As Others Feast, I Wake

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“As we enter a season where consumption is at its highest and I, like so many others, struggle to retain any sense of the true meaning of need, I feel convicted.”

I have listened and learned this month.

I have wept and laughed as so many of you have shared stories of feasting, about what it means to you: the joy, the sadness and the yearning.

You’ve talked about nourishing your bodies, minds and souls with all that is good and holy in life. But everything inside me is telling me to stop.

Stop feasting.

Instead of feasting on more in life, I feel a strong conviction to take in less—at least where I’m standing right now. My conscience is weighed down, my mind filled with recurrent images of disrobing, both in a physical and spiritual sense.

I sense God is telling me to stop. Stop revelling in the adornments that mean nothing in the light of eternity—the clothes, the shoes, the jewelry, the house decor. All of these things that I am drawn to for their beauty have become temptations that distract me from life; diversions that I use to fill needs that no earthly objects can ever truly fill.

I’m using them to avoid facing myself.

I am hungry. For what may take a lifetime to truly know. Fullness of life? Love? Peace? Connection? I’m hungry for all of it.

And God doesn’t want me to satiate that hunger with material objects, or the chocolate that seems to magically appear when I’m overwhelmed. He wants me to stand in that place where I am raw, where I can feel and grow.

He literally wants me to disrobe, to stop buying clothes and start finding useful outlets for my money. And in doing so, in stripping away those worldly things that can never satisfy my egoistic “needs,” I will be in a position to receive. His teaching. His love. His direction.

It’s funny how God speaks to me. A year ago I wasn’t aware of my habitual over-consuming—or at least, if I was, I chose to ignore it. It was a non-issue. But I was feasting on everything that dulled my true needs. And it’s not something that someone in my life has convicted in me. It’s a sense, a feeling, a picture in my head. Something I can’t shake.

An awakening.

And oh, how I’m resisting. As we enter a season where consumption is at its highest and I, like so many others, struggle to retain any sense of the true meaning of need, I feel convicted by God. And I find myself wishing God would wait until the New Year.

As this month draws to a close and I reflect on our collective thoughts about feasting, I feel compelled to strip away the needs of the flesh and feast only on love.

God wants to meet me at my most humble, my most basic. God wants to see me without the adornments, exposed and vulnerable before Him.

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My dear SheLoves sisters, I’d love to hear:

  •  How does God convict you when you feast on the things that numb your feelings?
  • When have you felt compelled to consume less?
  • Any other thoughts?
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Claire De Boer
Hi, I’m Claire and though you may only see my words here once a month I’m part of the wonderful sisterhood of women who edit, upload and brainstorm behind the scenes of SheLoves. I was born and raised in England but pretty much see myself as a fully fledged Canadian. I spend just about all of my spare time blogging, editing and creating stories. I’ve also ventured into the world of teaching and mentor students in using writing as a tool for personal growth. My passion is to help others find the value and beauty in their stories and to find healing or self-awareness via journaling, memoir, or just "soul writing", as I like to call it. To learn more about my journey and the work I'm doing visit The Gift of Writing
Claire De Boer
Claire De Boer

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  • Holly

    I’ve often thought that, because of a lack of funds,”I am obviously not at risk for over-consuming.” But it is in the moments that follow the thinking of that very thought that I am convicted. For, although I might not be able to mindlessly spend my money on the trinkets and baubles of this world, I certainly waste much of my heart and soul space on things not lasting. I distract myself with “writing research” (aka unproductive time plopped in front of the computer). I piddle around my house, thinking about all of the tasks that need to be done but doing none of them. I busy myself with “thinking-big-thoughts”, all the while, my children sit, waiting for me to join them in whatever it is that they are up to in the moment. And that’s it, I overspend my moments. I let loose of them as if they were errant pennies with seemingly little value. But, you see, a collection of small coins makes for a surprising fortune. This year, this season, I want to collect pennies.

    • So beautifully said, Holly. I’d like to collect pennies with you. xo

  • sonika

    My context: for years, I’ve also felt a sort of conviction – although I’d sooner call it uneasiness – about how much I “consume” in terms of my relationships with my loved ones. It’s not co-dependence as much as it is a tendency to run to them before I run to God.

    My grandmother died a month ago, and I’m currently on a four-month stint studying abroad. So for awhile now, I’ve been learning what life is like when I’m this far away from my usual support system (I mean, Skype is a gift, but there’s no replacement for physical presence.) I can’t help but wonder, though: is this God’s way of exposing, stripping away, pruning the most honest parts of me that regularly misplace the love meant for Him? Is this His doing – that I’m in a situation where I have no choice but to learn how to feast on His love first?

    • Morag Renfro

      Sonika – I emigrated a year ago from Scotland to the USA and I have come to see that it has been God’s doing that I should be far from home and family and all the things I put my identity in. And even though it has been lonely and hard and I’ve been intensely homesick for my country and friends God has been giving me himself and I finally feel emptied of all the other things I leaned on instead of seeking him with ALL my heart. If there is anything you need – God can provide it, wherever you happen to be.

      • sonika

        Thanks for your encouragement 🙂

    • What a great time of growth for you Sonika. I pray that you will grow in God’s love in leaps and bounds, leaning always on Him first. xo

  • lilyscloset

    I love this post because God has a specific way of reaching each of us when it is time to feast on Him and Him alone. During the third week in October I committed the remainder of the year as a time to let go of distractions and sit at the Lord’s feet, listening, seeking and resting in Him. He has met and fed me well. He has broken open my heart (which I didn’t realize needed to be done) and is making plain and clear what He wants of me. Just me.

    Please enjoy the time of feasting He has invited you to. I promise you it will be sweet and nothing like anything you could imagine.

    Be blessed,
    Monica

  • Shannon

    Thank you for sharing!! I’ve been dealing with these same feelings lately and it can overwhelm me at this time of year, when what I really crave is just more of Him! Praying with you this season!
    Shannon

    • So glad to hear I’m not alone! Thanks for sharing Shannon 🙂

  • I’m with you, Claire. It’s like the more I see (lights, end caps overflowing with holiday garb, etc.) the more I want to take a step back. I like these things, they just don’t nourish me and too often distract me. And the over-the-topnes of it all batters me like a hurricane, leaving me powerless. Sigh… I’m so with you!

    • Sigh…its one of the enemy’s ways of keeping out attention away from God… temptation… 🙂

  • This year, I felt convicted to challenge myself to buy nothing new. I specifically focused on clothing since 1/3 of the world works in the fashion industry in some way or another, and most of the time, the sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution processes are highly unethical. As an anti-trafficking advocate, I knew I need to do more to combat slavery around the world…and that started in my closet. Since then, I’ve started a series on my blog called Business for Good that highlights innovative, socially- and environmentally-conscious fair trade, organic, and/or handmade products.

    • What a fantastic idea! I think God is convicting me because I spend too much but your points are really important – thanks for sharing!