I am thrilled this morning, on our very first morning on the new blog, to have you meet my good friend, Jill, who authors an amazing new blog over at
She is ambitious, loving, friendly and fun, and owns and operates her own business selling personal products right here! Please give her a warm welcome to the NEW Welcoming House, and comment in response!
Blessings to you and yours,
My husband and I tend to live different than others. Â Maybe, it is because in our childhood we both were not the popular child on the block. Â We both were made fun of for various reasons. Â I am not here to get your sympathy. Â We both learned in our childhood to stand up for things. Â We learned that the approval of others wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Â We learned to be okay with ourselves, my husband especially was alone, a lot. Â I had lonely periods too. Â I know for sure this has affected us in our adulthood, for the better.
When we first were married, we received lots of presents for Christmas. Both sides were generous. Â We began to feel guilty. Â We didn’t need anything. Â We had every THING that we wanted and then a lot more. Â More things just need more time and you have to clean up after them.
Now we still are very grateful to our parents who show their love
through gift giving.
We just wanted a different lifestyle than what the norm was. Â We were married at the end of 2008. Â Right when the financial recession was really taking place. Â We had both came from a lifestyle of not going into stupid debt. Â We lived below our means. Â We strive to do well in our jobs. We were frugal on Â a lot of things. Â To this day neither one of us have a smartphone.
As we look around we see a lot of people around our age that have smart phones, car payments, cable TV and the newest gadgets. Â So many people are still paying of student loans and paying off credit cards. Â A lot have had medical payments to pay off as well. Â On the last one, we have had our fair share as well.
Now our lifestyle has been unique for many years. Â We started by making different decisions right away. Â I personally paid for my college every semester. Â I didn’t rack up debt. Â At the same time, I bought my first home at twenty. Â I figured why pay rent when I could pay myself. Â The house was modest. Â It would never be a dream house by most American ideals, but it was what I could afford with ease. Â The payment was extremely reasonable.
A decade of making those “different decisions” has led to immense gratitude. Â This will mark the first November that we are 100% debt free. Â We even paid off our house this year. Â This has opened the doors to me starting two businesses (a blog and a soap business). Â My husband also does freelance work on the side of his full time employment.
The above is an example of a lifestyle we have chose for many years. Â We didn’t try to keep up with the “Jones’.” Â We didn’t have fancy cars and fancy houses. Â Our story is to encourage you. Â Our story is our lifestyle of gratitude.
You will find a lot more gratitude when you stop living for things and start living for relationships. Â Even though we both work hard in our employment we take time for each other. Â We talk and listen. Â We moved to a smaller town so my husband would not have a long commute anymore. Â We moved where it didn’t make sense if you were looking at the decision financially. Â We took a huge pay cut. Â We moved back towards our family. Â We are building relationship with our extended family as well as our children.
Right now our children are little. Â They are only going to be with us for a short time in the grand scheme of it all. Â I don’t want my child to think that my cell phone is more important to me than they are. Â Granted, I spend a lot of time on starting my business. Â I try to make the time with my children be all about them. I don’t have distractions when we are having our quality time.
There are even more things to consider than just living for relationships. Â We also love to give back to society. Â We call it “intentional living”. Â We Â embrace making big changes to the communities that we are apart of and we want to make them better than when we started. Â We have embraced this concept even though we have moved quite a bit.
Where are you finding contentment. Â With contentment is their more gratitude in your life?
You can try to buy happiness, but sooner or later you will find that you can buy things and lots of things, but you cannot buy happiness. Â Happiness comes from a heart full of gratitude. Â Gratitude is finding simple positive things in your daily life. Â Did your child smile at you today? Â Was your child healthy? Â Did the stranger appreciate that you held open a door?
Where are you going to be five years from now is a popular question in a job interview. Often people are so focused on money and things they think this is what life is all about and they don’t realize they are neglecting the simple things that will actually make them happier.
