Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Resisting the "I Want" Temptation

I had to run into a big chain store today while we were in the city. Unfortunately, from the front door, to the garden center, to housewares and beyond, my "I want" bells were going off at every turn. There was red, white and blue everything. Beautiful things. Ordinary things. Useful things. Frivolous things...and I wanted them all. I could see my 4th of July table set with the stemware and hard plastic dinnerware. I could almost
taste the lemonade from the decorative pitchers

and jugs, see the red, white and blue lanterns hanging from the trees. In fact, I don't think I saw anything that I didn't want. I wanted it all. And I really had to fight with myself to resist.

The truth is that I do have the money. I could have splurged. I could have rationalized and I came so close to giving in. Then I reminded myself that I am into this blog thing for real, that my ability to be helpful is no better than my ability to practice what I preach.

I left the store with only the few items that were on my list and sadly admit that it did not make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I felt somehow deprived. On the 40 mile trip home, I thought about my pitiably small stash of patriotic parts and pieces and how I planned to turn my initial $26 splurge into anything remotely approaching the majesty I had just denied myself. Truthfully, $13 worth of that $26 has already been used to decorate the front porch.

But I still have table cloths and plates and bowls and flowers and flags that I was thrilled to have until I saw today what I was missing. But as I write this, suddenly NOW, I have that warm fuzzy feeling. Now, I remember how it felt to make a home-made wreath with my granddaughter. Now, I remember that I'm painting patriotic T-shirts with 6 more little "grands" next weekend. Now, I'm excited again about the "doing" and not the "having"...and you can't buy that at any store.


sarah said...

I love this, it is such a temptaion to want so many uneccesary things that we see, but when we practice the restraint you talk of, we end up with so much joy from the doing that comes as a result of not having.... great post!!!!

Rebecca in TX said...

When I have a raging case of the wants I stop and count my blessings. I remind myself of all the ways my Lord has provided for me and my family and the desire for the thing that I wanted quickly fades. Good for you for remembering what truly held the value!

Deb said...

Yikes! I usually deny myself any access to a big store because I have not yet mastered that temptation. Even heading into Walmart for groceries of discounted prices on items I buy monthly (toilet paper, light bulbs, notecards) is more than I can handle. I've switched to smaller stores, where I know I can handle the temptation. Really, how much more tempatation can I get in a hardware store when I go for garden food or birdseed? It's nice to know there are others who feel the urge and desire for new shiny things!