I am reading a good book right now, "Living Well, Spending Less, 12 Secrets of the Good Life byRuth Soukup. At the beginning of the book is the reminder that, "the state of our finances usually mirrors the rest of our lives." What we spend our money on penetrates into every area of our lives and is often a realtiy check of what we feel is most important. It is the author reiterates, "a direct reflection of what is in our hearts."
The Bible tells us in Matthew 1:19-21 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But stir up for yourselves treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." What do you treasure? If you looked at your bank statement today what would it tell you about your life?
A few weeks ago on Facebook I asked the question if you were to ask your children or your grandchildren what they feel is most important to you what would they say? I don't remember getting many responses, but I did have a young friend send me a private message and she did ask her 10 year-old the question: "what do you feel is most important to Mommy? Her response, "your friends." OUCH! This little girl heard her mom talking on the phone all the time to friends, going out at night with her girl friends and she realized although "mommy time" was important she was neglecting to spend the time she needed to with her daughter. It opened her eyes and she realized these years are fleeting and she needed to prioritize her life.
The world tells us that "Stuff" is important. The media, magazines, Pinterest, etc. tell us that we need to have the perfect furniture for our perfect homes, we need to drive the right cars, we need the labels on our clothing and so the "stuff" it keeps coming in and cluttering up our homes and emptying our wallets. We hear that a friend has taken a vacation and gone to Europe and even though we might be happy for them underneath a little green monster is saying, "you need a vacation in Europe too."
The "wants" are not only related to material things...we see the magazine ads that say if we buy this makeup the fine lines will become invisible, if we drink this concotion for breakfast and dinner we will lose 10 lbs in 10 days, if we wrap our bodies we will lose inches and it goes on and on. All of us see it everywhere and often we are guilty of believing that all this "stuff" will make our lives better. I once had a friend who bought every bottle she could find at CVS of body lotion for firming up her skin. Her skin didn't get any firmer but her wallet sure got thinner.
For five years I was consumed by an eating disorder that almost killed me. I kept thinking there would be a magic number and once I reached it I would feel so much better aboout my life and about myself. The numbers on the scale kept dropping...the lowest number I saw was 78 pounds at the age of 37, but I didn't feel better about my life or myself. The excess starvation almost destroyed the life I was trying to make better.
Last night at Bible Study it was my turn to share my testimony. Some of the women in my group have walked with Jesus all of their lives and their testimonies were sweet and packaged very nicely. My testimony is messy...my growing up years were messy and for a long time the pain in my life was what defined me. From the age of 5 I believed in God...I attended Catholic school and recited rote prayers and read the catechism and went to Mass, but I did not have a personal relationship with God. I feared God more than I loved Him.
In 1993 a sweet friend told me about her Jesus...he was very different from the Jesus I had grown up believing in. Her Jesus offered grace, unconditional love and the gift of eternal life if I asked Him into my heart. On a cold Saturday afternoon I sat in a restaurant and gave my life to Jesus. As I began to surrender my life to Him and to read His Word I began to understand who I really was. I am the daughter of an amazing God who doesn't care about the number on the scale, what I drive, or if my clothing has labels. He sees me just as I am wholly acceptable in His sight.
As I sat last night and shared my messy story I was once again reminded that my life is good not because of what I have or how I look...it is rich because I have faith in God, family, friends, and talents and gifts He has blessed me with. I pray I will spend the rest of my days storing up treasures in heaven and secure in the knowledge that in Christ I am enough.