Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Want" vs. "Need"

I was talking with a couple of co-workers this afternoon and the subject of grocery shopping came up, at which point I said that my husband and I are going to try to get by on $100 a month for groceries.  Both ladies looked at me like I was crazy, but we don’t have growing children (one of them does), and we are being much more careful about our purchases these days, as are many folks.  Don't get me wrong, once in awhile we will buy something “for fun,” but that is a rare occasion.  We buy extra when things are on sale, and we eat from our cupboards and our freezer.  I can count on one hand the number of times we've "eaten out" in the past year, simply because it is no longer within our budget.

Many of you know our story, what has happened in our lives over the past two years.  It's been hard, but there isn’t much I would change.  If I did, would my husband be sober?  Would we have this now wonderful relationship based on mutual love and respect?  Would we have the growing relationship with God we are experiencing?  My guess is No, No, and definitely No.

What we have had to learn is how to get by on an income that has been cut by more than half.  We’re not the only ones in this position, as many people around the country are struggling to make ends meet.  It hasn't been easy, but it's working, and one of the main reasons is we have come to terms with what is a "want" and what is a "need."

How often do we say we "need" something when in reality that "need" is a "want"?

We NEED a roof over our heads, but I WANT a TV that doesn’t have a blue line that shows up randomly across the screen.

We NEED food on our table, but I WANT to go to the movies.

We NEED clothes on our back, but I WANT a pair of boots that are all the rage these days.

Too many times we let our desires become our needs, instead of feeling blessed with having our needs met each day.  Sure, my husband and I WANT him to be working more, but you know what?  Right now God is providing enough work for my husband so that the income he does bring home is enough to buy the groceries we NEED to sustain us.

Sure, we want to go on a nice vacation, but God continues to bless me with a full time job, the income from which we are able to pay our monthly bills.  And He continues to bless me with extra side transcription work so I can continue to do the activity I love, trail running.  And He has blessed me with a wonderful man to coach me who, until my husband and I are more securely on our feet, is willing to coach me at little to no cost.  (Okay, right now it’s at no cost, but I plan to rectify that.  Are you listening, Gary?)

So the next time you look around and think about all you don’t have and wish you did, stop for a moment, look around, and think of all you DO have.  Is your family healthy?  Are you sleeping in a warm bed, in a secure home, with a full stomach?  Are you bills paid?  Are your children safe?

My guess is that for most for you, you are blessed to have your needs, your true needs, are being fulfilled each and every day.