I've recently been convicted about my own materialism. It's been an ongoing mental struggle, and I decided to share it here on my blog so you can all hold me accountable. . . and maybe relate with me.
Since I became a mom, I have become OBSESSED with things. Primarily, I am obsessed with baby things, and chief among those, clothing. Now, if you looked in my daughter's closet and I could tell you how much I've actually spent on her garments, you would probably disagree with me. I don't buy clothes for her very often, and when I do, they are always always incredible deals. I was oh-so-showered with cute things at all my baby showers, and when I pulled out the "save for next year tub" I'd packed up last summer, I found a bunch of stuff for this summer (thanks to you if you're reading this and you gave me 12 mo summer clothes! That was super considerate!!). I also have a VERY kind crafting friend who set Susie up with shirts and shorts for this summer. I also have an extremely generous mother-in-laws that buys her far-away granddaughter tons of cute things, and a sister-in-law who has lent me her daughter's hand-me-downs. Because of all that generosity,I could probably only list a dozen or so outfits I've actually purchased (not counting socks from the dollar store or whatever).
But regardless of my thriftiness, I think my obsession has still raged in my mind. I may not be falling into the trap of over-spending or hoarding, but I am still materialistic nonetheless. With Susie's first birthday coming up, I've been especially dwelling on EXACTLY what kind of birthday outfit I want her to have. Wait, I shouldn't say I started dwelling on this recently, I basically found a dress I adored LAST YEAR. . . thank goodness I didn't go ahead and splurge on the $50 lovely-but-overpriced garment. I bought a adorable vintage sailor dress for $6 on consignment, and socks and shoes are covered. . . now I'm considering a new hair clip and of course the important first birthday bib! I have not spent any money yet, but I've decided I'll let myself splurge on that if I can learn to sew her a bib myself. See? Thrifty! Clearly, I'm overcoming this battle with materialism.
No. . . I'm not. I was jarred awake when I received a recent World Vision catalog in the mail. I gave World Vision gifts at Christmas, so I guess that put me on their mailing list. On the page where you can sponsor new clothes for 15 children for $35, there was an absolutely adorable picture of a little boy holding new shoes and wearing a new baseball cap, grinning from EAR TO EAR! It had this quote: "There is no one to buy me clothes. . . my clothes are torn and dirty."
It took my breath away. I about burst into tears. What has Susie ever worn but GORGEOUS and nearly BRAND NEW clothing?? Oh, how selfish I am to constantly be focused on the outward appearance! I must dig in and battle this sin HARDER before it begins to affect her as she grows up. I need to remember the gospel, and preach Christ to myself! I must work immediately to get to the heart of my materialism, and stay out of shops, and off etsy and watch less television. . .
And I've decided to fight where I'll feel it. I'm giving the money I make this weekend at a city-wide consignment sale to World Vision. Maybe I'll buy new clothing for some children. Or support an AIDS orphan, or send a new mother a baby-care kit. It depends on how much I sell.
Anyone out there want to join me? 'Tis the season for rummage sales and consignment sales, and maybe you are someone who sells your stuff to make a little extra pocket money. Or maybe you make a little extra some other way -- a little "mad money" that isn't really essential, or really part of your family's budget. Do you want to join me in showing your kiddos how blessed we are here to have MORE than enough, and that it is a joy to bless others? Please at least click on the World Vision link and take a look at the faces of those poverty-stricken people. If you're like me, it might make your daughter's new hair bow seem less important.