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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

When is Enough Enough????

I have been thinking a lot lately about "stuff". You know, the accumulation of stuff, the desire for more stuff, the need to get rid of stuff to make room for the compulsion to keep buying stuff. Actually, I've really been thinking about the really BIG stuff, like large appliances, homes, cars, etc. And at what cost do we get these things?

When we bought our little home, it was really a miracle, and a huge blessing. We had just had a baby and needed to move out of where we had been living. I happened to drive by our house while on the way to look at another home. Merritt saw the sign and wanted to stop, so we did. I immediately knew it was tooooo small, but I also knew almost immediately it was the home we would be buying. We needed the income from the basement apartment so I could stay home with Eason.

It hasn't been ideal.... no storage- my clothes are in the hallway and in Eason's bedroom, a kitchen meant for a microwaving bachelor- not a gourmet cook, and a less than sound-proof basement- I still have fears the basement renters can hear EVERYTHING! But is has allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom which is what I am supposed to be doing.

It's hard to watch other young couples move "up" to bigger, nicer homes in more desireable areas while we stay put. It's hard to see others getting their 2, 3, and 4 kids while I only have my 1 (who I absolutely adore and wouldn't trade for the entire world!) But I am also blessed with a wise husband who knows that saving money for the future and not getting too much house for our needs is more important. He has worked so hard to put money away for our emergency fund, and to ensure that I can stay home with Eason.

Sometimes I think, well, we COULD afford to move, and then I'd have lots more room. But we would be sacrificing some future security. We wouldn't be able to put as much money away. I have also sometimes dreamed of getting a job and having a "real" life again. I think maybe all stay-at-home moms feel this way sometimes. But then I am reminded of the importance of raising my son and being there for him in an ever-increasing, pressure ridden, evil influenced world. I see how important it is for me to be home when he gets home and discuss with him the things of the day, and choices he's made. I couldn't leave that teaching up to some day care, or neighbor, just so I can have a bigger kitchen and a closet!

My heart hurts when I see people who feel they need a BIG house or nicer cars, and get it at the expense of their children. I see how times are getting harder, how jobs are no longer very secure. The days are gone when a man will choose a career and stay with a company for 40 years and then retire. People are losing their homes because they wanted "more" than they could really afford. People are losing their children because they put "things" at greater importance. The days will soon come when we will need to rely on the money we've set aside, and the food we've stored up. We have been warned about being prepared. The prophets haven't said, "Make sure you have a huge house for the last days", they've said time and again that we need to be financially prepared, and have food storage. I'm still working on the food storage bit, and still working on the financially prepared part, too. I know I could do better.

I may be cramped, and my living room turned into my sewing room, but I am glad for a wise husband, and a sweet little boy, and a roof over my head. I am glad for what I have. Would I like to move? Of course! But I know that if I raise my family right, we will be blessed no matter where we live. For now, I am willing to be where the Lord wants me to be. It may not always be easy, but I will try my best to make it work!

14 comments:

Andrea said...

You're doing good things. I'm grateful that Wes and I had savings because we ended up needing it to pay for Dylan's medical bills. 20% adds up fast. It also brings some peace of mind knowing that if something happened we have savings and food for at least 3 months.

Loralee Choate said...

That's true, but I also know that having enough space is so important. I am going CRAZY with no storage or a place for everything. I can't store food because I have zero room for it. GAH!

It drives me nutso. :S

Still, this is a good reminder to not bitch and whine as much as be thankful for what I do have.

Erin Evans Taylor said...

I realized this post sounded VERY preachy! I didn't mean for that... I was in a bad mood when I wrote it. Actually, I was feeling sorry for myself and my tiny cramped house! It is hard to draw an equal balance between enough space, and enough money. *sigh* I was mostly referring to people my husband runs into every day in his work who have gone into foreclosure because they bought too much house. It's hard to watch people making bad decisions. I'm sure people think that about me sometimes, too.

Erin Evans Taylor said...

Andrea,
You guys are doing great. I know Dylan's medical bills must be pretty crazy. I feel for you! Eason still prays every night that you will "do well with your baby"- whatever that means!

Erin Evans Taylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

What wonderful thoughts - thanks for sharing. I know that every once in a while (okay, maybe more often) I need to be reminded to be grateful for the wonderful and beautiful 1300 square feet I have instead of longing for a house with a pantry and a garage that isn't tilted! :) I think everyone feels this way sometimes - especially when your "projects" take over your living room!

Ruth said...

I don't want a bigger house, I want a safer neighborhood for my children where I don't see crack heads walking up and down my street and homeless people digging in my garbage for cans!

Live Accidentally said...

I don't think this was preachy at all. I think as a society our priorities have moved away from things that matter to things that will not last an eternity. I think it is funny that the families that built our little houses had much larger families and they somehow made it work. Somehow saving and denying yourself possessions has become a swear word and not something to admire. I may only have 972 sq ft but the things that matter, Tim, Luke, Gage and myself fit just fine in it! I would give up anything to raise my family and I think I'll be blessed for it and so will you!

Erin Evans Taylor said...

Wow, thanks for that comment, Jessica. I love when you said you would give up anything to raise your family. I feel the same way!

Erin Evans Taylor said...

I agree that I would like a better neighborhood. And I still hope to go to one someday. However, I am doing what I can where I am now to help make it a better place for my family. I call the sheriff whenever I see suspicious activity. I teach my son about strangers and safety, dangers of drugs, etc, and keep an eye on my neighbors' homes as they do mine. It doesn't fix the problem, but it makes my son a more street-savvy kid, which is how I grew up, (on the west side of town... wrong side of the train tracks!)

Heather said...

You know, last night I ran into the pictures we used to sell our house on your street and I really found myself missing it...and the small space. Sounds funny I know with all of the drug deals that occurred there daily. But really, bigger is not better. It's just more to keep clean and clutter. I have always thought you are an awesome homemaker and mother. And, hey...any time you want to "borrow" a child you let me know. I love them dearly and they are a miracle because of all my female health issues. But all moms need a break sometimes! :) You will be blessed in every way!

Shantell said...

This is just what I needed to hear. We are running out of space in our house as well, but it is worth it to stay and even though the neighborhood does have some sketchy elements it has lots of great people too. I would miss all of you if we moved.

Loralee Choate said...

Dude, this wasn't preachy at ALL. I know the frustration of living in a tiny house and I knew what you were referring to and I thought you were right. I know someone who has 2 people in there family a 5,000 sqft house and are in danger of losing it.

Whit said...

You are such a trooper! Your house is darling and so welcoming! I am in a complaining mood about money too! But as you said it is for security for the future. I guess I have to count my blessings for what I have. But to tell you the truth, I miss my comfy size home in SL. I miss having a little freedom with spending money too. You know, not having to worry so much about buying food! LOL! Sometimes I wish Gary would just leave a little extra out into our spending budget. Wouldn't it be nice to go buy some new quality spring clothes?!!! But as you said, it is so wonderful to be at home with Sofi!