Friday, August 27, 2010

Simplicity: What do you think?

I really appreciated this blog post on Christianity Today's "Women's Blog."

"Abundant simplicity is more about paying attention — to what we want and need; what we have and buy; what we spend, save, and give; and our relationship with our bank accounts and material objects. When do money and things enhance our life, and when do they tempt us to envy, anxiety, fear, pride, or selfishness?"

I've often struggled with this idea of simplicity and living with less, and the conclusion I've come to is that it's a process between us and the Lord. It's so important to constantly be checking in with our relationship to stuff and our relationship to God. What things are possessing us? Are we mindlessly living in the land of much-too-much? Unfortunately, our lifestyle doesn't allow much for a reality check. We are so far removed from things that will shake us. For me, support-raising for our job has really changed my view on money and possessions, and my world is shaken every time I am faced with real poverty - such as our connections to the Haitian community or my homeless friend John in South Philly.

Anyways. Please read the blog post and share your own story.
How have you been challenged by God with regards to possessions?
What shakes you into a reality check?

4 comments:

  1. In just a practical way, (but perhaps this is how God's speaking to me in this certain area), I feel less and less fondly towards "stuff"-collector's items, too many DVDs, scrapbooking crap, TOO MANY coffee mugs, etc.- every time we move. I feel less compelled to buy that really cute Mickey whatever when we're in WDW or less compelled to buy Mom this stupid glass something that says Happy Mother's Day on it, and I'm starting to instead buy something practical (not always exciting), or living- such as a tree or new flowering bush, or give someone an "experience gift" like a dinner out.... I know this isn't exactly what you were thinking of, but it's just what I was thinking about as we're currently packing to move! haha!!

    But... I think working for my former bosses (who were wonderful, generous people, btw) who had MUCH too much, with a toy room for the girls that could've been a Toys 'R Us store b/c there was so much, helped me to look at my own life and see if I'm buying frivolous things just to buy. Especially when I came back from my mission trip to Guatemala last year and returned to my nannying job in this posh community w/ Audis and BMWs and dog walkers and landscapers and house cleaners.... nothing is wrong with any one of those things, but I just felt so convicted to live more simply.

    Sorry this reply is rather scattered and not so succint... it IS Saturday morning, after all. :)

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  2. although you already know that I went on a wild rampage of ridding myself of possessions, I do know that now I don't need all these vintage dresses that I have and so I do resell them but now I feel I have too many that fit me and feel like I'm wasting money just to continue to inspire people to dressing modestly for God. So lately I've been feeling convicted in wanting to just wear the few that I have kept and that is it. . but anyway besides that in always getting rid of the majority of what I have owned, gives me a huge sense of freedom and closer connection to my relationship with Christ. I dwell more on His word than my wants.

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  3. @ Sam - we've really been into "experience" gifts too. That's basically all we give to each other, and we try to do that with family too. It's not only amazing to me how much stuff we have in the US, but how BLIND we are to the rest of the world. My heart breaks for the poor, but it's so easy to forget them and go on in my daily life. Every time I sense myself starting to forget (and I'm grateful if I even sense it!), I pray about my heart in relation to things. I want to be in constant check of this are of my life.

    @ Victoria: I am always inspired by your want to be molded by the Lord. I think it's fantastic that you have a system of buying and re-selling. I never knew you did that until recently, and I think it's really neat. I also think about how you rid yourself of basically everything, and now must have a healthy relationship to clothes and things. It is definitely important to always re-check yourself before God, but I would venture to say that it's certainly okay to keep some things that bring you joy. God is Lord over all and he takes joy in your love of beautiful vintage clothing.

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  4. although you already know that I went on a wild rampage of ridding myself of possessions, I do know that now I don't need all these vintage dresses that I have and so I do resell them but now I feel I have too many that fit me and feel like I'm wasting money just to continue to inspire people to dressing modestly for God. So lately I've been feeling convicted in wanting to just wear the few that I have kept and that is it. . but anyway besides that in always getting rid of the majority of what I have owned, gives me a huge sense of freedom and closer connection to my relationship with Christ. I dwell more on His word than my wants.

    ReplyDelete

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