“Charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life”. 1 Timothy 6:17-19
I know I’m not the only one who feels overwhelmed by the amount there is to buy, see, do, and have. With social media this only increases. With a simple scroll or click you can see everything that is new, and everyone who has it. The desire to have the latest and greatest is a hamster wheel that will never end. As a child of the Creator we are called to set our sights higher. To focus on the Lord, who provides all that we will ever need. We are called to be content.
I think no matter your age, location, income, or status, everyone struggles with contentment. Last year I stumbled upon the Nancy Ray Contentment Challenge. It lodged in my mind. Through the remainder of the year I kept coming back to it and in December I decided it was going to be my start to the New Year. Like my 2017 Goals, I was hesitant to share this on my blog because it feels rather personal and I feel very unqualified to talk about it. I’m 20 and have very little life under my belt. But where social media can be overwhelming while trying to find contentment, it also can be wonderful. As I was preparing my guidelines I found out my sweet friend Kat was also planning to do the challenge for the first 6 months of the year. We exchanged a few emails and agreed to be accountability partners for this challenge. Then the Lord blew our minds. Kat decided to start a Facebook group for us and a few other friends to connect over this commitment. Within 1 week, we had over 150 members in the group! Crazy! If that doesn’t make it evident that the Lord is working in this challenge I don’t know what does. Reading posts from Nancy, Kat, Jessica, Ashlyn, and many others have encouraged me and motivated me in my challenge. So, after a push from Kat here we are! Just like my goals I thought I would share about this as well.
What is the contentment challenge?
In the words of Nancy “We will give up shopping for clothes, accessories, household decor, and “stuff” for 3 months, to focus our hearts and minds on the root of true contentment. We will actively pursue fulfilling activities that will replace our addiction to material things.”
The idea is to commit to 3 months of eliminating distractions that cause discontentment by giving up shopping for clothes, accessories, decor, unnecessary office supplies, etc. In the weeks leading up to the challenge beginning you are to set your guidelines and prepare for the challenge. Like Nancy says in one of her blog posts it is “the pursuit of a more content and fulfilling life that is NOT fueled by material things”
Nancy has a series of blog posts that lead you through the series as well as an ebook (for purchase) that I would highly recommend. She is an incredibly talented writer, teacher, and encourager. In week two of the ebook she describes the life of her grandparents and what she learned about contentment from them. The few paragraphs moved me to tears! I highly recommend taking advantage of her wonderful resources.
Here are the guidelines I’ve decided to (attempt to..) stick to.
- No online shopping…I’ve noticed that this is where I do my “mindless” shopping. I can order something so quickly, before even considering if I actually need it. Hopefully driving to the store for the things I need will slow me down enough to consider if I do in fact, need them.
- No clothes, makeup, accessories, shoes, purses, etc.
- Choose to drink coffee or tea when out rather than an expensive latte…because those bad boys just add up.
- No social media until I’ve done my Bible study in the morning
- No social media after 10pm
I plan to post several updates throughout the challenge to log my growth and outcomes. If you have felt a push towards this area of your life, will you join me? It may seem intimidating at the beginning, but only two weeks in I can already tell you it is worth it.