less is more?

April 19th, 2017 | Posted by

What’s in your mailbox? Mine looks pretty average. When the mailman shows up at three o’clock in the afternoon, I rarely find a handwritten letter. Mostly, it’s junk mail. Credit card offers I never asked for, realtor notices about recently sold houses in the neighborhood, and many, many beautiful, glossy, full-color catalogs. Serena and Lilly, Anthropologie, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Land of Nod . . . and now, AARP.

 

AARP, for you younger ladies, is an organization for old people. It features ads for movies like Going in Style: You’re Never Too Old to Get Even starring elderly heartthrobs Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, and Michael Caine (ages 79, 83, and 84).

 

The AARP card is great; if I pay $16 a year, I get all the discounts they offer. Woo hoo!  Save $3 on a popcorn and drink combo while I watch Going in Style. Hmm . . . spend $16 per year to save $3 on my $20 popcorn and soda? I suppose they think that because I’m old, I must be stupid too. But I digress . . .

 

I save the catalogs. Junk mail is thrown out, I sort through the occasional bills that don’t come paperless to my email—like DMV registrations, or parking tickets, or property tax bills. (It seems our government is the last to get on the paperless bandwagon.)  Oh, I’m digressing again.

 

Back to the glossy catalogs . . . I love these! I keep them for increasingly rare moments of leisure, like long baths or sitting in the family room with Greg while watching shows that don’t particularly hold my interest.

 

I love to look at the latest fashion styles and interior design. This summer it’s all about big sleeves, and off-shoulder dresses, right? William Sonoma homes features beachy looking rattan furniture with crisp, striped blue and white cushions.

 

Too bad my house is still dressed in earthy tones and dark wood.  Ah, just when you think you’ve finally nailed your last piece of art to the walls, you find your color scheme is passé. Now it’s all about macramé wall hangings, framed cactus prints, and pinboards.

 

Oh, and that ancient wallpaper you stripped off the walls? You could have saved and framed it and sold it on Instagram. Ha! What can I say . . . it will always be this way. What was dated and old is now collectable, and what you thought was new? In two years, you’ll be over it!

 

I get the impulse to spend money and keep up with the latest trends . . . fresh white interiors and bohemian maxi-length dresses. But here’s the deal. Those shoes you just blew the budget for won’t make the “what’s hot” list next summer.

 

Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money.” Change that to, “She who loves (fill in the blank with your current crave) will not be satisfied with it.” It’s like chasing the wind.

 

In contrast, listen to this. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

 

One of the most precious testimonies in Scripture is, “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread” (Psalm 37:25).

 

Do you long for more of what lasts forever? Is your appetite for the “seen things” out of control? Think of the Israelites who left Egypt with joy on their way to the Promised Land. They were miraculously provided for, time and again. Everything they needed—shade and light, food from Heaven’s kitchen, shoes that never wore out—and best of all, they had the near presence of God at all times.

 

Yet they were not satisfied. They longed for what they left behind in Egypt. They wanted what they wanted. What God had supernaturally provided was not to their liking. They were over it!

 

This lesson has convicted me over the years. It is like listening to my own heart at times. They spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

 

Paul tells us what was really going on in their hearts. “They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did” (1 Corinthians 10:3-6).

 

Hear me now. I am not saying that it’s evil to want a new outfit. Paul also said, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:12).

 

It is quite different, but equally challenging, to have very little or to have lots and lots! Let’s keep these pretty things in their proper value. Paul reminds his young friend Timothy of a powerful reality; and the sooner we grasp it, the happier we will be.

 

“Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:6–10).

 

What is the deepest source of your happiness? Is it what God gives to you? Or what God is to you?

 

I pray that today, God help us realize that our ultimate desire—the one thing we have got to have—is not found in a Pottery Barn catalog or an Anthropologie rack. It is found in more of Jesus, more of His Word, and more of His ways. I hope we never get over that!

 

So, skip browsing the catalogs filled with things you don’t need or can’t afford.

Skip the window shopping that leaves you unhappy with your house or your outfit.

Skip the blogs that make you feel you’re missing out if your closet doesn’t look like Gwyneth Paltrow’s.

 

Hey, just skip them all and skip outside! Jump into your comfy sweats and tennies. No one will judge you.  Study the birds and wildflowers for a change. You can’t beat their wardrobes . . . they have the best Stylist ever.

 




23 Comments

  1. Dorrie says:

    This is true! and how I wish more talked this way. Very refreshing. thanks

  2. Marlene says:

    That was good!

  3. Kelly says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! Sending to all of my girlfriends. It is only our relationships with Jesus that will last!

  4. Jaymi says:

    Dear Cathe,
    I always enjoy reading your wise blogposts, but this particular post, is not just a mere enjoyable read; it is like food for my soul, a deep reminder of the Father’s sovereignty and downright prophetic! My husband and I recently made the decision to sell our home after 17 years, put away a nest egg and hopefully upgrade to a new and improved home. We were completely unprepared and really no idea how stressful and emotional this process would be. We listed our house, and in less than 37 hours it was sold for above asking price! The buyers requested a 30 day escrow and we are now 17 days in and to make matters even more chaotic, every offer we’ve placed on a new home has fallen through. Basically in the wilderness and I’m believing and trusting. To say this post is timely one is an understatement. Thank you for hearing from the Holy Spirit and for your faithfulness to share it. I desperately needed this beautiful reminder, that as we have Jesus, Rock of Ages, we have everything we need.

  5. Annamarie Quigley says:

    Thank you Cathe, you are a great inspiration into the word of God. Thank you for being faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ and a vital thread in the ministry at Harvest Christian Fellowship.

