Saturday, January 1, 2011

Last Day or First Day?

Merry Christmas!  Or rather, Happy New Year!!!  Today marks the end (or is it just the beginning? *wink*) of our 2010 New Years Resolution. WE MADE IT!!!!

I can't believe that an entire year has passed since this crazy idea spawned in my thoughts. It has been such a cool experience!

Over our Christmas holiday we visited family in Arizona. One individual was so interested in our resolution! He couldn't figure out what we would do if we had to buy new shoes during the year! It was kind of funny... but only because it made us realize that, in some respects, social class or upbringing can really frame your opinion of this endeavor! My husband and I come from two different backgrounds in this respect... and that has always been fun and interesting. Anyway, this individual made the point that shoes are a matter of health and need to be appropriate for your foot. Thats true. But I don't generally go through more than one pair of shoes in a year! Or even a couple years! I suppose if your particular feet required specialized shoes that would be considered consumable...

A number of things struck us during this experiment, some of which I'll list here.

1. Okay, how wealthy is our country??? We have SOOOO much stuff that we have to rent mini houses to STORE all of our stuff? I don't know about your city, but we have a Derrel's mini storage on nearly every corner! There may be even more of them than Starbucks!  Anyway, not only do we have so much stuff that we have to store it.... BUT we have so much stuff that we can sell it a SECOND time! Its not enough to sell our stuff once... we sell it multiple times: yard sales, thrift stores, consignments stores.  My friends in various countries around the world would fall over with a heart attack if they knew how much stuff we have!

2. Letting God meet our needs was so cool! It was interesting to see what things He thought we needed. It was also a blessing to see Him give gifts... things that we secretly wanted... that He would provide in some form or another. It just reminded us how much He is our Father... and not just a distant, cold, unconcerned Master. Rather, He shows Himself a personable, relational, loving Dad who loves to give good things to His children. What a warm truth to rest in! Clarification: we also definitely believe God distributes money and uses that, in many respects, as a way of meeting our needs! It was just neat to see Him do it in His time and His way as opposed to us just running to walmart to meet our own needs.

3. We met so many cool people! Conversations occurred that never would have if we'd just gone our own private way. We also discovered many gems of thrift stores in town. My favorite, of course, is Neighborhood Thrift on Palm/Olive. Not only do they run a really great operation, but they seriously work to serve the community and make things available to lower income families... both through job opportunities and affordable items. LOVE the mission behind that store.

4. Our kids, each at such crucial ages, picked up such valuable insights throughout the year. We had an amazing Christmas (a future post) even though many of their gifts (the ones from us) were "second hand." (You'd be surprised at how many gifts I found for them brand new in boxes but at thrift stores! That was always exciting.

So many other things learned and experienced that we are still processing and will share as we formulate their significance in our lives.

Will we do it again this year? Yes and no. It won't be a formal "New Years Resolution" but we will definitely continue to buy as little as we can new. Why not? We gleaned such wonderful things! On the other hand, I won't feel guilty for buying something new if I just can't find it used! (Like a snow sled, which may end up being my first purchase! :) Regardless, we hope that as you've journeyed this with us, that you have been inspired in some form to consider "things" for what they are, the great wealth of our nation, and the ways that we can help to conserve and give back!


Monica said...

I think that´s awesome Marcy. You´ve certainly inspired ME to think a lot about this. I don´t think in Ecuador this could really be done, but a friend threw a party where we had to take clothes we didn´t use. All of us girls laid the clothes down and then picked what was useful to us. How fun it was! And we felt we had shopped! So this is cool. Blessings!!!

heather said...

I enjoyed reading your update and you really make me think.... Thanks for sharing.