Monday, January 11, 2010

Have more (want less)

I'm thinking of putting this sentiment on a piece of artwork, like I did another "revelation":


"Have a Mid-Life Chrysalis", $78.00 by [ReDeemed] unique art (available)

I guess this would be considered "social messaging" and I am planning on doing some digital art/shirts, etc. with this like I did with "Love Heals Surely".  I was reviewing some blogs I wrote on Facebook and came across this one from last summer.  Hope you enjoy! ...

The more you have, the more time you spend taking care of it. There was a time that I wanted more. More clothes, more furniture, more choices. Admittedly, I am a child of the 80's - a decade of conspicuous consumption. Clothes were matched to the shoes, to the bag to the accessories. One in every color. Remember Ked's? It wasn't enough to have one pair, you had to have a match for each outfit. One year I took 10 pairs of shoes to youth camp! (not that I had 10 pairs of Ked's, I had one pair, that my aunt bought for me, we didn't spend "that kind of money" on shoes!)



circa 1993!
When I was in college I got my first credit card - it was a fluke. William worked at the Jewelry store, they had a promotion to fill out an application and get free jewelry cleaner. FREE - you can't pass that up can you? I was sure that it wouldn't be approved, but it was! So of course, as soon as I got it I "needed" some gold earrings. Then before long I had cards at Lerner's, Macy's, Dillard's, JC Penney's, Montgomery Ward's and another jewelry store. It's amazing how much more stuff you "need" after you get a credit card!

Then (insert choir music here) I got approved for a VISA card! I felt really grown up now! Soon I was going to dinner with friends and letting them give me their cash and I would just "put it on my Visa" - I loved saying that! The problem was, I would spend the cash and then the bills would come at the end of the month - yikes! Good thing I only had to pay $10 on each of them!

William's credit journey is even better - but I'll save that for another day. When we got married, we had over $30,000.00 in debt between the two of us, and nothing to show for it. OUCH! We continued in our wayward financial ways for a year or two, eventually straightening up when we were expecting our first child and trying to buy a house. That's been 11 years now, and we've fallen off that wagon more times than I care to count!

God has been faithful in providing for us, we are blessed with William's great salary and I am able to stay at home with the kids. Over the last few years we have been using the Money Map from Crown Financial (http://www.crown.org). I am relieved to say that we are almost debt free! (I prematurely announced the completion of this goal to a few of you - I'm sorry! We were so close, it seemed to really be finished!)

The root of our overspending was/is simple: the desire for more. More than we can afford, more than we have, more than someone else. It fills a need in us to buy, whether we use the items or not. It fills a need in us to have things stored up, just in case.

When Calvin was little, we learned something profound: when you only have 1 pacifier it doesn't get lost. Now that may not sound too deep to some of you, but let me explain. We had about 8 or 9 of those little suckers. Calvin wouldn't sleep without one, so we wanted to make sure we always had one at hand! Inevitably, they would get lost, we'd go get another one from the drawer. When we got down to the last one though, we held on to it like it was gold! We watched it, we picked it up, we cared for it. Same with sippy cups. They would sit in the sink or car until the contents were pharmacy grade, but the last clean one stayed clean. It got rinsed out and reused.


I'm not sure why it has taken me this long to translate that principle into other areas of my life, but here I go! I don't want a special tool or gadget to do each job, I don't want shoes to match each outfit, I don't want special plates for each holiday. I want LESS. I want less dishes to get dirty. I want less stuff to move so I can vacuum. I want less clothes to wash. If the market were better I even might want less house!

How about you? What do YOU want?

Don't stop - there's lots more good stuff...

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