So.much.stuff. Where does it come from?! When do I have time to buy it?! I swear a fairy is secretly sneaking in my home at night dropping off toys, hats (ehheemm Danny), and play doh! How do I have this much play doh?! Honestly, I have to talk myself off the ledge daily of selling my home and moving into a double wide. And this ain’t me knockin’ double wides…I’m secretly in love with the idea of a MOBILE home that I can take with me anywhere!!! I mean for real, have you seen these things lately?! They look anything but mobile…minus some sturdy brick…they are just as durable as any cookie cutter home built with all that siding, I swear! Yes there’s that small thing called foundation and framing but whatever…these things look sturdy as hell as far as I’m concerned! “Sold! To the lady with 3 crying kids because they just sold their home, oh and gave away all their toys!!!”
So my stuff, this is where I am really trying to eliminate excess. I mean who really needs as much as we think we do?! My dream world is having a community of moms who all have kids of staggered ages that we can just flip flop clothes by the season. There is nothin’ worse than that cute pair of converse I just ‘had’ to buy for my daughter because she looked SO cute, just for her too never wear them (they don’t feel right, are too right, hurt…blah blah blah) & now of course she’s in a new show size! Praise Jesus I have another little one behind her to hopefully absorb the consumerism I bought into but still…I’m sure they will be too “tight” for her to.
So where did we go wrong? How did we all get drunk on the Kool-aid of more is better?! True story, I grew up very middle class, paycheck to paycheck like many. We never had name brand anything, unless Santa brought it. Then 1993 happened. We hit the lotto, not literally but it sure felt like it. My dad opened his own company, moved us to fancy ‘ol Plano Tx and got us a home with one of those fancy doors (you know with the glass…this was not a part of the upgrades in my home on Gayle) oh and a POOL! Yes we were rich! I thought at the wise old age of 11 I had hit the big times, only to see 7 years later it all being taken away in bankruptcy. You see in the first 11 years of my life I knew very little about money because I just didn’t have it. It wasn’t an option, we made due with what we had. Then over just the time span of 11-17, I watched my family fall apart. I watched my parents marriage crumble, I watched debt suffocate them & then the government take it all away (literally…bye boat). The lessons I am most grateful for because of these experiences is that I graduated high school avoiding debt (I never had credit card debt until I was married!), always saving (thanks to my brother, Jeff) and never wanting to be “rich”. I truly felt like money destroyed my family, my life.
So as I sit here today, still middle class, still paycheck to paycheck , I couldn’t be more content. I have no desire to make more money because that just tempts me to feel the need to spend it. But I still have so much stuff! Too much stuff! When I think of all the babies, kids, moms, elderly that go to sleep at night with nothing, no home to call their own, only the clothes on their back, it makes me ill. How and why was I given this life?! What did I do? Nothing. The answer I believe Jesus would give me would be in the form of a question (because well, this is Jesus we are speaking of, king of parables). What can you do with what you have been given? Scripture paints it pretty clear when it says…
“…From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48
I often feel this way and yet still brouse Amazon for the latest “need”. I am as guilty as the next and while I do give back, let’s be honest, I still take way more. While I know my lack of love for money saves me from idolizing it, I’m not so sure I am unscathed from idolizing the “stuff”.
This will be something I sit with everyday that I am on this planet. How can I give more than I receive? How can I consume less and share more? How can I be intentional and worthy to carry the blessing of middle class, of a paycheck, of homeowner, of you name it. As a blonde, white girl…my privileges have gone so much further than money. It disgusts me enough to acknowledge it, see it and do something about it. To stop thinking the problem is just too big. To stop pretending that there’s nothing I can do. To stop playing dumb or being invisible.
There will be no pedestals, no announcement of grand gesture or Facebook post of how much I’m giving away. That is not what this is about. Recognition is given by the one who sees all, not the ones who see what they want to see.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” Matthew 6:2
So today as most of us read this on our smart phone, laptop or tablet and cozy up in our warm beds, let’s not forget about our brothers and sisters. Let’s not forget about our orphans, our widows, our ill. Let’s take the blessing we have been given and not hate it but use it. Use it to spread joy, love & kindness. Let’s embrace the gift of money as a way to help those hurting, struggling, fighting to survive. I’m hopeful that this generation coming up behind me is going to do some great things. I see their hunger for justice and desire for peace. I’m grateful to have seen what came before me and be witnessing what’s coming behind.
The change starts with me. With you. Let’s keep all that “stuff” in check y’all. Afterall, it ain’t comin with us to heaven!
“19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19-20
It is always my hope these words find who they were intended for.
Thank you for reading ❤️
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