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SHE quits retail therapy

If shopping were a sport, I would have been considered a pro-athlete. In all honesty, it does take athleticism to carry pounds of clothing in one arm while also using the free hand to sort for other garment gems. Just saying. Also, don’t overlook the upper and lower body movements that are required to try on several items of clothing at fashion model speeds.

Athleticism to the side, the pure act of shopping used to light up every area of my brain that controlled happiness and euphoria. I used to shop when I was bored, when I wanted to kill time, or just for fun. I would find pleasure in going through lines of clothing racks, hanger by hanger until I found a perfect mix between cheap and chic.

However, I began to realize that in the time between purchasing the item and hanging it in my closet, the item I thought I couldn’t live without suddenly hung with plummeting value in my wardrobe, likely to be worn once and then quickly drowned beneath the following week’s shopping spree. This became a lifestyle. A lifestyle filled with tags still attached to sleeves and forgotten items still in their original bags.

I remember being at a life-changing women’s conference and all I could notice were what people were wearing. “Oh I like her necklace.” “Those shoes are cute.” “Hmmm...mental snapshot. I should put those two colors together.” That Saturday as I was leaving the conference, I realized that I needed to go on a break from my relationship with retail.

If you have ever gone on a break from something you love, you’ll know that the first week is the hardest….and also the second, third and fourth. However, my hiatus allowed me to see how often I had filled my free time with mindless shopping ventures that left me content only long enough to swipe my card. The things that I used retail therapy to medicate were still waiting for me on the other side of the shopping bag.

I had to face each area of my life of discontentment that constantly drew directly from my well of joy. For an entire month, I became refilling my well with God’s word to remind me that He alone was my source.

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

-Colossians 2:8

“Rejoice always;pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Trust me, I’m speaking to myself as well, because I have already been tempted with Black Friday sales. But as we enter the notorious season of the year when expensive advertising and marketing tactics attempt to steal our joy and convince us that our contentment will be made complete in one swipe, be encouraged that your joy does not come from clearance but Christ.

What areas of your life do you experience the most amount of discontentment?

How can you begin to re-fill your well with joy instead of jealousy?

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