Sunday, January 27, 2019

The wandering of desire...



Each January as you scroll through various blog posts or social media pages you’ll probably notice a common thread is spoken of  – ‘my word for the year’- and the blogger or writer will share that word with their readers and occasionally elaborate on why they’ve chosen it.

A number of years ago I too followed that trend but for the past five or six years I’ve not even thought about it. Probably because I know God has been taking me through many attitude adjustments that can take a week, a month, a year or longer to be taught…so why limit Him to one a year when my life needs a regular overhaul, right?

But in early December as I was floating in our pool underneath the shade sail and next door’s overhanging lush green Poinciana branches heavily weighted with hundreds of brilliant red blooms, God spoke right into my heart.

“Use what you already have”

That was it, just those words, no explanation or elaboration.  
In an instant “use what you already have” was engraved upon my mind and tattooed into my heart so deeply that they have echoed into my thoughts every day since.

At first I thought this only had to do with my designing in 2019, that I needed to re-release the older designs already in my pattern catalogue but as the weeks have passed by He has repeated this directive into many other areas of my life until even my husband has noticed that I repeat those words daily in one situation or another.

In this very consumerist and advertisement saturated society we are easily seduced by the desire to acquire newer, better, prettier, more fashionable, limited edition and supposedly 'can't live without this' items every day because no matter where you are there is an advert for something to buy and human nature is attracted by what pleases the eyes even if it’s unnecessary, wasteful or detrimental to the budget.

We may also be tempted to try expensive recipes after watching one of the numerous cooking shows that now fill the television screen each night, feeling as though our everyday cooking or baking is boring even though healthy everyday meals are what your family enjoy. 
If you look closely in to your pantry will you discover it is groaning under the weight of more and more ingredients you use once or perhaps never open?

Or what about being seduced into buying exercise equipment delivered to your door because you feel embarrassed to go to a gym - and yet you can lift cans for weights, use wide elastic for resistance exercise, dance to your favourite music for a higher intensity workout, and many other inexpensive ways to work your body (check online for them) - all for free.

When we moved into our home last September I had to give a lot of things away as we have very limited storage here so unless I have a place to put something I cannot buy it. Garage sales are where we buy plants or garden stuff these days, not indoor household items. If I do spy something I’d like for the house it takes me a while to consider where it can go and do I need to get rid of another item first to make room…and almost every time the item is passed over and I walk away. I do have a chuckle occasionally when I go through this process because it’s clear God is using our situation to give me better clarity on what I genuinely need and to consider why.

My sewing supplies were overhauled before the move, then again recently, and now I have a fresh vision for my business because in doing this I became mindful of what I have and why. I was reminded that there had long been a plan to make up kits for some of my patterns and I'd even purchased bits and pieces for that purpose yet not followed through due to lack of time and poor planning.
Now, with the Lord's instructions ringing in my ears I'm ready to do this, making use of what I already have. 

“Use what you already have” is increasingly applied to my weekly grocery shop, the meals I prepare each day, menu planning, the tools I use for cleaning, sewing, designing, gifts, home decoration, plants, clothing, reading…and the list goes on. 

It’s what I consider every day now before planning or purchasing and when I read this week’s Scripture it affirmed that this is indeed a Biblical principle to be taken seriously.

“Better is the sight of the eyes…”
(better is what you have)

“…than the wandering of desire.”
(than desiring that which you do not need or cannot afford)

Yes, I can still purchase treats! But that's the point - they are occasional treats and they will bring joy and not guilt.

Don't you love how God can change the way you look at life or live it out in just a few simple words?

Perhaps what I've shared today is a lesson you already know, one you've lived by?
But if this is new, or even a confirmation of something God has been nudging you about recently, then know I'm praying for you today as I pray for myself to become wiser in this God-given, love-gifted lesson for an abundant and satisfied life.

hugs


28 comments:

  1. For the last year or so I have been doing exactly this...use what I have! I am amazed at how much I can do without buying. I also had to downsize and feared I would never be creative again. Yes, I have missed much of what I gave away, however I still have plenty to actually use and be creative once again. My pantry has been going through a complete revamp and using the foods and ingredients I already have. I am truly enjoying these challenges. As I age my mantra is, “If not now, When?!!”

