We’re excited to introduce you to our friend Ruth Soukup from Living Well, Spending Less. She believes with all her heart that a life well lived is not so much about what we have, but who we are. Her mission is to empower and inspire women everywhere to seek—and find—the Good Life. Through her blog, and soon-to-be-released book of the same name, she encourages readers to follow their dreams and reach their goals, sharing easy-to-implement tips and strategies for saving time and money while focusing on the things that matter most. Her practical advice has been featured in numerous publications and news programs, including Women’s Day, Redbook, ALL YOU and The Daily Buzz.
My own transformation from a shopaholic to “money-saving expert” did not happen overnight, nor is it even close to being complete. I did not merely wake up one morning and declare, “Today I no longer care about the things of this world. Today I will stop shopping, stop longing, and stop trying to fill my life with things that don’t satisfy.”
Oh, no. While perhaps that is the experience of some people—perhaps even you—for me it has been a slow and often painful process. I have found that overturning a lifetime of consumption while the rest of the world still screams at me to keep wildly spending does not come without hard work, serious soul-searching, and lots and lots of intentional prayer. I have fervently and frequently prayed for God to change my heart, to lead me where He would have me go, and to take away my desire for the things of this world.
I’m still praying that prayer. It is a terrifying prayer because, quite frankly, I love the things of this world. When I started praying that prayer, my less-than-noble goals included making enough money so I could fly first class—or better yet, via private jet—rather than settling for coach. I wanted to be able to afford a full-time personal assistant to handle all the little day-to-day tasks I often dreaded. I desired a closet full of designer dresses, with cleverly coordinated accessories. I longed for a big house, a decorator to furnish it, and a live-in maid to clean it. I wanted the celebrity lifestyle I saw on television. I wanted to be rich. I wanted to be someone.
I wanted to make it.
Ultimately the deep dissatisfaction I felt in my heart told me I was pursuing the wrong things. I already had so much and yet still felt empty. I longed to be full. But the accumulation of more stuff wasn’t filling me. It left me empty. So I began to pray. Over the course of my years-long journey, as I continue to make this my daily prayer, my priorities and life goals have slowly begun to shift.
I now long for a different type of richness, a richness that comes only from fullness in Christ. As life has gone on, I’ve also realized that the old tagline of my blog, “The adventure of finding style and luxury on a budget,” no longer fits my quest. It’s not that I don’t still enjoy great taste or a little splurge here and there—who doesn’t, really?—but having a life full of nice things is no longer the endgame. Instead, I want to find that Good Life defined so beautifully in the book of 1 Timothy.
I want to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. I want to fight the good fight of the faith. I want to take hold of the eternal life to which I was called. I do not want to be arrogant or put my hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put my hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. I want to do good, be rich in good deeds, and be generous and willing to share. In this way I will lay up treasure for myself as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that I may take hold of the life that is truly life.
The Good Life to me is this: a life rich in faith, family, friends, and creativity. It is a life full of the richness that God has to offer; a life spent building treasures in heaven rather than here on earth. It is not a life of laziness and greed, but one of discipline, hard work, and self-reflection. It may not always be easy or comfortable, but it is always full in abundance and completely secure in Christ.
That is the life I want to live. Care to join me?
Want to enter to win a copy of Ruth’s new book?
We thought you might! Zondervan is giving away five copies of Living Well, Spending Less, just for our (in)courage readers! To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this blog post and tell us: What does “the Good Life” mean to you? We’ll close the comments on Friday (1/2) and choose winners, so don’t wait to enter!
If you’re interested in joining Ruth on the journey to claiming the good life, you can head here to learn more about (and pre-order!) her book “Living Well, Spending Less” which officially releases tomorrow!Leave a Comment
Beautiful! As I journey through my thirties I’m discovering this more and more.
The good life for me is being surrounded by the people and creatures I love, happy, safe, warm and appreciated.
Ifeoma Samuel says
Thanks Ruth for the message.
We can never have enough of everything on earth and only God can satisfy our longing for fulfillment.
The good life is a life of purpose anchored on God’s words. The good life is a life that flourishes in God’s unfailing love and filled with gratitude for the benefits we receive from him.
God Bless you.
I love this and can so relate to your journey to the Good Life. Last year, I awoke one morning with two words placed on my heart…simplify and downsize! Since that time, God has shown me that the stuff I was clinging to on this earth paled in comparison to the eternity I have awaiting me…an eternity where this “stuff” cannot enter! I am still in the process of purging my life of this “stuff”, but I’m working diligently to take hold of the things that have eternal value – growing in Christ, sharing my faith, and teaching my children to do the same.
Beth Evans says
Today, the good life would be to feel well enough to do and enjoy the things that I value. I think that also starts with being thankful for the good health that I do have and trusting that God will supply all the energy I need.
Thanks for your encouraging words! I think about this a lot these days as I’m trying to figure out how much “stuff” we really need while raising our 3 boys. The more stuff we have, the more there is to take care of, and I’d rather spend my time and our lives enjoying each other. The balance seems difficult to find.
Kathy in IN says
The good life to me is having plenty of margin, living purposefully, and spending lots of time with family and friends.
This post and book couldn’t have come at a better time than now for me. I have more debt than ever now. It’s so shameful and I’m more than ready to make changes in order to leave a legacy for my kids.
The good life to me means more quality time with my family and living in the moment with them.
The older I get the more I LOVE giving……that is part of a good life!
All of the things money can’t buy is the good life. A baby’s smile. A daughters love. Sharing ice cream with the man you love. Holding hands with your grandchild. Finding God in the awesome world around you. Everyday miracles, everyday gifts from our Creator. Great post!!!
Lisa Derrick says
Your book sounds amazing! I just turned 50 and want the last years to be defined as “good” – I have determination – can always use direction!
I want this book in my hands! My prayer in the latter part if this year is to turn off the need to fill the empty places with more things and fill them with purpose. From the summary I’ve read so far, the book can help me with focus and guide me with scripture. Thank you!
