For a while now Aaron and I have been sensing God doing something in our lives. Sometimes I feel as though my life that I live now surely can not be how God intends for me to live. We live in a comfortable neighborhood, hardly have interatction with anyone that is poor, and have a house full of nice stuff. Sometimes I feel as though there has to be so much more to life than what we're living.
Lots of things have been going on in our lives that are forcing us to step back, re-evaluate and make some changes. A few things recently that we've been thinking about …
* Since starting our adoption of Amos I can't help but think of all the $ that is spent in America on STUPID stuff that could help my son and his country eat. (I'm not saying I don't do this foolish spending too)
* I've been reading Irresistable Revolution by Shane Claiborne for a while now and it is challenging everything I have ever thought was right before. It has challenged my thinking on the poor. It has challenged my thinking on war. It has challenged my thinking on the death penalty. It has challenged my thinking of “the American dream”.
* I have an inward struggle about something of value in my life that I'm not as comfortable with anymore. I have told one person about this struggle. I don't' want people to think I'm a freak or feel as though I think they are bad for doing something that I will probably stop doing soon. It is about me and my journey. I hope to share soon about this. God is working on me big time with this.
* I do NOT want to do any gift giving for Christmas. I know this is extreme, but really, what does anyone in my family need? NOTHING. After viewing the people in Haiti and what they don't have, what do I need to get anyone in my family that costs $20. NOTHING. I do not want anyone to buy me a gift. NOTHING. Aaron and I have never exchanged Christmas gifts, and last year was the first year the boys got anything. We just never want gift giving to be a big deal. NOT that we are against it, but we just don't want to focus on it.
* I received a WORLD VISION gift catalog yesterday and think this is a great idea. You can donate to WV in someone's name and give them that as a gift. For example: for $100 you can provide malaria prevention for five families, for $715 you can buy a bull for an entire community, for $50 you can provide safe water for a school. I think this is a great idea and I know I enjoy every year on my birthday getting the card from my mom that says what was given to WV through her gift to me.
I struggle with an inward battle. I want more stuff, but yet I want nothing. I want to be dressed in nice clothes, but yet I want to wear rags, I want to give it all away, but yet I'm constantly wanting more. I desire to get my hands dirty, but yet I keep my distance from the “dirt”.
Anyone else on this journey?
I hear you on not wanting to do any gift exchanging at Christmas…the Lord has been leading my husband and I in a similar direction as you as well. I sooo want to do this but don’t know how to explain it to our families and worrying that they will just think we are being cheap. I know I shouldn’t worry about this and yet I do. I have also had similar thoughts such as donating money in someone’s name to World Vision or something similar. Thank you for sharing your heart about this.
If I could only express in words what my thoughts have been like lately. You put it beautifully. Now, what am I going to do about it…this is something I still have to figure out…
I feel you girl!!!
You put into words things that I have been strugging with the past 7 years. My heart began to change after my first trip to Honduras. My view on acquiring more things hasn’t been the same since. Yet, I continually wrestle with continuing in the same cycle, by my own choosing, of desiring more and then wanting to rid myself of all that I own. There is something deep inside of me that I have never fully been verbalize very eloquently to anyone…I can’t wait to have Derek read this post b/c you said what my heart crys out better than I ever could. What a blessing this post is to me!!
*I would love to meet up with you guys at the DC*
I completely feel this way as well, Jamie.
I was going to post this on my blog, but I thought I’d put it here too since we all seem to be on the same page:
There is a raging discontent within me. A fear that I am a walking hypocrisy. I dichotomy between who I am and who I want to be. A war between what I want and what I want.
I want to help others and I want to help myself.
I want to help children who will die just because they don’t have enough of the food that I daily throw away. Yet this weekend I spent $150 on decor for our living room.
I want to help people suffering from preventable diseases whose cure costs less than an album from my favorite artist. Yet I spend $50 a month on clothes and music.
How is it that knowledge doesn’t lead to action?
I suppose part of it is the resiliency of the human spirit. It allows us to rise up after being crushed.
Unfortunately, my selfishness continues to rise along with hope and compassion.
I am discontent. I am learning. Hopefully, I am changing.
I’m excited to see where God is leading us in this journey. Thanks for sharing Jamie.
i’ve been reading for awhile now (i found your blog through lori/licias pages), but have never posted. i couldn’t resist after this blog though. i really relate to what you’re going through- especially about the book you’re reading. i’m also reading the irresistable revolution and it has really convicted me on a number of my beliefs as well. just wanted to let you know that you’re definitely not alone on this journey. i think everyone who is/has read the irresistable revolution is on this journey as well! thanks for being so open and honest about your changing views and mindset. we can’t do it alone. only God can help us break this cycle of our sinful nature. i will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers!
God bless you on your journey,
It is the flesh wrestling with the Spirit! A never ending battle! Don’t give up and I look forward to hearing how you move forward with your family in this journey!!
My wife and I are on the exact same journey. The thing we keep grounding ourselves with is the fact that these desires are not from us (the desire to move to the inner city, the desire to give up everything and recklessly chase after Jesus) so what do we have to fear? If God is telling us how to change and we know it is not from us, then what are we waiting for. It is good to hear that God is working in the lives of others the same way he is working in ours. Keep us posted on your journey!
matt & i are definitely walking through this same stuff right now. it’s exciting & scary. thanks for sharing!
seriously, we need to talk. it seems like God is changing hearts like crazy. i know one thing for certain…He is changing mine.
He is on the move and my prayer is that I am in tune with HIm and the Spirit to follow where He leads!!
Ok, I keep checking your blog to read about your “inner struggle”…the thing of value you’ve only told one person. I keep checking back to see what it is…a computer? phone? diamond ring? I’m hooked to your blog now! Let us know!