Do you think that working two jobs will make you happy? Â Now this may be true if you are starting a new career for yourself. Â A second job can bring a fulfilling entrepreneurship that brings happiness because you are building something with your own hands. Â Are you working a job that is satisfying to you?
A lot of times we are working so hard and working a lot of long hours that we actually are paying for too much. Now someone has to groom your dog and mow your lawn. Â If you were not working so much you wouldn’t have so many expenses. Â Sometimes getting to a life full of gratitude takes on different steps than you might have anticipated.
1. What makes you happy?
2. How are your personal relationships going?
3. Are you making a difference in someone’s life?
4. What are your five year plans in regards to you being full of gratitude?
5. What can you do today to fill your gratitude?
We can live our lives looking for whom we can help, whose life can we impact. Where can we be generous and change the lives of people in need today?
Â We will have a life full of gratitude if we focus on people and on making an impact in their lives. Â We don’t need more things, they tend to just make you want more not make help you be grateful for what you already have . Â There is a lot more happiness in living a less stressed life below your means. Â This means you might have to look at what you have and get rid of the excess. You need to clean house in more ways than one. Â Yes, you may need to downsize and get down to what you really need.
You may need to stop watching so much television or chatting on the phone and start living in the home you have. Â Acknowledge your spouse and your kids. Â Be intentional when you are in a conversation with them. Â Build your relationship more than valuing things. Â Your children will never care how much money is in your bank account, what kind of car you drive, or what house you live in. Â The things that matter to your children is that you spend time with them; and that Â they are valued and have worth in your eyes. Â Give them hugs and kisses.
Be happy with what you have and remember someone else is happy with half of what you have. Â Don’t take people for granted. Â Make the most of everyday you have and be intentional with your thoughts, time and with people you have relationships.
There is so much to be grateful for. Â How are you seeing the gratitude in the multitude of people you are making a difference for today?
Jill Wilson is a wife, mother of two and a Child of God. Â She has a blog atÂ Called To Be A MomÂ where she gives practical advice to help you be a mother and homemaker. Â She started her journey of being more intentional in her living three years ago. Â She gives advice about frugal living, eating natural foods, and making your life matter. She talks about a multitude of subjects such as multi-generation living, homeschooling and living debt-free.
Good morning Heather. Love the new look on your blog. Great guest post. Jill makes many good points. Although we haven’t chosen the same path, I think our end goals are the same. We can not only bring joy and happiness into our own lives, but into the lives of others as we find ways to support and serve them. An attitude of gratitude in all that we do and have is extremely important. Thanks to you and Jill for sharing.
Thanks Regina. I’m glad we have the same end goals. Most of us don’t have the same steps getting there 🙂 The end goal is what matters!
I love this idea! I don’t have a smart phone either and I don’t want one! My favorite thing you said was living with gratitude. No matter what you have, without gratitude it is meaningless, and focusing on relationships and not stuff is the best move anyone can make.
The attitude is what will get a person to the right place!
I love intentional living. Thinking, is this really worth it in the long term? Will I gain what is important in the world’s eyes to lose the souls of my kids? Sometimes you can do both–sometimes you can’t. But being thankful and thinking is so important.
Thanks Tammy, I agree!
What a very wonderful blog and post. My husband and I commit to be everlasting and supportive best friends beside being husband and wife. We are partners in love, fight, competition, and ministry. Thank you for sharing.
Hi Heather! I make bread from scratch, too. I’m following you now on Facebook.
Jill, this is an honest, heartfelt and AMAZING post! Your best I’ve read yet, although the competition was tough b/c I like all of Your posts! I loved the way you talked about intentional living and that you and your husband had everyTHING…Brava!
Bonnie, You are so kind! As Always! I really had fun writing this one! I am humbled by such a nice compliment!
Thank you Heather for the honor of being a Guest Blogger! I am honored to be featured on your blog! I hope the message of this post resonates with your readers. The gratitude mindset goes a long ways 🙂
What a wonderful post! Glad to be reading a lot of your writing lately Jill! I feel blessed!