Kim j says
The good life is found in spending time with loved ones, listening to Gods voice and his direction for my life. If I am in tune to His Voice and obey what is He is asking of me, there is no better way to live,,
Carol Lindberg says
My husband and I were talking about this very thing yesterday. This is a 2nd marriage for both of us, going on 18 years. We both come from hard upbringings and have had to fight through the “not good enough” times. Trying to fill voids in our brokeness, even in our marriage, thinking we are proving we are good enough with house and cars and stuff.. only to realize that money and things are not the answer, it’s only lead to debt and stress on our marriage and we are done! Embracing the life that God has given us, is what we desperately want. To be debt free and free to give away what God has blessed us with. Thank you for the opportunity and for the post! God bless your journey!
I have a terrible shopping habit. I buy things I want instead of what I need. I call it retail therapy. But it is racking up debt that I need to pay off instead of adding to it. I am weak when it comes to buying for others because it makes me feel better and them feel better but it reeks havoc on my bank account. I really, really need help!
I loved Ruth’s writing. To me the good life is cherishing time spent with friends & family and building a legacy of faith, love & the spirit of giving for our son. I also have a goal of clearing out the clutter (& I’ve started to make great progress) and opening our home for more hospitality.
The “good life” for me has always been to have “enough” not to pinch pennies and to have a “happy” family. The Lord is beginning to show me (or, more likely, I am beginning to hear Him) that the “good life” is made up of simplifying and forgiveness. I would love to receive this book to help me on my journey.
Spending money on ‘stuff’ is NOT intimacy with God. I want intimacy with Him over having stuff that rules me.
The good life to me, is simply being content with what I do have, appreciating who God has brought into my life and looking forward to the joys He has waiting for me!
Such a good post! “The good life,” for me, is living out the love of God, and being content in all circumstances. No matter what may lie ahead, I know I can trust in our good God.
The good life is a life of daily, intentional gratitude to God, not because daily circumstances are great because He is and always will be….GREAT!!
The Good Life: Doing what I need to do, to become who God wants me to become.
Christena Burnham says
The good life, for me, is finding contentment in every season of my life, spending time with my family making memories that will last a lifetime and loving others how God loves me.
Peg Grimm says
The “Good Life” to me means quiet contentment in the Sovereign ordering of my moments, be it confusing, delight filled, aloneness, surrounded by family, chaotic or calm.
Marla L says
Good life is being content with what I have and accepting my family as they are and just loving each other, and trusting in God always.
Wow. This book hits me right where I am. For many years now, I have realized that more isn’t ‘more’. It is the balancing of the entire family unit [because each individual is different and is in a different place in their life —- even husbands and wives aren’t always on the same page!] yet it is so true about the emptiness that ‘things’ accumulated brings to us. It’s exciting for a brief moment to purchase something new — but the newness always [always!] wears off. There is only One who can truly fill our emptiness. God’s mercies are new every morning and for that I am thankful. Also, thank you for writing your book! I believe that it will make a great impact on lives! And, I would truly love to win this book — not just to add to my library, but to make a difference in my life and ultimately to be able to help others as well. God bless you!
I want to live a Ghod Life ..only found on Gods ancient path
It means living with a broken heart-one that breaks with compassion, breaks with love for others and breaks down barriers that interfere with my ability to walk with God.
The good life is waking up everyday and knowing that the day is a fresh start/
Ann V. says
The good life is being with family. Now that my children are grown, there is nothing more I wish for!
The good life is enjoying and appreciating what I have, not expecting or wanting more than what I am blessed with in his moment. Thank you for the chance to win. Sounds like a great book!
js1997 AT gmail DOT com
The good life….there have been times when I knew I was exactly in the center of God’s will for me, knew that the Spirit was leading. I felt such certainty because during that time, all of my fears and insecurities took a back seat and I no longer felt the need to defend myself.
God is always working on me, with me , and through me, and this is not a static state. But I know He is faithful and good.
Becky J says
The good life to me is spent with my loved ones about me-as I watch my mom battle lymphoma I am clearly reminded of the preciousness of each day! Being in fellowship with the Lord gives meaning to each day as well-best wishes for you all for 2015 & as Tiny Tim said, “God bless us, everyone!” 🙂
Thank you so much for your book and for this post. I cannot wait to read more and continue to be inspired. Money and the desire for “stuff” are the things that have often creeped into and attempted to destroy my marriage. My husband and I long for the days when we can freely give whenever God calls us to do so…and yet in the next breath we get caught up in the riches and desires of this world. It’s a constant struggle and one that God speaks to us about almost daily. Thank you for your words and for helping us on our journey. God Bless you.
Eunice Eubanks says
I believe “the Good Life” is having faith in love and kindness as found in faith in God/as being one in the same. This Christmas I was worried about finding the finances to fulfill my sons Christmas list. . .and leaning on my faith, I was gently reminded that of all things my Father did not want me worried. . .esp. not in anticipation of the day he sent His Son to save me from my sins. I still meddled through moments of worry and peace; but God worked it all out. And my son and I both saw Him work it out beautifully as only He could.
The Good Life to me is seeing my children and grandchildren carrying on the Faith with which we raised them. A Faith in God that is there when their dreams are dashed, someone betrays them or illness befalls them. A contant love of He who will not abandon nor disappoint but unconditionally always and forever love whom He has created!
I can’t wait to read your book! Now in my 30’s and with the opportunity to stay home with my kids I now realize what the “good” life really is. I mean I always “knew” I just didn’t really understand it. I always worked long hours and was constantly rushing. Now I feel like I know my husband and my kids a little better. I now work when I want (outside the home)! Yes I clip coupons and I love to cook for my family. This is one way we save $. We have gotten rid of so much “stuff” and don’t even miss it. People and pouring into them is the “good stuff”
We have just finished remodeling our 100 year old farm house. We packed everything into storage. What a freeing experience! I love the feeling of space. I feel like I can breathe again. Now to get rid of all that stuff in storage….
This looks like a wonderful book! Since I struggle with some health issues off & on…the good life to me is one full of great health spent with my family while we trust God to provide us with all that we truly need!
suzanne lowe says
The good life is trusting in the Lord everyday and leaning into him rather than the material things of this world.
Jane @ See Jane Learn says
This book sounds wonderful! (My hubby and I just finished Financial Peace Univ.) The good life is sitting around our table with all our young adult kids or friends enjoying a meal and each other. I also LOVE sitting with my whole family at Christmas Eve service…Fingers crossed for winning Ruth’s book!
