Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Challenge

Hard to believe 2011 has come to a close and 2012 has started!  2011 was a year to remember and worth celebrating!  I experienced some great things for the first time and was changed in ways I totally wasn't expecting...Thank you God for being in control of my heart!

I have several new challenges for myself in 2012 and one of them is to focus on the Spiritual Discipline of Simplicity.  This past year I went through the book, Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster and was challenged in many areas.  By Gods grace I am slowly learning that disciplines bring freedom and balance in life.  The chapter on Simplicity was one that tugged my heart and began realizing I want to live simply in all areas of my life not just how many pieces of clothing I own.  When I think of the meaning of simple I think of something that is streamlined.  When things are streamlined you are focusing on a few things.  I believe when we are only focusing on a few things we gain an appreciate for those few things than if we were to have many of the same things.  I want my diet to consist of simple foods- fruits,veggies and breads made from scratch, I want my schedule to be simple -open for the Lord not filled with my stuff and a simple daily routine that isn't this complicated mess of me running around all over the place.

Foster has a list of ten outward expressions of simplicity and how we can flesh out the meaning of simplicity.  All ten are really good and need to be focused on but there was one he brought up that I had never thought about or even considered would be under this discipline.  The ninth on the list is "to reject anything that breeds the oppression of others.... This is one of the most difficult and sensitive issues for us to face, but face it we must...In a world of limited resources, does our lust for wealth mean the poverty of others?"  After reading about this expression I started researching more about slave labor and it opened up a whole can of worms.  I was saddened to think about all the injustice going on so that I can have the latest fashionable clothes, have my choice of fruits and vegetables year around and any toy at the drop of a hat.  

So this is my challenge this year: to learn more about the products I use, support my local farmers regularly and buy nothing "new".  There are plenty of ways we can shop and support our local workers through thrift and consignment stores, Ebay, Etsy, garage and estate sales to find fun clothes,shoes, things for the house, gifts,etc.  I want to learn how to sew more things and spend time making gifts for friends.

I'll keep you posted on my fun finds, my revamps of olds things and any information I find on the topic of Slave Labor.

Happy New Year!!  May all areas of our lives be an outward expression of our grateful hearts for Jesus' unending grace.

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