Today marks 2 weeks back in Texas.  Two weeks that have been surprisingly easy – both emotionally and physically.

Most of the first week we shopped until we dropped, buying all the essentials that every American must have to survive – a car, cell phones, food, and clothes appropriate for 100 degree heat.  In all honesty, I had my moments of frustration during these shopping sprees.  I couldn’t help but think that we didn’t need all these things (except the food of course).  I’ve just spent four months without a car.  If i needed groceries, I walked to the market and back.  If I needed to go farther, I took the public bus.  Here everything is still within walking distance and we have public buses as well.  So why do we really need a car?  Because it’s the American way – it’s all about convenience, ease, and comfort.  The quicker travel time frees us up to do other important things, like watch our favorite TV show.  The cool air conditioned ride keeps us from dehydrating during the 10 minutes that it would take us to walk to the nearest Albertson’s.  The comfy cushioned seats protects our fat butts and legs from the painful side effects of excercise we’d receive during that same walk to buy potato chips and coke.  Not to mention we’re saving thousands of dollars….oh, wait…we’re not…

Don’t get me wrong.  I love that I can live in a place where luxaries are affordable and really do make life simpler and easier.  But, I hate the materialism.  I loathe the fact that WE FEEL WE MUST have a car or nice cell phones, or a closet full of trendy clothes.  I know that there’s an even balance to this issue.  It’s not necessarily bad to have these things if you can afford it.  Much good can come from them if you are wise and prudent with what God has given to you, and don’t covet more and more.  I just feel guilty when we don’t really need these things and could put the money towards ministry or something of eternal value.

Other than that, my emotional readjustment has been fairly smooth.   I have my days where I’m sad for my return, and I still have many questions that I struggle with.  Yet, I cling to the promise that all is going to be okay…and I know it will.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jaybrams
    Aug 27, 2008 @ 19:54:07

    i like the new layout…

    i’m not sure if i like this post or not, though…

    enough of that.


  2. dionnajo
    Aug 28, 2008 @ 14:14:26

    I completely sympathize with the idea of convenience and ease. I mean, we have two cars. Honestly, we could get by with one, but that would mean that either we would have to get the girls up at the crack of dawn to get Jeremy to work or he would have to ride for two hours on a Dart bus and get home over an hour later than he does. So, definitely, ease and convenience matters some in America. But, we can do our part to do as little to make is materialistic. For one, shop at the “non-trendy” stores and pay less for clothes you feel comfortable in. Shop for bargains on food, clothes, necessities. Coupons are great! The biggest and hardest thing though…not giving in to the urges to buy those fun toys. That’s difficult and something Jeremy and I still are working on. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the hype and excitement of those “things you can’t live without”, but what it boils down to is how do you really want to spend your money? Jeremy and I decided a few months ago that there are so many more things in the world…like missions…that are more important than our ease and comfort. So, we made a plan and are trying our best to buckle down. We still fail every now and then, but we are getting better. It’s all about attitude and mindset. You have to have the heart to want to do it and the willpower to live without and downsize.


  3. lmparks
    Aug 28, 2008 @ 16:12:59

    It’s a hard issue; there’s really no right or wrong. The actual things are not the issue…it’s the hearts and motivations of the people behind the things. For example, If a car (or several cars) is absolutely necessary, then there is nothing wrong in that at all. Yet, if the car(s) that person purchases is way above their means then, in my opinion, it is unwise and wrong. I have friends who are very wealthy and have huge homes, luxury cars, and nice toys, but they also give generously to humanitarian and religious institutions. In no way are they selfish or greedy – they have been blessed with successful, high paying jobs…and in return they use their wealth in a God honoring matter. Their hearts and motivations are pure and full of Godly character.

    I know that my viewpoint is one result of returning to a blessed culture after living in a poverty-stricken country. It’s hard to go from living only on the basic necessities of life to living on whatever I want. I’ve got to find the right balance for myself…


  4. dionnajo
    Aug 29, 2008 @ 13:23:38

    I also believe that even if you can “afford” something, it does not necessarily mean you should get it. I think in most cases, that is just an excuse to be materialistic. I’m not saying it is right or wrong, just unwise (as you put it). The American way of living has taught us that it is okay to spend our hard earned money on bigger and better things, but it’s not really our money to spend in the first place. Everything we are given is from God. If you are not glorifying God in the way you are spending your money, then something should change.


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