This past week of Lent has been very challenging for me. Not because the theme has been frugality. But in thinking of all the ways my husband and I have battled the culture and its influences for over 20 years in this specific area has really caused me to see what some of the costs have been to live a frugal life style.
And the hard part is the battle of resentment toward others. For being misunderstood. For not seeing the value in the long run and ridiculing us for our choices. For whining at me to “aw come on just this once” in trying to get me to go against my DH and his leadership.
It is not easy to see my black heart. In fact it sickens me. Oh how I need saving from myself!
Yes, we have chosen again and again to be like salmon. Going upstream against the current of culture. Making quiet sacrifices for the benefit of our sons and those who are less fortunate than ourselves. I am not talking about these sacrifices for any one of you who read this to think “Wow what a super Christian Lisa is!” or even for you to think I am tooting my own horn and then say “How dare she point out all that she has done!” Nope. I am simply counting the cost of a frugal life.
I have died daily. I want nice, brand new clothes. From Nordstrom or Dillards or Bloomingdales. I want to remodel the bathrooms and use expensive materials and not do the work myself. Actually I want to buy a bigger house already done up to the nines with acreage so I can have horses. I want a new car every three years with all the bells and whistles. I want. I want. I want.
I retired early from teaching; 1993 was the last year I was full time employed in a school district. At that time I laid down my identity as a teacher to take up the identity of a stay at home mom. Going from two professional salaries to one caused some upheaval for me. Ask my DH. He’s a saint to have stayed committed to me and this marriage.
Two sons. So blessed.
Lots of work, folding, cleaning, reading, singing, camping, changing, growing, praying, learning, repeat.
The sacrifices of stuff compared to the time I had with them was the cost of a frugal life.
As I was folding the socks today and praying for the feet of the one still at home, it hit me.
The cost of a frugal life has been spent on the character of these two men. I was struck by the realization.
And then struck by my own pettiness in holding onto the hurts from being misunderstood for our choices. The cost of a frugal life has been real. It has been external. It has been temporal.
The money, career, prestige, and stuff will burn. Who these men are toward God, His people and each other is eternal.
All I can do is say Thank You Lord for using what was hard for me to do without to in turn benefit others in ways I may never know.