Cast your mind back to the year 1988. There I am, a newly married 18year old girl, with an instant family (son). We honeymooned in Tasmania, during the cold month of July. And it was the best! Nothing gets a couple closer than sharing a Kombi van for a month. It was during this time, that my husband introduced me to the world of cooking! Yes, he cooked me my first ever packet of 2 minute noodles. It was a had-to-be-there moment.
Anyway… we returned to South Australia and moved into my son’s mother’s house. Yes… even as an 18yo life wasn’t to be easy. We moved into her house. At least we would have our own furniture, right? Bom bom. Not so. They, being my son’s mum and her husband, gave us our bedroom furniture and dining room suite. It’s just furniture you say? Try telling that to a newly married 18yod girl. Anyway, I digress. They were to be some of our dearest friends, as life would have it, glory to God.
I was newly married and, naturally I wanted to create a beautiful home for my new husband. Not so easy to achieve when one is on a ridiculous (read that as ‘unemployed, out-of-work youth pastor) budget. I bought many Country Homes magazines from the op shop (Opportunity shop) but after awhile I had collected so many magazines that I couldn’t keep track of my favourite pictures. So, I bought a paper scrapbook (and I mean old time scrapbook – nothing like the scrapbooks of today!) and cut out my favourite picutres and posted them into my scrapbook. That was my version of today’s concept of the Inspiration Board or… Pinterest. I would collect the magazine pictures in my scrabook to show John, and we would dream together. I scoured the op shops, looking for quirky, vintage, unique items to make my house a home. Those were the days when I knew the best Vinnies in town, the Goodwill that had the better vintage items… the Salvo’s that just had everything cheap! Those were the days. And then vintage became popular. That kinda killed it for us.
Fast forward a couple of years to where we lived in a shed and a bus. (Hands up if you knew we lived in a shed for 18months) After having one child born in the shed, I was working part time managing the service station where we both worked. Plus ministry. Plus a 10 acre block of land.Plus 2 dogs, 2 horses, goats, sheep, a cocky and a ram! I found myself pregnant again! Yay!!! But, knowing that the shed was not a desirable nor practical environment for raising two babies we abandoned the dream of our mud brick home (sob sob) and instead went with a transportable house and a [low] mortgage. Even though I had to let go of one dream I still kept many others. I still kept my scrapbook, filled with beautiful, dreamy pictures of ideas that I one day hoped to own or recreate in my own house.
Whilst designing and building our transportable home, I realised, albeit slowly, that we couldn’t afford all the grandiose ideas that I had pasted away and drooled over. Reality check! Over the months, God spoke to me… reminding me of what was near and dear to my heart. But that’s okay, I thought. One day they will happen. Right?
Twenty four years later and we are a little better off (financially) than when we first started. Praise God! But you know what? Reality bites. Hard. With sharp teeth! Especially when one chooses to be a one income family that focusses on relationship more so than possessions. I stopped my ‘home scrapbook’. I stopped collecting Country Home magazines. I stopped drooling. I had to.
All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.
1 Corinthians 10:23-24 ESV
My Weakness Is Not Your Weakness
My weakness is consumerism, coveting pretty things and hoarding, along with envy. Aside from being sin, this leads to discontent. And it’s horrible to live with. But I found that it is quite easy to replace my real life with a virtual one, and that includes collecting and drooling over things online – a virtual hoarding of sorts. Sites like Clipix and Pinterest still foster materialism, desire and discontent in my heart. Seeing these sites filled with the most gorgeous pictures is almost like home porn. It doesn’t encourage my heart toward godly things. I am not compelled to be satisfied with less. See my weakness? I know many friends who use these sites as inspiration to be creative in their own lives, kitchens and homeschools without struggling with the temptations that I do. I am truly happy for them but their strength is my weakness.
Why I Do What I Do On The Internet
Playing with various social media has allowed me to examine why I don’t like some sites and why I prefer others. I’ve learned that I prefer forums and Facebook. For me, forums and facebook are my virtual community and these tools foster relationships. My friends live at AussieHomeschool and Facebook. Relationships are cultivated there. Words are obviously how I connect relationally with others.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
I read books by the Puritans. I listen to guys like John Piper, John MacArthur and Paul Washer. I can’t then head over to Pinterest and drool. I just can’t. I know I sound like one of those missionaries that puts everyone on a guilt trip (~smile~) but really I’m not. I’m not telling you what to think or what to pin, I’m telling you of my weakness. I needed to go cold turkey. No trifling around with sin. I deleted my Pinterest account.
I desire to focus on others. My heart is sinful and it is very easy for me to focus on myself and my needs or my wants. This isn’t in line with Christ’s calling. It’s not part of dying to self. There are people all over the world who are suffering and dying. Now may not be my time to proactively be out there and serving them but I do hope that one day it will be the right time. Pinterest does not encourage me to follow Christ, deny myself, take up my cross and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24)
As a woman who has limited energy and yo-yo health, I find it exhausting. Planning, dreaming, shopping, lists and purchasing is fun, exciting and sometimes even an adrenaline rush (when you get a bargain). But then I bring it home and then devote even more energy as I store it, use it, wash it, insure it, rearrange it, etc. Maybe the 9 house moves in 10 years really knocked me around but I am tired of being controlled by my stuff!
I want to be content, happy, satisfied right here, right now!
And so, I took out a Pintervention upon myself. Aside from the whole violation of copyright issues which are for another time, these are the reasons that I had a check in my spirit… a prompting, no a directive from the Holy Spirit to stay away from Pinterest. And that’s all I would encourage others to do… to seek the Lord and follow His direction. That will look different to the path that I and others are on because we all have different strengths and weaknesses. But Our Father knows us best. He knows what we need, what is best for us and what we should avoid. Which is why we should follow Him.
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:11-13 ESV