|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
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 ad....as 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 on...like 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.
CATHOLIC CHARITIES COMMON PRAYER
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.