  6. Tana says:

    Kathy you say and think of all the things I have realized. Our wants and our needs are so different. The birds and wildflowers do have the best Stylist and so do we. We need to appreciate all of our blessings. Happy Spring!

    • Lynne says:

      Yes thank you for such a good word. To have the love of the Father working In and through us is really the only true fulfillment. Bless you dear sister.

  7. Mona Koczko says:

    Inspiring!
    Thank you … I began taking pictures about a year ago and what I have found is that #nothing is ordinary. Thanks for the gratitude reminder!
    Mona

  8. Christina Laurie says:

    Nope – Gwyneth’s wardrobe isn’t nearly as beautiful as mine, because I am clothed in the love of Jesus!!! And every morning I put on the Armor of God.

  9. Christina Laurie says:

    I guess that’s west coast time, because here on Cape Cod it’s 9:42 p.m.!!!

  10. Carla Wilson says:

    You are a great “natural” writer, Cathe! You express ideas and expound upon topics that most of us may not be in touch with as you are. Your notes have been so helpful to me. I’m also enjoying your book “As I See It” – wow, I’m so glad Greg prodded you into writing it! You definitely are a woman of much virtue and influence! Thanks for using your gifts to encourage others in their walk with Christ. May you be richly rewarded!

  11. Meryl says:

    Perfect timing.

  12. Tomoko says:

    This is a great reminder. Thank you!

  13. Stacy says:

    Amen Sister! When I wake up and go out early in the morning it is still dark at 5:30, but it’s breathtaking as our Father’s early morning awakens and gradually the dawn and the beauty of the colors in the sky arrive, and reminds me that reflects our home to come, and the sweet sweet sound of music of His birds begin to sing their special songs that each one was been given by our LORD, the Giver of Life!! It’s a perfect time to worship our Abba Father in AWE and in rejoicing for what’s to come!! Have a beautiful day!! God Bless.

  14. karla nelson says:

    Loved your insight, it’s right on!! It’s a constant “bringing ourselves back to center” on a daily, ongoing basis.
    Materialism vies for our attention followed by our devotion, it’s a trick and we mustn’t allow ourselves to be fooled. Do these things make any difference in the scheme of eternity? This is the real question, we must constantly measure everything with, helping us to seriously separate our wants from our needs, I must say it gets alot easier the older I get, it’s so freeing to not NEED our temporary WANTS.

  15. Lupe Desjardin Romero says:

    Dear Cathe,

    We all can be caught up with new trends and wanting, eventually though what is “in” today is “out” tomorrow, but then wait long enough the “out” becomes “in” again, still waiting for the color “avocado green”, lol. This is a great reminder to all to look vertically not horizontally as we live in our temporary homes, for nothing changes with our Lord as we look up and depend on Him and His word. This world can only offer temporal appetite satisfaction, our triune Lord offers “complete satisfaction” in ALL things. Thank you for this email and sharing your God given wisdom!

  16. Christy says:

    Oh how I love this post. Such a good reminder that God is the author and designer of our lives and all the other “stuff” is just that, stuff.
    We are raising two teenage girls and trying desperately to swim against the flow of the “me-ism” mind set the world is selling them.
    If you asked them what my parenting line of choice right now is, they’d tell you I say, “girls it’s not about you.” On a daily basis. Yes, cute clothes are super fun and great and we’d be lying if we said they weren’t. And who doesn’t love to have their house looking all cute and up to date? But when it starts to trump the real reason God has us here we have to put the brakes on.
    I always take away so much from your posts when you share your heart.
    Thank you and be blessed today…it’s going to be a beautiful day for a walk!

  17. Linda Courter says:

    I love and look forward to each of your posts. Each and every message special.
    I have my favorite “pour over” magazines; Sunset, Reminise, Family Handiman (er. Woman). And they are fun
    But, reading Greg’s daily message and your message makes me “really” think. Then I want to research God’s Word.
    Has come to be an adventure. A continual learning experience. A hope. A renewal and you are a part of that. I might add, I also, love catching Pastor Ben’s message on Sunday live from Thousand Hills Church in Corinth, Tx.
    We, today, are truly blessed with your ministry
    Much love and blessings to you and your family.
    Linda

  18. Sandy Stoddard says:

    Thank you Cathe,
    You explain it so well of our material desires. We should put our hearts desires on God and He gives us all that we need to live a life of joy and plenty.

  19. Susan Calva says:

    Our good good Father is always with us & there to help us with our thoughts!

  20. Debbie Zamora says:

    Good morning Cathe, it is always good to hear from you. I love God’s words John 6:35, Psalm 37:25, Phil 4:12. Thank you for mentioning what is God to me! He is everything I need. He makes a way for me when there is no way. I take a class at church Calvary Albuquerque, and I learn this where is your Identity?? Ah.. this hit hard, it make me think and now I know it is Jesus! :0)

    Have a great day and weekend!

    Thank you!

  21. JoAnn Mesquit says:

    Perspective!❤️

  22. erika fagerstrom says:

    A word in season, thanks Cathe! I’ve been unemployed working on getting healthy and am ready to launch into my next journey into a new career, whatever that may be! Wanting to make a lot of money to finish a 20yr house remodel project, help the kids in college, pay off medical debt, have money to bless others, and still look as fresh & updated as a 52yr old can! Wanting to thrive in Jesus and maintain a spirit of being content, while wisely pursuing God’s plan & purpose for my life. <3 I'm 52 and want to be sure I get it right! Thanks again! xo

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