Thursday, September 15, 2011

How Many Clothes Do You Need?

I could have asked,
How many blankets do you need?
How many shoes do you need?
How many books do you need?
How much curriculum need?
How many toys do your kids need?

What do you need?
What do you not?

Do you think about this a lot?

I think about it from time to time.  I try to be mindful of it.

When my girls were little, I wanted to make sure they had enough clothes.  (They're still little to me.) Like most adults, I have baggage from my past.  And when I was a kid, there were a lot of kids that made comments about my clothes.  I didn't want my kids to have comments made about them.  So, they had plenty of clothes--brand names from garage sale clothes, but still great clothes.  Then, I had a little boy.  He would be our only little boy, so it made sense that I didn't need a lot of extra clothes for him.  I just needed him to have enough.  It made me step back with my girls.  Now when I'm tempted to buy my girls clothes (even at garage sales), I hold myself to a lower limit.  Do they really need it or do they have enough?  Because even if it's a great price, if they don't need it--well, then they don't need it and I shouldn't get it.

As often happens to my blog posts, a rabbit trail is about to sneak in...

I began this post yesterday and tonight I was reading about "needs" in a book I've meant to finish up.  There was only about a chapter or two left and I'd gotten derailed.  Tonight I read about "needs" in a different way that is challenging me.

"When I forget what my true and essential need really is, I will name things as needs that are not really needs and then invest my life in anxious pursuit of 
them.  Subtly, these things begin to exercise control over the way I think 
about myself and my life...Subtly, desire for these things begins to shape the way I invest my time, energy, and money.  Subtly these things become my 
reason for making the decisions I make.  Subtly, these things become the lens through which I evaluate my life.  Subtly, I begin to look to these things for my happiness and my inner sense of well-being.  Somewhere, somehow, I have 
forgotten who I am.  Somehow, I have let go of God's gift of grace.... You see 
life always involves worship.  Our lives revolve around the thing that has 
captured our attention and desire."  
quoted from pg. 182-184 of Broken-Down House by Paul David Tripp

This quote made me realize that it's okay to think about what my family 
needs, but I need to guard the time and energy that this "thinking" takes from me.  I need to be careful that whatever I think I "need" hasn't captured my 
heart and mind.

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