“YOU HAVE WAY TO MANY CLOTHES CHILD!!! I WILL NEVER BUY YOU ANOTHER PIECE OF CLOTHES AS LONG AS YOUR UNDER THIS ROOF!!!”
Poor, innocent kid. She never saw it coming. EVER.
There was not one specific moment in time that wacked us over our head and caused our hearts to start changing radically, instead it was a slow fade to selflessness…or we thought.
Then I walked thru my 2500 square foot home that has five bedrooms and three bathrooms and every stinkin’ square inch is full. We just moved people. We purged when we moved from our 2400 square foot home. How in the world did this house become full?
MORE, MORE, MORE!!
ME, ME, ME!
A few years back after wanting to wring our own necks from being in debt up to our eye balls, we met a little man we like to call Dave Ramsey. WHOA. He rocked our world, and we thanked Jesus this man taught us the crazy notion of not spending money you don’t have.
So we stopped the hemmoraging, and started busting our tail ends to get out debt. Some months were plain ugly. I threw big girl fits that could rival my three year olds on his worst day. Still, I was grateful to God that each month our “what-the-heck-did-we-buy-six-years-ago-that-we-don’t-even-remeber-but-we-are-hemmraging-money-for-it-anways” became fewer and fewer.
With our new life style there was no need for a mall, we have the most fatabulous thrift store that sells $100 bandalino jeans for $2.99. Why just buy one pair when they are practically giving them away? Why not buy three?
Cute decorative plate for $1.00? Oh.Yes. We need four, one for every season.
The most adorable outfit EVER for my kid for $3.00? SURE! Why not?!
It all adds up. Every.single.dollar. And it adds up to excess junk.
Now I have a full house. Not in the crazy hoarders sense so we should be on TLC, but the house is full of junk and stuff, and the shed is half full.
I judge the super-spenders down the road that I see pull in with bags and bags from high-end stores. While my bags may not be paper bags with classy decorations, I have been bringing bags in as well. Turns out I am a big-fat-hypocrite.
The Lord was changing our lives and we were feeling great about being better stewards with what HE has given us. Never really realizing that while our spending was less, junk we didn’t really need still made it in.
I guess we missed a lesson somewhere along the way. I wonder how many opportunities to bless someone else we missed out on because I was too busy thinking I WAS BEING BLESSED BY A GOOD DEAL at my local thrift store!
A swift kick in the rear will get you every.single.time.
As Thanksgiving approached, my gut hurt. So did Bill’s. Why LORD, why?! We have been doing great….right? We had pre-determined to make Christmas about Him. One gift per kid, one family gift. Christmas would be about HIM. So why this deep nagging feeling as the holiday season approached? Then He started peeling our “doing-better-with-our-finances-and-lives” blinders off and unleashed “2012, The year of need not greed” before our very eyes.
Yes, we had done better we had been using our resources that were once tied up in debt for living like Jesus on a daily basis with our children…maybe I will write about those one day just not today. The point is that the Lord made it clear we were still not giving it ALL to Him. We were not giving all of ourselves or our resources. We still worried about savings accounts, adoption fees, and retirement. UGH. He wanted more from us. He wanted us to let go of the last few dollars we clung to for what we thought the money needed to go to and He wanted us to see how blessed we were. How much we had, and how stinking selfish we still were.
I am blessed. So are you.
Thinking in your head: “yeah easy for you to say, you don’t know how much my husband makes!” If your annual income is more than $35,000 a year your in the top 4% for the world. THE WORLD!!
Complaining about your one car that runs, but you still have another? Thinking your closet needs a makeover because you have had these clothes for five years, even though your shelves are vomiting excess? Is your closet under the stairs full of serving pieces you use once a year? YOU ARE BLESSED!!!!! I can almost gauarantee that if you are reading this you are in the top 4%.
Our self-induced pity parties come from our over-indulged, sense of entitlement, gotta-have-what-she-has, bratty way of thinking!
WE ARE BLESSED!
Then the Lord got me again when Jen Hatmaker and her family went on a radical ride she likes to call 7. Each month they focused on a different area: food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, stress. Eat only seven ingredients, get rid of seven types of media and so on.
Possessions. The title itself caused me to break out in a sweat, my hands were clamy, my shirt was wet with fear and I wanted to close my eyes and jump to the next chapter. I knew that was where the Lord would get me. It’s been plaguing me since I unpacked the very last box from our move. To the un-trained eye my house may not be full, but open up a cabinet under the stairs and see the 5 foot long shelves my husband built just for me for my kitchen “overflow.”
It’s not just that one closet, our little family owns THREE sets of dishes. Three. What in the world? We use one, on Thanksgiving and Christmas and if you break one I may kick you. The other one is rarely used.
I could go on but you get the picture of our selfish, greedy lifestyle that we have been living in spite of our best efforts.
I read the chapter with one eye open, and one eye Heaven-ward asking the Lord to be easy on me. He wasn’t. He struck me. I have always been a slow learner. Gentleness does not work with me. Be fort-right and harsh and I am all yours. He was. The uneasiness I felt since I un-packed and the pit in my stomach errupted. . I repented and cried, I asked the Lord to forgive me for failing in my own home. Being the sweet gracious God that He is, he lifted my head, wiped my tears with grace and asked me to let Him fill my heart and home not posessions.
So I did what any logical person would do, I tore thru the house, going thru closets and yelling at each owner about how they had to get rid of half their clothes, somehow hoping in my high-pitched shrills they would jump on board and ditch their wardrobes with me realizing all the while that are blessed and earthly possessions don’t matter.
They stared at me like I was from Mars until I left the room. Then one of them couldn’t stop laughing. Punk.
I have been to a third world country, my heart has been broken as I walked along streets literally covered with trash and people slept under sheets. My son lives in that third world country. My son does not have a closet full of clothes or multiple dish choices to choose from at each meal He doesn’t care either.
What is our family doing to give all of ourselves to the Lord? What is our family giving up because we do not need it and we have an abundance? What are we doing to make sure we are truly not like every other American?
What are we doing to make sure we give Him all of us?
The ache in our stomachs are that from the Lord, breaking us, molding us and bending our hearts to Him and I love it. I love that He is rocking our world in a radical way that only he could. How much closer can we be to the Lord when we stop worrying about what we are missing in our homes, and start worrying about what we are missing in our relationship with Christ?
Scared? You should be! Read it!
Order it here. It’s the best $7.83 you will spend all year! In fact I am giving away a copy. Leave a comment…with wordpress your email address will be shown to me but in your comment tell me one thing your afraid you might get convicted on when reading this book or what you feel like you have too much of. One of my awesome kiddos will draw a name next Monday January 23! Facebook it…blog it…share with your friends. I would hate to see only one person enter!!
Don’t leave a girl hanging, comment!