Lori L says
The good life for me includes these words for this year; Notice, Balance, and Enjoy.
Keeping one goal for 3 years has been an encouragement that I can do
what I set my mind to. This year I picked those three words to focus on
in my daily journal writing. It’s such a challenge to live a life of balance and
notice the important things along the way.
Teaching first grader’s is something I enjoy. I look for daily ways to enjoy and
make purposeful our daily happenings in the classroom. The good life for me
is experiencing all the cool stuff God has for me and not missing it. That would be
the good life.
Judy Sivia says
For me “the good life” means having the peace that passes understanding and laying my head on my pillow each night contented with who I am and what I have – knowing that God loves me and has richly blessed me whatever my circumstances.
A good life for me is being happy and content despite tough challenges in my life right now. Having the grace of peace in a crazy time is enough for me for now. I have hope that all the mess I’m in will be soon be over and will successfully overcome it if I just hang on tight! 🙂 May everyone have a blessed and happy new year!
For me, it is not being so anxious about things I have no control over, because it sure isn’t working out very well.
Helen G. says
This book sounds like something I need to read right now. The Good Life means having and experiencing the freedom we find in Christ alone.
The good life is lived by grace through faith in Christ & seeks to be generous, loving, and kind to the people we meet.
Kathleen Rose Morrison says
It is time for a book on garden variety contentment wisdom to come out, sweep away the pressure of advertising and media and show us where the treasure of life really is. Solomon nailed it when he labeled it all “vanity”! We already knew deep in our hearts the real essense of a blessed life is walking along in joy, discovery, and excitement holding Jesus’ hand just like a toddler reaches up and holds his daddy’s big hand in his little trusting one and takes each step. It’s simple, isn’t it? His love is incomprehensibly huge. His plan for each day’s direction is powerfully exciting. The result is our little lives invade the ordinary on earth with the miracles and wonders of Him. Read His Word, talk to him like a 3 year old, confident He smiles as He listens. Feel His hand turn your direction and follow in your little steps in trust. We can’t buy joy and vibrant life like that. It’s free.
Noreen Kualii says
The Good Life means living life with no regrets. Being honest with yourself about what truly matters and enjoying every minute each day brings. Being surrounded by loved ones, the beauty of nature and the presense of our Gracious God.
Carol Ann says
my husband and I are always “talking” about trying to stop spending so. We are helping our daughter raise her 4 children in our home, and something always is “wanted”, needed. There is never any money left at the end of the pay check, we are working in the Lord’s work. The book sounds like it could help us in a huge way, God Bless. CAF
The “Good Life” to me is a life that celebrates God in all things.
I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward. Phil 3:14.
Lynne bassler says
These days the good life means living more simply, more quietly, doing what God puts in front of me to do & trying not to worry about the rest….rocking my new preemie granddaughter often, praying often( “help, Lord!”) loving God, my husband & family, writing poetry, learning to watercolor. What a good life to aspire to for this recovering shopaholic.
Stephanie S says
The good life for me would be one in which I wake up each morning and fall asleep each night content, not necessarily happy since I know that would be impossible, but just content.
God has been working on my heart for awhile to simplify my life. I so much want to let go of the things of this world for good. I want the peace and contentment I know only God can give me. Would love a copy of this book to help me on my daily journey to The Good Life!!
The good life is a life lived gratefully and content with all God has or hasn’t given it’s a life lived in hope and renewel day by day
The good life to me is a life filled with gratitude, love and family.
Sounds like a wonderfully refreshing book teaching us how to simplify and rely and trust God for all things and in all things. That means trusting Him when we pray for change and obedience, He WILL help us. I long more for His peace especially in the chaos and to declutter thereby freeing my mind to focus on Him more. My life is out of balance, and I’m looking for more order this year. Lord, help me.
Yes, let’s be captivated by Christ, not by things. He alone satisfies!
Michelle M says
The good life to me is having enough to be able to give to others, being content with what I have and truly being grateful for the blessings I have been given, and being aware of opportunities to sow into other people’s lives in whatever way that is most effective.
As life around me is falling apart, I realize how desperately I need to walk in the fullness of God’s grace, putting my hope and trust in his loving hands to refine me by the power of his Spirit.
The good life to me is one where I can rest each day knowing that I am living intentionally and to the best of my ability to have what I believe line up with my daily choices (with my time, words, actions, money).
To me the good life is living with intention in everything I do. Understanding my purpose here on earth – to love God and to love other people. To be thankful for each and every day God has given me.
Joan Munro says
GIVING and GETTING…..like a carousel of material items that truly don’t satisfy…but I kept going around and around, telling myself thT God was blessing me, and forgetting to bless others. after the loss of loved ones, I sensed God’s call to Give More and get less. God provides the “Good Life” in Jesus Christ. Sometimes I learned and realized this through death, trials, health crises and family separations….but GOD is good, even when Life is hard.
Honestly, I used to hide away that sparkled or shine, like a special piece of gold jewelry or my mother’s diamond rings that have been searched for (but never found). These items I used to hold as a treasure and lost, misplaced or set aside, have shown me that “things of this earth will pass away” but Grace and God’s mercy won’t! Thanks for sharing your journey and the reminder that ” only what’s done for Christ will last” HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Elaine Pool says
The Good Life? Contentment – something I desperately need
The good life if loving large, and always having room for one more.
What a beautifully honest and timely message. I’m 34 years old, a mother to a beautiful 4 year old daughter and a wife to an awesome and gifted husband and pastor. I find myself getting caught up so many days in trying to be who I think I need to be to so many people. The good life to me (as I am slowly but surely seeing)is knowing that my hope is anchored in the Lord and that I just need to be who He has called me to be. Who He has created me to be. Who He loves me to be. The good life is knowing my identity is in Him and not in things. Thank you for this. Looking forward to reading this book (whether won or bought).
The good life for me is remembering who I am in Christ and walking in the love, peace and freedom that comes with this knowledge and belief. Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned with us!
