I found this interesting post, but #2 in "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" jumped out at me:
2. Make a "Declaration of Enough." Admit it. When you look over your shoe collection, it's enough to make Imelda Marcos blush. Isn't it time to distinguish what you want from what you need? We don't need something because we can afford it. We don't need something because advertisers tell us we need it.
I am actually an under-buyer, so my "Declaration of Enough" wouldn't be about shopping.
The post also reminded me of a devotion I received several months ago and talked about here. I'd thought I'd write about it then, but didn't.
A few months ago, my husband and I attended a Dave Ramsey seminar. Dave is known for his financial topics, but on that day he said something that I have been pondering ever since. Dave said that he taught his children in their teens to establish “no matter what’s” in life. He was referencing a situation in dating, but this principle could be applied to many different situations. I wondered what my “no matter what’s” are. After spending some time thinking about that, I thought perhaps I should share it here, so you could also be challenged to set up your “no matter what’s.”
In the area of finances, my husband and I have determined to never again go into debt, no matter what. This means going without and planning ahead. It means staying in a house that is cramped, and driving older cars. It means taking large portions of any money we receive and socking it into the debt we currently have until we have paid it off.
In the area of marriage, my husband and I are committed to each other, no matter what. This means letting some things go when I really want to say something. It means embracing each other’s insecurities and inadequacies. It means loving each other even when we don’t like each other. It means forgiveness in some pretty hard areas. We are married, no matter what. We are committed to that fact—even when we don’t feel very committed to each other.
Most importantly, I am focused on God, no matter what. God and His word are what I turn to for wisdom and instruction in how to do life. God provides my comfort and strength. He grows and stretches me when I need it. He rocks me in His arms when I need it. I find rest and hope in Him. I have learned what it means to lean on His everlasting arms, as the old hymn says. I must walk out His call on my life no matter what. As I have learned to do this, I have also learned I can rely on an unchanging God as the culture seems to spin faster out of control.
God has used my “no matter what’s” to shape who He wants me to be. I know, above all else, I will continue to stay focused on these “no matter what’s” as the future unfolds. Have you considered how your “no matter what’s” could affect the lives of others—your children, your co-workers, your spouse or your neighbor? Look at where God is leading in your life, and how He might use you to help someone else form some “no matter what’s” of their own.
Dear Lord, Please show me what my personal “no matter what’s” should be. I want to live a life of conviction and commitment to the things that matter. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What is my personal "Declaration of Enough"? My "No Matter What's"? One for each come to mind.
Without calling it that, I made a "Declaration of Enough" when it came to sharing the holidays with my Godfather. I came to the point where I was tired of his racist, sexist jokes at the holiday dinner table. I got tired of him pouting when he wasn't the center of attention. Or pitching a tantrum when he thought people weren't listening to him (we had a choice?).
Finally, one year I said Enough. No More. This is my life and I should be able to spend it how I want with people I like. Now, it took a little while longer to drag my mom down the path with me, but we stand in solidarity now.
A "No Matter What" that I had to solidify in my mind this year was, I will not sleep with a married man. Now, this is something I have always known. It's inherent to who I am. At least I was pretty sure until the last year or so. Then it became something of a struggle. Something I had to work through. It was a surprise to me.
It all boils down to monogamy being important to me. And so it remains a "No Matter What" in my life.
Now, maybe I need to make a list for each?