Good morning, everyone!Can I just say how much I love my readers?
You guys rock. 

I have had such wonderful feedback, personal stories and emails, comments from people that this week has really touched, and I just want to thank you.

As I have shared, being transparent is not easy for me.

However, this week has literally been all about transparency, and that has been challenging, yet freeing, all at the same time. Knowing that there are many of you out there who are struggling to keep things balanced, to learn how to work smart before working hard, that there are those precious people in your life that you can point to as your examples for the best and brightest among us

Well, that just makes all the hard work and time spent writing instead of sleeping worth it. 🙂

Today we are going to talk about something that most people kinda “know” but rarely put into practice. That is, unless they are forced by circumstances into having no other choice…but few people really grasp it, make peace with it, and are freed by the choices that they make.

You guessed it if you read the title of this post–
its all about Money, with a capital M, 
and the role it plays in your life.

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Now, before I get a slew of emails from people slamming me for even attempting to say that money does not play a role in life period (which has happened by the way), I want to clarify. Money has its place in life, and frankly, if you don’t think it does, then try to take some good will and cookies down to the gas station 
and buy some gas with it.

But the role that money PLAYS in your life
 is completely up to you.

Is it your motivator?
Or your means to an end?

For the Handy Hubby and I, we have learned through trial and fire to be content in whatever situation the Lord places us in. And that has been everything from really, low-down, can’t-rub-two-pennies-together-because-you-ain’t-got-them dirt poor, to being comfortably affluent for the age bracket and career choices we had followed. So we know what we are talking about when it comes to this personal code:

Never, never, NEVER get to the point in anything
 that money is your only motivator.

Why? Because money, when given the place of controller and motivator in your life, will become a roaring monster that is not only difficult to kill,
but will destroy everything else worth far more in the process.
Take it from us.

Believe it or not, that is one of the reasons we pursue the simple life that we live. It is one of the reasons that we strive to have one of us home with our children, regardless of the financial circumstances it puts us in, or the things we have to go without.

It is why we choose to live the way that we do, 
 because we want our kids to grow up understanding that 
You, as a person, are not, should not, and should not allow yourself to be defined as successful according to the number that is in your bank statement.

And wow, is that a challenging place to be in a culture that revels in achieving the excess of absolutely everything.

It is hard to raise children to love the simple things when everyone around you is showering their kids with Iphones, and cars…expensive lessons and name-brand clothing. When the parents teach the kids that their social lives are the single thing the family unit centers around,
and accommodates, and feeds.

Really. Its hard.

There is a lot to be said for each one of those things in and of themselves.
Are they good things? Yes.
Can they become bad things if we teach ourselves and our children that those things are more important than the most precious things in life?

Are those things more important than a family that loves one another, plays together, spends time together, and supports one another at all times?


Are those things more important than teaching our children to be considerate, and to think of others before they think of themselves?

Absolutely not.

Is it more important to teach our kids, and remind ourselves that there are things in this life that simply can not be bought on a store shelf in Walmart or their favorite clothing store?

Yes, yes it is.

*It is crucial for us to teach our kids how to work hard,
and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment
at the end of the day.

*It is important to teach them that caring for something more helpless than themselves, and the glow that it should give them for shouldering that responsibility is a reward well earned.

*It is critical for us to teach our children that other people should be our focus, and that putting them first, or at the very least, loving them as much as ourselves, teaches them to have healthy relationships with others the rest of their life.

*And more than anything, it is so, SO, important for us to teach our children that family comes first. Family will always be there for you, and should always be there for one another. Friends will fade away, and life will constantly throw challenges at you,
but your family is your mainstay and your rock.

As many of you know, family is very important to me. It is also very important to my husband. We come from completely different backgrounds, with different approaches to them, but we have made some very difficult decisions over the years because of those precious people. Choices that went against what we wanted to do, simply because for us, family comes first.

Money, used in the right way in your life, will be the blessing it was meant to be, instead of the millstone around your neck that it can turn into. If you use it wisely, spend it carefully, and give it its proper place, it will always be what you need, when you need it, and stay in its place.

But there are so many things in life that are worth more than all the money in the world.

For us, it is the things listed above. For you that list may be a little different. But take a chance and write one up. Decide for yourself what role your income, or your savings, is going to play in your life,
and then learn to work beyond it. 
Time and time again, the skills Kurt and I have had as individuals have been used instead of payments from people.
What skill do you have that you can barter use of
for someone else’s excess or skill in return?
What need can you meet that may unexpectedly
bless you in return?

And one more thing about money. People always ask me why, if I have this attitude about it, do we purchase expensive things like grain mills, 
or dehydrators, etc. 
(As if to do that would be to say that my approach is not genuine.)

Money is a tool, and a means to an end for us. Some things we save up for, and purchase the best we can afford because we know they will last longer and be a more frugal purchase in the end. There is not a single thing we own that we did not save for, or pinch pennies for until we could acquire it. Instead, it was a conscious decision to be a good steward with what we have been given, and use it as best we can. I know that I can get something similar for less, possibly, by choosing a lower quality product. But I choose to think about it that it is an investment in the very best way I can manage what I have been given.

What would your number one rule be 
about how you handle  money?

Blessings to you and yours,

PS—The Welcoming House Facebook Page has been having some wonderful threads dealing with this series, and we always love to hear from others. Why dont you bop on over there and join us? We would love to have you! Otherwise, you can join us over on the Welcoming House Pinterest Page, where I am posting lots of new and fun ideas all the time for readers.

Shared with the Weekend Whatever Link up
over at Creative Christian Mamma