Linda G says
The good life is waking each morning to a sunrise God created for me. It’s listening to the crunch of fall leaves under my feet and filling my lungs with crisp autumn air. It’s listening to my 13 year old grand-daughter read the stories she loved me to read to her when she was small. It’s the laughter of family, hugs and “I love you”, and hot cocoa by a fire. It’s all the treasures I cannot buy, and God continues to give. That’s not only the good life, it’s the best life.
Thank you for your transparency! Thank you for your ministry, and for using your gift of words to help others!
Love this blog! As a new year approaches…I am thinking what is important…not worrying but trusting my Lord! “Things aren’t important” but relationship with my Lord and seeing that in my family!
I would love to win this book. I am trapped in the spendy life, and mostly it is things I don’t want to spend on. I can’t seem to get out from under the enforced expenses so that I can enjoy the life I am living. I am hoping that the book tells one how to in the midst of the necessarily imposed unexpecteds, the house/car repairs, medical bills, and be able to savor life rather just run to play “catch up” putting off real living while trying to make a living. There is nothing one can do about the “life happens” stuff; backs go out, tires go flat, roofs leak – but I can’t help thinking God doesn’t want us in bondage to the “stuff happens” tyranny. I’d like to know how to stop wanting the little luxuries, the pretty surprises. It doesn’t matter if one doesn’t buy them, if one is depressed about not being able to. For the most part I can avoid that, but it hits hard sometimes when pulling the bills out of the mailbox.
Susan Baughman says
The good life for me is one of love of family and quality time with them, serving the Lord and leading others to know Him.
Gris Alves says
the good life is Freedom in the moment, all day, knowing I am known and loved by God and that whatever we hVe this day is ENOUGH:)
I’ve been captivated by this thought recently that loving Jesus and following him should be effortless. The fruit of God’s spirit at work in us so much that it just flows at all times. Dallas Willard taught this and I long for it. This is the Good Life in my opinion, so in love and satisfied with the person of Jesus that we effortless walk in gratitude, contentment and love.
So true. Just because we cannot pay our bills, doesn’t mean life can’t be full and good. We can trust God to meet our needs. If we lose our house, He’ll have something better for us. The need to get things still gets in the way and many times my judgement becomes non-existant
Jennifer D. says
The good life is a life striving to be Christ like. Not only should we strive for contentment in all things, but also to serve as Christ did to others.
Wonderful post, especially during this time of year.
To me, the “Good Life” really means slowing down, being present in each moment, sharing what you can, wanting what you already have, really seeing the beauty in the every day, and reflecting God’s light to others. Sadly, I’m not there yet, but it’s a journey!
Kelly H says
The Good Life? Being in total surrender to God – – for the now, the past, and the future. Being intentional, moment by moment, to following Him!!
The good life is being with my family & friends. The most special thing to me is worshipping the Lord on Sunday with my whole family…
The “Good life” at this point would be feeling that sense of contentment, stability and calm that I am honestly not feeling in this post Christmas stupor in which have blown my budget and feel emotionally deflated. Really struggling with these issues right now.
Stacey E says
To me the “Good Life” means being content with what you have and being grateful for what God gives you. Having enough to have what you need and some left over to share with those that still need. I don’t always get it right, but I’m trying to have gratitude, generosity and grace, and show that to my children.
Tammy M says
The Good LIfe – I’ve been searching for that my whole life, I thought it was family, friends and being a loyal wife and friend, and then 2 years ago the botton fell out of my life and my foundation was rocked. Not only did my son finish college and leave the state, (which is a good thing and what I raised him to do) but my husband walked out too (totally unexpected and not what I raised him to do 🙂 ). I clung to Jesus and learned that the Good Life was always right there – God our father is always there for us, loves us no matter what, and has been there through our past, present and will be there for our tomorrows! When I started to understand how wonderful that was my worries about daily things stopped. Now I find myself giving love to others, I’m not scared to be alone – because I’m never alone anymore – I always have God/Jesus/and the Holy Spirit with me. I find the more I give in money and time to others the more I have to give. I want for nothing – God provides, even if I don’t have the latest gadgets, or newest clothes it just doesn’t seem to matter, Everytime I think I’m going to spend that extra on me, something comes up that I can do for someone else and I just do it and it whatever I was going to do was forgotten and I don’t think twice about it. God is so wonderful he just replaces my thoughts and I love it!!! I would rather give and spend on someone else who needs help then myself anyday. Can’t wait to read your book, the write up sounds great! Thanks for sharing.
To me, the “good Life” is seeing a need and having the means to fulfill it! God gives us more than we need so we can bless others with the overflow.
Jessica Allen says
The “Good Life” to me is having all three of my step-sons at home. It’s having a home for us to live and love in. It’s food for our table. It’s a little bit extra so that we can bless others the way they have blessed us. It’s seeing the smile on my husband’s face. It’s the love of our church family when times are hard. The Good Life is enjoying each moment that God has given.
Wow! I can’t believe the number of comments already posted. I would love to read your book because I’m curious what to learn about “Living Well, Spending Less”. What is “living well”? I am quite content with my residential circumstances which are just what I need and no more, I have meals everyday that I can prepare or I have an occasional lunch out with friends. I have a wonderful church family who socialize regularly and Bible studies to attend as well. I have a cell phone (not as smart as I am, but it makes calls), wifi for my laptop and printer and cable for my older, non-hd tv . I also have a car manufactured at the end of the last century, with low mileage and good tires and inexpensive insurance to take me to church and to restaurants and to movies and to the market. I hope your book can teach me ways to travel the country safely and cheaply so I’ll be able to visit friends and family scattered around the country. I’d love to see them all more often and since I am the only one of them without family or other restraints on my time, they wait for me to go to them. BUT I can’t because, you see, I have just enough for me. Just enough from my disability income to cover everything I need, plus a small savings to cover medical costs not covered by Medicare. Well, I’m willing to learn how to Spend Less so I can Live Well. It’s important to do that no matter what my age or circumstances may be. I hope I win the drawing so I can begin spending less by getting your book for free.
Family, friends, faith with time to enjoy all 3
Beth Williams says
I am an encourager and giver by nature–God made me that way! Love giving people gifts of time, food, etc.
As I age I find myself wanting less of this world & more peace-especially the peace of God! Wouldn’t mind living in a log cabin on a few acres out in the middle of nowhere. Just surrounded by nature, family & God! I don’t care about stuff!
