Ever lived in one of "those" seasons...where every penny is counted twice before being spent and you breathe a sigh of relief when the first of the month rolls in and the bills are all paid, and where you feel that pinch of "I'd love to go buy this or that but I'd probably better wait until next month"? It's not a comfortable place for an American to be. We like our buffer zone - that extra spending money in the bank or on the credit card. Often our stuff either defines us or at least pleases us to the point of complacency.
I've been thinking a lot about stuff lately. Craigslist and Amazon.com are my two new favorite websites. We made an easy $30 this month by listing books we picked up at garage or book sales. I sold an ugly vase for $12 and used clothes at a consignment store for another $11. Eagerly, I've been scouring our house mentally. Can I get rid of that? Do I have more of those I can spare for a few extra dollars? Charlie is growing and moving and playing with so many toys and I have to admit I'm already thinking, "Are there any toys we could get rid of?" (Does that make me a terrible mom?) :) I know, I'm a little weird...
Another thing I've been doing is updating my wardrobe, by ruthlessly cleaning out my closet and taking things to consignment stores and turning around and shopping from those stores to spruce up my fall/winter wardrobe. I love buying lightly used clothes for good prices, but sometimes I do think, "What would it be like to just go on a Kohl's shopping spree without worrying about how much you're spending?" Then you can start to compare yourself with others and their stuff. It's easy to start feeling like you don't have enough. Like your options in the closet or pantry are limited.
But tonight, as I was hanging up our laundry, it struck me how wonderful it is to have enough. My husband's jeans all lined up nicely...our shirts hanging all color coordinated (per Nate's preference...), jackets, hoodies, scarves, shoes...perhaps we don't have enough to fill one of those massive walk-in closest on House Hunters on HGTV but it is enough! We in the West have this mindset that we always need more, and that we have the liberty to use our money to always get more for ourselves. How refreshing it is to let it sink in - God has provided all I need and will continue to do so, always. It may not be all I want, but it will be enough.
Our country enters a season of thankfulness this month, with Thanksgiving approaching. Closely on its heels comes the worst surge of materialism, starting with Black Friday, opening the Christmas shopping season. Gifts are a wonderfully fun part of Christmas, no doubt. But is my heart truly thankful, or am I discontent deep down, wanting more, more, MORE? And perhaps, going a step farther, I might ask, would I be willing to start seeking to live with LESS, to declutter my life even further?
Starting today I resolve to be thankful for the enough that God has given me. And, I resolve to look for every way to give to others who may not have that enough with which I am blessed.