Monday, July 2, 2012

Is it wrong...... want these?


Double oven

Fridge with freezer on the bottom

I only ask because right now I'm having a conflict within myself.  First of all, you need to know that this is NOT because of my Pinterest addiction facination!  Let's just get that clear right off the bat!

The problem here, I think, is my inability to tell the difference between a want and a need.  You see, we have everything we need!  Truly.  Although it's old and falling apart, we have a decent 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom home.  We have a T.V. with cable, internet and long distance.  Dan and I each have a cell phone and we have one extra in case Nathan needs it when he's away from us (incidentally, mine and the extra one are the pay as you go type).  We have two vehicles...forget that one has over 305,000 miles on it!  We both have jobs that although don't pay a lot, we can manage.  I work 2 miles from home. Our kids go to our local Catholic school which is the only school in our entire diocese that has a waiting list and it is also 2 miles (or less) from our home!  We have a wonderful parish family, and wonderful neighbors!

We have a refridgerator that is barely a year old.  Our other one broke.  The one we have now we bought at the Sears outlet store and is a floor model with several scratches but still cost us almost $1,000.  It doesn't match the stove but it keeps our food cold and the ice cream frozen.  We have an oven and a stove that works.  One burner does not get even heat...but I work around it.  We don't have an electric dishwasher, but I have two hands that work...a sink and running water, as well as a husband who isn't afraid to get his hand wet.

We have 3 healthy children.  They have beds and toys.  They a have Wii (that we bought used), bicycles, a computer that they share.  We have a DVD player and a VCR.  We have a fireplace for cool winter days, and central heat and air for the days when we need it.  The kids play outside on a swing set that Dan made as well as a rope swing from one of the big oak trees in our yard.  We have 3 cats, 1 dog, a bird and some fish. We feed the pets as well as ourselves. We eat three meals a day plus snacks and have a membership to the zoo.

We have way too many clothes, books, magazines and other things that are technically just "clutter". 
We have EVERYTHING we need...and more!  So tell me, why is it that I find myself day dreaming about the above 3 products.  I fantasize about having them someday....and the kitchen that goes with them!  My mouth waters when the Sears/Lowes/Home Depot ads come in the mail.  Sometimes, I circle the items I want and then save the if I'm just putting off this purchase because I'm busy and I'll take the time to buy it later.  Yea right.

It is so easy to fall into the "I need" mode of life, when really, it's just simply because "I want it". 

After I left work today, I stopped by the big "W" to pick up some things I needed for dinner.  I was behind a woman that used food stamps to pay for her food.  She didn't have anything extravagant in her cart, nothing earth shattering.  She had some oranges, milk, two frozen pizzas and giant box of goldfish.  She didn't have long, manicured nails.  If she had a cell phone, I didn't see it.  She had regular clothes me.  For the sake of the conversation, she was just like me.  It's only by the Grace of God that  wasn't me.  She was born (just like me)...was a little girl that probably loved dolls (just like me)...procrastinated about homework (just like me)...had dreams and goals (just like me).  Who decided that it would be her on the food stamps instead of me?  Who decided that it would be someone else in line at the rescue mission or sleeping in their car?  Who decided that we would have full health insurance coverage and could go to the emergency room or the doctor any time we wanted (although, almost $800 is taken out of my pay every month) and only pay our copay?  Who decided that my life would be so blessed with the "things" of this world and others are struggling so badly?

Sometimes, it is really hard to get my head around that.  Some days I feel so unworthy and the fact that all I can think of are kitchen appliances....well, it sickens me really.

I ask for your prayers as I try to come to grips with the wants versus needs in my life.  Please pray that I can learn how to be grateful ALL the time and to learn to have more compassion for those who struggle.  Sometimes A lot of the time, my pious attitude can really show it's ugly head.


Lord Jesus, open our eyes that we may see you in all our sisters and brothers.

Open our minds that we may understand their hopes and dreams,

their sorrows and pain, their longing for you.

Open our hearts to give generously of ourselves.

Grant us wisdom to respond effectively

to the needs of your people with grace and compassion.

Give us the courage to speak your words of life, peace, love, mercy and human solidarity.

Bless the people whom we serve,

and strengthen the staff and volunteers who reach out to them

every day in your spirit of Charity. Amen.


Judy Dudich said...

Tom's work car has over 300,000 on it too:)
First, let me remind you, that YOU BATTLED CANCER AND ALMOST LOST ONE OF YOUR BABIES AT BIRTH! That's no "slim pickins' my dear. You are made worthy through Christ; who sees and blesses your perseverance, faithfulness, submission (to GOD AND HUSBAND) and integrity.
Funny want/need story. When my nephew was married, he and his wife had a terrible "budget" argument...when discussing this topic, he exclaimed to me, "Aunt Judy, would you PLEASE explain the difference between a want/need to E**** and tell her that $35 a hand acrylic nails are NOT a NEED?!?"
I cracked up and said, "Well....apparently, they are to HER!" LOL
There are various levels of this.

We might "need" something to survive; as in, WE NEED JESUS CHRIST...or WE NEED FOOD.

But, there are also "needs" such as "I need the floors and sinks to be clear of clutter in order to relax and feel peaceful at home".

Is there anything wrong with "wanting" those things? Only if you list them in the category of a need that suggests that you MUST have them in order to survive; or, if you place such an importance on them that God, your marriage, and your family's well-being take second or third or fourth place to your desire/attempt to acquire them.

Balance. You are a kind and generous woman who GIVES SO MUCH to others. If you can swing it to have a fancy fridge that makes your ice cubes for you and doesn't break down every month, then go for it.

However, if you are angry with God or resenting your husband or your children or your state in life; thinking and preoccupied with how you "deserve" those things and why one woman gets them when you don't...then...that's another story.

I am sorry for anyone needing state assistance to buy food. I truly am. least in our area...I know MANY people who stay on unemployment and food stamps because they make MORE money that way than if they go and get a job. This is a fact. I have had SEVERAL people come right out and tell me that they do this. So...someone you see buying food with stamps is not always destitute; sometimes, they are merely taking advantage and being sucked in by a failed system. (Other times, they are in dire need...I realize that...and wish to be clear so no one reading this thinks I am heartless)

Sometimes, on a bad day, I look at my falling apart, broken down, 90+ year old dining room furniture and think that after all these years, I should be able to just go get a new set. And, then, I think: God chose a different path for me...our "extra" money is not extra at all because it has taken every penny of it to raise/feed/clothe/educate/shelter 10 children. (On that bad day....I hear the whispers of the enemy: "If you didn't HAVE 10 children, you could HAVE that dining room set") But...on the good days...I know there are needs and wants...and that, like you, I really DO have all I "need" the quest is to be content with that and celebrate, once in while, when I get to have "WANT" come to fruition! Does that make any sense?

Therese said...

Two of those things are on my want list too Nancy. I really regret not getting a double oven when we did our kitchen but I also know I would have had to sacrifice something else to get it. We have a working dishwasher but I also want a new fridge with a freezer on the bottom. Our fridge does have a problem with the thermostat so may e we will need to get one soon.

One thing I do is make myself wait for wants. If I still want something a couple of months after firs/t talking about it, I save the money and then get it. My new android tablet has been on my want list since the beginning of the year.

Barb, ofs said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with having a "wish list" if you don't obsess over it! Maybe take a notebook, clip out pictures of those items you'd love, glue them in and save it. WHEN you really NEED one of those items, go to your wish book and look at what you'd wanted for that purpose.

If we never allow ourselves to have wants, wishes, dreams--that would be a very bleak life indeed.