Blessings! Happy New Year!
Michele Bellinder says
Thank you for sharing your heart….For me this temporary fulfillment left from shopping has taken so much joy from me…….I desire the change you found. I cannot wait to learn from your journey and perhaps find healing for myself as well. Thank you!
Jessica evans says
I agree with Beth Evans. I do not know her, but that is exactly how I feel, today. He will provide us, Beth! Deep thoughts and beautiful words.
N Maners says
The Good Life means that I lay down at night and close my eyes knowing that I am at peace with God and owe nothing to man.
Karen W says
The good life for me is spending time with family, sharing yummy meals together, and sharing each others joys and sorrows. good life = precious present
Suri Barnes says
The good life is when my heart and soul are full and fulfilled. This could be from positive interactions with family and friends, or good things that happen at work, or the comfort of home with my husband. Those are my best moments.
The Good Life has come as I learned to choose time with God above all else & started making changes He asked of me (& no surprise that they were all in my best interest even if a hard adjustment at first). I hope it also gets to include love with a spouse one day. It means a peace & joy inside even without all the conveniences people assume are necessary-living simply.
Janet D says
For me, the Good Life is eating breakfast out with my husband on our way to the Flea Market. I spend about five dollars and come home thrilled with my finds. I know God leads me and the seller so our needs (and sometimes wants) are provided in amazing ways.
Mary Hood says
The good life to me happens every time I give the love of God to someone, either intentionally or otherwise. I get a sense of “God’s approval”, a peace that He is in control of my actions, that He is the one leading me. The good life is knowing that God’s life is in me, whether I am working, cleaning my house, spending time with my family or just relaxing. The good life is when I am in the midst of the challenges and the hard places and I am pouring out my soul to Him to strengthen His hold on me when I can’t hold on to anything. The good life is knowing that God has designed me exactly the way I am and He is working in me working out all of my decisions, good or bad, to His perfect will. It is always a good life when God is in my life.
The good life to me is nurturing and appreciating the family (chosen and blood) around me…really looking them in the eyes and marveling at who they are and how unique and wonderful they are. I long to get to a place where I do that more…
Living the good life to me means having peace and being grateful and content with where I am and what I have. Spending precious moments with my family and friends and learning how to love well.
Terri tackett says
To me, the good life is closeness to God and family, appreciation of what I have, and giving. But I’m still working on getting my daily life and choices to reflect that.
Be content, be content–> a dial chant for myself. It’s a constant reminder that regardless of no matter how much money I spend, it won’t make me happier. I will just want something else. Be content.I’d love the chance to win.
Laurel Wycoff says
I am so excited for Ruth’s book to release! This lady is awesome! Not only does she have a heart for God and others, she’s also a sweet friend!
The “Good Life” for me as a single mom would be to be able to trust God completely in everything, but especially my finances.
Susan Y. says
What a fabulous way to begin the New Year! How wonderful to have a resource such as this. I will use mine for a daily devotional!
Tami Grandi says
To me “A good life” is about being able to live a life following God’s dreams for me in all areas so that I can reach out to others!
kathy w says
The good life means handing things over to God to handle when you know you should.
The good life to me is serving others, helping others, and seeking God’s plan for my life. It is not about having fancy things, a new car (or the best), a big house, lots of money in the bank, status, etc. It is about living the life God intended for us to live – unselfish and serving others. Giving to the poor, lending a hand, serving at homeless shelters, food banks, clothing banks…being a servant of Jesus! Being grateful for what we do have and thanking Him for he provides! Having faith that He will provide for our every need!
Good life means using my life in whatever time, place, circumstance I have been given for good – HIS good!
Mary Tullila says
Moments and memories with loved ones are more priceless than gold. When you lose someone. ..things don’t matter.
Jen Mc says
to me, the good life is about celebrating people and moments with them. Splurging on experiences, making memories, is where I spend my money.
Sharing God’s love and the gifts and talents He has given me to others.
Meredith Guffey says
I would love to read this book, and I am putting it on my list. My heart longs to be satisfied with what Gor has in store for me. I would love to give my boys everything they want, but I am not rich by the world’s standards. I am, however, rich in the eyes of my Father. Now to teach my children about contentment…but first, I have to get there. 🙂
Michele Kearns says
God bless you for writing this book. Looking forward to reading it.
Linda C says
I just read about Ruth’s book and it sounds like my life.
I have made a lot of money in the past 20 years but was always still searching for something. I have been praying for a year or so that God would remove the selfish desire of shopping and spending money and just having to have stuff! I always joked about having to keep working because I wouldn’t like the allowance I would get from my husband.
I have two grandchildren and an elderly father that I want and need to spend more time with. I want to volunteer and serve others and share the love of Christ with others in whatever way God sees fit.
So- I have retired!! Not sure how it will all work out but I feel like it has been a sign from God and he will lead me where he wants me – and I will go.
I am headed to Brazil on January 7th with my son that is a youth pastor. We will be there on a mission trip for two weeks at a kids camp.
I am anxious to read Ruth’s book as I begin this new journey- being filled with God’s grace, love and mercy instead of things!
I want to spend less and live well and need all of the help I can get.
Thank you Ruth for helping to show us the way!!
God bless you!
The good life is being able to recognize the gifts that God gives us daily and to have a more intimate relationship with God.
The good life to me is having purposeful work, making connections with others, family and friends, and a home that is enough.
Andrea Pope says
The good life means wanting what you have vs. having what you want.
The good life to me is living my life fully satisfied in Christ.
Prior to my husband’s retirement (2014) the Lord started “releasing” us of “stuff.” We have a beautiful home that we now would like to sell because we are wanting to downsize. Letting go of things that we have felt like we needed has been so wonderful! We still have a ways to go but with the help of the Lord as He shows us how to be content with what we have we feel more and more blessed!!! ♡
Alayene Patsches says
A Good Life to me is to be able to breathe in and being content where I am and what I have and mange it right..this book would be such a blessing to have..as it was no accident that I stumbled onto this blog at the time that I did…even if I don’t win a copy I will buy it because I know its the what I call “God Winks” telling me there is something he wants me to learn within the pages of the book..
