My neighbors just bought us a recliner. You read that right. In a world where neighbors often don’t know each other’s names and close the garage door behind them the moment they drive in, mine just dropped off a gigantic box with a gift receipt.
For context, my husband is having shoulder surgery in a couple weeks, and we’re told the recovery will be awful. Lots of pain and little sleep, so our doctor recommends Dallas sleep in a recliner for the first month-or-so. Since we don’t own one, and are in the every-penny-counts season of life, I emailed a bunch of friends asking if anyone had a good chair we could borrow.
Enter my extremely generous and loving neighbors.
But they’re not the focus of this post, because as wonderful as they are, I’m not. In spite of God’s constant working on my materialistic heart, upon receiving the incredible gift, I instantly went to Potterybarn.com for pillows that would tie the color of the chair into our decor. And of course I found the perfect pillows to make everything look, well, perfect. And also a blanket. And also some fall decorations I didn’t mean to see but did, and now really, really want.
Thing is, I’ve been experiencing a lot of victory in the shopping dept, avoiding triggers and praying when lust for stuff creeps in. But suddenly I was clicking all my wishes into a shopping cart and calculating the shipping charges. And then I got sad, because even if I could afford the oh-so-cute-but-terribly-overpriced PB accessories (which I can’t), the shipping costs would put me in the red till Christmas.
To be clear, while sitting in our new chair, given to us by people who expect nothing in return except to bring comfort and rest to my hurting husband, I’m feeling…..bummed.
How is that possible? Lord, have mercy. I seem to invent ways to be dissatisfied and ungrateful. Mick Jagger had it right. And so does the Bible.
Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
A purse with holes in it. So true. I’ve been chasing my financial tail for years, robbing Peter to pay Paul when it comes to making ends meet, harvesting little, and always wanting more--and I’m sick of it. This current season of self-control has resulted in small but solid victories, because all our bills are paid. No credit card balances. No stress about making it to the end of the month.
So how is it I’m being drawn to room accessories like a bug to a light trap?
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.
Ok, God, gonna do it differently this time. I can’t get no satisfaction (Mick Jagger reference spelled out, just in case I was too subtle before) because there is no satisfaction apart from you. Even when it comes to Potterybarn accessories. Whatever makes me momentarily happy gets blown away.
But not buying stuff isn’t good enough, is it? Because your house is in ruin. Your world is in decay. And because it's not enough to not do the wrong thing; I need to start doing the right thing. Which is why the extra money I’m planning to make on Craig’s List to fund my fall purchases, I'm going to give to you instead.
Help me to make you Lord of my heart, my house, and my life everyday in real, tangible ways.
And please make my home in Heaven look like Potterybarn.