking meals at home, putting in extra hours at work while sacrificing time at home, and walking somewhere to save gas, when we could have driven.
  I'm trying to get across to you that we don't have THINGS that make us happy - we probably have the opposite by the world's standards.  But we have made choices to live like this and it's these choices that make us happy - that make us content.
  We chose to live frugally, and that allows us to save for hard times (security and peace-of-mind).  We made a wise choice in following an excellent job opportunity, even though it meant leaving all our family and friends and 'wide-open-spaces' behind.  We have clung to each other along our journey and it has strengthened our marriage bond beyond what most people have at our age. We have chosen to stick to our faith, rely upon our great big God and trust HIS guidance - even when he seems mysterious, distant or downright confusing. It's our 'CHOICES' in this life that have given us joy. We CHOSE contentment.  We CHOSE joy.  And we CHOOSE not to let anyone or anything take it from us.  Not even the crazy LA drivers.
Every choice you make places a controlling power into the hands of that some-one or some-thing. You had better make good and sure that person or thing has your best interests in mind.
  ~Hebrews 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, 
because God has said,    
  “Never will I leave you;
   never will I forsake you.”

  ~Jeremiah 29:11 

 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


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