Saturday, February 21, 2009

What Not To Spend

I kicked off my lazy Saturday afternoon nap today by watching cable TV. There's no better way to waste time and slip into slumber by watching pointless, yet addictive, shows about dressing nice and decorating.

The first show that stopped my channel surfing was 'What Not To Wear.' I'm not a faithful follower but have seen several episodes. Today Stacy and Clinton helped a cute 30-something mom of five find something appropriate to wear to her kids' sporting games and out on the town. A victim of trying to cram her body into something too small and skanky, the hosts gave her several tips about layering and knee-length hem lines that took her on a shopping spree. She entered a store, found three items, went to the register and paid the over-$900 bill with a credit card provided by the producers. The show transitioned to Stacy and Clinton watching the mom outside of the store tear up during an interview about spending that much money on only three items. The hosts then reckoned "Yeah, that must seem like a lot of money to a mom of five who watches every penny, but you have to realize that you deserve to spend that kind of money on clothes that make you look great."

Stacy and Clinton's reasoning sent me back to channel surfing that landed me on an HGTV show about redecorating one room in your house on a budget. A fantastic team of designers gave a woman her dream bedroom through redecorating from floor to ceiling. The walls were painted a beautiful peacock blue and accented by black & white and gold extras. Everything from new chairs, pillows, bedding, vases, rugs, tables, mirrors, window treatments made the room look like an old-Hollywood palace. It was beautiful and came in $1 under budget at $999! It looked just like what the woman had always dreamed.

In what's being called the worst economy since Great Depression, I watch these shows and have even more of an understanding of what got us here. There's a lot of talk about lenders and buyers, federal bailouts, stimulus movements and more. And while that might contribute to understanding some of the problem's roots and what can help - there's another layer to this whole thing.

There's a lie going around that we deserve the best. Whether it's our bodies, bedrooms, cars, vacations or houses, the notion that we are glorious enough to spend that kind of money on temporary things for ourselves has taken our minds totally off of the creator and to the created. Call me a conservative Midwestern gal who considers $1000 to be a lot of money, but in times like these, $1000 is a lot of money. And it will always be. Especially when compared to the amout of people it could feed verses the amount of high-end clothes it could buy.

More money and things won't solve our economy's problem. But a check on our pride and self glorification will. We're told to not store up our treasures on Earth, but to store up treasures for heaven. That doesn't mean we never have nice things or that we never spend signifigant amounts of money. But it does mean that we should spend wisely and humbly on things that will last. It means we don't buy our happiness or our status. We're all tempted to not only spend funds (or wish we could spend funds) the way the two shows recommended today. But in the end the clothes will tear and peacock blue will eventually go out of style. What will remain is humility we practice and the treasures we store up in heaven. Those will forever be the best bailout and stimulis options this life has to offer.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Man oh Man

Last weekend Mike & I took a little road trip to Lincoln to visit my family and get away. Part of the weekend was attending their Sunday church service which was fun and very different from our church planting routine. The sermon was about womens' and mens' roles, both at home and in the church.

I could take off and blog about topics in several directions from here - but one of the points that stuck the most was the theology behind God making man and woman. He said at the end of the day, the way a husband treats a wife should reflect how much Jesus loves us. And the way a wife treats a husband is how we as people should respond to the church.

Mike definitely took this to heart as he blew me away yesterday. He took off work in the morning to go to my surgeon appointment with me, and remembered my 'surgeryversary,' a fun holiday he has made up in rememberance of my big surgery. We went about our days, but yesterday was fun because he got to come home after school and not coach. I was getting home later than usual, so with his spare time, Mike made us dinner. I went off to a meeting after that, but when I got home I walked in to a dozen roses in our dining room and some cookies, since before I left earlier in the evening I was on a cookie hunt. I was blown away. His surprises rock.

I definitely feel the love of Christ through Mike. If his actions toward me are only a fragment of how much God loves us, and what Heaven is going to be like - I can't wait. I am so greatful for his servant's heart and his thoughtfulness. I know that marriage can be rough and have tough places along the way, but I'm learning early on that the secret to that is knowing who God created us to be is having an audience of One. When our focus is not being the best friend or spouse, or getting our own needs met, but being the man or woman God called us to be, life is good and Heaven seems even better.