We’ve all fallen prey to the pursuit of more stuff. About two years ago I stepped back and took a hard look at what kind of life I was building. Was I building a life of stuff or a life of substance? I truly wanted to be building a life of substance but I found myself measuring my life based on the amount of money we had in the bank, how much stuff we had and how pretty it was. I was really good at talking about building a life of substance and meaning, all while continuing my day-to-day acquisition of more stuff and making sure my life looked presentable and enviable to others.
Isn’t it crazy how we use society’s opinion to gauge how we should live our lives? We associate stuff with status. How should we spend our money? How should my house look? What kind of car should I drive? What kind of job makes me look most important? How full should my walk in closet be? That person has 100 pairs of shoes and needs a whole closet dedicated to housing those shoes? I need to go buy more so that they never know I only own 7 pair of shoes right now. It’s crazy. You and I are the only ones that can stop the insanity. Do you ever look at those pictures of shoes housed perfectly in a closet the size of someone’s home and think about the children living without so much as a roof over their head (or 1 pair of shoes on their feet) and here we are protecting our shoes like it matters? Shoes. You know the things whose only purpose is to keep the mud and dirt off our feet.
Brent and I completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and that really helped kickstart us into a more modest and simple lifestyle. I’m not going to lie, I still have problems sticking to our budget and sometimes I still want to be childish and get what I want, when I want it. But that course is one of the best things that I could have done. It really pulled us back into perspective of whose money this really is. I wanted to be able to foster children, give to those who needed it, volunteer my time to projects that help build others, and the list goes on and on. I couldn’t do any of those things when my priority was myself and to acquire more stuff.
Is it just me or does everyone believe Pinterest is your best friend and worst enemy all at the same time? In my journey to simplify, I started seeing people posting about pairing down their wardrobes. I started seeing others post about how they were organizing and purging a lot of their household items. I would love to jump on board with the tiny house movement but I also love having my family over and having enough space to hold everyone comfortably. (The struggle!) And right along side those helpful simplifying tips are 20 more pins of gorgeous homes filled with tons of gorgeous shoes and stuff.
Just a couple of weeks ago I stumbled over a blog post on modesty from Relevant Magazine. The reason I share this here is because most everyone I know associates modesty with how one dresses. I love that this article finally addressed the fact that God commands us to be modest in how we live our lives, spend our time and money as well. Check it out if you would like. http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/yoga-pants-and-what-bible-really-says-about-modesty
The fulfillment I have now comes from my Creator. I am living my life with purpose for Him and my mentality has shifted. All of “my” money, possessions, life, time, my everything is actually His. If I am living for His pleasure and His purpose, then who am I to deny giving of my time and possessions to those that he loves? Excess is like a drug. You will never have enough stuff to satisfy the emptiness inside.
I challenge you to live your life in a way that you can give generously of your time and resources to those in need. If your resources are tied up in worrying about yourself and your stuff, that isn’t possible.
Are you in pursuit of happiness or stuff?
Also, let’s address the Christmas gift madness at some point, shall we? Giving gifts isn’t a bad thing but excess is.