post Category: Uncategorized — mylifeasannie @ 5:11 am — post Comments (7)

I got this devo in an email (thanks Betty) this morning and I wanted to share it with you today for faith lift fridays. For more faith lift fridays, or to share something that has lifted your faith… visit Sheryl!

 

I’ve only met a few women in my life who don’t like to shop: a true anomaly. It’s difficult to imagine a female without the compelling urge to step into a beautiful, richly decorated boutique. I can hardly stand to pass by the mall without going in to take a peak at the newest spring accessories, shoes, purses and clothing. I wake in the middle of the night dreaming about the latest designer bag, and trying to figure out ways to purchase it, without my husband finding out about my trespasses.

In truth, shopping is my addiction. It’s my way to relax and unwind, at the same time to get an adrenaline rush from the latest great sale or outrageous discount. Shopping is a form of recreational competition, as women love to share about their deals. It’s a luncheon club of clandestine members who elect their president of the moment based on the amount of money she saved on her most recent and fashionable purchase.

Therein lies the oxymoron. To spend is certainly not to save, is it? And yet, the irrefutable logic of women has always been the opposite.

“But Honey, I bought this bag for only (a very important word to use) twenty five dollars on sale. The original price was one hundred and twenty five!” The smaller the purchase number in comparison to the much larger original price is a very important selling point when presenting the shopping extravaganza to the husband. That is, if you feel you must disclose.

Another essential and key word every professional shopper knows to use is: need.

That word worked incredibly well with my father. As a sophisticated five-year-old consumer, I came to appreciate his quick and timely response to it. It has continued to have optimum impact on the noteworthy men in my life.

“But, Honey, I really need a new cream bag to complete my spring wardrobe.” Of course, the husband doesn’t know and doesn’t need to know that I already have three other perfectly suitable cream color purses tucked away on the shelf in my overly crowded closet.

Retail Therapy. I’ll just bet RT has its own chapter in the Psychology books, written with calculating accuracy by a woman who knows exactly what she’s talking about from first hand experience. I could be the author.

I’ve come to this very uncomfortable place in my life where I’m quite certain the Holy Spirit is attempting to get my attention about my spending habits. I know this, because of the niggling deep in my soul each and every time I hit the stores. A still, small voice whispers to my uneasy heart…what is it you’re really searching for?

I know it’s not another purse, or pair of shoes. I know it’s not another blouse, or frilly dress And don’t misunderstand me, I love all those things, I really do. I like to dress beautifully and wear the most up-to-date fashions. But I also have learned that those things, those possessions, fill me with happiness only for the moment. Then the moment is gone, and I’m left with the same emptiness that I went into the store with in the first place.

Last year I felt God speaking to my heart to refrain from purchasing anything that I didn’t truly need for one year. He impressed that on my spirit in April, shortly after the death of my father. I inherited a small amount of money from Dad’s estate that I used to pay off all my charge cards and was virtually, and for the first time in many years, debt free. It was a phenomenally liberating feeling.

But, by the first of March, I was back to my old habits- spending the money I had, and using credit cards to purchase what I lacked in cash. A year later, rather than being free of unnecessary debt and reaping the rewards of obedience to the gentle request of God, I was right back where I started–my credit cards to their limits once again, and a closet overflowing with items I neither needed nor wanted.

Why did the Lord ask me to refrain for a specific period of time, from making unnecessary purchases? Now that I’ve blown it, I’m beginning to understand His divine form of logic. Had I been obedient, I would know the freedom of owing money to no one. I would not be in captivity to interest rates and monthly payments. Those twelve months of steering clear of the stores would have allowed me valuable time to spend in other more worthy causes. I would have set an important precedent for my daughter and shown my husband that he could trust me to be a woman with self control, not given over to detrimental temptations. I would have learned to overcome a strong persuasion in my life, and I would have gained a spiritual maturity that only comes from obedience to the promptings of God.

