Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Retail Therapy

I know this will be hard to believe, but it has been over a year since I have been to a shopping mall. I have shopped only for necessities and only at Target or online. I have not gone to a place and just browsed for something to buy simply because I wanted it since March of 2007. On Saturday it was 80+ degrees when we got up. After a week of being chained to the house because of work, I needed to get out. So, Delaney and I decided to go to the mall to walk around in the cool while we pushed Danica in her stroller.

A weekend mall trip used to be part of our usual routine. I worked hard all week and would spend several hours on the weekend spending some of the money I had made. We didn't just go when we needed something. It was not uncommon for us to go pleasure shopping. A new outfit and toy or DVD for Delaney. A new Ann Taylor outfit for my work week or casual outfit from Anthropologie and a new tube of Lancome lipstick for me. Maybe a new pair of shoes to match. We would have lunch out and then maybe buy some new art stuff to do when we got home or go to Barnes and Noble for some new books. On the way home I would get a Starbucks latte', my 6th of the week.

As we entered the mall on Saturday I could feel the hairs on my neck stand up. The old Monica for just a moment showed her face and looked longingly into the stores. My daughter began to ask, "Can we get this? MOM, I NEED THIS." As we passed Ann Taylor Loft I said, "Let's go in here." They were having a great sale. Everything there looks just like my personal style. Oh how I would love a new outfit. It's been so long. But I couldn't bring myself to buy anything. I have clothes to wear. I don't go anywhere I need to reflect an image other than who I am with what I have right now.

The word "ENOUGH" resonated in my head over and over. As Delaney took the money she had saved to buy a new Webkinz. I could see the struggle in her own little head and heart. She wanted more. One suddenly wasn't enough even though that's what we came for. Because the void in my heart and hers will never be filled with things bought in a trip to the mall. Would two new stuffed animals make her happier? For me there is no more happiness found at Sephora and Nordstrom than at Target or Walmart. (I had a severe Sephora addiction. And yes, there is a difference between Stila and Cover Girl, and Stila might make my skin happier but not ME happier.) On our way out I passed Starbucks, and I didn't indulge. I mean I can make a cup of coffee at home, right?

I kept thinking about the change in me. Yes, it has been brought on by circumstances, but it is exactly what I was praying for in early 2007. I was pleading with God to rescue me from the company I was working for and show me how to serve Him, even if it meant making much less (or in His providence NOTHING.) I was praying that He would become ENOUGH. He answered swiftly and mightily. He took my job and health and taught me to depend on Him for EVERYTHING. The thing is, I found great pride in what I was able to do for my family and also for others. I found great peace in the security I thought we had through my work. God showed me every breath I take, every ability He has given me, every opportunity to work or earn is all through Him and by Him and for Him. He showed me the key to serving Him is being faithful with much or with little right where you are.

I felt an amazing peace when I returned home Saturday without bags of things I would cut tags off of and stuff in already full closets. God really is teaching me what everyday simple abundance is. I can say with Paul, "I have learned whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want." Philippians 4:11-12

Thank You that all of You is more than enough for all of me. I am blessed beyond measure and rich in Your love! Thank You for the retail therapy found in not buying a thing!


Angie said...

LOVE this! He truly is more than enough, isn't He? How good He is to give us the things we ask for even when it's hard...that we would yearn for Him rather than things. I love you so much!

Rochelle said...

HE is truly enough to fill every space in our hearts! He has truly filled our cups to overflowing! Thank you for sharing this powerful lesson! Love ya! Rochelle

La Familia Garcia said...

What great thoughts, thanks for sharing!

Becky said...

Monica- I love this one(wonder why?)ha! I only wished you lived down the road, we have a lot of the same experiences.
When you are faithful with the small things...
Have a great weekend!