During a long illness last winter, I watched every episode of “Say Yes to the Dress.” It was shocking. I couldn’t look away. These brides willingly dropped half an annual salary on a dress they would wear once, for a marriage that was likely to end in divorce within the next 5 years.
Many girls would turn down beautiful dress after beautiful dress only to see a dress across the store that they had to try on. Their consultant would discourage them. “Don’t do it; It’s not in your price range…” The determined bride would try it on anyway, and then nothing else would do. Any sacrifice necessary to have that dress was made, or the bride went home disappointed, unable to settle for less once she tasted real luxury.
It’s easy for me to look at this situation and see the utter ridiculousness of it all. In my sub-culture weddings were about the marriage. The months of planning before the ceremony centered on pre-marriage counseling and preparation for a commitment that would last a lifetime. We had cake and punch receptions; a modest dress, often handmade bridesmaid’s dresses and pew bows crafted in the maid of honor’s basement. A friend of the family sang a song or maybe played an instrument. It was simple, affordable. No one was trying to prove anything.
“Say Yes to the Dress,” kind of ridiculousness can bleed into many areas of life: Our cars; clothing; home decor; schools. At the end of the day, being content with what we can afford to have is what brings happiness. And here’s how we get it:
1. Being grateful. Recognizing our immense blessings.
2.Not comparing. What someone else has doesn’t minimize what we have.
3.Putting value on eternal things: Our faith; our family; our friends
4.Knowing where our value comes from: We are valuable because we are created in the image of God. He valued us enough to sacrifice His Son’s life for ours. Careers, the car we drive, cool clothes, a fancy house… nothing can change our inherent worth.
I’ll be honest, I’ve caught myself getting sucked into the trap. We are remodeling a house that was barely inhabitable, and I find myself wanting to use this ONE shot to make it as stylish and trendy and beautiful as possible. When, really, it’s all fleeting. Styles change; stuff gets “broken in.” Things get dirty. Wanting to do a good job with the remodel isn’t wrong, but what is wrong is getting so caught up in the decisions and slowness of it all that I let it steal my peace. In the midst of it all, I’m learning a deeper lesson in contentment.
How about you? How have you been learning contentment? Has it helped you stick to the budget?
P.S. There’s still 2 days left to enter the Plexus giveaway.