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  2. I have a friend who lives by the motto, "Need, not greed".

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  3. Thanks for those words Jennifer and coming at a good time for me. I was diagnosed with Meniere's disease mid December and have not been able to work my usual hours due to the persistent vertigo and with DH still looking for work that has not been easy. It has been trial and error to find a medication that will work most days and have been blessed with a great manager who allowed me to reduce my hours to 3 days a week and to split the days so I work monday, wednesday and friday and hopefully with the days off in between I will be able to cope. I have not set foot in an opshop or other shop for weeks now but must admit I have been tempted by online shopping but have not succumbed. I want to use and finish what I have craft wise and we have plenty in the cupboards etc to eat. God provides us with what he wants us to have we just have to stop wanting everything!

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  4. LOVE this - the Lord has been talking to me about this very thing, and I too reassess my actual needs as I come upon endless advertisements for more "stuff". It's easy to go overboard with spending and I don't want to do that!!!

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  5. Just what I needed today! Thanks Jenny!

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  6. On 11/1/18 I started a Year of Ultimate Frugality. Some call it a No Spend Challenge of which I am a member of such a group on Facebook. I have only slipped once when I found fairy garden stuff at Dollar Tree the other day. So far the month of January I have spent about $70 for the entire month!! My goal was $200 since I normally spend about $550 a month for 2 people!! Use what you have fits right into my commitment.

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  7. I’ve been working from my stash for the past several years and after taking assessment early this year of my sewing room of kits, UFOs, WIPs, stitcheries to do, started, crazy quilt UFOs I don’t need to purchase anything else! Thanks for your continued inspiration!

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  8. I've decided to apply 'use what I have' to my fabric stash. So far I've pieced 3 queen sized log cabin quilt tops from strips I already have and I found fabric for the borders in my stash too. This is so much fun to see how many I can make. I feel empowered and blessed. I thank God for the skills he has bestowed on me. Blessings!

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  9. Thank you Jenny - nicely put and very pertinent to todays world. xx

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  10. What a lovely post...again. I truly love the phrase. Thank you for encouraging us to be ourselves.

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  11. Wow, Jenny, this is an EXCELLENT post! Such wise words. I am saving this post to my files to re-read often as a reminder to myself. Thank you for this!

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  12. This has hit right in my heart. God has been speaking to me for the past 2 years about this very thing. Use what you have. It is a long story but just wanted you to know that your wise words usually talk to my spirit. Thank you for your encouraging words always. I love to read your blog.

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  13. Hello Jenny, I indeed needed to receive this message! Yet, I am not quite sure why. Your post and those words just opened up my thoughts and some ideas that I have been "fighting" with myself over. It all became very clear on how to approach one or two of these ideas and I am positive quite a few more will also become clear. Would you mind, Jenny, if I used your message and help keep myself from getting away from this important message? Thank you so much for sharing and have a special day!

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  14. Wise words Jenny! Right now, I'm trying to use up what we have in our chest freezer. I do still want to have a good stock-up of supplies, but sometimes we have just too much because we buy something on sale, as if it will never be on sale again. Some of our best meals come from using things up :-) I think we can use the skills and knowledge we have about cooking, sewing, etc. and use them to create things that are unique to us and our families. No one else will have that casserole (and maybe we never will either!) or sew the quilt that we make from our stash. And that makes them rather special, I think.

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    1. I have read many blogs which focus a lot on building up their freezers but I'm very mindful to keep those extra meals to a safe number as food in a freezer still should be used within six months. You're very wise to 'shop' from your freezer and use the meals you made that way. :-)

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  15. Wonderful wise words Jenny. Thank you.

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  16. You always have such insightful posts that speak to so many people Jenny. Thank you.

