Sneaky peak of the objects I'll be using this afternoon with our 'Drop In' folk during our time of reflection.
How much do you spend on clothes and accessories? I was shocked, and sure the author of the book must be mistaken when he said that the average woman in the UK spends £1200 a month on clothes, shoes and accessories - that can't be right, can it? Well, I found the article from which he (without citing it) seems to have got this figure, here and it seems, in a selective survey, it is indeed true. I also found another survey, which felt more realistic that set the vale at £1042 per year, or roughly £87 a month here. The latter feels more realistic but it's scary to think that there are significant numbers of British women who spend more on clothing etc. per month than many others get paid... For the record, I reckon, on average I spend around £20 - £25 a month, with a few bigger purchases, such as shoes, and many charity-shop finds!
The object for today was 'wardrobe', and there's a short discussion on the early usage of the word (to ward, or guard, your (expensive/priceless) robes) and how this grew to become a name for strongholds for valuables guarded by armed guards (think Tower of London). I had to smile when I learned of a church in London called St Andrew by the Wardrobe because it made me think of Narnia!
I'm sure Marie Kondo, whose ideas are currently so fashionable, would approve of his suggestion that we go through our wardrobes and pass on to charity shops the clothes we no longer like or wear.
So - maybe I should head off now and splash my entire month's income on shoes and handbags... what do you think?!
Generous, even extravagant God, who fills the earth with uncountable blessings, help us, as we enjoy the crocusses and daffodils, and all other flowers of the field to remember that nothing we can make or buy or own can compare with the wonder of your love of, and provision for, us.
Today's object is 'baggage'. The focus is mostly on material possessions, and their potential to become very important to us, but there is also some metaphorical use, with 'baggage' as the thoughts and feelings we may carry with us, internally, and which prevent us achieving our full personhood.
I have a misisonary friend who always travels light... She has recently spent around two months on home assignment with nothing more than a small backpack... quite salutory when I fling wide my wardrobe doors and see how much stuff I have in there! I'm sure it is wise to reflect on what we need, what we treasure, and what we could reaonsably relinquish.
For me, it's the metaphorical stuff that resonates. My tendency to overthink, to over reflect, and to assume that I must be the one who is wrong - even when I know I'm not! It's hard work to put down this stuff. Hard not to feel responsible when I shouldn't. Sometimes I do have a 'big bag of worries' as the kiddies book is titled.
Jesus said, my burden is light... Not a life free from baggage, but a life with baggage that isn't going to cause us to stoop or stumble. Perhaps this burden is something like 'responsiblilty' which has implications for how I behave, but which should not, if carried correctly, be burdensome.
Lots of big stuff happening locally, nationally, internationally... I, for one, need to learn what I should be carrying, and what I should be putting down!