Monday, August 15, 2011


Yesterday I needed a break from my boys (yes, it happens once in awhile!), so while Joel was in charge of things on the homefront, I got to do whatever I wanted. Wanting to do something I haven't done in awhile, I decided to go shopping at the nearby Heartland Town Centre where you can find just about any store you want. I hadn't been since sometime before the boys were born. I started walking from store to store, browsing the aisles of clothes, shoes and fashion accessories. But while I was enjoying the time outside of my home, I quickly became uncomfortable. I've been thinking a lot lately about the kind of life I want to live, the kind of life we want to live as a family. Simplicity is a big part of that. It's something I'm not good at. I fail all the time, but I really want to practice going against the cultural norm of accumulating more "stuff". I started to see slogans like "must haves for the fall", "because you deserve it" etc. Such lies.

How in the world, with a closet and drawers FULL of clothes, did I end up looking for more? Why has shopping become a hobby, something to do just for fun, not because we need something... and I use the word "need" very loosely as few things are necessities. I don't need any more stuff. Really, I don't. I don't need that shirt just because it's on sale (my weakness) or because I don't have one in that exact colour. I don't need those boots because they are the latest trend. And yet, I came home with a new shirt. It wasn't expensive but I don't need it. The excuse in my head was that the store supports the company Joel works for. Pathetic, I know. The truth is, it was $16 I could have given away to help someone in need. If a hungry child was put in front of me as well as the shirt I would have chosen to feed the child. I don't think it's wrong to have nice things, but if I do, I want to make sure I'm giving a heck of a lot of money away. We are wealthy. No, not middle class. Wealthy! The majority of people reading this are among the wealthiest in the world, having FAR more than most around the globe. But we feel entitled. I know I do. It's a constant struggle and the tension we live in. I'm trying to figure out how to do it well. How do I enjoy a nice dinner out with my husband, when they money we spend could probably feed hundreds? I think there's a way to do it, without feeling guilty about every dollar I spend, but also thinking beyond the norms of our culture and giving generously.

If you are someone who values simplicity and generosity, or at least wants to, what are some ways you're working towards it? Ideas always welcome! :)


cheryl said...

huli - you are such a thoughtful person and a great writer! interesting thing is - this is the the second time this topic of our wealth has come to my me through blogland today. hmmm. i think we're on the same page with the tug of living simply in a not so simple world. not always easy to do. definitely feeling thankful for a home to live in and food to eat today, and thinking about how and what i can give so that others will have the same.

Tish said...

Right there with you. We love going to the mall, to look. We try to be intentional about not buying anything while we are there to show our children that they are able to that as well. Saying that it still isn't easy. We've opted to limit our children's toys and clothes, but yet we all still have so much! And it is especially difficult when other children they know with are especially indulged. Good for you for at least being aware of it. That is more than the majority of our society.