What do you hope people will do or think about as a result of reading your book?
Crystal Paine, author of The Money Saving Mom’s Budget, is using the proceeds from her book to help fund a Child Survival Program in the Dominican Republic.
My heart’s desire is that people will have a paradigm shift about finances. So many people are overwhelmed and underwater financially, and I just want to give them hope. I don’t want to overwhelm them.
I want to give them small steps they can take that can start them moving in a really good direction. If you take a tiny positive step, just keep plodding along and taking those tiny steps. Even though they might seem so microscopic, you’ll know you are moving in the right direction.
And a year from now you can look back and say, “Wow, look at the progress I’ve made!” So that’s my heart’s desire — to help people get out of a financial mess and set them on the road to financial success. Ultimately, I just want to encourage people to be givers.
My desire is that the people of God would get their finances in order because they can do amazing things for the kingdom of God.
You talk about “cultivating contentment” in your book. Can you explain this more?
If you’re comparing yourself with others and living discontentedly, you’re always going to feel like you’re lacking and that your situation is not good enough. You’re going to really struggle to find joy.
Contentment for me is that heart attitude that no matter where you are, no matter what your circumstances, no matter what is going on in your life, you have inner peace — the true contentment that comes from Christ. When you have that, it changes your whole outlook on life and it doesn’t matter how difficult things are.
What does contentment mean to you in the context of Compassion?
I find so much more joy in giving to others than in keeping money or things for myself. If I lived my life taking, I would be constantly stressed out and tense. But when I live my life with my arms wide open, with the idea that “God, I’m Your conduit ... just flow through me and give through me and love through me,” then I have so much joy.
That’s how Christ lived His life. It was broken and spilled out for us. And it’s up to us to follow His example. Living a life that is just broken for other people brings so much rich joy.
How to Cultivate Contentment
1. Choose to Count Your Blessings
We all have an innumerable list of things for which to be thankful. If you have clean drinking water, clothes to wear, food to eat, and a roof over your head, you have much more than many people have. It’s so easy to focus on what we don’t have, instead of being grateful
for all we do have. And this just fosters a negative attitude.
2. Create a Gratitude List
When I am feeling discouraged and discontent, I challenge myself to think of things I can be thankful for. I’ll usually pick a number — say 10 — and start writing. At first, it’s slow going, but once I get started, I have trouble stopping. Before I know it, my whole attitude will have changed because I begin to realize all sorts of wonderful things in my life I’ve been taking for granted.
3. Choose to Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People
There is always going to be someone who is skinnier, prettier, richer, more fit, more creative, more organized, and more energetic than you are. It’s easy to spend your life wishing you were she. Wishing you had the hair she has, the body she has, the family she has, the house she has, the job she has, or whatever it is she has that you don’t. But wishing you were she doesn’t change that you are you.
4. Choose to Be a Giver
… The less we spend on ourselves, the more we have to give to others. Truly, living with outstretched hands freely giving has provided us far more rich satisfaction and fulfillment than we would ever find if we were to hoard things for.
Whether you make $10,000 a year or $250,000 a year, I encourage you to make giving one of your top priorities in your budget. Not only will you be blessed abundantly, but you might also find, as we have, that the more you give out, the more you have to give.