Courtesy of and creator zirconicusso

A few weeks ago one of my friends dropped by to chat over a cup of tea. She had a lot on her mind about her personal life and life at large, and she poured it out. I hope I was a good listener.

With all that is going on in our universe we had much to talk and think about and to wonder how we fit into the grand scheme. We live in a world of such abundance that it’s pretty hard to justify our extraneous purchases when so many people live even below poverty level.

I couldn’t agree with her more. In fact, on Halloween Day I dropped by Halloween City in my community to pick up a silly hat or scarf so I could assemble even a small costume in order to be part of the neighborhood Trick or Treat night with my grandson and great grandson and their parents.

I lasted about five minutes. Couldn’t find a thing I would spend even a dollar on. So I left, once again with that sick feeling of being surrounded by junk probably manufactured in China by people who don’t have enough to eat, let alone the ability to buy even one of the many luxuries we have in the U.S.

As one of my daughters, once lamented: “It all ends up in the dollar store!”

And the cycle of buying and purging and piling up our landfills starts all over again.

So what are we to do? I don’t know on the grand scale. I don’t have any wisdom here. But I  have decided that I will continue to simplify my life–to focus on experiences with my family and friends rather than stuff. To give more of my money away to charities and people who need it rather than adding more to my closets and book shelves.

I can’t change the world but I can change myself and my habits.

“A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.” Proverbs 13: 7 (MSG)

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic worth considering.






It All Ends Up in the Dollar Store! — 6 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed your newsletter as always. I think God has been speaking to me about being more frugal. We are bombarded with so many goods and unnecessary services in our North American culture! I actually start thinking that a mani/pedi is a necessary service! There are so many people who live in terrible poverty that live on what we spend on our boutique coffees. My husband and I are trying to focus on experiences too- we bought our 7 year old granddaughter tickets for 2 children’s productions in the New Year! Yes, 2017 is going to be a “downsizing” year- I must reread your book again!

    • Thanks, Angela. I really appreciate your sharing your experience too. And I like your decision to share memorable events with your grandchildren rather than a ton of stuff they will one day outgrow.

  2. A very good subject and your thoughts are helpful, as always. Since I was brought up during the depression we did not have much in the way of “things” nor money but we had a lot of love in our home and I feel we need to dwell on this. We were taught to “give to others” and Dad would send a dollar ( yes a dollar) to every charity from whom he received a letter. I have found myself following in his example and it gives me much pleasure to give ( more than a dollar of course)to the causes I KNOW use the money wisely to help those who really need it! One Christmas our minister suggested we keep a record of how much we spend on our families and friends and then give one tenth of this amount to the church to be given to families in need. I thought that was an excellent suggestion! I believe the verse which says “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” ( that is my “sermon for the day”!) BIG smile and Merry Christmas to all!! Love, Margaret

    • Thanks, Margaret. What a lovely custom your father had and also I like what your minister suggested. My father also encouraged my siblings and me to give at least one dime out of our weekly allowance to the church. He believed in sharing what we had, regardless of the amount, and I practice his teaching to this day.

  3. Well said Karen. Your words challenge me because I still like the”stuff”. And yet the needs around us are so great. I am trying to release something(s) when I get a new piece of clothing, etc. So that I don’t just keep accumulating more. Bless you.

    • Thank you, Carol. I just took two bags over to Good Will this morning. Maybe what I no longer can use will be a blessing to someone in need. I’m happy to hear you’re thinking along the same lines.

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