Tuesday, February 22

Make Do With What You Have

We live in an overly consumptive society. A materialistic society. A consumeristic society.

I know, I know...kind of a heavy way to start a blog post. Here is the thing...I want to encourage you today to be happy with what you have in your life and released from some of the pressure that you need more "stuff" to be happy.

My grandmother has a saying, "Make Do with what you have or make do without."

Not a edict that most of us live by these days...myself included.

Her wisdom is likely inspired by her experiences living through depression era years as a young child.

Anyway, my thoughts were inspired by my third viewing of the movie Ramona and Beezus with my daughter this week. It is her favorite new movie. We rented it from Redbox a week or so ago and she begged that we rent it again when we were leaving the grocery store Sunday night because she likes it so much.

I think it is my new favorite movie too. Partially because it is a happy movie...I miss happy movies...I love happy movies. I'm a sucker for happy feel-good movies and think we need a few more of them in our culture.  I hold no shame about that fact.

It is a movie about the Quimby's (Ramona's family) who are a family of five living in a house that they have obviously overgrown. Their means are modest. They are living on one salary-- the dads--and the mom is home with the kids. The picket fence out front is in terrible need of a paint job, things in the house are not matchy, matchy. There are boxes and papers, and the stuff of their lives strewn about every surface of their living space...the pillows on the couch are funky, the woodwork in the house is old and authentic. The dresser in Ramona's room looks like a castoff from a yard sale (kind of like the dresser in our spare bedroom!) There are drawings and doodles magneted to the entire surface of their fridge and they appear to have one small bathroom with baby toys hanging off the side of the tub in a mesh bag.  It is a family that looks like they use what they have, instead of needing to buy new, new, new all the time. It is a family that appears happy.  In a few words, the house is SO NOT "Pottery Barn" (ya'll know what I mean, I'm sure) and I love that about it.

What I love most about the movie is that as I watch it I feel a sense of relief. It is not one more piece of media making me feel like I need better bedding, or a nicer couch,  newer shelves, or drapes, or a remodled living room. It does not make me feel like I need a bigger house, or fancy artwork (the artwork around their house is framed drawings by the kids and family photos) or that my children need to be dressed in perfectly pressed Talbots clothing.

The movie makes me feel like people can be happy using what they have. It takes the pressure off...

Here is the thing...most of us...actually I would make a bet to say that all of us (myself and all of you reading this) have just about EVERYTHING we need and more.

Let today be a day that you make do with what you have (or do without) and relish in the unpressured value of that fact. We are a blessed people with an abundance of "stuff".

If you need some inspiration stop at Redbox and pick up Ramona and Beezus...if for no other reason than the fact that it is a short movie and a great pick-me-up about a happy and content family working through life. We all need more of those influences in our lives.

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