Simple Living & Staying “up to date”
I’ve continued reading from Jan Johnson’s book, “Abundant Simplicity” and took a moment to pause on an idea that I found necessary to give a bit more thought. It’s the idea that we always need to be “up to date.” As always, I want to share a quote on this topic:
"It’s true that variety and change can be good, but constantly chasing them can enslave us and numb our longing for God. We often favor change and variety without asking important questions, such as whether this new way will help us know God better or empower us to treat people better."
I’ve found I’ve chased being “up to date” in certain areas of my life. My career, by knowing the latest research. My home, being sure we are “in style.” Even fashion, being sure I am up with trends. Can you relate to any of it? I was even talking with a client this week, and she shared that certain builds of our body can go in and out of style. OUR BODIES. Woah. Way back when, it was “in style” to be of bigger build. It showed class. It showed that you had enough money to feed yourself really well. In the 90’s, it was about being thin…and now, apparently, it’s about having an hourglass figure. Did you know that body image was something that was in and out of style? I’m not sure I brought awareness to the idea.
Anyway, I’m sure hoping I didn’t give you just one more thing to be insecure about. The truth is, everything is changing. And we have to stop to ask ourselves how we want to handle all the changes. If we are into staying up with the changes, why? What would God’s wisdom say about all of this?
How about you grab a cup of coffee and join me with some journal questions I’ve been pondering:
1) What specific areas do you try to stay “up to date”?
2) How does TV, social media, or any other outside sources feed this desire to stay “up to date?”
3) What message from media have you bought into that you need ____ to be good enough. Examples:
“I am good enough in my career if I step into one more training” (even if it sacrifices another
area of your life)
“If I’m thinner, then I will be worthy of a partner I’m seeking”
“If I buy this newest technology, my life will be so much better and run smoother”
“Showing signs of age is not something you do. Just cut it out. Get rid of any wrinkle…even if
it’s a wrinkle from years of smiling.”
4) How would you re-write a message you want to live by, especially after you soak in some of God’s wisdom? (Rather than the negative messages you've absorbed)
Listen up, buying things is not evil. Wanting to better yourself is not bad. But there’s a fine line between being enslaved to the message that you need something else in your life to be content to first being content and asking God how to fill your life from that place of contentment. No one thing or person creates happiness. Advertisement sells that idea that it can. Our source of contentment and hope is an internal, spiritual process that begins with seeing our value just as we are. The desire for transformation, then, comes from a way of relating to God that says, “I see you call me beloved. I know you already see me as good enough just as I am. Yet, I also see that you, God, want the very best from me so from this place I ask you to show me how I can transform and change in a way that is honoring to you.” Trust me, going from a place of worthiness as the starting point for change is much more productive than being a place of guilt or self-criticism. Allow your love-relationship with God be what woo’s you to change, not messages from outside sources that try to tell you that you’re not good enough.
Happy rooting, everyone!