Thursday, February 12, 2009

Conflicted

Good questions yesterday!  Now I have some blog fodder for a few posts...phew.

Gina from Louisville asked: 
Do you ever feel conflicted between living simply, being frugal, focusing on inner beauty versus the world, being fashionable, spending and looking good? 

One word answer:  Absolutely.

Long answer:  There always seems to be a pull to be off-balance.   It seems that something in my humanity wants to veer off course in one direction or another, regarding so many different areas of life.  We go to extremes.  And no matter what the thing is, we run the risk of making an idol out of it when it becomes extreme.

Saint Augustine said idolatry is worshiping what should be used or using what should be worshiped.  

It is easy to become obsessed with outer beauty, material possessions and appearances.  By obsessed I simply mean letting them consume my thoughts.  The same goes for the opposite of these things.  I can become consumed in striving for the simple, saving money, even frugality can become an idol if given the chance.  

Who and what consumes me?  It's the question I'm always having to ask my wandering heart.  If my answer is Jesus, then all the rest is just simply fun stuff. If my answer is anything other than Jesus, it's now become an idol.

I have an penchant for extremes.  I've often said that the reason I have not and do not consume alcohol is because I'd likely be a raging alcoholic.  I'm not even  kidding.

I think that it is fully possible for me as a woman to live simply, be frugal, be changed from the inside out while still being fashionable and making the best of the outside appearance that God has given me...all within a budget.  Now...I say possible...as in something I'm continually trying to get a handle on :)

One last thought on inner beauty:  I am absolutely and thoroughly convinced that Christ shines through His people.  Knowing Him and walking closely with Him won't change my face shape or my body shape, but I know that it will change my heart, and what's in my heart is going to overflow from me.  My words, my thoughts, my actions...and some people will be drawn to it, and some will be repulsed by it.  In our humanness I think we sometimes equate such things to physical aspects, when in reality we are being drawn in by a persons presence...we just don't have a good way to describe that.


Thanks Gina for that great question!  I'd love to hear all your thoughts on this one :)

Tomorrow, my thoughts on being a pastor's wife...need I say more ;)


20 comments:

  1. I wish Jesus consumed me. Mostly, I'm just consumed by myself, which stinks.

    I have to tell myself everyday ... "DIE, DIE, DIE."

    Great post!

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  2. Thank you for being so honest in your answer. I love to read your thoughts!

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  3. Looking forward to tomorrow's post!!!

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  4. I was just thinking about inner beauty this morning!! Like, I was thinking about how beautiful some women in my life are and I realized that God's beauty shined through them so much that it made them even more beautiful.

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  5. I can't wait for tomorrow and your insight on being a pastor's wife. No pressure though! Hee hee. I've just aquired that title about six months ago and I struggle with what I THINK others are expecting from me vs. what I KNOW God wants of me. Blessings!

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  6. I have long believed that one of the key things lost in the Fall was the ability to live a balanced life...and one of the key things our perfectly-balanced Savior restores to us--over time--is the ability to regain that balance. He is a perfectly tempered God, creating a perfectly tempered people.

    And oh the joy of being one He is (re-)creating!
    Love ya!
    -J

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  7. During Shaun Grove's concert last week, he mentioned that one of the things he does to save money (so he can give more to the poor) is he cuts his own hair. "And that's why it looks like this," he quipped.

    But it made me think. I get my hair highlighted at an Aveda salon. That's a lot of money. Should I back off? Should I do it less frequently?

    On the other hand, doing that makes me more attractive to my husband, and I know he likes it.

    Balance is tough. Ultimately, it has to be a decision between us and God. No one else can decide where we need to draw the line. (Note: And the line location for us might not be the same as it is for someone else. I think God is very creative in this aspect.)

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  8. what you wrote is so true, so very, very true! would you come share that with the girls in the youth group next wednesday??? ha
    if only you lived closer i would want you to be our guest speaker for ladies night next wednesday :)

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  9. I would say that child support has forced me to be frugal, but sometimes it gets out of hand! Being frugal definately consumes time.....how do you know how much is too much? Maybe we could balance each other out! :)

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  10. I love your honest answers. There's conflict like this within so many of us, even if we won't always talk about it. I wish I had a good way describe how some people's presence draws me in like you said. There's just something about people who have Jesus pouring out of them that is evident. Makes me wonder a lot about myself.

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  11. i posted a ? for you below...hopefully i'm not too late!

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  12. Good question, good answer.
    Good stuff to ponder.

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  13. The Augustine quote? Best thing I've read all day. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Great post! You're so right that it's hard to stay balanced. Sometimes I feel like it's either vanity or neglect. It's difficult to stay on good ground. Thanks for your insights.

    -FringeGirl

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  15. I love that you are never afraid to be real. But you're not whiny or martyrish about it; you just say, "Here's the way it is."

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  16. Great answer today - can't wait for tomorrow !!!

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  17. A penchant for extremes...yes. Me too, girl. I think so many of us struggle with this. And like you said, it can go both ways...even something like frugality can become an idol.

    You have a way with words for sure...this was a great question and a great answer!

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  18. I don´t know if I even believe it is possible to live in perfect balance while we´re still in this world. We are HUMANS. And even with God´s help, we will never be perfect while on this earth!
    The good news is: HE LOVES US ANYWAY!!! He knows what we´re made of and he STILL wants us!
    I don´t think we have to beat ourselves up for being so unbalanced (I feel the only time I have the balance is for a brief moment, when I go from one extreme to the other :-) I think our focus should be holding on to him, acknowledging that we´re TOTALLY dependent upon him, no matter which frame of mind we´re in.

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  19. I am a see-saw, always bouncing to opposite extremes. Its great to have the reminder that everything falls into place when I stop thinking about me and focus on God.

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  20. Great answer to the tightrope we women walk, in the world but not of the world...may we each be faithful to seek hard after Jesus and the rest will fall into place!

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