Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Free As A Bird

I'm not sure I've made our plans known to you as of yet, but we're putting our house on the market (again) so that we can move into a house with a smaller mortgage.  Our hope is that we will be able to use the money that God has given us to do two things: pay off debts and have money at the ready to give away to others.  Our plan is as simple as that - not lofty, but still a way to honor God with the possessions that he has given us.  

(And if it sounds as if these decisions were easy for me to make, I suggest that you head back to my archives about a year ago and see how much I fought God regarding these choices.  I'm entirely too stubborn for my own good, but God is way more stubborn/stronger than me.  He's softened my heart to see the goodness of this plan.)

Knowing that we would like to get the house on the market in March, I took some time this weekend to clean out the kitchen drawers, giving away items that we no longer use, throwing away older items that should have been tossed before moving into our home in the first place and straightening things in general.

I was doing well until I opened the pantry.  It dawned on me how much God has given to us.  Look at this pantry...  every shelf is filled all the way to the back!  

That got me thinking about all the other places that we have food or items that are pure fun...

A few of these bottles were gifts, but for the most part, we purchased them.  For our amusement.  Whenever we feel like having a drink.  And to avoid dusting, as you can tell from the picture.  (Hey!  I'm short.  If you can see it, I'll just hand you a rag and you can dust it.)

This freezer is in our garage.  It is so packed with meats, vegetables and cheeses that I have no need to purchase anything for months.  MONTHS!  How insane is that?

Our fridge doesn't have much space in it either.  And most of what you see in there are extras, like ice cream, cookies and after school snacks like yogurts and fruits.
I didn't even take a picture of the snack cabinet that has peanuts, crackers, fruit snacks and the such.  And I avoided the spice cabinet and the ones above the stove that has all the oils, teas and hot chocolate mixes.

I have to tell you:  Alone in my kitchen, I wept from embarrassment and shame for the ludicrous amount of food in one place for one family.  It dawned on me how incredible blessed we are financially (even though we're considered on the low end of middle class) and how pathetically selfish we have been with what we have been given.  We are spoiled beyond belief!  There really is no need for a family of four to have this much food - no reason at all, especially a family living in America where there is food everywhere.  It makes me think that I have my stomach set as a more important thing than the welfare of others or trusting in God to provide what we will need.  And if the truth be known, it's really starting to show on me.  My tummy is becoming a visual representation of where I'm putting my trust.

I think that God is challenging me to really understand these verses from Matthew 6:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (19-21)

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (25-27)

Suddenly my desire to have a full array of choice dining options is tainting my thoughts about food.  Already my portions have gotten smaller, and my heart is lighter, knowing that I am in the position to help others in need.  And I really am enjoying the idea of being worry-free.

I truly believe that this "fever" to make a change in our dependence on the idea of having a lot of  food is God-given. I have high hopes that it's something from which I will never be cured.

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