It was nice to have such a long weekend. Had time to catch up on little projects and, more importantly, just sit still in lawn chairs and watch the kids play.
And while the kids played, Matt and I were busy catching up and dreaming. One of our most interesting topics was what we would do if someone pulled into the drive and handed us a million dollars.
So we began throwing all of our hopes and visions of what that million dollars could do to transform our current life into a more pleasant and comfortable place. It involved becoming debt free, lots more land and cows, additions and remodels to the house, new vehicles and fences, fat savings accounts and an over-all stress-free feeling.
Because isn’t money what causes most issues? It does in this house. At the root of most stressful conversations and heated battles, you can find a pile money (mostly lack of it). So a fat sum of “free” money would certainly come close to answering all our prayers, righting all our problems, making us a happier couple and family. Right? Seems kind of temporary to me.
Because when the dreaming was over, and nobody showed up with even five dollars, it sunk in. That was a dangerous dream to dream. It’s a slippery slope that can send this once content mind sailing into space, orbiting unattainable planets of desire, greed and envy. Our seemingly harmless dreams and fantasies plant the seeds of discontentment, making our current blessed life seem less than desirable. And I don’t want that.
What most people want in life is contentment. Whether you have a million dollars or you owe a million dollars. All people want is that gut-happy feeling that all is right with their little corner of the world.
So when I saw a sign the other day that said to have more you have to want less. I knew that that was the key: I need to want what I have.
Now when I look around our 1930s house, I see a home that Matt and I worked long and hard to get. Our fence rows made of tree trunks and grown over with brush from decades and decades contain strong and healthy cattle that will provide for our family. We have enough car seats to safely transport our sweet babies and, thankfully, running vehicles to drive them around in. We have refrigerators full of food to satisfy our hunger pangs and light to brighten the nights. Running water and plastic diapers are also keys to this happy home.
This is our paradise. Maybe not by the world’s standards, but definitely by ours. Million dollars or not, I’ve realized contentment lies within each person. It’s a personal decision, one that money can’t buy for you and others can’t decide for you.
So why not today, let’s all decide to want less. And then let us bask in the contentment our decision provided.
My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.