Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Some sweet stuff

It has been over a month since we stared making these changes.  Even though it hasn't been that long, it has been enlightening, convicting, and to be honest, hard!  Not buying stuff, it sounds so simple and it is, but it is the awareness and convictions that are hard.  I am realizing how much we truly have. I honestly want for nothing...except the latest trends (I have 25 pairs of shoes, but I don't have those cute new shoes!)  We have so many things that I am always trying to find organized, cute ways to store I can have room for more stuff?? HONESTLY! It's crazy.  I never would have thought I was materialistic. In fact, I always thought we were pretty minimalistic but honestly stuff rules our lives. This month with the shift from "what can we buy" to "how can we give/save" completely opened my eyes to how much time I spend thinking about stuff or pursuing stuff.  Whether, it is shopping or pinning, watching tv or reading a magazine, so much of life is about stuff.  AND ultimately, that is not what we want our life to be about (which is hard cause we still like stuff :/).  BUT at the end of our time we want to be able to answer that we were faithful in the little things (Luke 16:10) And right now God is showing us that the little things matter.  Little things like chocolate and coffee.  Ultimately, we want our life to be about loving people well and right now that means making different financial and consumption choices.

So the realization of my selfishness, my addiction to stuff, my (gulp) love for stuff has been hard. But the freedom in realizing that it doesn't have to be that way and the shift to, "do I really need that or can I put my money somewhere else?" has been FREEING and life-giving and SOOOOO worth it. So this month out of our "not buying savings" we are donating to  Partners in Health, I would describe them as a radical non-profit organization with an attitude - they believe health care is a human right!- (WHAT? - right?!)  so they provide healthcare to the world's poor. Here is their mission, it rocks:

At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone. When a person in Peru, or Siberia, or rural Haiti falls ill, PIH uses all of the means at our disposal to make them well—from pressuring drug manufacturers, to lobbying policy makers, to providing medical care and social services.Whatever it takes. Just as we would do if a member of our own family—or we ourselves—were ill. 

If you haven't read Mountains Beyond Mountains you should.  It is a great book about Paul Farmer, one of the founders of PIH and his life.  Is is so convicting, it might take you 4 years to starting taking action on your convictions, like it has for me.  I promise that after reading you will be convinced that you can do more.

Here is a little sweetness to end on:
Who needs chocolate when you can have caramelized pears?
These are seriously so delicious (they taste way better than they look).  The first day we ate them on pancakes, and now Hudson and I have been eating them with a little bit of greek yogurt, he likes it as much as he likes ice cream. Which makes me think how good they would be on ice cream.
Make these. Now. Make a lot of them and eat them all week.
4 pears
2 bananas
3 Tbls. sugar in the raw

1. Cut pears lengthwise; remove cores.  Place sugar on a plate, press the cut side of each pear and one side of bananas in sugar.2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Place pears and banana sugar side down in pan Cook until beginning to brown, 7 to 8 minutes.3. Add about 2 tbls of water. Cover; simmer until pears are tender, 5 - 10 minutes (depending on ripeness), add more water if you need.  Once pears are soft remove lid and cook until you have the desired texture of fruit and amount of liquid. 

 Can't waste a bite.
 So good you will want to sing about it.


tamara hellgren said...

Hi Emily! Gorgeous photos :)

Having just moved from New York to Wisconsin, I had a similar epiphany about all the STUFF in my life. Hard not to when you are boxing up everything you own!

While I'm not yet ready to stop buying things altogether, I have decided to never again allow the pursuit of stuff take up so much of my precious time, energy, and space!

I think a lot of people are having similar feelings of exhaustion and frustration related to possessions, and it's exciting to think how much we can collectively change for the better when we direct our money and energy toward worthwhile goals.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences on this important and timely topic!

eabetzler said...

Tamara -

Thanks for your comment and sharing. It is so nice to know we are not alone!!
We are bummed we are going to miss you in New York! We will be headed out there soon, but it looks like we are a few weeks too late to hang out with you there :( Hope to see you soon. Christmas maybe?
P.S. Hudson loves Paddle to the Sea! Thanks again!

csbetzler said...

I have to recommend Tracy Kidder's book: "Strength in What Remains." Paul Farmer figures in it as well.
I am working on stuff too....we cannot take it with us! Thanks for your posts and thoughts! Keep working at it. We can all get by on less--we have so much. I still plan to send you more stuff....Hudson's bd is very soon!