Today I have been in what is for me a very unusual mood--somewhat restless, unsure what matter is bugging me. The day is dark and wet, and my mood is like a dark wet blanket. Why would that be? I should be in the happiest mood possible! Katie is coming home tonight from three months away at college, and Christmas is coming; that should be all the excitement I need, and yet the fact that I should be excited only seems to make my dark attitude all the more unnerving.
Tim and I came home from getting him some black dress shoes and a black tie for a concert in which I believe he may be playing the recorder (consider yourself warned, bring some cotton). We went from thrift shop to outlet store to discount store and finally found them. It frustrates me to buy them for one wearing when he may never need them again--but someone will be able to use them next year if he doesn't; I guess I'll sign it off to contributing to someone else's cause (sigh). Still, overall today should be a happy and cheery day.
I came home and put the heat on and the Christmas music on the cd player. Tim made me smile when time after time, he'd say, "I love that song!" and asked me at one time why we don't just play Christmas songs all year long. He takes after me, that's what it is. It blesses me, to know he has the same love I did as a kid. He came over, knowing my dark mood, and gave me a great big series of hugs. I always need hugs, and since Katie is my main hugger, I've been lacking for them all these months; Tim's usually less huggy and more bombarding, but he has definitely been discovering the art of the hug as well. He does so in a strong, solid way; he hasn't learned the gentle art of not breaking his mom in the process.
Normally I kind of like having the lights off, or at least I don't think of turning them on; Gary, the opposite, turns them all on when he comes home. I turned them on and that made the place a little cheerier.
Still the empty feeling remains and I'm a bit fidgety; I know that external sources of cheer are just that--external; the real issue is very much internal. Whatever is the matter...such a strange feeling. I'm glad this is unfamiliar for me. There are no doubt many who are well-familiar with such feelings, and I am thankful to usually be coasting along over them. It could be that those frowning faces in stores and on sidewalks are feeling this way inside.
The thing I'm thinking is that it is a "poor in spirit" kind of thing...maybe I'd be well-off to feel it much more often. Thinking on last night's conversation about belongings, feeling a little defensive but convicted this morning, I blogged about it in one vein, but the problem is not fixed. I am a rather reckless consumer perhaps--frugal in many ways, but the proof is in what we have here at home, and so I have to say somewhat reckless. Shopping for the shoes and tie, and the prospect of doing what remains of my Christmas shopping (I've hardly started, and the time is short) only made me think about it more.
I believe that at one point that was perhaps too brief, as a newer believer and more aware of people in missions ministries, I was more careful in what I bought, more aware of the needs of others elsewhere in the world; this care has apparently subsided, yielding to more selfish considerations. How did I let it happen? Well, the thing has happened and I must get back on track. I think the worst thing is that at one point I knew it, and since have fallen away from it--it would be better to gain some new obedience rather than have to regain lost ground. As far as it depends on me, I must not be reckless, I must take what I have and with it do God's will.
That was how last night's lesson at the Foundations study that our pastor did at our house seems to apply to my life--"Follow Me"--follow Christ, as He does God's will and not His own. In fact, it was what the pastor gently addressed with me...and I have to say, he lives it himself. There's no one who can call him materialistic, not from anything I've seen. I can't shrug it off and say, "Well, there's this about him...well, I remember this other thing..." No, it applies to me all the more visibly because I've seen it consistently applied to him. All the more effective his impact, all the more convicting the conversation. He lives on less than any pastor I've known, has a smaller house and an older car, and is content; I've never once heard him complain. To have more such examples! To have more people willing to address sin issues in such a way! That would be a potential for growth in the Church.
It's a big resolution, to be free from recklessness in adding unnecessary items to our household, to not only be frugal but careful in my choices; it's a resolution I really must relearn and keep.