Marketing has a powerful way of influencing society and propelling it in a direction that craves more, buys more, and lives with less contentment. We are drawn to the clearance/sale plastered signs and ads because it often means we can get more for less. I would call myself a pretty big bargain shopper, and have found a hobby in thrift shopping and deal hunting. Though, I admit, something in me has changed recently.
I keep thinking, “I get it. I understand what it means to be others focused and live generously.” Yet I seem to always find myself humbled by the reality: I don’t get it. Maybe I never want to, because I never want to live life without a wake-up call to love more, have less.
There is this book I have been reading called Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis, and it has wrecked my world in a new, profound way. Her story of adopting 14 girls in Africa starting at the age of only 19 has evoked emotions in me leading to sleepless nights the past few weeks. She writes with such raw emotion and true conviction. I close this book feeling inspired, convicted, and motivated to live life through a selfless lens every single time.
Love more, have less.
Katie’s story has opened my eyes even more to the narcissistic, entitled, opinionated culture of the U.S. and it is sending my head spinning. There are so many needs that are just waiting to be met for poverty stricken people all over the world, even in the U.S., but many of us are distracted by the signs, media, and voices everywhere that are reminding us, “What do you want? What do you need? How can you love yourself today?”
I am beginning to think less possessions could create more room for love in my life.
“‘Mediocrity and abundance’ aren’t there. However, mediocrity and abundance, comfort and ease, do seem to be safe choices for many people, myself included. In stark contrast, leaving our possessions, following Jesus when we don’t have a well-defined plan, and entertaining strangers — well, that does sound a little scary. But what if, just beyond that risk, just beyond that fear is a life better than anything we have ever imagined: life to the fullest.” – Katie Davis, Kisses from Katie
The comfort of possessions and a mediocre life is so tempting, especially when it is masked with the idea that “we are getting more.” The possessions pile up, crowding our lives and often filling us with more anxiety all while emptying us of purpose. I have bought the lie that money can buy happiness, especially when I tell myself that those things will give me the ability to be at a place someday where I can love bigger and give more.
Love more, have less.
Katie continues her thoughts with:
“I certainly don’t believe everyone should sell all of their belongings and pack a suitcase and move to Africa. I don’t think people all over the planet should drop everything and go somewhere far from everything familiar and be missionaries. In fact, I believe anyone can be a missionary right where they are.
Every day, we have a choice. We can stay nestled in our safe comfortable places, as I did when the rat was in my room. We can let fear of something that really is small compared to the greatness of God cripple us. Or we can take a risk, do something to help someone else, make a person smile, change someone’s world. Life to the fullest exists. It’s available. All we have to do is decide to get up and embrace it.”
I read this and something took me over. I wanted to sell everything I didn’t absolutely need, and use the money for the trip I am going on this summer to love on people in America. I felt like someone was sitting on me, or maybe something… this deep longing to want more out of this life, and not the stuff money could buy. I texted my husband this:
I am so thankful for a husband who is so laid back when I suggest we sell most of our belongings! Who do you know who would be that chill with giving up their stuff when their spouse sends a text like that?! His response even humbled me, because I think I would have a lot more questions if someone wanted to get rid of my clothes.
I don’t say any of this to seem “cool,” but to be honest that I am continually understanding more and more what it truly means to love deeper. I believe we could all make room for more love if we had less, and felt sacrifice in our daily lives that created moments of freedom through the art of giving. It is not just about giving up physical possessions, but the things that make us feel secure through our own power.
Love more, have less opinions.
Love more, have less pride.
Love more, have less criticism.
Love more, have less worry.
Love more, have less money.
Love more, have less hate.
Love more, my friend, and have less.
What can you get rid of in your life that will make more room for you to love more? Are you willing to shed some possessions, pride, and self-built security with me?
May we simplify our possessions in pursuit of a not-so-simple life.