Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Simple Things


I am such a sucker for simple, clean, organized tricks and tools. Right now, as I am going through every drawer and cupboard, trying to make it easier on us when we move, I have been pondering the materialism that is so prevelent in our life.

I am attempting to purge our lives of junk, clutter, and the need for STUFF. But it's funny how often thoughts creep in my mind while I'm cleaning like "I really need to buy this cool bin, or those nice hangers, or this fancy cleaning product". Sometimes I catch myself in these thoughts, and it dawns on me -- "this is JUST what I'm trying to get away from!" So what is it, exactly, that attracts me to those simple, cool things?

Pretty much the same pride-of-life materialistic motives that motivates a mother to spend hundreds of dollars to wardrobe her child in Oililly clothing: a love for things, and finding my identity in the things I have. What is the good of purging the stuff out of your life if your motive is to accumulate better, and cooler stuff? It is the same trap, falling into bondage to wanting more.

I don't want more. I want less. Simplicity just for the sake of a simple image, is no gain at all! "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Word will not pass away." I want to purge my life not only of the mess and clutter of my home, but also purge my heart of evil desires to build my own kingdom. Purify my heart, Lord! Make me sensitive to those unclean motives as they crop up. Further instill in me a burning desire to make Your Name great, and lose my identity in You!

10 comments:

G-Knee said...

AMEN! (ps I may have to us your post for my Time Management class...)

Smoothie King said...

Very good thoughts...praise the Holy Spirit for working in your heart that way...nice pic too of the totes and such...

Gretchen said...

G-Knee,
I will be so flattered if you use my post in your class! WOW! That is the coolest blog news for me since Elisabeth Elliot read my blog! :)

Jason,
I so love it that you are my blogger friend now!! Woo Hoo! (I like the totes, too, I think I need some to store some stuff in, don't you think?)

Sarah said...

Gretchen, it is so weird that you blogged on this b/c that is all I have been thinking about lately. As I looked around my cluttered house I think, "Do we really need all this STUFF?" It is just pure materialism.....I always need something more to make my life easier. Thanks for your thoughtful post!

Gretchen said...

Think about what a funny thing "shopping" is. As a pastime, I mean. Not actually going out to pick up what you need.

Tonight I worked at a "Ladies Night Out" where women paid $10 to walk around and shop at some boothes. That was the only activity. Looking at stuff, and buying stuff. We are really easy to please, aren't we. Just put out a bunch of cool or pretty or fun stuff, and every body thinks it was a great night. It's easy to appease people who worship the god of possessions.

G-Knee said...

I agree...with that...the other side of the fence that I have to be careful not to fall in is that of judging others for having "stuff". At our church we have a lot of well-to-do and here I am struggling to make ends meet. But God has me in this position to minister to one type of person and they are there to minster to another type.
hmm....
I wonder if I should start to pray that God would bless me with material possessions so I can minister in Beverly Hills....

j/k

Gretchen said...

I grew up in a family that was always pretty well off, but it was amazing how well my parents handled it. I never felt like a "rich kid" even though, looking back, I kind of was. We weren't spoiled at all, and my dad didn't WORSHIP his money or possessions. He used his money to give to people and projects and our church!

You are totally right, G-Knee, there is a balance. It is just funny to step outside our culture and think about what it is we think is FUN -- buying stuff. Isen't that true? Don't you get sort of a thrill anytime you make a purchase, whether or not you got a super great deal or not?

Sarah said...

But then I always feel kind of let down after I go shopping....it's because there is always something else that I want. I try not to go shopping "for fun" much anymore--it just feeds my greedy nature. :-)
God GIVES us what we NEED! That is all I need to remember.

Gretchen said...

Sarah, I am SOOOO with you! I try not to go shopping for fun, either! I don't like looking around for things to covet! That is basically what happens when I am walking through a mall!

I think we can fix our minds on Jesus so that we can just ask Him to make us content with what we can and can't buy. And you are so right -- God gives us what we NEED! Is it not amazing to think of how little we actually NEED?

G-Knee said...

Gretch - True...I always pondered the "shopping for fun." I felt like it was a waste of time. Currently, I don't even have enough money to buy a shirt, so going to the mall is just a bad idea...unless it's to take the kids to the play ground. :-) God provides...God is good, all the time.
So for fun, who's up for Euchure...