My mind is constantly in a state of tug-of-war! Stuff versus simplicity. Materialism versus contentment. New clothes versus a stocked closet. Nice things versus I can't-take-any-of-this-with-me!
It's the idea of new. Not necessarily the trendiest style, latest fashion, or in color. But more so, what new represents to me, which happens to be anything I don't already have.
This struggle with wanting new hits at random times. I'll be shopping at Homegoods for 'Thank You' cards, pass the Bath department, and suddenly my stroll slows, and I'm now standing, staring at rows of towels, in every hue, petting each one, measuring it's plushness, and wondering if it would look great in our next place. Our next place. I don't even know where that is, because right now, I'm not even in that place. I'm living at my parents to save money for wherever that place is. And I'm imagining these towels in that unknown place.
But they are so soft! And I love the bright color! It would compliment the other bright colors in my impulse-buying Anthropologie bedding from three years past! Tug-of-war!
Costco is the worst. The moment I enter the warehouse doors, it's game-time. Eyes focused. List in hand. Determined not to waver from the needs of why we came in the first place. But the darn sample ladies reel me in, and they are having a great price on boardshorts, and goodness, everyone needs a 6 lb. bag of frozen meatballs. Tug. Of. War!
Before Bry left for one of his summer trips, my parents graciously watched the boys so we could enjoy a date night. Our destination was The Irvine Spectrum, where we shared a BBQ Chicken Salad at Cheesecake Factory, and after dinner, walked the outdoor mall. And held hands. And window shopped. I looked longingly at the bags people carried and wondered what was inside. And I wanted. And the tug-of-war began.
I wish money wasn't an issue so I could march into Nordy's right now and stroll out, fashionista!!
The Spectrum isn't the healthiest place for crazy people, like me, with the tug-of-war syndrome. With Barnes and Noble, Anthropologie, and that darn Crepe place, my gluttony takes over.
In a moment of clarity, I imagined myself jumping on top of the ferris wheel, and as it's climbing upward, I'm shouting down to all the little people.
You have a choice. You don't need all this stuff! It won't bring happiness. As soon as the newness wears off, you'll want more. It's just stuff. Return it all now, and go home and play games with your family.
Then the sane Bekah chimes in. About the same time the ferris wheel approaches the ground, and all those little people are now, well, not so little.
I have a choice. To live simply. To ignore my wants. To refuse this internal game of tug-of-war, and believe what's best for me is remembering God's best. The eternal. The relationships.
The moments when I snuggle my boys, and breathe in their curly-hair scents. When I steal the freckles off of Tanner's nose and pretend to eat them. And he returns the favor. When Ty, with all the gusto my 10-month old can muster, attempts to wrestle me, by speed-crawling to my stomach, throwing himself on me, and laughing deep belly laughs until he can't breathe!
My friend Leslie-Ann has one of the most beautiful homes I've ever been in. Her husband built it, and there is no detail unnoticed. Do you know my favorite thing about her house? It's not the cathedral ceilings, or the pink nursery her daughter dreams in. It's not the great room, or dark wood cabinets.
It's that she doesn't have all the latest and greatest furnishings. And she doesn't care. The most beautiful, eternal, precious aspect of her home is that she knows it's just a home. She values her husband and two sweet children far more than her backyard BBQ or granite countertops. She has won the tug-of-war because she values the eternal more than the stuff!
And please don't get me wrong. I am not saying that shopping is wrong. Or buying cute shoes. Lord knows we all need an obnoxious pair of sassy green shoes with an oversized bow on the toe, covered in sparkles! Wait, who bought those? :) It's not the shopping that is wrong, it's the tug-of-war that goes on in my heart when I'm shopping. And the green monster that takes over and tells me I need all these things to make my heart happy. That's the tug-of-war that I'm accutely aware of.
My game of tug-of-war won't disappear overnight, but my prayer is that the more I focus on God's best, His people, my family, and loving others, the materialistic wants will fade into the background, and the peace of eternity will skip to the foreground. The more I taste God's goodness and grace, the less I'm enticed by the earthly sparkles and bling.
I am convinced that Jesus would want me to have a pair of new TOMS though ;)