    Yes, I do like to use what I already have. I am a child of WW2 so we had to be thrify not waste anything & always mend our clothes etc. The phrase "Waste Not Want Not" comes to mind. There is so much waste now in the world it's heartbreaking.
    I am still an avid collector of materials. I can't bear to waste the lovely boxes & jars you get things in. Sometimes they are so lovely I just can't throw them away. I keep jam jars for buttons & bits & pieces. Aldi jam jars have lovely shaped jars & red & white check lids, too nice to throw away. When my granddaughter wants to make something she knows I nearly always have the materials she needs.

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  17. Great post Jenny! I’ve been following this idea for a few years now and I find it quite liberating. I’m forced to be more creative in using just what I’ve got ( and how satisfying is that feeling) and I’m decreasing the amount of ‘stuff’ I have which is sitting doing nothing but take up space! At the moment I’m working on putting more plants in my garden to try to get that lush sub tropical look I used to have at a previous home. So I’m taking cuttings, dividing other plants like my bromeliads and generally growing new gardens from what I have already. Very satisfying.

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  18. This post is just a confirmation of the way I am trying to live these days. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Once again Jenny, from God's heart to your heart, straight to mine! I always thought that verse related to lust and such. But I also love your application. So timely for me too. I love your saying "use what you have" I will need to remember that as I continue to settle in to my home, making it mine. I also recently embraced the saying of "Use it up, wear it out. Make do, do without". Bless you sis, keep hearing the dear voice of our Lord!

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  20. I can't say that my cabinets are full of things that I don't use. LOL I don't watch cooking shows, and I don't cook all that often, so they hold just what I actually use. If only I could say the same about my sewing and stitching supplies. There are few things I need to ever purchase - such as weaveline - but sometimes I still do get something, just because I like it. I started using the library instead of buying all the books I like, because I like to keep them and re-read them, but I can check them out again, too. Now I only buy ones I can't get through the E. Tennessee system. There are still a few books lying around here, though. LOL

    It's funny that I was telling myself just this even that I do NOT need the new Ruby limited edition 40th anniversary rotary cutter! =) I already have at least 4 that aren't that one, so what do I need with another one. I use all the ones I have, however. And so do my friends. =) But I don't NEED it.

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  21. Oh so true, we all have things that could do to be used up. I haven't bought any fabric in a while, and I only buy floss as I need it. These past few months I have been going through things and giving away to charity shops things we don't ever use, it is amazing how much 'stuff' we owned that wasn't needed or even liked. Financially things aren't great so we have been very careful for a while about any purchases but we all could do more to cut back, I need to do a freezer overhaul and sort out some meals without shopping for a start. Thank you for your timely words of inspiration. x

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  22. I too am starting to do this use what I have and trying to cull some of what I have. So I can find my things better. I need to cull more of it though....And buy less or should I say convince a couple others in this house to desire less and decrease their spending

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  23. I think I see something shared here Jenny! Over the weekend I got rather caught up in thinking about a design for a crochet blanket and went looking at online sites and all the coloured cottons .... thankfully I was reminded before I pressed the "purchase " button and felt God nudge me into the sewing room into a parcel I'd totally forgotten about ...... it was filled with lots of pre purchased cotton yarns in many colours!!

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  24. I saw the light on this four years ago. It is a slow process here, but I do see abundance for sheer abundance slowly melting away. Blessings, Jenny.

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  25. Debby in Kansas USAJanuary 29, 2019 at 8:32 AM

    Amen! We repainted our master bed and bath and before buying any new décor (if I do), I'm shopping through the house and down in the basement!! Since I adore the colors, chances are that there are any number of items that match throughout the house! I've already found several without even looking...they were right in front of me. Rather than buying new lamps, I'm just repainting the ones I have in a plain white. My husband made them- they're birdhouses. I do need new shades though....those have kitty teeth bites in them!! My mom's cat loved them.

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  26. Such wise words, I am doing just that using what I already have, it is a challenge and more fulfilling than going to the shops, brilliant post thank you, Sue

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It's always nice to receive feedback on a blog post, so *thank you* for taking time to comment!
I will try to reply via email unless you are a 'no reply blogger' which means you'll have to check for my reply in the comments. Of course, life is a rather hazardous activity, isn't it? So if I don't respond to your comment that's the reason why - life simply stepped in...
hugs
Jenny
x