Thursday, August 5, 2010


Six months ago my therapist (yes, I have one) told me that I am all about "more, more, more".

This theory was in early development on the previous evening when I forced Larry to do yoga with me. I had just received my Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown and wanted to try it out. After the 30 minute workout, where Jillian rocks the attempted yoga-laid-back-half ponytail, I complained that the routine wasn't hard enough. Larry, dripping in sweat and aching muscles, asked me why I couldn't just be satisfied that I had worked out for half an hour.

I know I'm obsessive-compulsive about generally everything in life, but I have never considered that I had a more-is-better attitude.

So this subject came up in therapy yesterday, with my sweet therapist who probably loves me like a daughter. A daughter who is actually a cash cow versus one who drains her pocket. I have seen this particular counselor on and off for the last 7 years (not weekly....or even yearly..lest you think I'm a real basket case).

Onto my more-more-more hypothesis: yes, everything in my life tends to fall into an all-or-nothing category. I'm totally a black and white thinker, because seriously, who has time for gray? When I discover something I enjoy, I typically want more of it. But not only more of it, more in the sense that it's all I think about. I want more exercise, more clothes, more wall decor, more purses/handbags and more money. My word, I will go to the mall to shop for Christmas presents for others, and then come home with new shoes or the new placemats I desperately needed for my spring season kitchen arrangement. So maybe I'm a bit extreme. Told you.
But seriously, when you go to the mall to buy your gifts this year - look at the clothes they have displayed: we're literally already in the spring fashion season. It's all just so overwhelming to me. The shorts and skirts and cute warm weather outfits just kicks my mind into overdrive about which wardrobe pieces I need to purchase to be in style for spring. And I want MORE. of all of it!

I don't think I'm alone. The American Dream is all about having, doing and being more. It's about climbing the ladder (whether corporate or social) and announcing to the world that we are "someone" because we have more. I heard a story today about a little 9 year old boy who was made fun of by his peers at school because he had a hole in his jeans (in an undesirable area). The boy and his father are apparently living out of a motel room, and the boy came to school this morning hungry because they had no food for dinner last night. I hear that story, and then I reflect on my more mentality. My biggest worry right now is whether I have spent equal amounts of money on all four kids for Christmas, compared to others who don't even know if they'll eat tonight...and much less know what or IF they will have anything under the tree on Christmas morning.

Oh how I think Jesus is grieved when we seek our "more" from this world. In Paul's first letter to Timothy, he says, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." (1 Timothy 6:6-8 NIV)

How does this even work? Without bouncing to the other extreme (and taking on a form of poverty i.e. sell the cars, house, etc and move to Cambodia), how does one live amidst the extravagance of our culture and remain content with what we have? My answer to this is Jesus. Living a life soaked in His presence, in His Word, is the only way to rise above the pull of the world and its' rat race. You and I can have Jesus in unlimited supply, and He even tells us to ask for more of his Holy Spirit. As a woman with a keen eye towards any possible obsession, having an addiction to Jesus is my answer. Someone can read this and think I'm unrealistic or way too extreme. I am convinced, however, that to live a life in pursuit of anything but Jesus is deadly. Obviously, a passion for purses or promotion may not kill you physically; but if those things are the center of your universe, your soul will live a sickly life. I have lived these things and know them to be all too true.

I suggest that for the next three days, you meditate on what it is that really matters. (ugh, does this sound like an NPR segment?). Seriously, though, I pray you don't even see yourself in this description. If you do, I pray that you'll realize what you need more of is Jesus and only Jesus.
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