Our society is so bent on stuff that I say its high time that we stop the inSTUFFity! ;-) Even in my own life, over the past year, I reached the place of true contentment and found that it wasn't material goods that gave it. I grew up in a family that bought stuff to feel good. They showed love for you by buying you stuff and my dad's favorite phrase was "I bought it because I love you Bev". Now, in part that was true - buying others things is a selfless act and according to the Bible we SHOULD want to give good things to our children, but at the same time - money can't buy love.
I grew up just like my family, feeling that we need stuff to be happy. Even after salvation, I thought we must have stuff. My husband is totally opposite for he grew up in a very frugal family and could wear shoes out till they are literally falling apart lol! So God putting the 2 of us together was pure genius! However, over the years I only became a burden and millstone to my husband by using all his hard-earned money to buy myself "happiness". Time and time again he would let me spend, spend, spend, only to find that it never made either of us truly happy.
It took me YEARS to come to the realization that I had to stop the inSTUFFity! This past year has been transitional for me and life changing. God has really done a work in my life through the school of hard knocks and life's experiences teaching me. I needed this. I needed the hard way because it was going to take that to reprogram my brain from the way I had been raised.
It actually started back in 2007, when God stopped me dead in my tracks and I spent 13 days in the hospital. It was then that it really all began but this past year it was finalized. I can now say in all honesty, that I'm truly content and happy and it isn't because of stuff. I found out what I truly value and now see through the consumeristic fix for what it truly is - an endless pursuit of happiness that is never satisfied.
Now, when I purchase things and bring them into my home - I have to find how they will be useful. With my daughter, I let her buy what she wants with the money she earns but also try and teach her to value things but she is a kid and can't seem to grasp that yet lol. I've also purged our home and am always continually purging what has no value, use or that I don't have a love for. I'm still struggling to let some things go, but day by day, God is helping me.
We went to IKEA yesterday and years ago if I had gone there, I would have walked out with a house full of things on a credit card but now its just a few things with money I saved being frugal in other areas. This time I walked out with just a few items that will serve a use in our home.
I can testify to you all right now that living simple is the way to go! You have more time to LIVE LIFE and less time taking care of your stuff! The more stuff you have, the more TIME you spend maintaining it. Now, I only clean once a week and have more time to do things I love and to spend with my family. You make time for the things that YOU think are important. I think my husband and child are important - so I make the time to homeschool my child and to meet my husband's needs. I don't love stuff more than them. I don't need stuff to fulfill me. THANK GOD, I'm not that shallow anymore!!
There are numerous stories online of people that have reached this epiphany in their life that I have. You may remember my dear friend, Candy's story here. Then, today I came across this story and here is a quote that is so true:
“People matter, not stuff, and your house is nothing more than a closet — just a big place to store all your stuff.”
People should read that quote, frame it and put it on their shelf to remind them of this great truth! Our society is so fixed on stuff to the abandonment of their own families that its sickening! I was one of them but by God's grace he has lead me to a better way, and for that, I'm forever grateful.
This is only the beginning of my journey. I got my heart and values in the right place and now its time for action. I hope to chronicle my journey as I go and already have blogged on a few of them, such as getting rid of my desk and going without cell phones. I still have a LONG way to go because we still have too much stuff! More on that in another post.........