Posts Tagged ‘IKEA’

Jo 23‘Do you think a visit to IKEA might be in order soon?’ a friend texted me.

‘Great!’ I texted back. ‘I’ll look around here and see if I can think of anything we need.’

Then it struck me how ironic my response was.  If I had to work hard at thinking of something I might need, then the chances are I do not truly need whatever it might be at all! If I have to wrack my brains to come up with something that would make life better or easier for us, then it’s more than possible we can well do without it.

A few days later, after visiting a nearby weekend market, I sat down and enjoyed a lovely cup of coffee my husband had bought for me.

‘I really needed that!’ I told him, as I swallowed those last few drops.

But did I? Yes, it gave me that temporary energy boost I was looking for—and yes, it made me feel less thirsty. But I think I might have been able to survive without it. I wanted it, but I didn’t really need it—unlike people lost in the desert need water or a newborn baby needs milk to survive.

Then yesterday, I found myself using that little word ‘need’ in yet another context.

‘I need to fit in a swim this afternoon,’ I told my husband. ‘I’m heading up to the pool now.’

Yes, I do need to swim to help my back recover from past damage. So I am grateful for that heated pool in our village—and that I had it all to myself yesterday! But did I really need to relax in that beautiful, warm spa right next to the pool for as long as I did afterwards? Still, it was wonderful—and, all the while, I felt God was smiling and saying to me, ‘It’s okay to relax, Jo-Anne, and enjoy my company in the process!’ Sometimes we do need those moments of pure relaxation, don’t we—doing nothing except letting those ideas flow in and out of our minds and talking to God in the process, as I did while the water bubbled around me in that spa?

I’m so glad God knows what I need and is always there, ready to supply just that. In fact, all the resources I have, material and otherwise, are gifts from our generous and loving God, who, as Paul assured the early believers, is able to meet all my needs ‘according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:19). So how can I continually grasp at things, wanting this and that? Instead, I am trying to hold everything more lightly and to be much more willing to supply what is lacking for others.

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18

For me, it’s about walking hand in hand with God each day, listening well, opening my eyes to see the real needs around me—then doing something about them. And because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need to do just that (Psalm 23).

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This week I developed a new appreciation for the humble waste paper basket.  For me it is currently one of life’s little luxuries, which, given time, I will no doubt take for granted once again.  But right now I am revelling in being able to lean back in my chair that is now positioned in front of my brand new IKEA desk and, with one deft swing, throw the discarded notes from my latest talk straight into the waste paper basket under said desk.  It is a luxury to me because, for seven years, I have not had a desk of my own.  I have learnt to be quite ‘portable’, moving my laptop and various other bits and pieces from the end of the kitchen table to a fold-up card table wherever I can find a quiet spot in the house and then back again, according to who is around and what is happening in our family at any strategic point in time.  I have written five novels in this mode.  But now everything’s changed.  Now I have my own quite large desk, where I can pile up all my paraphernalia and LEAVE IT THERE, in a corner of my daughter’s old bedroom.  I can simply reach out and pick up the various resources I use often in writing and preparing talks, instead of having to get up and hunt for them somewhere else in the house.  I can swivel around in my chair and (almost) reach books on my brand new bookshelves nearby.  And I can definitely throw my discarded pearls of wisdom in the bin beneath my desk, without having to make yet another trip to the kitchen bin.  Yes, my waste paper basket is to me a symbol of my new-found freedom – a sign that I have definitely come up in the world.

All of this buying and assembling and reorganising of furniture in our house has made me think, however.  We live in a very small house.  We don’t earn much – in fact, very little, at this stage of our lives.  But truly we have been given a lot of luxuries that I at least so easily take for granted.  How would it be if, for a change, I thanked God for all the things I do have, instead of complaining about what I don’t have?  How would that change me and make life happier for those around me as well?

And while I’m at it, perhaps I should remember that even though my new writing space and its contents are all wonderful luxuries to me, they are just material things and won’t last forever.  After all, my real treasure’s in heaven, as Jesus told his disciples:

Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:20-21)

So yes, I’m planning to enjoy my new desk and bookshelves – and waste paper basket!  I’ll be thankful for them often, but I’ll try to hold onto them lightly too.

How about you?  Where’s your treasure?

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