Things. THINGS. How we long for things. New things, newer things, duplicates of things, more things all around. Our society has hundreds of things to throw at us on a daily basis to remind us of what we are missing. But even if we succumb to owning these things, there will be more tomorrow.
It’s not that I don’t have a desire for things- I would love to have a new camera. A good one. But I feel like I have made it to a place in my life where I am not constantly in want of something. Remember when we were kids and every toy commercial added a new thing to our Christmas list? Or in middle school when someone wore something that was suddenly in, so we had to have it?
Yes, I was there. My poor parents.
So how did get over my obsession with things? It was definitely a slow process. I gradually stopped desiring what I didn’t have. It wasn’t even so much intentional, more like a result of a variety of influences. Not one thing made THE difference, but here’s what I believe helped to set me free from the need for things.
I spent time with people who were different from me. Different people have different things. No matter what people have, often times they still struggle to find contentment with what they have. Any person who seeks fulfillment from possessions will ultimately be disappointed. This is true with the richest and poorest.
I started shopping at thrift stores. This began mostly because I loved the cheapness of it, but after doing it for a while, I started to feel guilty about NOT doing it. Walking into a thrift store, you instantly become more aware of the abundance of things. Thrift stores are busting at the seams of things people don’t want anymore. So much STUFF, and companies are still supplying us with more and more. Like, how does all this stuff fit in the world?!
I let go of pride. When I was in middle school, I was embarrassed if people knew that I got my pants from Wal-mart. Now, I am embarrassed that I ever felt that way! Too often we let our possessions be the way we impress people. Just because I impressed someone with something I owned, did not mean they liked me or wanted to be my friend. They just wanted what I had.
I gave up something that was crucial to my confidence. During my senior year of high school, I kind of (meaning slowly) stopped wearing make-up. Learning to feel comfortable with a fresh face, despite acne and other insecurities, was instrumental in realizing my worth apart from anything other than myself.
Finally, I questioned my values. As a Christian, I believe that my joy and peace comes from God. So how did the assumption that more things would make me happier every come into play? Possibly because I never knew what it really meant to experience the joy that comes from God until I let go of things/habits in my life.
Here are some ways I find (lots!) of joy living the simple life-
Being together with all my girls… at last!
When Jules is being sweet & calm.
When my snack happened to look like a smiley face.
I read this verse the other night and it inspired this post, “Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life. (Proverbs 1:19 NLT)”.