The series of books by Janette Oke have been made into movies, and they are so sweet, full of messages of hope, and all about love. I have never read the novels, but the movies are just so good.
In the movie, "Loves Enduring Promise", the daughter, Missy, meets two men. One man, Grant, can provide for Missy all that she will ever want. He tells her, "I am a very wealthy man" and, "No wife of mine will have to grow her own food." She told him it sounded like a fairy-tale, but when he proposed, she turned him down.
The other man she met, Willy, had nothing in comparison to Grant. In fact, he was living in the woods when they met. He began working for and helping Missy's family through the planting season. His plans were to leave and find some land to become a cattle rancher. His only material possessions were the clothes on his back, his horse, and the crops that were his payment for helping Missy's family.
When Willy proposed to Missy, she accepted! They were married and hit the trail toward wherever they would settle to begin their ranch. All of what they took with them fit in a small wagon.
Missy's father had taught her this lesson: "Never despise meager beginnings." What a great lesson for a young woman considering marriage!
This week, I have been reminded of how we started out. We had no money, very low-paying jobs, a cheap apartment, and each other.
That was enough.
It was enough, back then, for two newlyweds. All of our furniture was that which we each had before the wedding, or pieces given to us by family. We didn't even have a couch at first, so we blew up an air mattress, let a little air out, then set it against the wall folded at the middle. It was enough. I wasn't of that mindset then--but looking back, I see that we had all we needed.
As our life has continued, and 14 years of marriage have passed, I am encouraged to continue to never despise meager living. Whether it is the beginning, the middle, or the end, living a meager lifestyle is not to be despised! After all, we take nothing with us when we leave this life!
Paul says it best, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I
know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I
have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (Phillipians 4:11-13)
Some days, I long for more in a house than we have. We are in a lovely home that just feels "small" to our family of five (and a dog). I often (way too often) dream of, or even say, "we 'need' four bedrooms", or a fenced backyard, or more privacy, or....well, the list could be a mile long.
Yes, my biggest dreams are around home, including the house. Even just this week, my absolute DREAM HOME has become available for sale, and I am staring out my window thinking of all that I don't like about the house in which we currently live. It is not good for the heart to do that!
I need to remember all that complaining God's people did in the desert--and that they were there, complaining, for 40 years! And I need to remember that I, too, can be content to live in plenty or in want, because Jesus lives in me!
So, if you are a young woman, planning to wed one day, I tell you this: "Never despise meager beginnings."
If you are not just beginning, but are wondering why things haven't progressed faster--meaning you don't have more of what you want by this time--I say, "Never despise meager living!" Remember, even our Lord, Jesus, had no place to lay His head! (Luke 9:58)
He gives us strength to be content here....wherever here is.
Have you ever struggled with discontentment? Share with me here in the comments!