Amy Coombe says
The good life for me is having good friends, and family and my son and someone to love and enjoy life with and a job that gives me fulfillment and enough money to pay my bills and have a little fun.
Sue Bradford Edwards says
The Good Life means having a purpose and knowing what God wants of me in the moment.
Linda R says
I try not to focus on material things but on storing up treasures in heaven. I think a book like this are your blog would be helpful to me. Thanks and God bless you.
Connie Green says
Thanks for this post of the up and coming inspirational book.
Regina Gibson says
I am now 48 and when I was in my twenties and dating my husband, one day it came to me that He represented “the good life”. we have been together for twenty- eight years and we have 3 beautiful children. We had our pitfalls but God brought us out and even opened my eyes to see Jesus more clearly in all His glory. I had an experience with Him in my kitchen. Meeting Jesus there was the true beginning of “the good life”. My husband and I are together in being saved and my kids too. There is nothing better than that for me! That we will all someday be in heaven together forever with Jesus whom I love so dearly!
Cathy Leonard says
The good life to me is waking up each new day thankful to be alive and giving to others in both big and small ways. A smile, a kind look or kinds word, a hug or kiss, a wish for someone else to do well, to be blessed to be happy.
Ashley R says
The good life is that balance of loving God with everything you have, loving your family, and sharing the light of Christ with those around you.
Gail nelson says
The good life to me is one of slowing down and not being overly committed and involved , taking time to enjoy the simple things like walks, talks and just being together with the ones who count in your life
The good life is being able to help others, seeing my own kids happy and healthy and watching our teens in youth group growing into spiritual leaders
More than anything living the good life, at least for me, is loving Jesus and loving others.
Rachel H says
Walking in the life God has for me is the good life.
The good life…to completely surrender my life to the Lord and feel blessed by what He offers me, freely. It is a work in progress, and I Iook forward to seeing how this book can help me on my journey…free or not 😉
Thanks for the opportunity!
“The Good Life” for me is being with my babies (all 4!), with my husband playing worship music on guitar, while I have a cup of hot tea in my hand. I’ve learned that I enjoy life so much more when it’s going at a slow pace, opposed to running around like a mad woman. I just wanna soak up as much as I possibly can!
There is an old hymn that says “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what The Lord hath done”. When I intentionally do that, it shows me what the good life is.
The good life for me is being surrounded by those I love and those who love me. Setting boundaries, letting go of some things from the past, and just being me! It’s a continuous process…life is good!
Liz Losey says
The good life to me means being appriciative of what I have and not always longing for something more in a material sense. Finding fulfillment in experiences and relationships not hoping to find it in possessions.
Betty Goodson says
The good Life is living with gratitude each and every moment for all the Good God has sent into my life, the man I love who cherishes me, wonderful friends who stand by us each day and help us through all our trials of which there have and continue to be many, a wonderful encouraging church family and most of all grateful that God has shown me through his faithfulness and the gift of his Son what true love is. Love is not a noun but a living breathing action word. When you truly accept the love God gives it cannot stop with you, but must flow through you to a needy hurting world. Already so blessed , how could I want more?
To me good life means sharing the little I have with the less fortunate especially the children. I grew up poor and it really touches me to children going to school or church on an empty stomach. This is the reason I’ve started to feed the children at church every Sunday. Seeing a smile their faces whilst enjoying the meal is quite fulfilling!
To “intentionally appreciate” all that God has given me…what a goal for 2015!!! A daily, moment-by-moment goal!!
A good life means embracing the life the Lord has given me, and living every moment to the fullest with the ones he gifted me to do life with! Quiet times alone with God listening, oh how I yearn to hear his wisdom direct my steps!
I am fighting depression and anxiety and I know that the good life is in holding on to the love Jesus has for me in the midst of difficult circumstances and hard days.
Carol Leonard says
The good life to me is being in a place of intimacy with Jesus and out of that loving people, family, friends, coworkers, people you meet in the course of everyday life. Having His dreams and a desire to fulfill them. Knowing that He loves me, when the whole world, including me doesn’t. I so need to learn contentment with that and to stay in that place of intimacy instead of wandering in the wilderness called this world.
Love this!! Yes, the good life to me is also Faith, family and friends and being able to see the beauty in the ashes…the not so beautiful…the ordinary. I want to be able to have that…finding the richness in every moment…big or small…great or mundane and enjoy every minute I have with my dear family and friends.
Charlene M. says
What a blessing! I am one year and two months away from early retirement. God gave me the desire of my heart at the beginning of my career NOT to have a career outside my home. He is preparing me to receive the desire of my heart now. I have used things to fulfill some unknown need for far too long. God will teach me how to find beauty in what I have and glorify Him in the discovery. Thanks for sharing your heart and how God is blessing you on your journey to grow closer to Christ.
This is just the message I need in the new year. I want to live a full life and not feel the endless cycle of want.
The good life for me is time to be intentional with my family and friends and in my faith. We have been spending our holiday break clearing out some of the clutter of the last year. It’s been fun as a family to spend time together revisiting memories and inspiring each other to make space for what matters.
The good life for me is enjoying my time right now with my kids, husband and parents. Doing things with them but not over scheduling us so we are rushe’d and stressed all the time.
Jeannie S says
The good life to me is the security of my relationship with Jesus. No matter how hard some days may be He is my everything, He never leaves us and His mercies are new every morning.
Kim Sullivan says
When the weariness of the world gets too heavy, most of us seek comfort in the shiny stuff the world offers. The trouble is it never offers anything more than momentary pleasure. What a much needed resource this book will be to many! May 2015 be the year we finally learn to be grateful for what we have, and give thanks daily to the One who provides for our every need. In Him alone we have the strength to face what tomorrow brings.
The good life is a life filled with peace. It is focused on recognizing God in the small, daily routines and interactions with family and friends. It is seeing Gods gifts to us in the beauty of nature. It is feeling Gods love, even when we are alone.
Heather P. says
The “good life” is remembering that I don’t have to carry my heavy, heavy burdens. I have found rest for my soul — His yoke is easy, and His burden is light (Matt 11:30). It is not always easy or painless, but THAT is the good life.
