Passing the Materialism Test?

Mar 13, 2008Archive

I had two opportunities to fail the materialism test this last week.

Opportunity one: I had a little time to kill between appointments, so I went to Kohls. I went to the 80% off rack (someday I want to see a 100% off rack, but I guess that one’s for shoplifters!). I found several items, tried them on, then left the dressing room. The pull to buy was intense (sad to say), but I can’t tell you the freedom I felt leaving all those “deals” behind. It reminds me of an old Michael Card song entitled Things We Leave Behind. The chorus goes: “And we can’t imagine the freedom we’ll find from the things we leave behind.” It’s true, folks. I don’t regret leaving those clothes behind. And I feel even happier when, on occasion, I find a really unusual, artsy piece of clothing at the thrift store for a buck.

Opportunity two: We drove to the airport Saturday to see our friends Dave and Rae bring home their two newest babies from Ethiopia. But, alas, they missed their last connecting flight, so we had to kill several hours by the airport. Thankfully there were a group of us, all friends, so we went to Grapevine Mills Outlet Mall. We spent most of the time in the bookstore, where I got a little sad about my books not being there. Once I got over myself, I enjoyed thumbing through books. As we left, I realized I’d bought NOTHING. Hooray!!!

Just recently, I learned about the coolest thing. It’s called Freecycle. It’s where you post stuff you have for free, and seek stuff for free in your locale. If you happen to live in Rockwall county, here’s the direct link. Already, I love this group. Why?

  • Because it flies in the face of consumerism and materialism.
  • Because it’s helping the landfills not fill up.
  • Because it emphasizes thrift over consumption.
  • Because it’s better on your bills to acquire something for free!
  • Because it’s more blessed to give away things!

I’m working on my garden right now, but I’m running into money issues. (Where we live, we have terrible clay soil, so I have to put other soil over the top. That’s costly. Some things I’ve done to think creatively about garden money issues:

  1. I found out that Lowes sells dirt that’s been opened for 1/2 off. It’s the same amount, but it’s been shoved in a new bag.
  2. I do most of the labor myself (and employ my children!)
  3. I’m starting a compost pile, but needed an enclosure. I contacted a friend of mine who often has things like that, and sure enough, he did. I’ll be running over there this weekend.
  4. On Mondays I look for grass and leaf clippings people set out for the garbage man and then “recycle them” for my compost.
  5. I’m researching how to make a worm bin for cheap (instead of buying one for sixty bucks).
  6. I’m dividing my perennials so I have more flowers. By the way, if you’d like to swap some herbs and/or perennials, email me. I’d be happy to. (You probably want to live in Rockwall). I have lots of oregano, some bee balm, lemon balm, mums, and rosemary.

I don’t know if I’m passing the materialism test or not, but I sure am trying. What about you? What are you doing to buck consumerism?