Lately it’s been on my mind a lot… this struggle that I have for superficial perfection. Not in me, but in my home. And I’m finding that it doesn’t fit well at all with the homesteaders lifestyle. My modern ideals are conflicting with this inner longing for a simpler, back-to-basics lifestyle.
I’m talking about wanting to buy things that look nice instead of being happy with cheaper (or free) things that are just as functional but not as appealing to look at. For instance, the chicken wire that I have around my garden is working perfectly, but when I look at it I find myself thinking, “Man, I wish I had a pretty white picket fence around my garden instead. That would look so much nicer!”
That’s normal though, right?
I realize that true homesteaders do the best they can with what they have. They don’t throw money around frivolously. They don’t buy things just to have others admire them. But it’s SO HARD for me to think that way all the time! I’d really much rather have some nice planters instead of old tires to grow my herbs in. I’d rather have pretty curtains than blankets tacked over the windows. Sometimes I look around my bare bones yard and long for a beautiful, magazine worthy, picture perfect homestead.
I know there’s a balance somewhere in between though. That’s what I’m trying to figure out… a balance. There are so many things that I want to do to beautify my home. I’d love to landscape the front, and have a walkway and nice front steps. I’d love to have a home that people come up to and say, “Wow, what a beautiful place you have!” But I’m having to learn to be patient and do these things in time. And I know from many experiences that the Lord will bless us with all that we need when we are good stewards of what He gives us.
It’s not like we have the money to go out and buy all of the things I’d like right away anyways. And that’s what this is about I guess; learning to be wise with our money, not buying things that we don’t need, and doing as much as we can ourselves and not paying someone else to do it for us.
So, this is what I’ve decided to do. I’ll gladly accept free things, and if they aren’t exactly what I want, I’ll do my best to use a little creativity to spruce them up a bit! I’ll shop yard sales and thrift stores to find great deals on things I need instead of buying new. I’ll ask around for things that I’m looking for; I’m always blessed when a family member or friend just happens to be getting rid if something that I’ve been needing. And I’ll find free plants to do my landscaping (my mother-in-law has a bunch she’s been trying to give me)!
Old habits are so hard to break sometimes. But I have to learn to control my “wants” and simply be happy (joyous even) when I am supplied all of my “needs”. And I’m sure I’ll be able to find a happy medium between living on less and still living richly.