Being Thankful Now… not after the next new thing

Sometimes it feels as though we’re living in the age of You-Need-Just-One-More-Thing.

*Your house is nice enough, but shouldn’t you add on a garage?
*Your purse is cute, but do you have it in red… blue… and yellow? Because everyone knows that you need a purse that adds just the right pop of color for the outfit you’re wearing.
*Your DVD player most definitely has to be upgraded to a Blu Ray.
*Your winter coat is fine with your dressy pants, but you really should have one to match your new pair of jeans. (Oh, and by the way, your shoes totally don’t go with that new pair of jeans, so you might want to pick up a pair of boots while you’re at it).

It’s a never-ending cycle of having what you need, but needing one thing more.

I was at the mall just this past weekend with these lovely ladies, when I realized just how easy it is to get pulled into the trap.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love clothes shopping, fashion, and makeup. You all know that! 🙂 (And I’m sure there will a clothing haul in the near future. Hint, hint). But I realized just how easily a quick trip to pick up a shirt on clearance could turn into a problem.

Sure, the dress in my hand (normally sold for $90 but on sale for $25) easily fit into my budget. I mean, at this price, I could probably throw in a cute sweater to wear with it, along with a new pair of shoes. But then I should probably add that gold bracelet, the stretchy belt with just the right touch of shimmer, and maybe a new pair of dangly earrings.

Wait… wait… wait!

As I stood in line with the dress in one hand and an assortment of shiny, shimmery goodies in the other, I realized that I had been caught in the you-just-need-more-thing-trap. I had let the beautiful packaging and dazzling displays blind me and whisper in my ear. Because while I didn’t need any one of these things, I found myself feeling frustrated that I didn’t have the money this time around to throw at such frivolous purchases.

And then I felt angry that I had let myself believe that somehow — in some way — my happiness was based on these items that could so easily be tarnished, crushed, and replaced.

I put back everything but the dress. It doesn’t require a belt; and I have jewelry and shoes that will do quite nicely. Oh, and no, I don’t want to sign up for a credit card, thank you very much!

And as I was paying, I thought of my grandparents who lived in the good ol’ days. I’m fairly certain they had one nice dress and pair of shoes for Sundays, weddings, and holidays. I thought back to all the old photographs of them smiling and looking happy.

They had something then that so many of us today are missing. They were thankful for what truly matters: a God who walked with them through the good and bad times, family to hold close, and friends to laugh with.

They didn’t need anything else.

They were happy (not just satisfied) with what they had, and it had absolutely everything to do with nothing that money can buy! They were truly grateful for their home-stitched clothes, a fireplace that helped to warm their drafty home, the truck that sometimes was too stubborn to start, and the simple — but filling — meal that was on their table each night. And it’s because they found joy in the hymns they sang each Sunday and in the families they greeted from their front porches.

Faith and family. Everything else was just… stuff.

Like I said, I do appreciate a cute outfit and a fun day of shopping with my mom and sister. But I don’t want that to ever be where my happiness comes from. And I don’t ever want myself to feel unhappy, wishing I had something I don’t need (or maybe already have) just because I don’t have it in the right color.

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Because I really do have everything I need, and so much more. 🙂
And for that, I am truly thankful!!


6 thoughts on “Being Thankful Now… not after the next new thing

  1. Amen to that, sistah! It’s so easy to get sucked into that trap of thinking we need one more thing. It’s the society we live in. More, more, more!

    When, really, it’s the simple things in life that bring us true happiness. Despite what my brain sometimes tells me, a pair of new leather knee high boots will never make me as deliciously happy as watching the sun rise over the ocean. I’m slowly learning to differentiate between what I think will make me happy and learning what truly makes me happy.

    Great post!! 😀

  2. Oyyyy. You speak the truth. I find myself very easily pulled into the NEEDING more things trap. This is a great reminder to keep it in check. Especially through the holidays which are supposed to be about God and being thankful and spent peacefully with family – not obsessing about one-upping someone else on gifts given or received or whatever.

  3. Yes, yes, YES! I feel the same way. It is difficult especially at this time of year. I don’t have much problem with what I buy myself, but I have a problem overspending on others. Our friends and family will love us the same whether we spend $10, $100, or more on them in gifts. It’s all about the heart, not what we have!

    1. Hmmm, that’s a very good point that I didn’t touch on! I do the same thing when I’m Christmas shopping… I always feel as though I need to buy just one thing more. It’s not about the expense or the amount of gifts under the tree! 🙂 Thanks for sharing that!

  4. I`m happy that I don`t get pulled into this trap too often. Avoiding shopping altogether helps, but if you enjoy shopping then I think it`s really tough not to crave something new.
    I also find that the more magazines I read and television I watch, the more susceptible I am to getting into this kind of mentality. It just goes to show that advertising can be very very effective.

  5. I don’t have a stuff problem but I am guilty of always wanting to DO more. I want to go somewhere or do something fun or fill my time with something meaningful. I pack my schedule because I never want to feel like I wasted time… but I need to learn that it’s okay to just relax and ENJOY that for what it is once in a while!

    By the way, you always look fabulous. And if you wore the same boots and jeans every day, it would take me a while to notice and even then I wouldn’t care. It’s you that’s so super cool, not the things you wear!

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