Watching the sunset from the second floor
Sometimes the best moments happen right within the home. For an extrovert such as myself, I used to dread staying home on weekends and enjoyed filling my days with events and outings. These days, I find myself relieved when we have an open Saturday to ourselves to lounge around and dilly-dally while savoring a morning latte. I guess your priorities do begin to shift after having a child (or it could just be age). Even though I still enjoy being out, I'm learning to savor solitude, as much of it that's available when you have a 1 year old crawling about. However, the scary thing about solitude is that once you have it, your thoughts can run wild. Perhaps that is why some unconsciously choose to remain busy, as it is a way to drown out the other voices that remind us of what is really going on inside.
With less than a month left of my shopping challenge, I'm beginning to feel the pressure- not as much with spending, but more of what God has been revealing to me through this whole thing. If any of you decide to follow suit in this challenge, please be aware that there may be hidden curveballs thrown at you (not as intense as The Hunger Games). I came into this challenge feeling as though my main struggle would be preventing myself from purchasing a new pair of shoes or item of the moment. Mind you, it has been difficult at times to remain focused on the goal, especially when there are amazing deals or designer collaborations staring right at me through the computer screen (I enjoy dangling the carrot). I'm discovering more and more that this challenge isn't entirely based on me trying to tone down a life of excess. This process has led to the peeling away at the outer layers of my soul to reveal my internal weaknesses. Being a mom does reveal much of my own selfishness, but if there was a year that blasted this trait (one of many), 2013 would be it. Just as fasting from food can cause you to become impatient and irritable, I feel as though refraining from shopping has had a similar effect on me. Never have I had this much impatience for other people's flaws and quirks. And then I realize some of these flaws are staring right at me through the mirror. It's true, sometimes the things we despise the most in others are found within ourselves.
Learning to find remedies for these nasty episodes has showed me much of God's grace and provision in my life. He has taught me how it truly is better to give than to receive, but it isn't always so easy. I cannot recount the number of times I've wanted to purchase an item for myself, but a little voice in my head reminded me to give. And even when our minds don't always agree, I find that our heart will follow suit with our actions. On the flip side, I have also been in the place of being gifted. Having someone gift you something you love requires much thought, and is more of a blessing than purchasing it for yourself.
At the end of the day, everything becomes part of our mountain of "stuff." New items lose their novelty after a given amount of time. I see the same thing happen with our child when he receives new toys. Within a half hour, he's over it and moving onto the next thing. I've learned from my mom to hide his old toys and bring them back out after he has forgotten about them. Works like a charm. Perhaps we as adults should do the same....