Ready for some amazing news???
I slept in my own bed last night!
So, here are some thoughts and ramblings after the event:
I don't know for sure what I've taken away yet from the conference. I think that the "fruit" will need time to grow and ripen before I can see the full effects. I have not turned on my TV once since coming home, and I so far, I am enjoying that.
I have decided to make two changes in my life. The first is the aforementioned "silencing of the TV," and the second is... well... I am not going to buy clothes this year. I will if I need to replace something, but I am not going to buy something because it is on sale and "Too cute to pass up..".
Now, I am not one to think that just "doing" will increase my spiritual life, but I do feel that a call to simplicity must start somewhere. I want to declutter my life of some stresses and I think both shopping and TV have been a waste of my time and resources. Mike pointed out that I do enjoy shopping and that I needed to be aware of that but... look at the work "enjoy." Should I really find joy in shopping?? I should find it in being with friends and talking with Mike and doing my best at work... not to mention in my relationship with Christ. If I am finding joy elsewhere, where do I leave room (or time) to seek joy where it really matters?
If my friends invite me to go shopping, I will simply have to use the discipline not to spend money. I may need to leave my debit cards at home to start, but I will do it. When something does wear out, I think I will take my time and carefully purchase what I need, and in that, find better quality (fair trade) products.
Avoiding both TV and shopping I think will help me de-materialize my life. The constant bombardment of commercials through TV and the readiness and availability of goods are two of the challenges I hope to avoid.
Personally, I have come to love my 3 traveling companions a great deal. I know the 3 of them share a closer bond than I do with any of them, but I appreciate their willingness to share their relationships and love with me. Even though I thought they were a bit screwy in the beginning, I came to adore those oddities and just added in my own version to their mix!
I love you three very much, and look forward to many other crazy adventures!