***I wrote this 5 years ago but am so glad I found it today- it has spoken to me so much during this time of excess and consumption! Praying it speaks to you too and we all let simple be enough this Christmas.
Growing up, we always had a real Christmas tree; I remember how fun it was to go pick one out, get it home and drag it into the house. I also remember stepping on small, dried-up pine needles for months after Christmas- just out of reach of a vacuum but not of a foot in our blush-colored carpet.
Other than the lingering needles, I loved the way the tree would smell throughout the house, and I am taken back to my childhood anytime I smell a pine-scent, especially Thymes Frasier Fir.
This year decided I wanted our home to be more spruced up to smell like my Christmas past, so I gave myself a budget and headed to a local store stocked with anything and everything Frasier Fir. I picked out what I wanted, added it all in my head and with my coupon thought I was right on target for my budget but, was $20 over my budget.
Hmmm…what to do but go on and just get it all, I mean it was only $20 over and my budget just wasn’t enough.
I drove straight home and within minutes, I was back at my childhood home. The smell was amazing, especially in my foyer where I had placed the oil diffuser, but it wasn’t enough to just have one room smelling so good I mean, how fair is that to my family room!? It needed it to smell like a giant Christmas tree, too, without me having to light a candle so I headed back to the store and bought another diffuser because one wasn’t enough.
Now I was way over budget but, oh well, tis the season to overspend and do most everything to excess, right?
Except I kept thinking of how nothing was enough. My budget wasn’t enough, only having one room constantly smell of Christmas wasn’t enough, and one diffuser wasn’t enough, so I kept going and kept searching to “fill” enough. Trust me, my house smells AMAZING and I’m so grateful, but it has me really questioning enough.
When is enough enough?
My to-do list, grocery list and Christmas gift lists all seem endless and overwhelming. When is it time to stop and put the brakes on the spending, doing and stuff? What can the Lord teach me about my heart in the overdoing, overspending and excess? How can I combat this and let God guide me and the Holy Spirit direct me on our insatiable desire for more? Why do I keep going, searching for enough when what I have is exactly what I need and very much enough? How often in life do I want more or different when I could be completely satisfied with what I have?
Is it a sin for my house to smell heavily of Fraser fir? NO. Is it a sin if I’m spending a ton of money that I don’t need to be spending to “fill” my enough? Probably. Am I making the smell and look of my home an idol or is it just my heart needing more?
Isaiah 41:29 says our “idols are as empty as the wind”; Psalm 51:10 begs God to “create in me a clean heart.” Maybe the better question and prayer is this one.
I think of our Christmas trees in this day and age- it wasn’t enough just to have a simple tree we had to add lights and then upon lights we added ornaments and then the ornaments weren’t enough, so we added wire and ribbon and all these things onto the trees more, more and more until we don’t even see the tree. Is it beautiful-yes, they are almost always beautiful, but why have we made everything so complicated?
Why is simple not enough?
Maybe I’m wrong but could this desire deep within each of us for more just be our deep need and desire for Heaven? Of this place not being enough? Of us never being content with what we have but adding more, doing more, spending more, etc.…? Or is it a reflection of the condition of our hearts? Or all the above?
Agh. It all just exhausts me, does it you, too?? So enough with my (many!) questions.
I wanted ways to help myself when I’m faced with more, more, more or enough is enough, so I came up with a few things to ask myself:
1. How’s my heart? Am I in-tune with the Holy Spirit? Does this honor or dishonor the Lord?
2. Am I spending more than I need to, going over budgets and boundaries I’ve already put into place? Am I being a good steward of what I have?
3. Am I coveting something others have?
Oh, my goodness friends– I interrupt this blog post to let you know who just rang the doorbell–UPS. With a package from Zappos with 3 red shirts in it. Yup. Three. I couldn’t decide so I ordered all three. (I’m just really wanting a red shirt for my husband’s family Christmas Eve Party and I have several “Razorback” red shirts but no “holiday” red shirt —I know, I know, I am my own worst enemy!
I mean, this package has just arrived at the perfect time, hasn’t it? Cause here I am searching and preaching on enough being enough…. goodness.
I tried on all three shirts and while I really liked one of them, I couldn’t find pants that looked right with it. So, after trying the shirt on twice, I prayed and asked myself a few questions like the ones above:
Do I really need this? Can’t I just wear one of my “holiday” green shirts? Can’t I be content with what I already have? Do I really need to spend this extra money right now? No. Yes. Yes. No.
I packed up all three shirts because I didn’t need any of them, I just wanted something new. I can wear something I already own, and it will be great.
I realize some might think I might be crazy for thinking so much about consumption or purchases, but I truly desire for simple. For what the Lord wants me to have. For my heart to be content with just one room smelling like Frasier Fur.
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
When Paul wrote Philippians 4:13, my life verse, he was in prison. Yet he was content. Here I am in a castle (not really but compared to prison) delightfully breathing in Frasier Fir in every main room and staring at a closet bursting with clothes that hardly get worn and I keep wanting more or different.
Excess. Consumption. Never being full or filled so keeping on and going and doing and spending. Never stopping to rest or ask the Lord about this next purchase or activity I’m signing up for. Never leaving room for margin in my calendar, check book or closet for the Lord to work– yes, He works and moves in closets, check books and calendars because once we give Him the opportunity and give Him our lives and decisions, He moves in ways we cannot comprehend.
So, I guess it boils down, as it always does, to the condition of our hearts and contentment where they are. When my heart is one with Christ, no matter what, contentment can be found. As Paul seemed to have mastered this, so can we with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Lord- Help us to be satisfied in You and You alone. To let you guide us this Christmas season and have discernment to the Holy Spirit’s leading to stop and let enough be enough. You are the Cup that overflows and never funs dry. Help us to be content no matter our circumstances or situations. In Your Name I pray, Amen.