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