Friday, January 22, 2010

I Want Less

It's a new decade, but I've been thinking a lot about the previous one...mostly the beginning of the previous one. Ten years ago I was a new wife with a list of wants larger than Manute Bol's wingspan. *

Whenever I looked down at the three sparkling, yet small by my standards at that time, diamonds on my engagement ring I thought about how I'd like an upgrade by my tenth anniversary. I was ready to trade in my white gold for platinum and more than double my caret weight.

I loved every minute of our Jamaica honeymoon, but kept thinking about the luxurious accommodations we would occupy once we returned.

Instead of fostering a heart of thankfulness for shelter, clothing, and modern conveniences, I wanted more. I sighed disgruntled when I walked into my small apartment in an old run down building. I wanted a house...a large house adorned with beautiful furniture, no more hand-me-downs. I also tired of counting pennies at the grocery store and dreamed that one day I would fill my kitchen with fine wines, cheeses, and gourmet ingredients. Only the best.

My wants numbered many and each one labeled justified. I rationalized that a large home with fine foods would enable me to demonstrate hospitality toward others. It wasn't just a want, it was a need. As far as that extravagant anniversary trip and two-caret princess cut ring...those were items that I deserved. After all, financially and emotionally supporting one's spouse as he earns his PhD is not for the faint of heart.

Ten years ago, I wanted more. Today, I want less.

Less stuff. Less to trip over, less to manage, less to fret about, less to want...less to waste time wanting.

Less drama. Less conflict. Less schedule management. Less stress.

Less of me. Less insecurities. Less worrying about whether or not I measure up to the standards of others. Less time spent agonizing over how others (ahem) *make* me feel.

Less wanting. Less of trying to have the perfect life. Less of trying to make the perfect impression. Less conforming. Less wondering how to get more from others.

Less. I want less so that I can be active in loving.

I want less.

*For those of you unfamiliar with basketball trivia, Manute Bol was a former NBA center with an 8ft 6in wing span, the largest in NBA history


Jan said...


In a society where more is the goal and the economy actually DEPENDS on us consuming, wanting less has been considered weird and even un-American. Only recently have global warming and the Great Recession made enjoying the simple life and God's world more mainstream. The dreamer in me wishes these trends could continue, but the realist knows that people will forget when things improve.

I hope you find some of the "less" you seek.

Andrea said...

AMEN!! Me, too! I want less so I can be more for my Heavenly Father!!

Blessings, andrea

Irritable Mother said...

Every once in a while we realize how blessed we are to HAVE less. I live in a very affluent community, and often times do not feel like I "belong" here.
My kids don't have all the nice things the other kids have. (And they sure don't have cell phones!) I don't have the latest fashions in my closet. My house is not spectacularly decorated.

But we have what we need.

And that's enough.
Sure there are days (many of them, if I am to be honest) when I wish we had more. But posts like this one remind me how blessed I am.
Thank you!

And sometimes God gifts us with something extra, for fun. Like tonight, as soon as Elizabeth finishes the dishes I am taking the kids to Maggie Moos with a gift certificate that one of my Sunday school families gave me for Christmas. *grin*

Have a great weekend!

Love you,

MaryBeth said...

It seems that every time you write a chord is struck with me.... just had to say Amen to this one!!

Mary Moss said...

Great message Angela. Yes, our family is in this mode and I am personally inviting "less" into my life.

What a world we would live in if everyone wanted less--no more hunger, homelessness, war . . .

Wendi@Every Day Miracles said...

What a wonderful and thought provoking post!
I'm so glad you wrote this Angela!

Ronel Sidney said...

WOW!!! I want less too!!

Heather C said...

Less is more. I want less too. Thought provoking post, Angela. Thank you!

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

I totally agree. About wanting less and also the feeling I had a new bride and eagerly looking forward to the time when we would "have more". Funny thing is, we have less now that what I imagined we would and yet I am much more settled, happy, content. Not that I don't have days of wishing for more financial freedom (working on that) or the newest lastest whatever but overall I'm much happier than my 22 year old self. Thankfully so!

Julie said...

Great post... looks like God's done some rearranging in you and showing you what really matters.... how cool.

Thanks for stopping by the blog and your words left there. I always love your visits.

Thanks for taking the time!

3 Blessings said...

I read this the other day and didn't have time to comment, but I thought of it again this morning and had to come back and comment. This is so true for our lives also. It always used to be about meeting the next goal in our lives to make our lives "better". Since we have started our adoption process, God has opened our eyes to so much that it is now all about using the blessings He has given us to help others. You know what, I love life now. I feel so much more in all that I do and life is so filled with meaning beyond what it ever was before.
Just wanted to let you know that I totally agree with your post.

Connie said...

Great post and so true. I've read in several books including the Bible about how everything is truly meaningless...especially in light of important are these things? I have found that truly, what does matter is more of God and close family ties and friendships. More of God and less of me works best for the Glory of God. : )

It's the simple things in life said...

Angela- did you write this to me!?! It is where I am right now. I got married a little over 4 months ago and unfortunately this has been my mind set-not really realizing it till reading your post. How convicting, but how greatful I am for you posting this and being so honest-thank you!

LaVon Baker said...

Less is so liberating. Three years ago, we sold our home and gave away our "stuff" to become full-time RVers, serving as chaplains in the RV world. Our territory has been "expanded" as we minister to people from Canada to Mexico. We live in a 5th wheel that is only 32.5 feet long, but has everything we need and more. We love it and the life God has called us to.

Jewelielyn said...

this perfectly describes what i have been feeling. mostly i whine about how my stuff is taking over my life and how hard it is for me to let it go, but i know it is time. i need to do it. less is better in so many ways. i wish i had learned this lesson years ago . . .

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