Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Discontentment And The Mailbox

During the two months prior to Christmas, my mailbox swells each year as merchants send a flood of colorful, glossy, eye-catching treats in the form of innocent catalogs. Each company carefully selects a theme that is sure to create the warm fuzzies and move the once contented soul to imagine those dazzling new items in their own abode. 

Photo Credit: jahansell

What has caught me off guard this past year is the number of catalogs arriving around the calendar. In an unprecedented move inspired by the current recession, it seems retailers are making a last ditch effort to stimulate the economy. How sweet of them. 

It is amazing how content I can remain when my focus is on God and that with which He has chosen to bless me. But let a sleek new catalog enter the house and suddenly, a grey cloud is hanging over every less than perfect room. What once was useful and practical is suddenly outdated, mismatched, and worn-out. Soon my whole attitude is infected!

Perhaps this only happens to those of us who are visual learners (which is the majority of the population!). Or maybe you have already discovered and conquered this weakness of the flesh. Or the mailman no longer delivers anything to your box. If so, you are in the minority and certainly blessed. You must be so content! For the rest of us, we need to take charge of the battle and fight with winning strategies, both defensively and offensively. 

Eliminate Impulse Shopping From Home

• First, eliminate the catalogs you no longer want arriving in your mailbox. Stop Junk Mail has a website where you can download a 3 page kit to stop unwanted catalogs, credit card offers, shopping flyers, and more. Other online sources include Catalog Choice (I really like this one!)Opt Out Prescreen  for credit card and insurance offers, and the National Do Not Call Registry. Besides getting rid of those unwanted catalogs and credit card offers, think of how many trees you are saving. 

Another way to eliminate unwanted phone calls is to tell the caller to immediately add your number to their DO NOT CALL list. If they ever call again, just mention that you are on their "Do Not Call" list and it should quickly end the conversation. They do not want to get fined for violating this law. I had to do this with a newspaper a few years ago and I couldn't believe how fast they wanted off the line! 

The only way I know to stop emails is to go to the bottom of the unwanted ad and click "Unsubscribe". It's at the bottom every time, but you may have to do different things to actually process this request. For some it's just a click. For others, they want you to select some choices as to what you do not want to receive in the future. It only takes a moment, but this can go a long way to decluttering your life and removing the temptation to shop!

• Second, keep a running list of items you are really needing or want to purchase based on more than a whim; you've thought about it for a few weeks, measured, thought about your options, and are willing to save and pay cash for it

• Third, as the mail arrives, stand over the trash can and dump every catalog that you know will not contain an item on your running Wish List. If you need a new sweater, keep the clothing catalogs and ditch the Pottery Barn and Plow and Hearth. Don't open yourself up for temptation by opening the catalog! Flee from it!

• Finally, while standing at the counter, quickly flip through and scan for the item you are looking for. Rip out any possible choices and ditch the rest of the catalog.  Resist the urge to curl up with a cup of hot tea and savor every item. (Okay, once in a while you can do this, but buyer beware!)

I Timothy 6:6-12
"But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we  have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content...For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called..."

Matthew 6:19-20
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal."


Related Posts with Thumbnails