Friday, April 11, 2008

Why did I buy this??

So I'm sorting through all my cabinets, and it hits me:
The guilt of stuff unused.
That's the opening line at Like Merchant Ships where Meredith asks readers to post their stories of items they regret buying. Oh boy. Where does one start? Probably my first dumb purchase, which technically wasn't a purchase. Remember those stickers on Christian cassette tapes that you saved up and after five, you got to redeem them for a free tape? Why I selected the tape I did, I'll never understand. Some soundtrack tape to something I've never even heard of. I have no idea what I was thinking. Steve Green or Amy Grant would have made sense. What I picked was dumb. First regretted purchase and I am still kicking myself years later.
Let's see, what else was there? Oh yes. In high school, there were my lizards. Why I spent money on a small aquarium and heat rock for two reptiles is a mystery. I mean, other kids in my school had some, but that certainly didn't mean I needed to waste my money on crickets every week, trying to keep these things alive. I don't even remember how they died.
In this same era of regrettable purchases, I bought the "cassingle" of Milli Vanilli's Blame It On the Rain. I'm not even going to link to anything in that last sentence. It's so sad. My mother confiscated the tape and nothing was ever mentioned about it. She probably doesn't even remember.
Something more recent? Two years ago I started bugging my husband for a kitten. Several months later, he relented. We now have a full grown cat that we have put our hard earned money into and now I would dearly love for her have a new home. She's more work and less enjoyment than I originally thought. An unfortunate and regrettable decision at best.
This last month?
Soy milk. Vanilla soy milk. Purchased two weeks ago. Let's just say, I endured several cup fulls and a bowl of cereal and just poured the rest down the drain this morning. I tried. I hated to throw it away, but I was not drinking another sip. Sigh.
So join the misery and read the rest of Meredith's post and the comments that follow.
You can always feel smug that at least YOU haven't been suckered into buying THAT thing...yet.

HT: Owlhaven, she has more stories too


At least five black garbage bags of stuff.
Two large bags of clothes.
An old briefcase.
Cooking magazines.
Two shopping bags of unwanted books.
Large framed print.

Gone as of last Saturday.

And I avoided the temptation to look for more stuff when I made the drop at Salvation Army.


Friday morning from our back gate

Wednesday afternoon

*note the black and orange "Private Trespassing" sign and the wire fence is no longer visible from the morning pictures.

Wednesday morning at the dead-end


This was written last week and is a follow-up to my initial post A lot less.

Today was garbage day in our area and the week for our cardboard and magazines/paper to go. Having felt convicted about my hoarding of certain items, today seemed the day for them to go. Leftover wedding invitations, favors and bulletins all were pitched today with only one of each to keep as a momento of our happy day. Unused thank you cards were set aside to use up. My beloved Martha Stewart Living magazines are sitting together waiting to be donated to the library magazine exchange. And in a last minute decision, all the interesting catalogs that I have saved from my mom's mail. Pottery Barn, L.L. Bean, Williams & Sonoma, etc. All recycled.
I realized that I don't need to be reminded of all the stuff I don't have. I want to be content. They weren't helping.
Used wrapping paper from gifts received that was just too nice to ball up and throw away. So I kept it. Not anymore.
And the list goes on.
It's all very convicting. I just have so much. Too much. So I go back at it.

A lot less

I wrote the following post over two weeks ago.

I have so much.
My house is full, yet I still have lists of items that we are without.
Things that would make my life easier and more enjoyable or so I’ve been told.
I constantly am sorting, rearranging, and cleaning.
Time spent that can never be reused.
Part of me wants to purge until the house echoes with emptiness.
Part of me thinks that the day I part with something, I will discover my very need for it and will regret the hasty decision.
Better keep it just in case, I reason.
But how do I discern, all stuff that we need, from all the stuff that makes life more?
As a Christian, where does my stuff fit into God’s kingdom?
Did He give it to me or did I take it for myself?
How do I teach my children that toys can get in the way of loving and serving God after I have spent time and money shopping for all this stuff?
How do I ask grandparents not to treat Christmas and birthdays as tradition demands?
We are so set upon what makes a holiday a good holiday. Lots of food and stuff.
Make new traditions, I think.
Ones that reflect the application of true religion. "Look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world." Many Christians last fall participated in a 30 Days of Nothing challenge. While that was intended to only last for a month, the lessons learned surely can be applied for a lifetime. Buy what is necessary. Give away what is not. Follow Jesus’ words to the rich young ruler. "Sell everything you have and give it to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven." No one can determine for you what is necessary and what is not. Family and friends may offer suggestions, but it is the Spirit of God that speaks to our hearts and says, "Enter into my rest from all your stuff. I will supply all your needs. You can do much with a lot less." So I dig myself out from the piles of belongings and begin to think clearly, pray eagerly and listen hard."Buy what is necessary. Give away what is not. I will supply all your needs and you will have treasure in heaven."

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Photo Flashback

Baby laundry drying in the warm May sun of 2003.
The lush green grass of my parent's Pennysvania home reminds me that winter is not the only season God gave us.
This year's winter started in November and is just now letting spring have a turn.

Friends In Real Life

One of my closest friends has begun blogging. It's a very transparent blog and Norma is every bit like her writing. She is a Reformed Baptist who currently attends a Reformed Presbyterian church like ours. She speaks Spanish as a first language and homeschools her two boys. Enjoy her writing.
Reduce me to love