Focusing on What Matters


Well, after being away for over a month, I am back. It was a difficult holiday season full of learning experiences. However, I can’t complain. I have been blessed with work and so have had the opportunity to store up some financial “nuts” for a very cold January. I am tired but glad that God offered me a bit of work to tide us over.

And how about those lessons learned over the holidays? They often had to do with frugal living. Perhaps the one that is most applicable to this blog and community was the renewal of my old weakness, shopping. Yes, my dear friends, I thought I had kicked that in the hiney and pushed it out the door, but it rose up to greet me during a shopping trip with my husband.

While I was an inveterate shopper during my single years, I rarely indulge in such experiences any longer. In order to stay away from temptation, we simply don’t go window shopping. Too, we also do not purchase magazines as they have bright and shiny ads full of lovely things. However, we decided to have a bit of fun and go visit Best Buy back in December.

Looking at all of those gadgets and doo-dads, I found that I had a raging case of technolust. I wanted it all. Worse, I could rationalize that I “needed” it all. I could use that new computer for work, of course, and having a smart phone would allow me to stay in touch even when I was away from home. This all could be true, but I was simply trying to make myself feel better about wanting things. None of it was needed, and so we walked out of the store empty handed.

Confronting our weaknesses can be a bit jarring; it is the only way to grow, though. My own technolust was dampened by a dose of reality from my husband as well as my attempts to focus on those things that will truly satisfy my soul. Home, family, and God are those parts of life that fill up all of those holes that we often stuff with purchases and various addictions. Refocusing my life in the new year has helped quiet my latent shopping urges.

Does this mean I’m cured? No, it sure doesn’t. Staying away from temptation is sometimes the best thing, especially when you’re trying to live a frugal life. The world offers plenty of “wants” but will not ultimately satisfy our desires. As I get older, I realize this more and more. Living frugally can help us to find those things that matter in life by helping us to leave behind what the world says is important.

And that’s what I’m going to remember as we enter this new year. May you all be blessed in the months to come.

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