I am grateful for a loving husband, wonderful adult sons, precious friends and extended family. Time spent with them is cherished. Spending time using my God-given talents enriches my soul. The book sounds awesome; I would love to win a copy.
Where my home is a haven characterized by peace and contentment.
I am very excited to read this book. As I read the article it is strike so many cords in my life. The good life is one immersed in the Lord- His Word, His creation, His presence with His people. Keeping focused on those items daily is hard for a mom like myself. I stumble and fall daily.
Linda Sue says
The words from the old hymn “Living for Jesus” resonate daily for living the good life…
Living for Jesus, a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me.
Living for Jesus Who died in my place,
Bearing on Calv’ry my sin and disgrace;
Such love constrains me to answer His call,
Follow His leading and give Him my all.
Living for Jesus, wherever I am,
Doing each duty in His holy Name;
Willing to suffer affliction and loss,
Deeming each trial a part of my cross.
Living for Jesus through earth’s little while,
My dearest treasure, the light of His smile;
Seeking the lost ones He died to redeem,
Bringing the weary to find rest in Him.”
So I give myself to Him, my Lord and Savior, because he gave Himself for me, redeeming me from a narcisscisitic life. He is now my only Master, who sits on the throne of my heart! The Good Life is living for Christ alone!!
Beth Werner Lee says
I hesitate to define the good life. Grateful, seeing God at work in me (how weak I am!) and through me (what a surprise!), and loving God and others…then all the rest are just details: home, people, good work to do, rest to enjoy. Overwhelming details unless I beg God’s direction, God’s love to fill me. I’m to love, but my love runs out, so a daily prayer is “give me your love to give the people you bring me today, o Lord.”
I realize I need a change in my thinking toward material goods. This sounds like a good place to start!
The good life to me is being content in all things and enjoying the moments because they pass by so quickly.
“The Good Life” to me means living a Godly life. The things of this world are not near as important as the people of this world try to make them out to be. This life is a short life, regardless of how long any of us live. However, our Eternal life is just that, an Eternity. An Eternity is a very long time; much longer than imaginable. I want my life on this Earth to really matter & make a difference in me, as well as others. I want others to be able to see Christ living in me. Therefore, hoping & Praying that they will want what they see & turn their lives around, ultimately allowing God to enter their lives, change their hearts & accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. “The Good LIfe” to me means living for Christ, like Christ, about Christ. As the Bible tells us, we are to “love thy neighbor as you would love yourself” & “to love one another just as I have loved you”. That’s a good life. We aren’t to do what “we” want to do, what “we” feel is fair, right or just. If we are truly living “The Good Life”, we are to do what God wants us to do. It isn’t always easy & may not always seem fair to us; but, it’s what God would have us to do. My husband & I try extremely hard to live our lives like this. Often times we have difficulties, because the person we are going out of our way for maybe has really been a disappointment in some way to us. However, we always tell each other, “but, that’s the way God would want us to act”. In the end, it really makes our hearts smile & we truly do feel better. You have to always put God first. If we try to live, think & act on “our” decisions, we’re certain to go wrong every time. We MUST rely on God, His vision, His wisdom, His Word, His everything & we will succeed each & every time. “The Good Life” to me is simply a Godly life. Thank you so very much for all of the blogs, posts, comments & good Godly wisdom. We Love You! God Bless You All!
I believe the good life is all about me decreasing and JESUS, DAILY INCREASING IN MY LIFE… I want MORE OF YOU GOD, EVERYDAY!!! That’s my heart’s cry… plus being bedridden and homebound, myself, for 17 years now, I REALIZE HOW VERY MUCH WE ALL TAKE FOR GRANDTED “OUR WONDERFUL GOD GIVEN HEALTH”!!! Please THANK GOD EVERYDAY, IF FOR NOTHING ELSE, YOUR COMPLETE HEALTH AND THAT’S A HUGE DEAL TO THANK HIM FOR, ITSELF… NOT TO MENTION , HE DIED FOR YOUR SINS!!! HE LOVES YOU, UNCONDITIONALLY, NO MATTER HOW BADLY WE MESS UP!!!
The GOOD LIFE IS ALL ABOUT BEING THANKFUL AND GREATFUL FOR EVERYTHING THAT YOU HAVE AND DON’T HAVE… “BE YE CONTENT, AT WHATEVER STATE YOU’RE IN”. Read and STUDY HIS WORD AND APPLYING IT TO OUR EVERYDAY LIFE IS HAPPINESS AND CONTENTMENT IN EVERYDAY SURROUNDINGS… HAVING PEACE IS A MUST TO BE HAPPY AND LIVING THE GOOD LIFE!!! 🙂
The good life is not comparing my life to someone else’s and acknowledging that everything I have comes from God, and being content with that.
Linda N says
Living the good life means having joy in & deep appreciation for the blessings in my life with a lot less focus on what I think might be missing. My goal this year is to record on my calendar at least one thing each day that makes my life a good life (without repeats!).
Would love to win this book! Retired & widowed so living on a fixed income now.
Pat Coury says
“A good life” for me has been redefined every few yrs. I would say on the surface: family, knowing my children are well, having gratitude and contentment, having solid sister friendships in Christ. But the older I get I want the definition of a good life to fall on Jesus and him only. To define the good life as being in love with him and the security that he cannot be taken away from me no matter what my life circumstance may look like. I am on the walk towards that definition.
The good life for me is the life that God intends for me to live … that I would daily be living out His purposes for me, impacting the lives of others by using the spiritual gifts He has given me, and seeking to bring honor and glory to Him in all that I do. Having said all that, I clearly fall short of that goal every day — but in His strength, I keep moving toward it.
Walking through this life and eternity hand-in-hand with God…knowing, believing, and receiving all He is…Loving the Lord and being filled with The Holy Spirit…that’s the good life to me…
What is the good life?
A good question, as my heart answers one way while my daily living/actions speak the opposite.
Oh,that my definition, my actions, would be transformed by the living Christ.
Danielle D says
Sounds like a wonderful book! The good life to me means my family living lives of contentment and constant thankfulness for the things we have!! 🙂
The good life for me means finding contentment in the midst of chronic health issues including having had twenty four surgeries. Contentment is not comparing myself to what others have compared to me but contentment is being grateful for the blessings I do have and to daily thank God with joy for all He has blessed me with.
