Thoughts on Keeping Up with The Joneses

 

To this day, I am shamed by my brother because of a letter I wrote back in high school. My Sunday School teacher at the time had challenged our class to write letters to God asking for things we really want. Sit back and watch how God provides.

I wrote a letter to God asking for Ugg boots and I got them.  But that isn’t the point. My middle/high-school self really struggled with keeping up the Joneses, a concept to read more about here. As an adult I need to remind myself that there is beauty to living in God’s unique provisions for our lives and living our lives for ourself, not impressing others.

There will never be enough “stuff” 

You would think that after my mom surprised me with Ugg boots that I would be thrilled and stop asking for such expensive items, and I was excited but just for some time. What kinda makes me laugh today is the fact that before seeing those boots on practically every girl at my school, I never thought they were pretty. I have my own adult version of that with Louis Vuitton bags. I used to cringe when I saw them but now look to them was adoration.

The ugg boots were great for a moment but then I wanted so low pants and a Juicy couture suit and an Ed Hardy shirt and the list goes on. I would drag my mom to the mall and try to find the cheapest shirt with Aeropostale written across the chest. I kept wanting and asking for things hoping these items would somehow buy me social acceptance. Luckily my mom never indulged any of my other requests. I couldn’t understand why other people could afford these things that I so badly wanted and didn’t understand that my parents were investing in other things that I couldn’t see. They gave money to our church, family members in need and visiting ministers. They could see that  the things I wanted weren’t necessary but I couldn’t at the time.

We can miss out on what’s better 

There is nothing wrong with material belongings but we can miss out on God’s unique provisions for our lives. If we stretch our budgets so thin to buy that purse that make us look a certain way- are we happy? I’m all for spending money on quality items but that decisions should be motivated by other reasons. Like buying from companies that are ethical or present high quality goods. Or because we like to express our own unique style, not because we want to present a certain image.

So if you’re like me and struggle with the need to keep with the Joneses, I challenge you and myself to look at our unique desires and ask ourselves why we really want an item. Is it self expression or is it self promotion? With that being said, I still have a pretty long Pinterest Wishlist board! But I hope that overtime it becomes more and more of what I personally desire.

Advertisements

Re: Roomtogrow

1) What is your motivation behind certain things you undertake? What drives you?

I like this question a lot, I guess because it asks me to tap into this part of myself that I’ve almost always had.  When I was really young I was really unmotivated but my mother motivated me.  I remember thinking that getting a B in a class as big deal,  fast forward to high school and I cringe when I get anything less than an A.  My mom encouraged me to try as hard as I can because I could be the best I could.  I’m motivated by my desire to actually do something of worth in my life, and to know that I did the very best I could at the end of the day.

2) What is your favorite holiday?

I like Thanksgiving the best, I guess because its the one holiday when I can actually do something with my church and we do it every year without fail.  I don’t have a lot of things that certain in my life, but I know that every thanksgiving will start with my church and there’s something really nice and reassuring about certainty.  Plus the food is always good.  🙂

3) Do you get irritated/upset easily? If so, by what?

Oh yes I get angry very easily!  Sometimes I’ll just be in a bad mood or something will offset it.  But I’ve learned not the let my emotions get the best of me, its not fair to anyone.  So if and when I do get upset I try to pull myself out of that mood.  If I can’t I wallow in sadness or anger by myself for a little bit!  But sometimes its just the best way to deal with it.  Because allowing myself to be angry is like a drug.  Indulging feels great, but there’s always the aftermath.  I’ve broken MANY phones because something caused me to become angry,and in the end it’s not worth it.  Being angry is only satisfying in the moment.

4) What is your favorite thing to do on a hot summer day?

I LOVE finding a book I’m dying to read, siting down in the place where its sunny but not to hot and just reading.  Maybe have iced tea on the side and just read all day.  My mom may scream in terror when she sees I’ve become ten shades darker, but nothing feels better than finding a good book and reading it.

5) What is your definition of faith? Love?

My definition of faith is

Hebrews 11:11

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see

I believe love is selflessness, loving someone so much that their happiness and joy is more important than your own could ever be.  Is that not the best thing you can do?  Put other people’s needs and desires before your own?  If someone can do that for you, then you know you’ve found a keeper!  Because it’s easy to say, but so hard to do in practice.

6) What is unconditional love to you?

It’ll sound corny fo’ sure to you.  But unconditional love to me is what Jesus did on the cross.  He didn’t have to do it, we didn’t deserve it, but he did it for us.  That’s love.  Something so deep and vast you find yourself lost in it.  That’s the love that Christ has for us each and everyday.

7) What kind of hopes do you have about this life? Or maybe about the life afterward?

I want to break the mold.  I want to be happy and stop caring about all of these things that are so unimportant.  I want to live breaking the conventions and teach my children to never be ashamed of themselves or their faith.  I want to live for Christ and be someone who is so in love with God that nothing else can really matter at the end of the day.