But I am comforted by this verse in Corinthians. The temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. (I know I’m not the only woman with this addiction.) And God is faithful. (He still loves me, even though I’ve blown it.) He will keep the temptations from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. (He knows my weaknesses, and if I seek His face in that moment of temptation, He will do a work in my heart.) He will show you a way out so that you will not give into it. (If I request His help, God will enable me in that crucial instant to select a better path for my feet.)

Realizing you have a problem is the first step toward resolve. So, today, I give the Lord my heart, my desires, my supposed needs and yearnings and I trust Him to direct my steps and order my ways according to His good plan and purpose for my life.

All the credit cards are tucked neatly away in the drawer, and as I slowly pay them off yet again, I do so with newfound maturity knowing that Paul’s words found in Philippians are as true today as they were thousands of years ago.

 

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

– Philippians 3:8

©2008, Tamra Nashman

Horaayy..there are 7 comment(s) for me so far ;)

#1

That is a perfect devotional and something I know my husband would whole heartly agree with! Lol…thank you for that wonderful reminder!

Twinkle Mom wrote on April 4, 2008 - 10:01 am
#2

What a great devotional Annie.. Thanks for sharing it.
Have a wonderful weekend.

KC’s last blog post..Faith-Lift Friday (4/4/08)

KC wrote on April 4, 2008 - 11:11 am
#3

I like this. I’ve been going through this myself for the last few years. I carry things around in the store intending to buy them, but just before I do, I realize that I don’t need them, nor do they satisfy that needy place in me. Thank God I’ve put most of them back.
He really is setting me free by opening my eyes to see what I do NOT need in the area of material things.

Coach Jenny’s last blog post..I About Had a Heart Attack

Coach Jenny wrote on April 4, 2008 - 11:16 am
#4

Excellent devotional, Annie! Sometimes in His mercy and desire for us to be obedient He takes away the freedom so we will listen and learn what He was trying to teach all along: our only security and satisfaction is in Him.
Our family has been reading an excellent book by Randy Alcorn called Money, Possessions, and Eternity…and it really pulls the covers off our American materialistic mindset and gives lot’s of Scripture on God’s outlook on how our abundance is to be used and what it is to accomplish.
Thanks for a great heart-probing post!

Sheryl’s last blog post..~* Faith-Lift Fridays April 4, 2008 *~

Sheryl wrote on April 4, 2008 - 11:34 am
#5

What a wonderful post. I happened to be one of those different women who don’t particularly like shopping. I basically like to go get what I’m needing/wanting to get and then leave. But I know I am not the norm. I absolutely love how you took the verse from Corinthians and personalized it in the parenthesis.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Karen
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/salt
http://www.homesteadblogger.com/tagblog

Karen wrote on April 4, 2008 - 12:00 pm
#6

Thanks for sharing this, Annie. While I am not a shopper who likes to buy clothes, shoes, etc…I am a shopper who likes books and Hobby Lobby. I gave up Hobby Lobby & bookstores for Lent and was amazed at the results on my heart and perception. Now I have been back to both since Easter and noticed how easy it would be to fall into my old habits. Books & crafts are fun & can be uplifting, but I know I need to take care lest they become “idols.” Need and want are hard to discern sometimes in “the heat of the moment.”

Have a great weekend.

Julie

Joyful Days’s last blog post..Faith Lift Friday

Joyful Days wrote on April 4, 2008 - 12:34 pm
#7

I am pretty weird…I don’t enjoy shopping at all, except at yard sales, haha! When I need jeans I go to the thrift store, and I usually find a suitable pair for about five bucks, haha! My hubby and I put almost everything we buy on our Disney credit card (other than gas and groceries) because we like earning points we can use for free Disneyland tickets! We pay the balance in full every month as part of our regular budget, and NEVER pay a cent of interest. (I know this doesn’t work for a lot of people, but it’s how we’ve done it for our entire marriage.) It’s a wonderful feeling to be debt free, other than the house! 🙂

Nancy Face’s last blog post..Guess who’s happier than ALMOST everybody?

Nancy Face wrote on April 5, 2008 - 10:14 am
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