Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Life Clutter

Recently I’ve begun to have my eyes opened to the extreme poverty that exists in our world. I’ve been seeing images of entire families who live in a “house” smaller than my living room. They have no television, no phones, and their beds are often mats on the floor or hammocks only hung at night. It made me think about the luxuries in my life and what it is (or might be) like to live without them.

A few months ago, I discontinued my cable service. Now we get about 2 channels, and we really only watch one of those occasionally. Do we miss having cable and paying for over 200 channels that we rarely watched? Nope. That’s $65 going toward paying off my credit card debt!

I had a mowing service do my lawn for a while. And yeah…it was really NICE to come home and have the yard freshly mowed and trimmed. And it’s a huge pain in the butt to do it ourselves, but I’m saving nearly $70 a month. Half of that is going to my new Compassion child; the other half…to that awful old credit card debt.

In the age of cell phones, for the longest time I fought myself back and forth about having a land line in addition to the cell phone service. The biggest thing I was always told is that in an emergency, EMS can’t track cell phones. But at a minimum of $40 a month (almost ½ of the bill was “fees”), I decided it’s a risk I’m willing to take. I bet you can’t guess where that $40 is going. (haha)

There are other things I could (and will) “do without” as well. My gym membership will expire next March, and I’m not renewing. There’s a whole big, natural world out there to exercise in for free!

What about eating out/ordering take-out? More than once a week is too much!

Lattes? Sodas? Candy and snacks? Health-wise I should cut them anyway!

Now I’m not saying that life should be completely devoid of fun or treats. I believe that I’ve been blessed and that I am supposed to enjoy those blessings. But I also believe that a part of enjoying the blessings is sharing with others who are less fortunate.

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.
But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop."
--Mother Teresa

Have you ever seen a child’s eyes light up at Christmas when they receive gifts they didn’t dare to dream about getting?

Have you experienced the beautiful smile of a homeless person to whom you’ve given money, shaken their hand, spoken to or simply acknowledged that they are a human being worthy of being noticed and loved?

What “life clutter” could you consider ridding yourself of, or at least cutting back on, in order to share your blessings with someone else?  You never know what will happen when you plant that little seed.


itsnotadiaryitsablog said...

I like this post. This is something that I have seen a lot of my friends ( and myself) doing- downsizing. Sad thing, a lot of the downsizing is not voluntary. I would love to cut out the cable bill, said with fox news blaring in the background. I did get rid of the yard guy, got a new one thAt is willing to do the same thing for 1/2 the price ( does thAt count?) it is so nice to see someone willing to "call" us to be accountable for helping others. Guessing that I'm not the only one who conveniently forgets things that We are called to do for others.

Doris said...

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Yes! Cutting the cost of something in 1/2 definitely counts in my opinion! It is tough to downsize, but I agree it sure is nice to do it voluntarily. And you certainly are not the only one who forgets...it's human nature I think to try to take care of our own first, and there's nothing wrong with that. But I have recently seen people in my own life get to a point where they could easily share some of their "wealth", and they simply don't - whether it's greed or fear, I don't know but either way it's sad.

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