dream or nightmare?

{found via pinterest from
blood & champagne}

this year i'm trying to read at least 2 books a month. january's books were incredibly easy to read because we were visiting with people after christmas, and that meant that i often had some space to read since i didn't need to clean or do other maintenance things while the kids napped during the day.

i'm actually ahead of the game since i got so many good and interesting reads for christmas. but i'm still working on that second book for february. it's probably the third time i've tried to read this book, but i'm determined to make it through because the principles are good, even if the content is a bit very dry.

my books for this month have had a lot of overlap. i didn't intentionally work it out that way, but i'm glad they ended up together. the first book is the super-popular-right-now: the life-changing magic of tidying up.

long story very short this book is about getting your house and your stuff in order so you can live the life you want. i'm honestly a bit skeptical of all of its claims even after reading the whole thing, but at the same time i'm very excited to get rid of a bunch of stuff. i'm excited to see if it really works anywhere close to as well as she claims it does.

the other book is your money or your life. peter told me i should read it a long time ago. and i've tried. i've really tried a few other times. but this time i'm pushing through and trying to get to the principles behind what they're saying.

after all of that lead-up you're probably wondering what the heck "dream or nightmare?" has to do with anything. well, let me ask you -- is the "american dream" a dream, or a nightmare? i think we're buying something entirely different than what is being sold.

the american dream consists of stuff you can get and money you can make. the american dream tells us that we will be happy if we do these things. if we buy these things. if we follow the steps. but for most people that happiness is elusive because we will not find it in things. but still, still we chase them.

i've chased them for a long time.

but the bigger house and the nicer car and a lot of the things we chase don't give us that satisfying feeling anymore once they become normal. we always need more.

in this country we have been sold a bill of goods that cannot satisfy. but we still expect it to fulfill us. even if we know better. that's the kicker. even if we know better we still buy into it. literally. we spend so much of our money on things we don't need because we think those things will make us happy. we think those things will make the slog of the day to day worth it.

but they won't. they don't.

and i've been thinking lately of what i've bought into. what have i bought into and believed will make me ultimately happy? intellectually i know better, but emotionally... when my emotions get the best of me i think the clothes that i really want will make me into the person i really want to be.

i enjoy fashion. i like shopping, and more than that i like curating my style. but that doesn't make me ultimately happy. it can't and it won't.

at the end of the day if i put my hope in something that cannot fulfill me i will wind up sitting at home depressed in some really great outfits.

if i put my hope in being a great athlete i'll wind up with a bunch of empty trophies, and still be the same person i was before. still searching, and still striving.

the point is: at the end of the day if i say i believe something different than the culture i live in, then why can't anyone tell?

that question has been haunting me. haunting me.

if i truly believe that the tenets of christianity are true, and i know that all of life is connected - not compartmentalized like i tend to think - then why does my life look the same as the rest of the culture?

when i tell people about my life, and how i live, it should raise some eyebrows because in many ways the choices i make should look different than the wider culture. my life choices should be impacted by what i believe to be true. if they're not then it seems i don't really believe what i say i do.

what do you think? do you think our lives should look different than they do? what areas do we need to rethink?

enjoy your weekend, friends!



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