I Don’t Need Body Jets

This morning I got smacked in the face.  Not once, but three times.  By God.

Actually He didn’t smack me at all.  He whispered in my ear.  And it took three times because I didn’t even hear Him the first two times.  When I finally – finally – heard Him, it felt very much like a smack in the face.  I realized He had been trying to talk to me all morning and I just hadn’t been listening.

This is how it went.

I was sipping my coffee and looking at the Christmas tree.  It’s the Monday after Christmas and I’m wondering how long I can put off taking down the decorations.  Not because I’m messy-xmas-storage-03 (1)enjoying looking at them so much, although they’re pretty, but because – come on, whine with me – it’s so much work.  I have 36 years’ worth of ____________ {insert appropriate adjective here; the first one that came to my mind this morning was crap but that’s not a very nice way to describe Christmas decorations so I’m leaving it blank} to tuck away for another year.  I have to pull out all those hideously huge blue tubs I store it all in, take out all my usual, everyday {insert same word here} that I took down when I put up the Christmas {______}, find a way to put the Christmas {______} back into the tubs so it all fits, and haul them back to the barn.  Where poor hubbie has to figure out how to get them up to the hanging rack without killing himself on all the {______} we have stored in the barn.

Here’s the thing about those blue tubs, too.  They’re pretty full of Christmas stuff that I didn’t even put out.  Strands and strands of lights we didn’t put up, and ornaments we didn’t hang because the tree is only so big, right?  And I have a limited number of flat surfaces on which to set the multiple nativity sets and angels and choir boys and snowmen and Santas that I have accumulated.  So I would say at least half of what I have is still in the tubs.  It’s going to be a nightmare trying to fit all this … stuff … back into those dang blue tubs.  Maybe I need to get another couple tubs.  And while I’m at it, maybe I ought to pick up some new decorations.  You know, while they’re on after-Christmas sale.  Some of mine are getting a little worn.

Into this thought pattern something tickled my ear but I brushed it away.  Must have been a bug.  I decided I’d wait and take the decorations down after New Year.

A short time later, I was wondering if I should run into town today (this in itself is a project, as “running into town” entails driving some 60 miles each way) to use the $25 gift card at the JC Penney Home Store that I picked up before Christmas.  I was so very clever about that!  I found some canisters there that I liked for $99; if you bought a gift card of $100 or more that particular day, you got a $25 gift card for free.  So I bought a $100 gift card, which I later used to buy the canisters online (after they went on sale after Christmas, when I bought them for $75 – woo hoo, baby! So I also got a matching serving bowl.  Score!).  But you had to use the $25 card in the store, so … maybe I should run into town.

Now, if I could just figure out what it was I want to buy with that $25.  You know, since I already have the canisters.  And the matching bowl.  Well, surely there will be something else I like.

Here again, the ear tickling thing.  Here again, I brushed it away.  But I decided to wait and go into town another day.

Still later I was in the bathroom putting something away, and I took a moment to look body jetsaround.  We have a lovely bathroom.  Huge.  With a nice double sink area, lots of counter space, and a giant, jetted tub.  It’s like a little mini spa.  The shower, though, is kind of tacky.  I mean, it’s okay, but it’s pretty average.  I watch HGTV a lot, and there are some pretty awesome showers out there.  You know the kind, with those rainfall shower heads, and body jets, all beautifully tiled with little nooks for your shampoo and stuff.  I wondered how much it would cost to put one of those in the bathroom.  Boy, that would make that bathroom just perfect.  Seriously, how cool would it be to have body jets??

That’s when I heard God in my ear.

Girlfriend, you don’t need more stuff.  (Okay, those of you who prefer a more formal relationship with God can substitute “my child” for “girlfriend,” but I’m just telling you how it happened to me.)

And right then was when I got smacked in the face.  That’s when I realized He’d been trying to talk to me all morning.  It hadn’t be a bug at all.

I don’t need more tubs to put my decorations in, and more decorations to put in the tubs.  I need to go through what I have and pare it down to what I actually use, and give the rest of the good stuff to someone who will actually use it and enjoy it, someone who maybe can’t afford to go out and buy decorations.  Young marrieds or someone down on their luck.  Or give it to one of the local thrift stores.  Don’t just hoard it in blue tubs year after year, and add to it because, well, that cute little snowman over there is 75 percent off.

I can’t think of one thing I actually need at JC Penney.  Not one.    And … a new shower with body jets?  Body jets?  There are people all over the world who don’t even have showers.  Don’t even have running water.  And I want body jets?

Don’t worry, this is not going to turn into my mother’s “there are starving children in China, eat your dinner” rant.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reaping the fruit of our labor.  We have worked hard all our lives, and we have some nice things.  We have a nice home.  It’s not extravagant, but it’s very nice.  Our towels are a little frayed around the edges (hmm, maybe I should buy .. NO NO NO), but they work great.

It’s just that God whispered to me today that I have enough.  It’s time to quit.  It’s time to stop accumulating more and more and more.

It’s time to stop focusing on things that might improve my little world and start focusing on how I might improve someone else’s world.

I have enough.  I don’t need more.  If, every time I find myself getting ready to buy something I don’t need, I take that money and do something for someone else with it, wouldn’t that be a much better use of what God has given me?  If, instead of buying yet another pair of jeans and trying to cram them into the drawer that already has too much in it I take that $40 and give it to the food bank, or buy blankets for the homeless, I will have the same amount of money as I would have had I bought the jeans, and I will have the added benefit of still being able to close my dresser drawer.

And someone else will go to bed less hungry, or warmer.

I have enough.  I don’t need body jets.

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