It is yours LORD…
Awesome blog post from my mentor’s wife Alex. Check out her blog here
Trusting in Him with Joy
Recently, my husband and I have been feeling God prompt us to downsize our home. It has been an interesting journey for us. As newlyweds, we lived in a 600-square foot cottage-style home that was such a beautiful blessing. It was our first place and we treasured it greatly…until our son came along and instantly the walls caved in. With baby equipment overflowing our little one bedroom cottage we knew it was time to “upgrade” and become homeowners. From our experience with Dave Ramsey, we knew we wanted to buy a home big enough to stay in “forever.” We purchased a four bedroom, 2,600 square foot home that we could grow into rather than grow out of. Now a few years later, we have come to realize that God is calling us to sacrifice our living space to a home of about 1,000 square feet.
Talk about a perspective change! Looking around I realize how much “stuff” I have accumulated. I wouldn’t have called myself a greedy person, but now understanding that I must part with more than half of our possessions- it is much more difficult than I would have anticipated. As I reflect on my difficulty with this new challenge, I realize that there are different types of greed.
The greed that I am struggling with stems from my frugal nature. I love to score deals! When I find an amazing deal, it is nearly impossible for me to resist using my triple stacking coupons and buying whatever the item is. When this occurs, I fail to ask myself a few essential questions that everyone should ask themselves before making a purchase (however big or small).
Do I need this?
Do I even like this?
Yes, it’s incredibly cheap (or even free!) but will I ever wear/use this?
Would another item I own serve the same purpose?
The problem with scoring deals is not seen right away. It is subtle and often goes unnoticed. The problem doesn’t usually present itself until there is no longer space for the item.
All of a sudden, I need to buy new hangers! Yet, I still struggle to find a single outfit that I don’t feel a negative emotion towards. What emotions could your closet possibly cause you to have? Let’s explore some that you may or may not be experiencing every day:
Guilt– I shouldn’t have spent x amount of money on that shirt!
Obligation– I should wear it since I spent money on it, but I just don’t like it!
Frustration– I don’t like the way I look in that dress. It just doesn’t fit right!
Shame– I should still fit in those jeans, I’ll keep them until I lose the pregnancy weight.
These negative emotions breed greed, envy, and ultimately end in discontentment.
Interesting, isn’t it? Even our inanimate objects cause us to “feel” things that we are supposed to be free from in Christ Jesus.
So how do we stop the madness? I’m beginning the process of downsizing my home and lessening these negative emotions by ridding myself of the items I can’t physically hold in my hands without feeling a negative emotion towards. It’s amazing how many things are kept out of guilt and obligation alone!
Yes, I spent money on these items.
Yes, I never even used/wore this item.
Yes, it is going to hurt. But not again.
If I can learn to spend more wisely and keep my contentment in Christ at the forefront of my mind, I will not have to go through this incredibly challenging purging process again.
I am going to have self-control.
I am going to use wisdom in my purchases in the future.
I am going to choose gratitude.
And hopefully, I will be able to teach my children to “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)
It was quite shocking to me to realize that even though our family has never been in debt, I can still be overspending in my daily purchases. The disguise of greed came from my hunger for “a great deal” and it caused me to sporadically spend.
Thankfully, my eyes were illuminated to this heart issue of mine and I can be on my guard for my children’s sake. I have been laying “greed traps” for my children as I can see with a new lens the abundance of toys that I have given them at random times because they are inexpensive or on sale. There is enough materialism in the catalogues, commercials, and stores. I don’t need to be encouraging it in my own home.
So why am I sharing this? Because of God’s leading our family to downsize our home, I have decided to begin living minimally to keeping my mind’s attention and my heart’s affection on the One who gave me the blessings in the first place. Through this purging process, I have come to realize that my belongings have become more than inanimate objects to me. When I am blessed with something, my human tendency is to grasp it tightly. God wants me to release my grasp and daily hold out everything in my life, including my home, to Him and say “It is Yours, Lord.”