Saturday, September 24, 2011

The battle to find contentment continues...

This week I signed myself up for the all-women's Diva Day 5k. Participants are encouraged to put teams together and dress up for fun. Our team decided to go with an 80s theme and call ourselves the "Fast Fondas". I purchased a hideous purple leotard with geometric print, leg warmers and a cropped t-shirt that hangs off one shoulder.

In true 80s fashion, the leg openings of my leotard come all the way up to my bellybutton. I laughed at myself in the mirror and wondered who EVER thought this was sexy.

Speaking of workout clothes, as I shared last week, I have been absolutely obsessed with lululemon athletic wear. I really felt like I HAD to have a new outfit from their store. After hours of scouring ebay, and selling two pairs of my old shorts to my next door neighbor, the money was burning a hole in my pocket, so I bought myself a pair of leggings and a new tank top. I checked the mail every day until my new outfit came. When it did, I put it on immediately and wore it around the house all day. Later, when I actually went to the gym, I beamed with pride as a woman recognized the brand of top I was wearing and complimented me on how cute it looked. Not even an hour later, I saw a friend of mine on the way out of the gym. She had a really cute outfit on. It was lulu. I completely felt like a spoiled toddler mentally stomping my feet and thinking "I want it! I want that one too!"

All week as I struggled through wanting something I knew I didn't really NEED, I kept waiting for God to intervene and magically change my heart. It never happened. Instead, he let me have what I wanted - after all, I was pretty bound and determined to get it. It wasn't until I had what I wanted that I realized I wasn't even satisfied. It didn't make me any happier. It didn't really change anything. I felt foolish as I looked at my purple 80s leotard. 30 years ago, someone probably really wanted that leotard. She probably wore it proudly to the gym - butt cheeks hanging out everywhere - and felt really cool. Now, its value is pretty insignificant.

The problem is definitely not the workout clothes - it's my heart. There's certainly nothing wrong with wanting new clothes. The problem comes when you think that some thing - a new outfit, a new job, better pay, a different spouse, different circumstances - will make you happier; it might for a little while, but there are always more outfits, better jobs with higher pay, and people that seem to have it made. Paul says in 1 Timothy that if we have shoes on our feet and bread on the table, that's enough. I looked at those verses in 20 different versions, and I couldn't find any of them that said that you needed cute workout clothes too. Shoot.

I'm really kind of embarrassed that I'm even having this struggle. A year ago, I gave up lattes to support a little boy in Uganda, who needs help just to keep food on the table. I learned so much from that small amount of sacrifice. I think it's time to make another commitment, and do it publicly so I have some accountability. For the next two months - until my birthday in November - I am not going to buy any new clothes, shoes or accessories. I'm having a small heart attack thinking about how hard this will be for me (which may seem ridiculous to some people - except my husband who will probably get up and dance when he reads this). I just want to have a heart that is content, and I know it needs a little work. I'll keep you posted on how it goes...

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