Saturday, September 3, 2011

Live Within Your Means

I had a thought come to my mind last night as I was mapping out in my head my game plan for this week's purging.  I realized there's an entirely different meaning to the phrase, "live within your means."  I'd always associated that with finances, and the oft-times resulting debt that comes from not doing so, but as I contemplated my tiny little house and its overflowing contents, I understood that in a much broader sense.

The Lord, I've discovered, has given us all different sorts of "means."  For example, our income is the "means" by which we acquire physical necessities and wants in this life.  Our bodies are the "means" which house our spirits.  Our time is the "means" we've been given to accomplish our tasks within a 24 hour period. etc....  I could go on and on, but I think we get the picture.

Problems (of our own making) come into play when through any aspect of our lives, we find ourselves living either below or above the means we've either been given or created for ourselves.  It seems that Lord is actually quite lenient in this regard because we have a bit of a buffer with much of our means.  My weight could easily be as normal and healthy at 120 as is could be at 140.  I don't pretend to know everything there is to know about health and nutrition, but I do know that I'm clearly living beyond my means in this regard. (We'll let little "Zoey" get here before I do much work in that department, though...)  I also know of those who have struggled with living below their means with regard to a healthy body and I tell you it's just as difficult at that end of the spectrum as it is at the other.

Another "means" that I've been neglecting to consider is our home.  Ever since I went on my purging binge, I've felt, happier, lighter, and in more control than I probably ever have.  I believe it's because we've been living beyond our means--in this case, the capacity of our home.  For a long time, I've been complaining about not having enough room here in the little beige house.  We literally have no storage and we seem to be accumulating more and more things that require the use of space that's already sparse.  My prayers have been along the lines of, "Please help Mike get the work he needs so that we can afford to move out of this little house and into a place that fits us."  After my epiphany, that has changed. By taking control of what I bring into my home, I have just begun to really live within my means.  It's a fabulous feeling.  One that I desperately want to address in other aspects of my life as well.  I already mentioned getting my body healthy, but I also need to work on living within my time means.  I'm reminded of Elder Oaks' poignant talk on "Good, Better, Best"  which was really a talk on budgeting our time, or living within our time means.  It's fascinating to me to look at all the "issues" we (I) have in life and truly be able to trace it back to simply a problem with living within our means.

Now that I have effectively tackled living beyond our means in this home, (at 7 months pregnant, I might add!!)  I feel completely enabled to address the other things in my life that I'm living both beneath and beyond in.  For heaven's sake, I just got rid of close to 50% of my household goods--that's 7 trips to the DI in a FULL suburban and countless sacks of garbage (that are still cluttering the back door area, since our cans aren't big enough to fit them all--yikes).  If I can do this, then it just proves to me that I really CAN do anything, and I'm excited to start proving that over and over again, with each issue I begin to tackle from here on out.  So, here's to living within our means--all of them!!!!


Marcie said...

you should checkout Sister Beck's talk from Women's Conference last year. Similar to the "good,better,best" and all about prioritizing. Loved the post!

Shelise said...

I never thought of it that way. I always thought of it financially. You really made me think. That's awesome, thanks for sharing your thoughts. And that's amazing that you go rid of that much stuff. I should do the same.

Jen said...

I love the new perspective on "means". It could apply to so many aspects of life. And I love that you got rid of so much stuff!!! As a fellow purger I applaud you!

Jonesy said...

Marcie--I don't remember the details of her talk so I'll definitely go back and check it out!
Shelise--DO IT!!! :)
Jen--It really does cover SO MUCH more than I ever thought it did! Purgers UNITE! ;)

Ashlee said...

I just learned something new. Thank you.