09 May 2012


The other day, I was thinking about ALL the things that I am thankful for and that enrich my life so tremendously.  There are moments when I try to wrap my head around it all and I feel like I can't because it is so overwhelming.

Then I asked myself if I am happy? And what makes me so happy? What is happiness anyways?

Now, the world teaches us to look at those material things that are suppose to determine how happy we are. And sometimes, I have to admit, it is hard NOT to compare and see all the things that I don't have. Not driving the newest car, or having the latest phone model.  And hey, I haven't bought a pair of new shoes for myself in almost two years! Wall unit? My last two children ARE my wall unit and everything else that we don't have in our house! It's all about priorities, right?

Well, the bible tells us to be happy with whatever God has blessed us - as written in Hebrews 13:5:
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you." 

I can tell that you are thinking the same thing as I do.... "yeah, right? How is that working for you?"

It doesn't always work. Sometimes it is hard to accept life's circumstances - especially when you are dealing with a serious illness - that is not only scary but also cost alot of money, yearly. God's will can be so hard to accept, even when He promises that we'll learn something from that situation. It is tough to see through our troubles when we are in the middle of that storm.  It is frustrating to see other people get whatever they want, whenever they want, and we can't! We have to save for things, or just simply have to say No.

So when I was sitting on that bench during soccer training, and pondered why it is that, sometimes, people that have so much less than what we have, seem so much happier. How could it be? Is it true that when you have less, you worry less about loosing it all?  Does having less stuff mean you have less of a burden, less greed,  and more appreciation and happiness?

I know that I DO care less about money, and more about memories! Material things can be lost, what is in my heart can not be taken away. I rather have my memories than accumulating unnecessary things in my house.  I can appreciate every minute I spend with the family. I love to hang out with my friends and have a good time. My church family is awesome and I enjoy to fellowship with them any time.....

Soccer is not a very American sport, so naturally, there are alot of other nations on that soccer field, Hispanic mostly, some African countries as well..... and then that half-German son of mine. These people come together to play a fun game (no, I am still NOT a soccer mom!). They seem happy and free when they run over that field. Almost careless.

So what we can learn from the Hispanic family situation, for example?

Many times, they are a one-car-family. So when they leave the house, the entire family goes out together. Yes, together! As a family. I see it at the soccer practice, when the entire family shows up, including all the siblings and grandma.
Due to having much less money than the average American family, more than two generations live together under one roof. (Believe me, I see that in our neighborhood more than enough.)  So who needs a babysitter when grandma lives in the room next door?
And because they are spending so much time with each other, they don't need to make one day a week a family day with family dinners - it happens automatically. Yes, they eat together every single day.
Also, when it comes to monetary things, they help each other out. They stick together!

Now why would I know so much about all that? Well, my husband is Hispanic, and they don't live much different than most European citizens. I grew up this way! First, we had no car at all, then we became a one-car-family for ALL my childhood until I bought my very own car with 24. And now, my parents still only have one car. We ate together as a family every breakfast and every dinner - yes, there were exceptions, but they were not the norm. My parents helped me out many times with money or other things, when I needed it. They would still do it.

So is less truly better? Do you have an answer? Would you like to share? I would love to hear from you....

Ecclesiastes 7:14
"When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other."


C. Beth said...

I'm not sure that "less is better" or "more is better" but definitely "contentment is better." Sometimes I'm good at this.... Sometimes I'm NOT!

Apparently the research shows that rich people aren't necessarily happier than middle-class people. But middle class people are happier than people who are genuinely poor, where they have trouble providing basic necessities. Because that adds a lot of stress to life.

I have also read that, according to research, you get more satisfaction out of spending money on an EXPERIENCE rather than an ITEM. In other words, a $1500 family vacation provides more happiness than a $1500 TV. As you said, it's the MEMORIES that count.

Interesting stuff to ponder.