Well, it's been 7 weeks since I started the challenge and I'm succeeding! I haven't purchased a single item. In some ways it seems like it's been a long time and in other ways, 7 weeks- ha, I'm sure many people are laughing at me! I know women who haven't purchased themselves new clothes, shoes or accessories for YEARS! But to me, it's a goal I am reaching and it makes me happy to have made another milestone.
It's hard to wrote posts like these without coming off wrong or like I'm lecturing people for their spending habits. Let me just put it "on the record" to say I write these things to reflect on myself and I write them in the hope that it may help others. Many have told me they are following along with the "no buy" challenge and find reading posts of other helpful - so I continue. But don't take anything I say as lecturing. If you like it, and the shoe fits, wear it!
The whole point of the 2014 Remix Challenge from Instagram was to shop your closet, use what you have, be creative with what you have, learn to do without and be content with what you already own. For a minute this thought ran through my head "With all the money I save, I will be able to buy this or that..........." Then I caught myself. That isn't a "no buy" that's a "delayed spending" plan! It's just a way of denying myself for a moment, then rewarding myself later - not really the point. How would that teach me contentment? How would that teach me to use what I have? It wouldn't.
Something that has hit me square in the face during this challenge is how very selfish and self-centered shopping and over-shopping is. No one wants to hear that. No one wants to admit they are selfish. I could always justify my purchases because I was shopping without debt, and making "bargain" or "deal" purchases. But if you look at it with an open heart, how much time do you spend on the pursuit? On the research? On the magazines? On the internet? Hunting down that certain shirt - even to the point of calling out of state stores and calling in a favor from your Instagram buddies? All the time spent was for ME. Fulfilling MY wants, MY wishes. It started to make me sick. I wonder how many times when I was headed out shopping, my husband just wanted me to be home to be with him? Help him? Encourage him? But in his kindness and patience, he never criticized.
Put the shoe on the other foot. How would you feel if your husband came home every day with a purchase? A new shirt, a new golf club, new sunglasses - all bought on sale, all marked down. Would it bother you? Would you start to think of him as selfish? What about that special vacation you wanted to take with him - would his daily "deal" purchases take a toll on your long-term goal and would you harbor some resentment? It's something to think about. I know sometimes people say "we have the money" or "I'm still saving so I can spend this extra". That's wonderful - but the focus here isn't on the money - it's on the heart. Where is your emphasis, focus, and time spent? You can say you love your family first and foremost, but are your actions showing you do?
Do you ever think about servant hood? I've been reading Chuck Swindoll's book "Improving Your Serve" and I must say it's an eye opener! It's actually a hard read - to put yourself out there to be a servant is hard. So much is entailed in being a servant and it all starts with putting others before yourself and putting yourself......... last. There are so many good works out there just waiting for someone to help, someone to care. It would do the soul good to quit thinking of self so much and start thinking of others more.
So here's to making it almost one more month! Old Navy is making it reeeallly hard to stay strong. That striped Walmart button down is making it hard. That Kate Spake 75% off sale made it hard. But guess what? That's life! Every day there is going to be a temptation, a deal, a choice we have to make. I'm trying to look at shopping with my long-term glasses, and meet my end goals with my daily decisions - top priority being a home in heaven. We can do it ladies! Let's keep on keeping on! I appreciate each and every one of you who is doing the 2014 Remix Challenge right along with me. The encouragement means so much!
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.