Friday, July 10, 2009

When Is Enough Really Enough?

What is enough? Is it enough to just get by? Do we need more than shelter, clothing, and food?
Some family members were talking about the money that Hollywood stars and big-name, big-earning sports players 'waste'. But isn't that a matter of opinion? Don't we all 'waste' money on frivolous things?
Do I really need to shop another flea market? I have tons of clutter in my attic and basement, 'wasting' away in boxes. Do I really need another pair of jeans or a tee shirt to cram into my over-burdened closet and dresser drawers? Do I need to add to a silly owl collection? Do I need another bottle of perfume added to the collection I've already amassed? Don't I have enough?

Do we really need to be taking a family vacation? Do I need to buy pink fluff for my already renovated kitchen, that has already been redecorated to the hilt?
Where is the line drawn?

When walking city streets and seeing people begging for a hand-out, when do you say you've given enough? Is it when your pockets are empty? How many charities do you give to until you say you've donated to enough?

Do we really need a weekend away? Did we really need a pool? Do we need to be throwing parties every weekend when that money could be used for a worthy cause? Do we really need to repaint? Do I need another throw pillow? Do the grandkids need another toy?

When did my 'wants' become my 'needs'?
I think I must have always been this way because I can't remember being any other way. It doesn't feel very good to be me looking at me right now.

Seriously, you don't have to leave a comment if you're reading here, I'm not looking to have my ego stroked, I'm not looking for a pep talk. I know I'm not a horrible person. I just don't feel like a very giving one right now, and I think I'm just about due for a lot of soul-searching.

If you'd like to leave a favorite Bible quote or prayer, that would be much appreciated.


  1. Eileen, my prayers are always with you. You know what sweetie, what you have just described is a human being. A human being with all its imperfections....I'm sure if you stood back and looked at yourself as a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend you would see all the love you have given freely. Those who know you and have you in their life, love you for you. Not because you may want more, or need less but because all these things make up the wonderful person you are. You are very hard on yourself my friend, you know its not boastful to realize how much you give and do for others.
    No more than recognizing what others have done and do for you.....luv you.....:-) Hugs

  2. 2 Corinthians 9:6-12

    "The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written,
    “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;his righteousness endures forever.”
    He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.

  3. Eileen, I can honestly say..that even though we've not met in person, you are absolutely the sweetest person ever!! (I consider you my angel!)
    Anyone that can send such wonderful gifts packaged up with such love and thoughtfulness is just amazing!! Your love for others shows through in every post and all the sweet pictures. Your words are always so heartfelt and is a treasure to know you. I think you are definately to hard on yourself. None of us are perfect!! Sending love your way :) Jerelene

  4. Oh my gosh Eileen it's only human nature to want more and better things. We all do. God knows this. He accepts it. He still loves us. He has forgiven all of our sins including greed. He died for us because he loves us and forgives us our sins. We are safe in his eyes.
    What you are feeling is good because it shows that you do know right from wrong. Our guilt is our own punishment and hopefully we learn a little each time when we feel this way. God has already forgiven all of us. It's forgiving ourselves that is the hard part!

  5. Eileen...everyone has their moment of questioning "just what am I doing"...sqaundering away their time, energy, or money on useless things...those "things" served a purpose at one point...we all just change with time...that's the act of growing as a person...the giving of ourselves is much more important than the giving of money...our government should be there for anyone of great need...helping when and how we can is all one can do.
    Your thoughts just arise out of your sweet nature...Everyone has different needs in their lives...more and more are turning to a simpler life style..."homesteading" is becoming very popular...
    but so is just consuming less, not wasting and trying to leave this world a better place for our grandchildren...that is really all that is important...I believe...our time on earth is short...we should just appreciate "who we are"
    and make our lives and others as enjoyable as possible without guilt!

  6. Hi Eileen-
    I love your raw honesty and self reflections - I truly do. I "ditto" the above words of inspiration. ANd add this -
    each day, each of us does the best we can to meet our needs - and not impede others doing the same. How we meet our needs is very personal. If you have a moment to go over to my blog and search for the post "Choice Theory" I think you will find it helpful.
    and the bible quote : Isaih 43. It is my favorite.

    I am SO excited to be here.

    Love to you

  7. Hello Eileen, I just read your blog and I am very touched by it. I too have been thinking about 'needs' and 'wants' and I am now thinking that I am grateful for having my needs met, I realize how frivolous I have been in the past, but it took me having to be brought to this place of surrender before I have realized it. Your heart is soft, and I think that is a very wonderful quality, and perhaps the Lord is just softening it just a little more. I believe the Lord wants us to live abundantly, but I believe He wants us to give out of our abundance. I don't think that abundance just means money and things, I think it means also faith, hope, and love. We are truly giving if we can encourage one another in faith, giving them hope in the future , and if we love one another out of the abundance of our hearts.

  8. Thank you all for you more than generous, more than kind remarks.
    You are all always so sweet, and I don't think you could ever see selfishness or greed in me. I must portray myself as nice in my writing.

    I've discussed this with my family (they are here for a pool party now so I won't stay on long, I'm cooking, they are playing volleyball), and this is the responses I got:
    "Oh shut the @%*! (it's a bad word, Marcy)up! So what? So you're selfish and greedy, live with it!"
    And, "Just accept yourself the way you are, you Bit(you know the rest)!"
    And, "Oh, please, get over yourself here! Stop thinking so deep!"

    So now you see why I blog to bare my soul!

    I actually did like the 'Snap out of it' remarks my family gave me.
    But I'm still going to secretly carry on my dilemma here!

    I'll thank you each after everyone goes home later tonight.

    Please know I appreciate you all!

  9. I think we are all quilty of not doing and giving enough. It's human nature. It seems like the more money people get the worst it becomes. Your post touched my heart.

  10. Eileen, to me, God is the God of abundance. You give and do what you can. God will guide you. Just give thanks to Him for the things you have because He inhabits the praises of His people, and like a good Father, God wants to bless us, His children.

    I think the Salvation Army has a saying about give a man a fish, and he can eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he can feed himself for a lifetime. Even if you gave some of the people the clothes off of your back, that doesn't gurantee they wouldn't squander them in the gutter. And that's not to say that we shouldn't give people things... the people in the gutter need ministry as much as the people who are getting up and going to work every day and sitting in the pews of our churches.

    I think it's good to give to agencies such as the Salvation Army because they do minister to those people each and every day. And if you feel led of the Holy Spirit to give, then do so. But don't feel guilty about the blessings in your own life. If you worry about getting a new cushion, then find something to give away to charity. I need to do some of that. God has convicted me lately to do just that, so I'm speaking to myself here.


    Sheila :-)

  11. P.S. I didn't mean to make it sound like I was looking down on someone in the gutter. We've all been in gutters in our lives, and I was using that term figuratively. There are emotional gutters, spiritual gutters, and health gutters in addition to financial gutters.

    And I would never look down on anyone in any type of gutter. I just like to look for ways to give them a hand up. Sometimes that's a handout, and sometimes it's more than that. But there are people who are better equipped to deal with it than I.



  12. Like the Salvantion Army.

    Is this the longest post ever???

    The phone is ringing!