what can you do with a day

I spent this past weekend doing everything not on my to-do list. This means I didn't get the laundry washed, dried, folded, and put away. I also didn't sweep all the wood floors or dust our windows. And I didn't spend hours writing or reading. Instead, I slept in on Saturday morning and pampered myself with a hair cut and color. I relaxed with my husband that afternoon, and then spent the evening with my sister-in-law and her husband, watching our dogs chase each other around their backyard. We ate homemade venison chili and roasted marshmellows in their firepit. My husband and I went to bed early Saturday night and slept in on Sunday morning. We took our time getting ready for church and then spent a relaxing afternoon at his parent's house before a shopping trip to Target.

It's been a long time since we went to Target together. In the past, when our finances were more insecure than secure, we did our best to stay away from luxuries like shopping trips to Target. Even now, with things slowly working themselves out, we struggle with remembering that sometimes it is okay to purchase a new lamp or a candle.

I'm a self-professed shop-a-holic. If I stay away from stores, it's easier because I don't feel the need to shop or spend money, but lately, I've re-acquainted myself with Internet shopping. So far, I have yet to make any real purchases, but I know that clicking through the pretty clothes and shoes is dangerous. Just as even glancing at the real estate listings on Craigslist is dangerous.

I have enough self-restraint to not shop. I also have enough self-restraint and awareness to understand that purchasing a new home is not going to happen now or anytime soon. It's not the purchasing I am worried about; it's the wanting.

My flesh weighs heavy on me, especially when it comes to wanting things. It's always been a struggle for me - this need to shop and to have the next thing. My younger self used shopping as therapy. It was a wonderful way to recover from a bad day, but I've found that shopping as therapy never fixes anything. It only leads to owning more than I need, which eventually leads to stress as I try to figure out what to donate, what to throw away, and what to keep as well as where to store the items I keep.

Yesterday, I didn't need anything we purchased. It was helpful to get new lamps for our bedroom since our dogs knocked our original bedroom lamp over and broke it, along with a vase, on Saturday morning. I didn't need to purchase the pumpkin pie candle or the nail polish. I recognize that. And I also recognize that I am done with shopping for non-necessities for this month. Completely done.

And so, my flesh hangs heavy on me. This is not who I want to be, this person who compares myself and my life and my things to other people and their lives and their things. Life is not a competition, even though I often live it like it is.

I made a decision yesterday that for the month of October I would not look at real estate listings. It's not good for my mind or my soul when I do. Instead, I am going to focus on loving our house and making a list of the improvement projects we will eventually get to. I need a goal to work towards and that goal should (and will) be improving our house - not purchasing a new home.

It's hard to feel positive about much right now. There is so much good, yes, but today my flesh hangs heavy on me. And this morning, I rolled my right ankle on my way out to my car. I sat on the damp grass, my lunch and purse spilling out around me, my coffee thankfully not spilled but sitting in it's mug on the sidewalk. I prayed that I would be okay, and after a few minutes, I stood up. I limped to the car and tossed my belongings into the passenger seat, and then I limped back inside to find a brace for my ankle. The pain was there but tolerable.

I'm at work now. I've spent the majority of the day without shoes on, my ankle propped on a cardboard box sitting on a chair. I've iced it some and limped around the office when needed. It hurts; it's swollen, but so far no bruising. I am just praying it's a sprain and that I'll be healed.

So as I take it easy on wanting things, on searching the Internet and on shopping, I am also taking it easy on my body. There won't be much cleaning of the house this afternoon. There will be no lunchtime workout. There will just be rest and icing and elevation.

The last time I hurt myself was months before I left for China. I tripped and fell over an oversized stuffed duck. There were four broken bones in my right foot, and I was in a walking boot for over six-weeks. I'm praying there will never be another break like that, but I do know that during that time I learned to lean on others for support and spent more time with Jesus than I had in the past.

I know this injury will be used. It might be the catalyst to make me slow down in my daily life and to cease my pridefulness in wanting things done a certain way. Or it just might be a chance for me to further learn about and see how God can heal our brokenness. I'm just praying for a quick recovery, for no further injuries, and for patience on my part.

(title from "closer to me" by dar williams)


  1. Just stopped by from Mingle Monday. Sounds like you have had an eventful morning. Hope you have a speedy recovery with that ankle!

  2. Hi from life of meg. Love your blog :)


  3. I've stopped over from mingle monday. Great post. I am a shapaholic too so I can relate.

  4. Hi, I just stopped by from Mingle Monday. I'm following now. I can relate to a lot of what you wrote.

    I hope your ankle gets better soon!

    Can't wait to read more, check me out at http://thejuicilife.blogspot.com



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