It was early June when I made this statement. Having just returned from our third camping trip, it occurred to me that there was a whole lot of ‘stuff’ we had, and a great deal of it was superfluous to our existence. Don’t get me wrong, I love my house and am very grateful for every belonging, but having enjoyed camping so much, and with only the very basics, that I realised that there was nothing more I could possibly need.
The conditions of this grand statement were: no new clothes, shoes, accessories; nothing new for the house; no new toys; not one new anything. Only what was necessary, food and consumables, gifts, and what needed replacing (little boys grow and things break).
You would think this isn’t an overly difficult thing to do, but in week one I found myself having to return a product, purchased without thinking. Two months in, I can honestly say that I still find it difficult. There are new fashions out, and not to mention the sales – oh, the sales!
Here is the amazing upside though – I spend a lot more time at home, because apart from groceries, I don’t need to go to the shops. Tully is working hard for every single thing he wants. We have always required him to do jobs, but I was amazed at how a little thing here and a little thing there added up. Now he really appreciates what he receives because he has worked hard for it.
Lifelong lessons are also being learned. God is teaching me a lot about self control, something that I know for sure I have lacked in my life. He is also feeding the heart I have to give to those in need. I have found it astounding how, when you stop concentrating on your wants, you are more in tune with the needs of others.
I am unsure how I will continue in this endeavor. I live in hope that I get to Christmas without having to take anything else back , (explaining my goal to a shop assistant is a little embarrassing). But then, another great revelation in this experiment is, that a good dose of humility is the starting point of change.