Sheila's Books
Click on the covers to read more or order autographed copies!

My Webrings

Crazy Hip Blog Mamas Members!



Medical Billing
Medical Billing

For ALL Your Graphic Needs

Dine Without Whine - A Family 

Friendly Weekly Menu Plan
How to Defeat Materialism and Find Happiness

One of the strongest messages in our culture is "You'll be happy if only you buy this." And it has a twin sister who says the same thing, just backwards: "the reason you're not happy is because you don't have enough. So go shopping!"

Everything in our culture revolves around shopping. Magazines try to sell us stuff. TV shows are punctuated by commercials. Movies have product placement. And even when there aren't specific ads, the people are so beautiful that we want to buy what they have, just so we can be that successful, too.

It sure is hard on one's wallet. But even worse, it's hard on our hearts, because what culture really sells us is dissatisfaction. You can never be completely happy because if you were, you wouldn't need anything. You'd have no need to shop! Hence, they have to make you unhappy so you'll head to the mall!

If you're a mom trying to make ends meet, it can be frustrating. And often we spend months scrimping and saving and depriving ourselves, and then what we want more and more is to splurge on something. We deserve it! And it doesn't seem fair that we should always be the ones losing out.

It's funny that we should think that way, because in reality, most young couples with kids who have big homes and vacations and new clothes are heavily in debt and bordering on bankruptcy. You're probably in better financial shape than they are, if you are watching your pennies and budgeting for stuff. But television rarely shows people living in small homes with hand-me-down clothes. I'm amazed at the shows and movies I watch where people with a relatively low-income job still live in a huge house. It's unrealistic. They're the ones who are wrong, not us!

So how do you come to the point where you can be happy with fewer things, but more time with family and less stress about money? How can we find peace without materialism? There's a (surprisingly) good article here at wiki on it, and let me share with you a few of their points.

1. Limit television, movies, and news watching, because it will make you feel inadequate.

2. Don't go the mall for fun.

3. If you want something, make a 30-day list. If you still want it after 30 days, and think it's worth the money, talk to your spouse about it and then decide whether or not to get it.

4. Make a gratitude list instead of a shopping list

And there's so much more! I, of course, would add prayer and reading Scripture, because it focuses your heart on what's really important. Even just play praise CDs throughout the day to keep your mind thinking about God.

But now I'd like to ask you: how can you defeat materialism? Leave a comment, and let's see if we can make our own lists!


Subscribe to To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Labels: , , ,


At 7:57 AM , Blogger Jennifer Sikora said…

I gave you an award!


At 11:02 AM , Blogger Alex Headrick said…

Awards are going around! I'm giving you the "beautiful blogger" award as well!


At 3:04 PM , Blogger Jen @ After The Alter said…

It's so true! And it's easy to get sucked into all the materialism. My husband and I both work, but I want to be a I keep reminding him that we have to make decisions accordingly. I have cut back a lot, and we have 0 debt, but sometimes I find myself "wanting" things...I have been better at reminding myself what's important though. I think America really needs help with this!


At 3:12 PM , Blogger Tessa said…

Love this! So fitting as I just spent a couple days in Edmonton, one of those day at West Edmonton Mall!
My sister-in-law and her husband went shopping while the rest of us went on rides at GalaxyLand. And as we pulled in the parking lot my other sister-in-law was saying that since her car is over half paid off she was thinking about trading it in. She gave lots of "good reasons" why she should but the thing it came down to: she's bored of it!

I'm so glad that my husband and I have tried to steer clear of this epidemic. Our car is nearly paid off as well but we're putting that payment into a savings fund for when we have more children and need a bigger vehicle.

As for advice on not falling into it: we pray every day and thank the Lord for all the blessings He has bestowed on us. We even name them (i.e. a roof over our heads, a vehicle that has heat and a/c, family nearby, a happy healthy son etc). That keeps us focused on the good things.

It's been very tempting for us to buy things such as travel trailer or even toys for our son. Then we stop and ask ourselves some of the questions that you mentioned: how often will we use it? Or is he unhappy and/or bored with the things he has now? Can we trade with someone? Can we buy used? (thrift stores and kijiji are aweseome!) Do I have a place to put this? And can I get rid of something I currently have so I'm not creating more mess in my house?

If I want to spend money on myself I try to find something that will provoke me to learn something or be creative. Like a good book (maybe something about marriage improvement:) ) or something for me to "craft" so I can sell it or give it away.
I think that materialisim is a tough mentality to avoid. For me the easy part is avoiding the actual expenditures (I'm Dutch and a penny pincher). My husband has been amazing at helping me find a balance. We budget some money every month for "fun stuff." And that money is unaccounted for so we can choose to save up or spend it all right away on whatever we want. Adult allowance :)


At 6:21 PM , Blogger Laura said…

Great post and definitely something to get people thinking about!

A few years ago my husband and I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and it has changed us and our views of finances sooo much. It got us started on a budget and made me think before spending. I rarely do an impulse buy anymore and if I do it is within the budget.

One part of the budget that has helped me the most is the "blow money". We decide ahead of time how much money we get each week to spend as we want. For us it isn't much and it makes me think through every thing before sending it through the check out line. I find I am plenty happy without all that stuff that I WANT.

Dave Ramsey encourages "If you will live like no one else, someday you will live like no one else." And like you said... there is no sense in keeping up with the Joneses... they're BROKE. :)


At 1:56 PM , Blogger Tiffany said…

As always, you are challenging me to better our lives! Thanks Sheila!

Post a Comment
<< Home

About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

See my complete profile

Follow This Blog:

 Subscribe to To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Follow on Twitter:
Follow on Facebook:

Important Links
Previous Posts

Popular Archived Posts
Christian Blogs
Mom Blogs
Marriage/Intimacy Blogs
Blogs For Younger/Not Yet Married Readers
Housework Blogs
Cooking/Homemaking Blogs
Writing Links
Blog Design by Christi Gifford

Images from

Related Posts with Thumbnails