Show & Tell: Simplicity & Frugality in Various Forms

I've got some really interesting reads for you on the topics of being frugal and simplifying your life... please choose several- you'll be so glad you did!
  • First up... did you ever read the Berenstein Bears book when Brother and Sister have the "Gimmes"? Well, Sara got the Gimmes when she went to the mall, and then rattled off this excellent post about "Wanting" and how we as Christians can keep from getting sucked into this stuff-saturated culture.
  • This is an interesting website, called "The Miniature Earth", where they have taken the whole earth and shrunk it to just having 100 people on it, but with the same proportions as are in the real world. 13 are Africans, 33 are Christian, etc... it's very interesting, and has some eye-popping figures about poverty, illiteracy, and the staggering needs around the world. Seeing it in terms of percentages instead of millions of people makes such a difference. Go ahead- CLICK HERE to watch the Miniature-Earth video (just click on the word "English" and it will start right up).
  • Finally, Sara (who continues to challenge me, the more I sift through her archives) is such an example of how much money can be saved (not to mention having less waste products) by switching from paper to cloth... you don't have to do it all, but I think her wide variety of options may challenge you to find new ways of doing things around your home too.
Blessings to you & as always, HAPPY READING!


Buffy said...

You always have such excellent links to interesting stuff! Thank you so much for sharing.

*~Tamara~* said...

These are some great links.

I have read the Challies article. I think it's really important to be, not necessarily frugal, but to be a good steward. I think a lot of people confuse being "frugal" with being "cheap", meaning they have lots of stuff but, hey, they got a fabulous deal! I think calling oneself frugal has to mean more than that you got a great deal. It's a lifestyle of using/consuming less of things in general, not just finances.

I was composing some thoughts on this the other day...being frugal, being a good steward, and yet enjoying the "extravagances" that God gives us. I struggle with that because I question the validity of those extravagances and sometimes can work myself into being positively guilt-ridden over them. Tough to find that balance. It's sort of like the "finish your dinner, there are children starving in Africa" thing. :-P

When I finish those thoughts I'll put them up so you can read them. :-)

Sara said...

Tamara has an interesting point. I think it's all in our perspective. What might be extravagant to one person is merely an everyday occurance for another. Like drinking a caramel latte. Most people I know can't afford one every time they crave it...therefore, when they do have one, it's an extravagant experience. Other people might have one every day, so it's not a big deal.

I've battled with this in my head over and over. What if God blesses someone with a large salary? Should they use that money to buy a large house and a large car and large meals at restaurants so that they can experience and celebrate God's extravagant blessing on their life? Or should they show God's extravagant love by taking what they need to live, and giving the rest away?

It's hard to determine what we "need" in our consumer crazy society...where is the line? I love the verse asking God to give only I need...because if I'm poor, I may steal and dishonor Him, and if I'm rich, I might forget him (quiz time...what's that verse!?)

I've had great discussions about this with many people...but no one ever really comes to a conclusion. How can we justify having a large house with excessive possessions when our brothers and sisters in Christ are homeless and hungry? Even if we do say we're using it for "ministry" (i.e. housing guests, having dinner parties, etc.).

Like the Challies article does come down to the heart. One must be constantly willing to give it all up for Christ. All of it...because none of it is really our in the first place. Nor did we do anything in OUR OWN power to get it.

I just don't know. It's a hard one.
Good stuff Jess...have a great weekend!


Hi Jess. I appreciate the comment you left on my blog yesterday in response to the post "Some Thoughts at 4AM". How funny that you came across my site! Did you notice that Making Home was listed in my favorite blogs? I visit your site often and have found many wonderful articles to ponder. You seem to be a woman after my own heart. I would invite you to tea but there are apparently several thousand miles separating us! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with the rest of us.
Lauren @ Ever Faithful

Christina said...

Thanks for the links. I really enjoyed the Challies article. I missed that one while away. He makes some really interesting points!

heather said...

Excellent post!-Do I write that every time I comment?

This is something that I have been thinking over lately. I know one family who gives away money constantly, but then does not have money to take care of their own needs. Having a giving heart is what we should all have-or be working to cultivate. Yet, sometimes I wonder if giving money away when there are needs in the family is a way of avoiding responsibility. It is hard work to manage money responsibly!

As Sara and others wrote, it comes down to the heart. Are we motivated by love or fear?