Godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. -Timothy 6:6-10
What is it about Target that makes it so difficult to simply shop with purpose? Why is it that the store can suck you in with it's Dollar Bargains, and discounted items. What is it about the aisle of scented candles that hold such power? And stationery? I mean do I need to go into detail about it? And while we're at it, who doesn't need a new tank for $7.99 with a logo like, "Gym Hair. Don't Care."
It gets me. Every. Single. Time.
Anyone else ever experience the whole, "I forgot what I went in for, and left with over $100 worth of "stuff."
Clueless how the phenomenon happens, but it continues to strike. So it's been extremely overwhelming this week, when I can't seem to stop the calling actively search contentment. The word over and over that I hear is "obedience." In my readings, my podcasts, and even Michael made a personal reference just yesterday. I have faith enough to know that this isn't coincidence.
I guess I should preface this whole post by telling you that I am in no way a shopping addict or big spender. In fact I consider myself quite the opposite. I much prefer the racks of Marshalls to the aisles of Nordstroms. I throw in the cart instead of evaluating the actual worth. With big purchases, I usually mull over the idea before I actually make the investment. I am cautious, and definitely not a live beyond your means kinda gal. And it wasn't until about 2 years ago that I was even able to name a top name designer.
But today as my husband and I were in Target to pick up a few needs, I realized that my needs and wants are sometimes hard to differentiate. I caught myself a little bit anxious about leaving without the scented candles or the new sports bra or the overpriced shampoo perfectly, uniquely packaged.
But I left.
And ya know, I am content. All gravy baby.
What is a Contentment Challenge?
The first time I heard of this challenge, a fellow blogger was sharing her story about it, and I thought it almost ridiculous. Why? Why give up shopping if it's for pleasure? You must be on a tight budget to do something like that? Pretty sure there are worse habits out there! Shopping relaxes me! I'm sorry but if I want a new pair of shoes, I am going to get them!
Clearly, my heart wasn't ready. I was weak and I was missing the point. But around the end of December, I was reading quite a few passages about obedience, wealth, and income.
I started to understand that personal weakness was the point of the #contentmentchallenge. Our strength is found in Him, through Him, and because of Him.
If we are constantly seeking more, we can never really feel grateful for what we have.
For the next 10 days, your homework is the following: prepare your heart, organize your closet, and make any necessarypurchases that you might need during these months. (This is not a last minute shopping spree! This is one final trip to the store for items you will need, and the opportunity for you to say your goodbyes to Target.)
Choose 1-3 inspiring books to read during this time. I would recommend any of the following: Present over Perfect, Seven, Made to Crave (great for those with fitness goals too) The Total Money Makeover and The Magnolia Story(Feel free to leave additional recommendations in the comments!)
Gifts are okay! If someone gives you a new dress or piece of decor during that time, receive it graciously! If you need to buy someone else a gift, by all means, do so. The point is not to be rude, but to learn more of ourselves and the Lord.