I am grateful also for all of you wonderful ladies who bring so much blessing and hope into my life. Thank you. May God bless your New Year with grace and peace.
Mary L. says
The best things in life aren’t Things. The best thing is finding God’s Love. Mary L.
Carmen N says
I would love to read this book. Like Ruth, I’ve found that turning away from the materialism of this world is difficult and I’ve been slow to change.
Is there any word on whether someone will be running a study using this book? If so, I’d love to participate!
Lindsey H. says
“The Good Life” is to live the life God has planned for me and to honor and glorify Him in all I do. If I would do this, everything else would fall into place…contentment would happen and the need to compare myself to others would disappear.
Janet Olson says
The Good Life. A life more full of Christ and less full of material things. A life of loving my neighbor, not comparing myself to him/her. A life of realizing how wealthy I am among all of the luxuries I consider necessities and take for granted. A life to be desired.
The Good Life is knowing without a shadow of a doubt that I’m never, ever alone. He’s constant, consistent and compassionate & I’m filled with gratitude. 2014 was the 5th anniversary of my only child’s horrendous accident and without Him, I don’t know how my husband and I would have survived. HE is THE GOOD LIFE.
I can’t wait to read this book! The Good Life to me is a feeling of contentment but not letting go of your dreams. Peace in a crazy world. Family and Friends. Remembering to say… Thank You Jesus! everyday no matter what is thrown your way.
Thanks for the chance to win.
Knel dakis says
“The Good Life” for me, is living the life that God wants me to live, pursuing the goals and dreams that He wants me to pursue, and being joyful, contented, and peaceful at that.
Susan Gruener says
Living the ‘Good Life’ to me is living right in the center of God’s will for me. It may not always go the way I think it should go, but I trust God that His way is always perfect. Our God is truly amazing, and living for Christ makes me awestruck. He has never failed me yet…and I’ve known Him for 48 years. God can give each and every person the ‘Good Life’!
I am still struggling with what the “Good Life” looks like. I used to think it was a big house, finely decorated and 2 new cars in the garage. I am starting to realize that the “Good Life” is way more than that. I want relationships to be more important than stuff in my life. I still have a long way to go to overcome my materialistic nature, but it starts somewhere. God keeps reminding me that stuff will NOT provide happiness. True joy is only in Him.
It simply means a life lived for Christ, giving out of a deep desire to please Him and not the world. I want what He has blessed me with to be shared and multiplied through His abundant grace and mercy.
The good life to me is following what Jesus wants me to do. Knowing I’m following His will would be better than anything else. I recently got married, so part of the good life now is learning how to appreciate my husband, to pay down our debt, to use our finances wisely, and to learn how to do life together the way God intended, while still making Him my hope.
The older I get, the more I realize what is really important in life. I don’t crave the newest purse or car. I just want my friendships and family near me. If I could just let go of belongings now and not hoard things that have sentimental rememberances I would be great. This sounds like a wonderful book!
Lori Hurrell says
As 2014 comes to a close I am struggling to answer this question and others. I pray fervently that 2015 will be a year of more grace, gratitude and love. As I enter the year where I will turn 50 (is it possible?) I long to figure out how to turn from the shiny baubles of this world and to embrace what I truly need….a life secure in Christ and a life lived in obedience. What I have learned this year is that there is freedom to be found in obedience. Bring on 2015, I am ready to embrace a life lived well!!!
Karen K says
The Good Life- is resting in Christ. Being thankful for what I do have and focusing on others not things.
The Good Life-being content, living wholeheardely, giving our best to God and the world, and loving others.
Good friends, good food, good books. Quiet time with God. Daily reminders that comparison is the thief of joy.
Melissa A says
I’m no different from most people in that I sometimes put too much value on things or stuff or clutter or whatever you want to call it. But I know the good life is about people and spending time rather than money. None of the dust covered junk in my home is going with me to my forever home, so why spend another minute figuring out how to get any more? Instead, I will invest in the people in my life.
Natalie Bush says
Living the Good-Life to me would mean enjoying my children EVERY, SINGLE day. It would mean finding beauty in the messes and the chaos. It would mean contentment. Something I’ve struggled with for far too long.
The good life is intentionally making time for family and friends – connecting, appreciating, enjoying, being involved. The good life is a simple life, with simple foods, simple pleasures, soaking in the gifts of God in his beautiful creation.
patty c says
Up early this morning and just came across this. God is transforming my ideas of what being satisfied is. The good life for me would be not waking in the night and the first thing in my thoughts is bill due dates and that sick feeling in my stomach because i know they come due before the next pay date.
I want to walk in peace and not fear.
It is so challenging to define the Good Life by what God says, and not by what everything around us shouts. I think the Good Life is all about knowing & loving God, and loving those around us well… Living to build God’s Kingdom and not our own.
Marla Smith says
Sounds like a great resource that reminds us that our contentment is in a growing relationship with the Lord!
Living the good life to me means living in the present, enjoying family and friends, supporting one another and God’s grace on a daily basis. I too was a “shop-a-holic”… After losing my full time job I was forced to look at things differently. As a single woman I had devoted my life to my job, working weird hours, volunteering my time off the clock, when I was suddenly let go by preference of a new administrator. It was a painful and shocking experience for which I am ever grateful! I realized my family was more important and needed me to be present with them. I’ve enjoyed making lasting memories over making money and buying “stuff”. Thank you Ruth for sharing! Blessings!
This speaks directly to what my goal for 2015 is! I find myself spending money unnecessarily, so I’ve decided to have spending limits for myself. All tips that I get will certainly be helpful!
Mary T says
The Good Life to me is knowing that God is Enough! He knows what I need…what my loved ones need…and is our Provider! I have prayed about my one word and I kept hearing a phrase that I saw, it was in some way there for me in Scripture verses and blog posts…it is Persistent Faith, Abundant Grace! But now that I have pondered your thoughts on the true meaning of The Good Life, God has planted a little seed in my heart that says, “Mary, I am Enough!” Enough is all I will ever need or want! God is my All! My Enough! Ruth, a Blessed New year to you and all at (in)courage!