When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. Isaiah 43:2

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Make it Do or Do Without..."

I read this quote today over at Large Family Mothering, and it was such a good reminder (and her post about dishwashers was pretty funny too!)

Lately, I find myself searching the internet for replacements, improvements, and just plain new stuff. This has included agonizing over baby room decor and furnishings for my registry, new maternity clothes (that I will only be able to wear for three more months), flooring (to tile, to laminate, to re-carpet...), fancy egg cartons and baskets (for the eggs we give away), and a new bigger rectangular dining table with seven chairs.

But hello! We have ENOUGH STUFF for twelve families! And just because we currently utilize a folding craft table for our meals does not in any way degrade the quality of the meals or the time we spend there as a family. The kids wouldn't know the difference if we had an $1100 Cost Plus Dining Set.

The maternity clothes I have will be just fine for a few more months and then I can focus on getting back into the ones in crates in the attic.

The baby won't know if she had brand new beautiful furnishings and decor or if it's the same stuff the boys used! And who am I doing all this decorating for anyway? For ME! That's who! And that's a little silly. I plan to start making and sewing the bedding for her room next week from the bazillions of yards of fabric I have stored away.

The new flooring will get dirty just like the old flooring. And the pets and kids will likely do some kind of irreparable harm to it just like they have our carpet (lately, I find myself wondering why oh why the carpet is so sticky in the kids' bathroom (I suspect toothpaste)--and why oh why did the builder put carpet IN THE BATHROOM???) But seriously, will I always fear that my kids will harm the new beautiful floors and be unable to enjoy them or the kids? Right now, the kids can't really make it worse, so I don't worry! :) That's a plus.

And the eggs...do I really need a neat $20 (plus tax and shipping) egg basket to retrieve the eggs and take them all 20 feet to the kitchen? Sure the plastic coated metal wire baskets will probably mean fewer drops, cracks, and delivery debacles, but we can just be a little more careful (well, Wyatt can...he's the egg collector in the family--thus the many debacles.) The new basket will not make him any more careful.

Ah, but the new table, surely a new table will make the whole kitchen so much nicer and more pleasant. The kids won't be able to move it as easily with the slightest kick if it is nice solid wood, but I think it is not going to help me with the dishes or meal preparation...and it certainly won't be self-cleaning.

And the things that have lasting value, raising our children, improving our relationship with God, nurturing and strengthening relationships with family and friends, are FREE! :) Me thinks me needs to keep a Godly outlook and realize that new-fangled stuff is not going to make any lasting difference in this life. The legacy of Godly children, a husband who feels loved and respected (and not financially strapped) by his wife, and a personal relationship with God that grows deeper daily...this is the stuff that will not rot or rust...or be covered in toothpaste within a week.

But you see how I am a little torn in two by my love of earthly stuff and my desire to walk as God would have me walk--giving up all "our" belongings to Him and being satisfied with His provision, which is plentiful...

I'm working on it Lord!


Lynette said...

Thanks for sharing this Tara, I needed to hear it and your house is beautifully decorated. You do a great job!

brooke said...

I struggle struggle struggle with the same issues. I love stuff. I especially love new stuff. But lately I've been kind of disgusted when I look in my kids' closets and realize they have too much stuff and it is wasteful. I hate waste.

And you are right--now that we have new floors, I'm a maniac if I even hear a chair screeching across or a kid comes in with wet feet. With my old tile, I couldn't have cared less. Is it worth it?--sometimes I wonder...

Grammie said...

You are an amazing woman, mother, AND decorator! I don't know how you find time to write - so well and so prolific! :) Grammie

Rossie said...

I just started reading a fabulous book called Amish Peace all about simplicity and making do...I love it!! Miss you and love you!

Rhondasue said...

You said it right Tara. I have been saying this so much lately. "let's just get rid of the stuff". With all the stuff comes responsibility and sometimes a heavy burden. It feels good to simplify.