Wednesday, July 11, 2012

more, then less

My husband is a doctor, I find myself skirting this fact with people. Typically an encounter with some one just learning this fact comes back to words of, "It will really pay off BIG some day!" or "What a bright future you guys will have!" These things are meant, no doubt, as encouragement but it nonetheless some how draws a sadness. Our today, the future that will be tomorrow and the end of the week, those days pay off, those days are bright. Money isn't going to change it. If our marriage, our life together as parents and spouses and friends wasn't tight now, money would simply mask it. Money allows people to gloss over the true iniquity in their life, allowing them to buy an illusion of happiness. Retail therapy. That phrase puts a pit in me, I've used it myself.

I've been reading and reading and praying and pondering and the Spirit, it is turning me. There was a time when I allowed day dreams of future purchases to dwell in the recesses, my mind swirling with the wants. After finishing "7:A Mutiny Against Excess" and now diving into "A Divine Commodity" and "Affluenza" I'm starting to see that this obsession with want as a true illness. It's an epidemic in this land of the free where we use our freedom to puff up self rather than to spread about equality. I'm not talking a communist, Marxist type equality, just a desire in the God people to share and give away instead of obtain and hoard. I look at my house and wonder, would God walk in and see himself there?

So I write on this some what insignificant, rare read screen, that when we find our selves in a place of abundance even more so than the blessings of today, we will live the same. We will budget for needs, save for the occasional want and spread the rest. I dream of a day when the expenditures tell a story of hope for others.

Ann Voskamp recently wrote, "What will keep you from doing much good-is caring too much what others think...What would the world look like if Christians didn't care about keeping up with the Joneses but about keeping company with Christ? Maybe we'd keep our souls from insecurity and our minds from insanity?"

And isn't it such, that the things that worry us often have the minds of others at the center? We feel a need to have another shirt, different shoes, not because what we have is worn or used up, but because we desire to be seen. We desire the trend. A debt of different car for convenience of inches instead of stretching ourselves toward contentment. Is this who God meant for us to be. The Jesus I'm reading doesn't seem to approve.

I want to be esteemed more than envied.

I've thought about that lately. How I have this materialism brewing all the time, how I want to make nice, to redecorate, to buy new and have and how that feeling of some one complimenting the style of my home or wardrobe can fill me up. And now this growing, this pledge internal to be happy with less, to wear until worn and to find the needs we can meet where we're at by living a life free from want. Because really, aren't I already living this life? Free from want, with my full cupboards and bulging closet, stuff stored and usued?

Yes, I am free. And what will I do as I live in it?

My heart, it didn't use to be this way and in fact, it's still a work in progress. I want to be free from the bondage of guilt when I DO buy something that isn't need absolute, but what's more, I want to draw my heart to a place where the want isn't always there, isn't repressed. A place where I have a genuine want for others that imposes a want for self.

Little by little.

It will come.


  1. Jen, I completely agree with you. When Bryan and I talk about what it will be like after residency, yes, we dream about different things we can then buy, but we talk more about being able to freely give to others. Sure, we give now, but sometimes I feel as if there's a difference in donating our outgrown clothes to Goodwill and what it will be like to give a huge amount of money to a children's cancer charity. In December, our car died. Competely. In the middle of our driveway. A few mere days before Christmas. We donated it to a cancer charity, yet the car was fully paid for when we received it ourselves years ago as a gift from Bryan's Dad. Therefore, I didn't really feel as if we were truly doing a "good deed." I yearn so badly to be a great giver, the way Jesus teaches, yet I feel as if I fall short of that. We want to teach our children to give to others, so we try to do little things like adopting a child at Christmas to buy new clothes for and donating canned goods to our local food bank. But one day--soon--I want to be in such a place where we can adopt every child on the tree at the mall and buy goodies for each of them. I think that's what I'm looking forward to most about the end of residency.

  2. Oh, Jen...what joy you will have giving!!! Money is money...your beautiful heart will never change! Remind me to share one day my take on this! You are an amazing sister in Christ!

  3. lol...I don't know why I cam up under Jim's account! Blessings and Hugs, Cassie