Today's passage: I Samuel 12
"And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit or deliver; for they are vain."
I have always been very careful with my money. Even as a girl, I rarely ever spent my allowance without long consideration. I still am not much of a shopper, and usually will talk myself out of something before I buy it. Sure, there are lots of things I would like to have, but when money is not overflowing, you learn to be selective with what you purchase. I have always been the type of person who wants to get the most out of that dollar, and want to get my money's worth. I wear my shoes until they are falling apart (my mother can attest to this) even when I no longer notice the scuffs or the loosening seams. I wear my clothes (and most of those given to me) far beyond their fashion season, and usually into a new one--What Not to Wear. I never buy something new if what I have is still working. Sounds like I have "vain things" under control. Wrong.
I am not saying that if you spend money on shoes or clothes, or ever replace something still working, that you are vain. Really, I'm not. For me, in my mind, when I need that money for groceries, when the boys need haircuts or new shoes, I can't spend it on myself. Then, for me, it seems vain. Yet, I sometimes struggle with being resentful because I am not a fashion plate. I admire the glossy magazine pictures of the fashionista moms. I wish I could pull off the cute bob with blond highlights, although I'd be too scared to spend my money on a haircut I'm not sure would look great on me. Are these vain things? For me they are. For me, if I started to go down the road of following the latest trends, I would lose my way. That is not the case for everyone. I've seen many stylish Christians, and I don't think to myself, "They are pursuing vain things," because I've also seen their lives and their love for God. Some people can manage it. I'm not sure I can. When I start to feel frumpy (which I do, often) I have to remember there will be a season for me later. There may be a time later in life when I can have the cute hairdo, the fashionable clothes. Now is not that season. Now, for me, those things are vain. Because those things are not eternal. What is eternal is training my three boys to love God. What will last is helping them see the importance of telling others about Christ, reading His Word, being a servant in and out of church. What is important, for now, is that I give my all to them. I don't know if they will remember the decade-old clothes I wore, or the hair in need of a makeover, or the dinosaur computer I will use until it is pixeled out. Maybe those things will be an embarrassment to them. Sometimes they are to me. But if I've done things right, they will remember more what I've taught them. They will remember that Mommy loved God. I hope that is what they will remember. I hope I can live my life to really show that. When they are older and prayerfully serving God in some capacity, as I hope they will, I can reevaluate my wardrobe, my hairdo, my non-broken-down appliances. That tight fist holding onto the money might be able to loosen up a bit, I might splurge on occasion. But then again, there are always missionaries that could use those dollars....