Monday, August 23, 2010

The Deodorant Enlightenment Experience

I hate consumerism…to my core. I hate spending my money on non essentials. I hate convincing myself that something is an essential. I hate the small (or sometimes rather large) high I get when I buy something I’ve really wanted. I hate wanting more when I already have more than enough. I hate the “you deserve it” mindset along with the “embrace the culture to you can be relevant” mantra. I hate that churches have embraced consumerism in the name of Jesus. I hate how easily I forget that what I purchase actually impacts others. I hate that me having more often means others have less. I hate consumerism. And I hate feeling trapped by consumerism.

I find it all too easy to convince myself that I need something. That if I buy this I will be more relevant. If I acquire that I can make my home more hospitable. If I purchase this I will be more comfortable. If I can just somehow obtain that my life will be better.

And it’s in those times that I have convinced myself of the need for more that God always seems to find a way to remind me that I’m an idiot.

Recently Jeff and I have constructed something we like to refer to as “The List.” The List contains a number of items which we have wanted to buy for quite some time, but have not due to a lack of income (at least we were smart enough to not rack up more debt in the pursuit of acquiring these items). Some of the items on The List are things that we need…or will need in the near future (i.e. tires and truck alignment). However, the majority of the items on The List are things we could do without, but I have somehow convinced us that we need for one reason or another. With our first few paychecks, we have started purchasing a few items on The List…pacing ourselves, of course, so that we do not blow the entirety of our checks on these items.

There have been many times when either adding something to The List or crossing an obtained item off The List that I have had to push back thoughts of “What are you doing?” and replaced them with other thoughts. Thoughts such as “We could really use these things” and “It’s okay, we’re being responsible and only spending our ‘extra’ cash on this stuff.”

Last night we were at Wal-Mart doing some true essentials shopping. We were standing in front of the men’s deodorant section and I couldn’t believe how many different options of deodorant are available. Not just the number of different brands, but how many options each brand had to offer. There had to be at least 15 different options (possibly more) of Degree brand deodorant for men. There are many different things I could write about concerning this whole deodorant enlightenment experience (and maybe I will later), but for now, this experience turned my mind to the idea of how consumerism was impacting my life…the idea (more accurately, conviction) which I was suppressing in order to continue adding and crossing items off of The List. To add to the deodorant enlightenment experience, God seemed to keep bringing this up in other ways as well (to make sure I got the point)…the sharing on stewardship last night as well as a in a book I was reading earlier today to name a few.

I think God speaks differently to each of us. For me, I know God is calling me away from consumerism into a life of simplicity. And when I do purchase, to make I sure am being a responsible consumer. I need constant reminders to keep me from being sucked into the trap of consumerism. Thanks God…for sending me those reminders.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dancing in the Minefields

I came across this song on Donald Miller's blog a few days before our anniversary. Reading Miller's books and blog has inspired me to want to live a better story. If you have read anything he has written, you know what I mean. So it was quite fitting that I learned of this song from his blog. This song brings tears to me eyes every time I listen to it because it makes me think of the beautiful story that Jeff and I have lived, are living, and will continue to live for many years. I know it's cheesy, but it's true. So thank babe...I love living our amazing story together :)

Not sure why the whole video won't show up...but at least you get to hear the song.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Mini Garden

It's so exciting to see our tomatoes and peppers growing! We thought for a bit that our tomatoes were ruined (most of the early growth developed black bottoms and stopped growing). Thankfully, we have PLENTY of tomatoes that are not affected by what we found out is called blossom end-rot. Hopefully we will be making some salsa in the next week or so!