Thursday, August 30, 2007

To Attain More (and more)

**Edited**(at bottom)
We have had plenty of time to do lots of thinking. Some might argue that we are doing too much thinking. O well.

God is stirring and mixing every emotion we have. I think that is good. Not really easy, but good.

When we sell our home we will have the great privilege to be completely debt free. I cannot even imagine my life without school bills. Our plan is to stay that way. Telling this was not my point of this post, I promise. We are just excited about the opportunity to be free from the bills. It makes us able to pursue any place that God desires to take us. That is what you call an adventure. We have a missions degree and are open to those possibilities. We, of course, don't want to go anywhere God is not sending us. We are just waiting. Today the wait is exciting.

Even if we do not pursue a mission field (maybe Haiti) then we have made a decision to live simply here. I don't think this will be a problem considering that we have always lived off of one salary. Most of our married time we have had one car. To think back we only had 2 the first year of marriage and then in Abilene. While in Missouri we were so close to school it really didn't matter. I am going to be flat out honest...I have always desired stuff. Nice stuff. I always say that I was born to be rich. If God did give me wealth, what would I do with it? This week I read a quote on a blog that said "live simply so others can simply live". That has been going over and over in my mind.

Our desire is to live and give. Dan, from Lift Student Ministries, always says that you have 20,000 days to live what are you going to do with them? Our answer is to give them in whatever way God leads.

**Edited to Add** I worried about this all night...I don't think it is wrong to have or desire nice things. These were thoughts coming out kind of scrambled. I do desire to live simply and the battle about it is raging in my mind. That is what I wanted to share. I hope that I didn't come off as arrogant.We all know that I am a lover of shopping. I just plan to spend wisely.**


Alana said...

How strange, I've been having these same thoughts about living simply lately. I have even thought about doing a post on it. Coincidence? I think not. I'd say we (my family and I) probably even live simply compared to some, but still not simple enough. Sometimes I feel like I can't breathe with all the "clutter" around me. And when I say "clutter" I mean that in a broad sense.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter.

annie said...

Great thoughts. I feel like we live such a cluttered life. Simple sounds really nice.

oh amanda said...

Good post. I know what you mean---there's just so much stuff we accumulate unwittingly, what about the stuff we REALLY want?! It's too much!

judy works said...

Debra - I just found your blog thanks to Jen, and actually just found her blog yesterday. I have been thinking of you and your family and reading your posts - which are such a blessing to me - very refreshing and very sweet. I have and will continue to pray for you and Ernest, praying that God will continue to direct your paths. He is SO good! Well just wanted to tell you that I miss you both terribly. Thanks for insight into your thoughts using this blog - I'm so blessed to get to read it. Talk at cha later sistah!

Heather said...

We are just a few years away from being debt free! I'm so excited ... If hubby can get a job maybe we will get there faster :P I love that quote and it's something that we strive to live by. We look forward to how much more we can do when we have nothing tying us down! so cool!

Maggie said...

"Giving it up, to you, oh Lord,
It's so easy to say,
Not to easy to do...
Every day, I rise, Oh Lord,
Take up my cross and I'll follow you
Oh, My Jesus!

All of my life I'll praise you
All of my days are yours
You are my God forevermore

All of my life
I lay down
To worship at your feet

You are my God forevermore

You are my God forevermore!"

I thought of an older praise song when I read this. I can't remember the source at the moment, but it's a male voice who sings it. Great and nice things do make me feel better. But, 1. they aren't eternal 2. they set other people us to feel "less than", and 3. they take the focus off the source SO, SO often.


Aaron Ivey said...

we are SO with you guys... GREAT post. thanks for sharing this.

mandy said...

since moving to seminary i've also experienced the "simplified life" when it comes to having stuff.... and i think its the way to go! we're somehow miraculously freed from bills while we're here. we're living on a smaller budget, but we're learning to be REALLY REALLY happy with what we've got. often, our purchase decisions come down to this: should i buy that new pair of jeans, or give $30 to our international neighbors who don't have visa's to work and can't make rent this month?
the flipside (and there's always a flipside) is that the Prov 31 woman had stuff - and she was frugal, all at the same time! praise the Lord for her example!
blessings on y'all as you work through these decisions.....
i'm excited to hear what may be instore.

Fran said...

What is it about the stuff?? Its enough to drive a woman crazy....our hearts and brains know better, but there is something about stuff!

As I get older...a whopping 37....God has so told me a million and one times....."it aint about the stuff!" And, I pray daily for the reminder.

You are a precious soul. Glad I found your blog.


jen said...

Sometimes I think I can never have too much stuff, and then I clean out closets like we're doing today. UGH!!! Spending wisely sure does make a LOT of sense right about now. ONE stinkin closet filled up my living room and hallway... Sigh. I've got WAY too much stuff.

I love you girl and love that shopping-side of you. You're awesome and I'd never ever think otherwise!

Praying for you!

Troy & Tara Livesay said...

Hi Debra-
If you can do this living in the middle of vast prosperity, you are very disciplined. I think what you are thinking is very good, not at all offensive or judgy ... for me it took leaving all the STUFF to realize that it is not necessary. Now that I am back in America for four months I find myself afraid to enter a store, I don't want to make unnecessary purchases or get sucked into it again. Simple is very easy.

jennyhope said...

I have had you on my heart with the move and all and just wanted to touch base. I am going to tell a few other people but I just listening to "Crossing your River of Fear" by Beth Moore and you really need to order it if you can and listen to them...I know you can go to her online store. So good!!

Shelly said... didn't come across arrogantly at all! We are to be wise stewards of what He has given us.

May He continue to direct the steps as y'all honor Him.

Maggie said...

I think of James, the verse that says, "when you pray for wisom, do not doubt...for he who doubts will be like the wind, blown and tossed".

Sometimes, God just leads us into seasons of emphasis. Sometimes, He seems to lead to seasons of freedom and extravagance. I'm not sure that to say either is "right"...but obedience is always right for the person. Truth isn't relative...No! not at all, but there are seasons. To some extent.

We stress simplicity in simple ways in our household, but we STILL have too much stuff. It's all love...but, it's starting to suffocate me! :D

Keep walking strong.