December 2: Nothing Personal, Pottery Barn, But I'll Pass

I got the mail today for the first time in a week, and thankfully I did because I don't think the mailman could've fit another envelope in there if he tried. I completely forgot about the mail while we were sick and was a little shocked to find that it doesn't retrieve itself and make it's way to the kitchen counter. Apparently, you actually have to do that yourself.

Among the stack was a "welcome to your new home" packet from Pottery Barn, complete with a fat catalogue and some 15% off coupons. So I thought, ooooh yay! It's been forever since I shopped at Pottery Barn! I shall have a look at this catalogue to see if there's anything I'd like to get, because I have a coupon, after all. I'm not more then two pages in when I realize that, clearly, they've sent this catalogue to the wrong house. They must've mistaken me for someone who has, you know, money. To spend on stuff. Extra money just lazing around, not doing anything, that can buy things like $200 lamps and $129 throws and $700 mirrors. And it was also very obvious that they don't seem to share my love of turquoise-themed home decor, so that made the first realization a little easier.

I know that there was a day once upon a time that I really liked Pottery Barn, so now I'm wondering what changed. Sure, we now have 6 people living on 1 income as opposed to 2 people living on 2 incomes. That might have something to do with it. Maybe I didn't used to care about spending money? Maybe my tastes have changed? Maybe I've gotten more frugal over the years? Yes, I'm sure I have. We wouldn't have survived otherwise, so that was a necessity, not an option. So have I just resigned myself to the fact that I can't afford the lovely, expensive things in this catalogue? No. I think I've come to realize that I don't NEED them to have a beautifully decorated home, to be important, or to be happy. A brand that I used to consider a "status symbol" to aspire to is now overpriced and just okay.

Take this pillar candleholder, for example. I love mercury glass and was super excited to find these on clearance at Target {who DOES share my love of turquoise-themed home decor} last year for $6. Compare with almost the same exact thing in the Pottery Barn catalogue for $30. That's a savings of 80% by simply NOT shopping at Pottery Barn.

I suppose that what it really comes down to is where you place your value. Where do you get your worth? Is it through buying upscale, expensive things, cars, homes, or clothes? Do you need to prove to the world that you're somebody because you can afford all the latest toys and gadgets? Do you want people to think more highly of you because you shop at certain stores or carry certain purses? Would that candleholder on my mantle be any more valuable or look any more appealing if it had Pottery Barn stamped on the bottom {where no one can see it, I might add} as opposed to Target? Would it make me any more valuable because I have it? Now, there's nothing wrong with shopping at Pottery Barn or having nice things {and on that note, I have some 15% off coupons I won't be using if anyone would like them!}, but the issue comes in when you find your worth, status, and importance there.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just the beginning of the craziness that is the Christmas shopping season. Pay attention to where your money goes this holiday season, and it will give you a picture of what's in your heart. What will you invest in this month, and the rest of the year? What do you value? Where do you find your worth? It's not the stamp on the bottom of your candleholder, the grill of your car, the sole of your shoe, or the side of your handbag that defines your worth but the stamp on your heart from your Savior and Creator: Jesus. His stamp says that you're important, you're loved, and you were created intentionally and with a purpose. And His stamp is the only one that matters.

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry,whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:11-13