At least when we get home, I know that some of this will be more about putting off buying things than making less purchases. I'll still need a computer, new clothes, and some kitchen items, whether I buy them before or after April 4. Somehow, though, I think having two weeks at home before I dive into the mall will make my transition somewhat more sane.
There's something to be said for self-denial, too. In Pucallpa, there's not much worth buying, but every once in a while I find a knick knack I think I need. Last week my 2 "good" pens died on me. Honestly I panicked a little bit. How can I go 5 more weeks using ball point pens in my journal? Impossible! Just about every day since then I've had this itch to go find a new pen. What's $2? Then I look at my basket of 143 other pens and decide that there's something to be said for waiting. That doesn't make it much easier, though.
Yesterday we arrived in Lima and a whole new world of consumerism opened up to me. There's also this urge to take advantage of the fact that I'm here. I'm going to need a new bedspread for my guest room when I get home. Shouldn't I look for one here where it will be cheaper? As I thought about it this morning, I felt a little push to say no. Four days in Lima without shopping at all would give me more space for other things-- friends, rest, exercise, prayer. Those are the kinds of priorities I want in my life.
My friend Laurie sent me another Kierkegaard quote that she found rummaging through some old things this week. It's a good reminder when I'm tempted to abandon simplicity for things or food or the internet. "Busyness makes it almost impossible for an individual to form a heart."
What do I really need? Let the other activities and objects fall away. More than those, I want a heart, and I want to pursue God's heart.