The husband and I are pretty committed to living a simple life. We live in a sweet tiny house just over 1100 square feet, we drive used cars and most of the clothes my children wear are hand me downs. We talk about being satisfied with the things that we have. We also make sure to give our tithe and spend time talking honestly and often about what giving generously looks like. BUT, sometimes we ball out.
|super fancy baller brunch|
We love to travel. Although children have changed that reality for us, we hope travel will always be somewhat a part of our lives. When we travel, we like to ball out. We also love us a fancy restaurant occasionally. We have some baller gadgets including a fancy tv, I have my fancy Iphone 4, and we are going to upgrade our Ipad to an ‘Air’ next Friday. And here’s the thing…
As I have told some of you, right after I had John Paul, I was VERY overwhelmed with life. I was recovering from the c-section and in a bit of pain. Three kids in diapers and hormones were not working for me. Thankfully, that feeling of, ‘omg, I am going to drown in a life of diapers and crying’ went away after a couple weeks and we are doing really well now. BUT, whilst in the crisis, Aaron tried to make me smile by getting me the best gift ever. A two hour deep clean of our house by two people. He saw a coupon for it and bought it to surprise me. We cashed in on it a few weeks ago.
It was awesome. You see, I am a ‘surface keep house clean-er’. BUT, I am not good at the other stuff. You know, the washing of the walls, the scrubbing of the floors, the pulling down of the cobwebs way up high in the ceiling lamps. I’m not good at the time-consuming stuff, and with three kids, it’s just hard to get good at it, you know? So these cleaning angels come into our home, and two hours later it was like I was living in a different place. At first it didn’t seem like they did a lot, but then I saw the shine, and the sparkles and the cabinets that had NEVER BEEN SCRUBBED and I was moved almost to the point of tears (kidding- kind of, okay, not at all). BUT then, the husband said the most miraculous thing…he said, ‘you know, if you want to do this once every other month, I can make room for it in our budget’.
At first, I said, ‘no- that would be silly, that’s what I am home for now’. Then I said, ‘well, it could be cool’. Then I said, ‘let’s do it’. And then I said, ‘can we do it once a month instead?’. However, after a couple days, I got to wondering at what point is excess sinful.
You see, I can get my house clean every other month (and I still might), but that is $150 we would be spending on something completely unnecessary. $150 that could go to those in need. $150 doing something I could easily do. And then, I began to think of something I have struggled with before.
I talked to the ol’ ministry partner (he likes when I refer to him as such) Mike. He reminded me that decisions such as where to spend money (after the 10% tithe and extra giving) really are a matter of conscience. He said it is a conversation, one that happens between you and God. Then, he said the worst thing ever… “I know you are looking for a black and white answer, but with stuff like this, it is a little gray, and you have to pray about where God wants you to put your money”.
I HATE things that aren’t black and white. It makes life complicated. SO, help me out…
TALK TO ME.
Assuming required giving is already taken care of and over and above…
How do YOU decide what luxuries to afford yourself? This can be as simple as new clothes, or getting your nail did, buying a fancy car instead of a used one, etc… How do we reconcile ‘treating’ ourselves to things, when we know that there are those in the world that would give.anything just to live in our lives of comfort? How do you pray through ‘treating’ yourself, or your kids, to things that aren’t by any means needs (and lets not lie, most of our ‘needs’ are very much taken care of, so we all have area of excess)? At what point is living with ‘baller’ choices sinful? This isn’t a political question …TRUST THAT. This is a personal question (which in my opinion is MUCH more important and not talked about nearly as much). How have you discerned this in your own lives? What conclusions have you come to?
Hook a sister up!
Thanks, once again for talkin’ to me on Tuesdays.