Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Starting out right for the new year..

I live! Just in case you are wondering, I AM alive! Even though we came home to a broken furnace, the house was not as cold as it could have been: 57*F. So, we have been trying to work the issue since last night, and we are in a holding pattern. Right now we have borrowed space heaters, and the house is staying warm enough!

I don't know about you, but when I get home from a trip, there's so much to do that I don't even want to think about extra stuff like making dinner and a broken furnace. Once I realized there was a huge problem, I found the electric blanket and turned it on. I made a quick dinner, took a bath and jumped into bed at 7:30! (That's the way to face a problem head on, eh?)

So, today I got up and went to the Y to teach pilates. Then I did some shopping, and finally now I'm starting to unpack my bags and do laundry. Today was one of those days where I realized what a blessing my pilates teaching commitment is. It ensures that I get out of the house and exercise, even when there are a lot of things pressing.

And I thought about going to look for sales in retail stores. You know, the post Christmas sales? But I realized that my favorite resale shop, "the Thrifty Boutique" would probably be having sales also. Sure enough, I went in and spent $50.00 in merchandise, with the average item at $5.00. In other words, I got some great deals, and that will wrap up my winter purchases.

Every year I try (in vain) to give up retail shopping, primarily out of guilt. This year, I am not giving up retail shopping. I am just holding out for a better deal whenever possible. If I really need underwear or new aerobic shoes, I'm not going to find them at a thrift store. But if I really think I need a black cardigan, I can probably wait until something shows up at a thrift store or garage sale.

I was so inspired by this verse in Hebrews 13:5 " Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.." I always enjoyed the contentment part of this verse, but I am now drawn to the freedom section. A free life, one that is not enslaved, is void of the love of money. Specifically, it is free from the kind of desire for money that is primarily used for getting more stuff. Everyone needs money for food, shelter, air, transportation, etc. You aren't loving money, when you are asking God for money for the necessities.

I am learning so much about how believers and non-believers alike are finding true meaning and purpose in life outside of the realm of materialism. Of course, I would argue that there is no true purpose without Christ. But I will say this. It would almost seem that an unbeliever who is truly finding meaning in life by filling their lives with loving people rather than things is in a sense more fulfilled than the carnality of the church-goer who has filled his cup to overflowing with the materialism of this life.

So, as we prepare our hearts for another new year, let's reflect upon what really is meaningful. What is it that you want to keep in the forefront of your mind? What is it that we do want to spend our money on? Where is our time going? With whom will we connect with?

As I ponder these thoughts for myself also, I'd like to thank those of you who read this blog on a regular basis. Your prayers and kind comments are such an encouragement to me. I enjoy reading your blogs also.


kristilea said...

I have been pondering the exact same thoughts lately. I know I spent way more money in 2009 than I needed far. And I spent way more time thinking about things I wanted than what was needed as well. I want to try very hard this year, (and lean on the Lord for the strength) to be happy and content with what I have, therefore giving me the freedom to enjoy my life as it is. I know it will free my husband as well from always worrying about whether I am happy or not and whether he is providing me with enough or not. It will be tough, because my nature is to always look to the next all things, not just in money and materialism. It's a goal I really want to reach though.

Mrs. Parunak said...

Welcome back! I'm sorry to hear about your broken furnace, but also very thankful that your house stayed above freezing while you were gone.

I've been having thoughts of a similar nature, too, wondering what I put my value on and my hope in, and realizing that it absolutely HAS to be the Lord. Otherwise, I'll be a sad puppy.

Ann-Marie6101 said...

I don't know if I'm a Believer or not - if that makes sense?
I do know I'm searching for soemthing that has been distinctly lacking this past year. Our Budget has tightened beyond thinking about over the last 12 months, but it's not just "stuff" that is lacking... it's something else - that I just haven't been able to put my finger on yet.

I enjoy your blog by the way - I've been known to get completely lost as I follow link from link from link! I've found some really good articles and ideas from other people on these "treasure hunts" though, soI'm not complaining! LoL!

Organizing Mommy said...


What a great journey you are on! If I had your email or blog site, I'd answer it there. But there may be others who are wondering if they are a "believer"? After all, believer in what? When I am talking about being a believer, I am referring to my relationship with Christ. I have a belief/ love relationship with the Lord Jesus as opposed to a work to get your way to heaven relationship. If I didn't have that, I'd be really lacking! If you read my organizing story (button on left side) I give my own personal story. If I can help you in any way in this journey, email me: I am doing a Bible study with some gals to help them understand what a believer is. The Bible study we are doing is called: Survey in Basic Christianity (SBC) for short.