I took “7: An experimental Mutany against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker up north with me last month and made it my goal to read it over July 4th weekend. I devoured it in two days. I laughed along as Jen shared her experiences of cutting the excess from her life.
While reading something within me began to stir in my heart. My eyes were opened to the excess in my life. I am beyond blessed to have a beautiful place to live, a closet full of clothes and so much more that I take for granted. Yet there are times when I find myself hitting up Marshalls after a rough day for some little “retail therapy”. Times when I seek out a physical thing to fill up what only God can provide.
That is when it hit me. Contentment is being grateful for what I have, for what blessings God has pored out on me. I began to pray and seek out how I could specifically practice contentment in my daily life. Last week, I stumbled upon “The Contentment Challenge” by blogger and photographer Nancy Ray.
We will give up shopping for clothes, accessories, household decor, and “stuff” for 3 months, to focus our hearts and minds on the root of true contentment. We will actively pursue fulfilling activities that will replace our addiction to material things.
The idea resonated with me immediately. So for the next three months (August, September, & October) I’m saying goodbye to Target, Marshalls, late-night etsy browsing.
I know it sounds weird, strange or extreme to give up shopping for three months (especially with all the back to school goodies and fall wardrobe shopping) but the riches lessons are those that stretch us. I’m choosing to say NO to what I think I need in order to say YES to what I have been given. It will be a difficult journey, to say the least, but I’m leaning on God’s grace to shift my gaze on what matters most.