keeping up with the Joneses

It seems like it’s always the same old struggles with me.

I am in major debt and have been for years. Now that I have a baby I am more sorry than ever that I got in to debt in the first place. But it’s not just the debt. It’s the wanting a bigger house with a certain look to it and the decorations and furniture I put in the house. I feel self-conscious sometimes around people at work because they have these beautiful houses that they own with matching furniture and beds (ours doesn’t have a frame or a headboard!) and things like that and I live in an old, one bedroom apartment with a husband, a new baby and on many weekends, two stepsons who sleep in the living room on the couch and on the floor. When you walk up the outside stairwell to our apartment the paint is peeling off the walls everywhere. I like my apartment a lot inside, but when I compare it, I feel inadequate. I feel the same way about my car – it’s an old car, not a new one.

I want to take care of the finances, however that may happen. In a way, we need a bigger place to live, but until that place is within our means, I want to be content in my heart where we are and with the car that I drive. I don’t want to worry and I want to hear from Jesus what to do about my job, my photography and how to live life being more alive inside and with each other instead of worrying about how we will get a bigger house and what how other people think of me. It’s true that I do desperately need some guidance from heaven about how to live with what we have and how to move forward and bring money in… yet I want to be at peace while hanging in there and looking for guidance, a plan to follow, divine provision and creativity.

“To have what we want is riches; but to be able to do without is power.” George MacDonald

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4 thoughts on “keeping up with the Joneses

  1. Shannon,

    First of all I love the name of your website and I love where it came from!!!
    In reading this blog about keeping up, I totally relate. I have to say that we are in a much nicer place now, but for years I dreaded having company. It was all we could afford though and I was not working. With that being said….knowing you as I do I have to say “Who cares what the outside looks like, it’s what’s going on in the inside.” You have a loving hubby and a precious baby and 2 precious older boys. If you have to live in a box one day : ) you still have more than some. I am so happy you have love in your life and I love seeing your face now that Elijah is here! One day you will have the bigger house and look back at these precious times. I love you and I am so happy at how your life has progressed. (SLB’s unite)

    Shannon E.

    • Hi Shan! I know from what you said that you are getting where I am coming from. Thank you for encouraging me – I love you and totally appreciate you so much!!! You don’t even know how much. 🙂

  2. hey,
    reading this is such an encouragement to me…we’re finding as the kids are growing our house appears to be shrinking around us, and what was a minimalistic house has become a home full of stuff. I see friends buying beautiful houses in Kings Park and falling pregnant wondering, which of the spare bedrooms to turn into a nursery, and others spending hundreds of pounds on wooden dolls houses for christmas for their little girl who is too young to play with it.
    Taizé recently said to Darren and I after visiting some friends “mummy why is our house so small” what do we say…we’re in debt so we can’t afford for you and your brother to have your own bedrooms…but I keep holding onto God’s promise that he provides for us what we need. (not what we want).
    I recently was challenged by a speaker who said; we ask for God to provide then when he does, we want more and complain when we don’t get it. The challenge was that our winging is a sin, and we should be content with the amazing provision God gives for us. When we need some thing different God will provide that for us.
    Our house is small for four of us but it’s a home…and I’m sure you guys live in a home that may not be massive or full matching furniture but I’m sure it’s full of love…and hey if that’s not the perfect place for bringing up a baby then I’m not sure what is!!!
    Love to you all Jox

    • Jo!! You just made me cry with what you wrote. You encouraged me so much in what you said!! You get what I am saying and that in itself is like feeling a big sigh of relief inside – just to know someone else gets it. And bless you as you are in it too… I so so love you guys and wish I could hug you and Darren. Thank you for what you shared and for reminding me that when I feel bad for my financial choices in life or for not having more for Elijah, that we do have love and that is a very real and tangible thing that he will grow up with… and you know, sometimes I should ask God how he sees the debt thing because whatever his vision of it, I know it cannot be Him who puts the guilt I feel over it on me.

      Love you,
      Shan xxxx

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