ALL THAT GLITTERS
JANUARY 6, 2017
I want to introduce you all to my amazing friend Mallory. Even though we have only known each other a couple months (August), I value our friendship so much. She encourages me daily to grow closer to God and seek the simple things in life. Mallory is originally from Denver, CO, but has been living in Nashville for almost a year. If you visit me I can assure you that you will meet my dear friend because she can take us to all the beautiful Nashville murals and best coffee shops.
Check out her thoughts below and follow her on insta (@mallorycpaige)!
Someone told me “You can never leave a mall without buying something”. They were right – it only takes a few minutes inside the bright and shiny stores before I’m swiping my card and taking home another pretty bag.
I grew up with credit cards. I grew up surrounded by plastic instead of paper, assuming this was normal. Budgeting and saving were foreign to me – why bother when a company will give you their money to use instead?
All at a price, of course.
Which I learned the hard way when after two months of not working, my borrowed money from credit card companies became the funds that supported my lifestyle. They supported my grocery shopping and gas for my car, but they also supported a new closet, decorating a new apartment, and trips to Vegas or Denver.
They supported a glittering and fantastic lifestyle that I wasn’t ready to fully live, yet. But oh, how I wanted to. Everyone on Instagram had picture perfect lives, with beautiful furniture filling their living rooms and expensive price tags on their outfits. My friends could afford to go out, to take trips, to shop every weekend. Other adults my age seemed to live this way; why not me?
The deeper issue was not that I had a shopping problem or that I didn’t know how to properly maintain a budget. It had nothing to do with my job or my earnings or my student loan or credit card debt.
The deeper issue, as with all things, was a heart issue. It was a contentment issue. It was the constant void of not feeling enough, of fearing that I wouldn’t have enough, and failing to trust a Heavenly God to provide for my human needs on Earth.
I have no doubts that God wants to give His children good gifts. But I don’t know that He is as concerned with how my Instagram photos of all of my stuff compares to the next person. I don’t think that’s the point of the blessings He gives to us.
He asks us to trust that He is enough. And we understand this, somewhat, in relationships. It’s easy to grasp the idea that human relationships will never fill the void that a Godly relationship was designed to fulfill. But His enough-ness becomes more difficult to understand with something like money.
How do I trust that He’ll provide for me? And even more, how do I trust that what I have is enough, and how do I find contentment without trying to keep up with everyone else?
My need to spend and to shop slowly disappeared when I determined to find contentment outside of stuff. It seems like such a simple concept – shouldn’t I have learned this a long time ago? Probably, but the jealous pangs of wanting what everyone else has never really leave us. We learn it when we are young and we are constantly face to face with the realization that our lives look differently than people around us.
That is the whole point.
This is the season He brought me to: a season of being a full time grad student and part time employee. A season of simpler living and tighter budgets. A season to sow and build deeper roots, because one day it won’t always be like this. One day, the work and effort and discipline of my twenties will be fruitful and worthwhile.
I’m not living the lifestyle I see on my friend’s and peer’s Instagram or Facebook, because I am not in their season. I am in my own. Jealousy starts to fade when I can be present here, be content here, be grateful here.
You can check out Amber's full blog at https://confusedandcourageous.wordpress.com/22andtrippin/!