Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Materialism and the 50 Project Challenge

As I said yesterday, I have been praying about whether or not there is any area of having material things that may be an issue for me or which could become an issue. And the thing that came to mind was my hobbies. hmmm

There is a current activity going through some of the blogs that I read to not buy any more cross stitch “stash” (charts, fabric, etc.) until 50 projects have been stitched from current stash. It sounds like a great idea, but then there are still a couple of charts out there that I am really wanting, so I think that I won’t sign up...

And I find myself pondering if this is my materialism issue? I don’t really think it is, but I think it is probably the weak area that I could let become a problem if I’m not aware of it. As I said there are a couple of charts I want. I’ve wanted them for several months now. But I committed to myself that I would not buy them until I finished the 2 main projects that are in my rotation. It’s not 50, but it’s the same idea. I’ve committed to myself to not buy any fabric until I have used ½ of what I currently have bought and stored. Basically, I want to be able to find what I need and close the drawer where it is stored. These are commitments I made in March to myself, and I’ve honoured them. If collecting hobby materials (cross stitch and quilting) was my god, I know that I would have failed in this endeavour a long time ago. I didn’t begin this commitment for a spiritual reason, it was practical--I have more than I need for three lifetimes. But does it say anything about my spiritual state?

Anna asks, “At any rate, I know I need to do something about the sprawl in my craftroom, so I was thinking, what's the point of 50? There's no magic in finishing 50 items, there's no rhyme or reason to the number 50 or even 25 or 10. Does it make any sense to stitch 50 charts if you have to buy the threads and fabric for 46 of those? Or, do they mean to use up $300-400 worth of what they've already got? Now that, I can get behind.”

Why 50? What about using $300 or $400 worth of stuff? Or what about just doing what I feel I need to do to have better control over the stuff in my life (or you feel you need to gain more control over your life). I think this is where I am coming from, 50 is an arbitrary number. To me it made sense to cut back. It made sense to finish what I started two years ago before I did something new. But 50 would just be an arbitrary target. I need goals that are more tangible, and make sense to my current life.

But now I’m back to my original question: What does it say about my spiritual state? I think it says that materialism is not my current god. I’m happy when I can add to my hobby, but I don’t have to buy to be happy. And I’ve learned how to share that hobby with others. In the last year I’ve had the joy of stitching for several quilt projects for friends to celebrate the joy of babies’ births and in one case to warm a friend as she recovers from chemo. God has blessed me with never truly suffering material need, but he has taught me to share with others by identifying with them in emotional need. I believe I am learning to say with the Apostle Paul,

“Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”

I am content with what I have. I believe I would be just as content with less. In some ways I think I would be much more content with less. That is why I continue to purge my life of junk. But I don’t think I need to feel guilty the next time I add a chart to my wish list or even if I buy something off of my wish list. I don’t buy it unless I can afford it, and I know that God has blessed me with the ability to have such luxuries. So cross stitch is not a materialism issue for me. Really materialism is not a big issue for me. That’s good, I have so many more issues to work on. lol. So where do I go with this study? Tomorrow I’ll be considering what to do when you know that a sister does struggle with the issue of material things. See you then.


1 comment:

~Velda said...


I just want to say what an incredible woman you are. You inspire me everyday. I read every entry but don't always know what to say. Sometimes I just inhale your words, nod my head and smile. You are a blessing in my life in more ways than you know.