Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Cleaning- needs and wants!


Are you thinking of throwing open your windows to smell dewy grass and fresh air?  Cleaning out closets and going through unwanted clothes make your blood course wild?  Oh, the excitement of recycling old papers, opening up room in the pantry by getting red of  unused kitchen gadgets!  Spring Cleaning- it does the body good!

It's needs and wants season people!  It's the season to take this solemn opportunity to dig deep into our true convictions about justice for all, true giving back, and curbing our appetites.  Which camp can I place myself- the "stash money in my bed/deprive myself of any social fun" camp or the "count your chickens/ I'll pay next Tuesday/ buy a skirt with my last $50" camp?

Hopefully it's somewhere in between- I believe in moderation in all things.  But, really- we are the blessed nation of America for a reason.  If I take it upon myself to hold my family accountable for our spending, leave a legacy, tithe etc and still have extra to help others in need- I am doing something that about 90% of the world can't do.

Some people might say it's a sin to live the way we Americans do- in our EXCESS!  I agree the madness needs to stop.  However, I don't believe it's a sin to be blessed with a situation where we can help others that can't help themselves.  What do you think? I truly want to know.  I recently read "7 : An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess" by Jen Hatmaker .  Not my typical read, but I enjoyed most parts of it.  The verbage is wild, spiritual, and choatic and interestingly a lot of it struck a chord with me.  I realized that I already practice "7" in a modest way.

Four years ago for my daughter's 5th grade move up party, I was the only mother to fish out over 200 aluminum soda cans from a rather disgusting trash can filled with gooey candy and half-eaten pizza.  I couldn't allow all those cans to enter the land fill.  My stomach was in knots over it.

I fast regularly and give money to the poor, as do most of my friends and family. (Regularly means once a month- I'm not a monk!)  The creed to learn to sacrifice and think of others runs deep in my circles- not that I still don't have lessons to learn in all the compassion, generosity, and Christ-like areas.

About four years ago, my body chose to take me into the gluten-free, organic, natural, sans HFCS, natural world of foods.  It's a learning process and I still have 10-15 pounds I want to lose, even though I eat ultra healthy (but that's a whole other topic).  The main point is my kids are making better choices- and it shows.  One time a friend was so kind to take my son with her family out to dinner.  Her urgent text asserted confusion because my son didn't know how to order at a fast food restaurant.  Ah, I've finally found success in one area with my children!  Something took!  Eureka!

After many, many years of cloth diapers and laundry for 5 children, I decided that less clothes is socially ok;  convincing teenage girls however is another story.  But truly if people lived for thousands of years with less than 10 outfits, we can live with 50 or less, even 35, right?!

So, you see living a blessed, but simple life isn't a sin- but it's a right we have to bring peace, calm, and the song of the free to our lives... and I'm trying to sing that song as well as I can.  What are you doing about your needs and wants this spring?