Time to take off the training wheels


There are certain things that make us comfortable in life, that perhaps  we think we are entitled to.  I know that economic times are challenging so many people right now. Today I decided to be grateful for this forced effort. We have always struggled financially, primarily because we have chosen to be a one income family whenever possible to have mom home with the kids. Couple that with a lifetime of unforseen debt, and plain stupid debt. We have some practice in “making it”. 

Today is a new day though, time to take off the training wheels and apply our skill more fully, riding on the balance of a more experienced perspective. Times are tough, but they have been tougher. Savings is gone, it has been before. Retirement funds are only something we distantly remember.  But in the face of our particular situation I was suddenly inspired. The girls and I sat down and discussed how we could contribute more to the  living my husband works so hard to provide for us.

Perhaps we have no money to offer to add, but we can reduce the output. We are fairly frugal, but there are often still leaks to plug. This is where the experience comes into play. There used to be things we thought we had to have. Cable, etc. ( I won’t lie, I still miss cable like crazy) In our little brainstorming meeting, we came up with several areas we are still finding that we can do without for a period of three months while we make every effort to shore up while the gales of uncertainty will blast away at us.  10 years ago we lived in the moment, we are learning to look to planning for the unexpected as we are able.   I am not entitled to Starbucks once a month. We don’t have to have many little luxuries. Do we like them? Sure, and one day we will have them again.

It is not easy, and often unpleasant to live this frugally. All I have to do is look around me, our area makes it easy to see we still have it really good no matter if we cut out every single extra. And the effort? It is minimal compared to the sweet smile of peace on my dear husband’s face.


About christasterken

Committed to a life of purpose. Learning to live abundantly. Embracing creativity. Questioning. Delighting in the comforts of home and family. Determining not to settle only for how things are, but how they could be. Writing is part of who I am, so I trust In God who gave the gift to show me how I can serve Him through it. That is my life…one word at a time. Psalm 89:11a“Teach me your way , O Lord, and I will walk in your truth”

3 responses »

  1. Great article especially during these tough times with the holidays coming up and if you have a job most likely it is shaky. No matter how hard we try to save — something in the house will break, or one or both of our vehicles will be in the shop, medical bills, etc.

    One thing I have learned is: things don’t bring us happiness in any way. Happiness comes from deep within ourselves that only God can give — the light of Christ. Once we can get past the material things of this world, even a delicious cup of Starbucks (that I too have given up), then by faith depend upon the Lord that all will be well, no matter what we may or may not have. If Christ gave His life for us, surely we can give up cable, Starbucks, etc. 🙂

  2. Christa, this article hits “home” for me in a lot of ways — the financial struggles, the effort to be frugal, the struggle that comes with not knowing what lies ahead. I think that my family can learn much from the example that your family sets.

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