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.