An ode to free stuff

Tell me,
What in the world would I sing for,
If I had it all?
-Dave Matthews
Ok I’m not claiming poverty here, we’re doing just fine– we sold all our stuff, remember?  But pretty soon I’ll need to furnish an entire house, and I’ve got plans.  I’ve been spending a lot of time on Pinterest lately.

So in the process of getting lost and found.  I’ve discovered a lot of little gems along the way.  Today we took advantage of the offer of free tickets to Grand Designs Live.  We tested sofas, read up on solar roof tiles, filled up on samples of cheese and sausages, and dreamed about building our own place someday.  It was a fun and unique day out.
Of course, the real gift is not the benefit to our bank account, but the quality time and great memories these things enable us to share.  Although we’re in an uncertain time as a family, I think I will always look back with gratitude for this opportunity to just be together.  It’s a pretty rare thing.
Here are a few cost-free things I’ve come across or re-discovered which are pretty awesome:
  • Books and book bags for BOTH girls at the local library.  B is so proud of hers, she takes it everywhere with her.
  • A local urban farm  which is open to the public every day of the week.
  • A kids’ art & craft room at the local art gallery that families can drop in and use any time the gallery is open.
  • Bounces and giggles in the baby bouncy seats at Mothercare.  I’m not kidding- 10 minutes in one of those and S is on cloud nine.  Then she sleeps for like 2 hours.
  • 15 hours of preschool each week which enables B to spend time with kids her own age, while we give S a little time for herself- and catch up on sleep.
  • Worship.  We love being in ministry, but lately we’re remembering what it’s like to just spend time in the presence of God without any obligations.
  • Exercise.  Nothing beats the joys of a good walk.
  • Great healthy eating recipes.  We’ve been relying on chocolate and cake to get us through the stressful times lately.  Redirecting our foodie tendencies has been a lot of fun- and a chance to share solidarity with my mother-in-law, who is coming to terms with diabetes.
  • Babysitting by family members- something we’ve never had before.  It is touching to see how much joy our daughters are bringing to their aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.
  • The kindness of friends.  Offers to visit with people from our past and present have been overwhelming- and the chance to savor these friendships, priceless.
  • Healthcare.  I’m not trying to stir up controversy here.  I’ll save that for Facebook.  But the plain and simple fact is that we are both unemployed (for very good reason), and I can sleep at night knowing that if anything happens to one of my girls they will still get the best care possible.
Ok at this point I’m starting to feel a teeny tiny bit of regret.  Why on earth didn’t we celebrate these things before?? Oh yeah, because we were busy doing stuff, and buying stuff, and maintaining stuff.  If you’re in that place today, I’d like to give you a challenge if I may.  Take a moment to think about the things you value in your week which are just plain free, and celebrate.  I love reading your comments- why not share your favorite free things below?  You might just inspire someone to discover a new treasure.  To freedom!
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4 thoughts on “An ode to free stuff

  1. I’m with you on the exercise, I love a good walk, especially up big hills!
    Does anything beat making your children laugh, that’s free and the best feeling.
    And don’t forget blogging ;-)

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