There is a time to avert your eyes. And there is a time to take notice.

This past weekend I had several errands to run, so Saturday I loaded up the kids and we headed to the stores.

We first went to lunch, because frankly, it was like Old Mother Hubbard’s house around here. The cupboard’s were bare, short of a bag of leftover Halloween candy. That would have been a viable option for me, except that I had already eaten all of the candy that I like…

After lunch we hit some of the local stores. I knew exactly where I wanted to go and what I needed to get.

When we lived in Wisconsin, this would have been no quick trip. We lived in a very rural town and had to travel 2 hours to the nearest mall and 45 minutes to the nearest Wal-M@rt. (but no walking barefoot through the snow uphill both ways…) Any shopping had to be planned or done online.

The lovely part of this was that I learned to be content with what I had. Honestly, there’s not much I can think of buying that a 2 hour trip in a car with kids won’t cure me of. I did most of my clothes shopping online.

When we moved to Maryland, I stayed away from the malls because we didn’t have the money to get by each week, let alone do any extra shopping.


But recently, I’ve had to go into REAL stores, with real items I can touch! and smell! and they are displayed so lovely. And the desire for “things” has had to be stuffed aside repeatedly. I was amazed at the things that I began to think that I “needed”… things that before Saturday, I didn’t even know I could buy. I went into BabiesRUs to use a gift certificate that we received for Declan’s birth. I knew just what I wanted… but walking to the right aisle led me past digital baby scales for making sure your baby is the perfect weight in between doctor’s visits. Sterilization kits. Gadgets for increasing your baby’s IQ in utero. Luxury strollers. I had to keep my eyes averted just to keep from passing out from the panting.

Even our local Wal-M@rt is fancy, with its wooden floors and track lighting. Shopping at Wal-M@rt is hard enough without having to deal with every thing screaming from the racks for you to take it home.


It is hard to be content.

There is so much that we think we must have.


That we think will make us happy.


That will fill a void.


That we think will make us popular and well-thought of.


If only we had could have it.


Then life would be be complete.

But that’s not how its supposed to be. Not when there are people who have to do without basic necessities each and every day. When people are suffering from diseases that are treatable.

I love beautiful things. And don’t believe there is anything inherently wrong with beautiful things. But there is when we ignore the suffering of others while we bask in “OUR” things.

My prayer for each of you (including myself) during this Thanksgiving week is that we will be content with the things we’ve been blessed with and that we will remember and help take care of those who have been blessed with little.

Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.
~ Deuteronomy 15:11

Comments

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The Lord has been impressing on me so much lately that it’s all just stuff. (But, boy howdy, can it scream!) You made a wonderful point here. Thank you again!
    Cyndy
    P.S. Is that seriously your WalM@art? Come to mine, nothing screams there!

  2. Kelly @ Love Well says:

    Beautiful post, Karla. Well said.

    I try as much as possible to avoid the mall — and Target, which markets directly to my soul — just so I can avoid a spirit of discontent, in much the same way as an alcoholic avoids the bar.

    Being raised in a materialistic culture, it’s hard to say “No, I don’t really need that.” Yet as believers, we have to have our eyes wide open to the big picture.

  3. Yesterday I was at a friends new house and I got a case of the “wants” but in my mind these were things I needed.

    I have recently been praying for contentment and to realized how blessed I truly am. The boys and I shared “non-material” things that we are thankful for over breakfast. We decided that we would do it each day this week.

    Thank you for confirming what God is trying teach me.

  4. Sigh. Guilty as charged. Great post, Karla. Wish I was better at putting it into action.

  5. Megan (FriedOkra) says:

    Same here. Same here. Argh.

    Did you make the handprint turkeys? I must know how that went.

  6. Beautiful post, Karla. That truly is the essense of a grateful, thankful heart. You’ve stated it so well.

  7. Joyful Days says:

    What a lovely and honest post. As my husband and I were reflecting again today we realized that we have “the least” lifestyle compared to our friends, and yet we have “the most” in terms of happiness. Money does not buy happiness. There’s a reason that’s a cliche.

    Blessings.

  8. crafty carolinagirl says:

    This time of the year it so easy to get wrapped up in all of the materialistic things. I have to remind myself that I am very blessed that I have my health, my family & friends, my cat, my own home, and the love of the Lord. That is all I need!

  9. Beautifully written, Karla. WE live an hour away from the nearest large mall, which helps a lot – but I still find myself almost imbolized by the jealous desire for things.

  10. I don’t consider Scott and I rich at ALL. But our preacher Sunday said if you have, a roof over your head, clothes on your back, food in the fridge and money in your bank account after bills are paid…..even if it is pennies….you are in the top 75% of rich people in the world….rich in my definition is blessed….Happy Thanksgiving Karla!

  11. a most excellant post my friend!!! and well said in every way.

    happy thanksgiving!

  12. Wonderful post, Karla. Blessings to you and all of your family as you celebrate Thanksgiving and thanks-living this week.

    Hugs,
    Mrs. W.

  13. Excellent post, Karla. Great reminder during this season of Thanksgiving.

  14. The post below on your gorgeous mommy cards is not helping me curtail my wants!!!

    ;)

  15. WorksForMom says:

    What a beautiful, powerful post karla!

  16. This post is a reminder of the life lesson that God has been impressing upon my heart this last few months. I think your writing was another page of His curriculum…
    Thanks for being obedient to write it.

  17. Mommy Cracked says:

    That is the truest and most heart tugging post I have read in SO long. I struggle with this, too, and the Lord has really been dealing with me about this. Thank you for putting it ALL into perspective. The things of this world are really passing away.

  18. What a great post! Something to chew on for the whole year.

    I love your new banner and am so thankful to be reading your blog again!

    Happy Thanksgiving, sweet friend. I am so thankful for all of your support and prayers and hope you know that I am lifting you up as well.

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