Drafting Blueprints, Part 7

Starting thinking about what to write (and all your hard-to-answer questions) and decided it was time for another “Blueprints” post. If you have no idea what a “Blueprints” post is, here is a basic overview and links to the first 6 parts.

My “Blueprint” series is essentially a mechanism for me to start thinking through my life goals. And as hard humiliating as it is to admit some of the things I want to achieve in life, I am trying to be painfully honest because (for some crazy reason) I feel like I need to put them “out there.”

Part 1 – I want to get married.

Part 2 – I want to get fit.

Part 3 – I want to get my hands dirty.

Part 4 – I want to cultivate deep and authentic friendships.

Part 5 – I want to have kids.

Part 6 – I want to master the art of living.

I want to be able to differentiate between want and need.

I grew up surrounded by affluence. I grew up in a community where success was too often measured by the title on your business card, the size of your bank account, the car you drove, the places you had traveled, and the street you lived on. And oh, how I loved love the privilege that came comes with my affluence.

Truth be told, I am a spoiled brat by all practical standards. I have a hard time differentiating between want and need. I have a hard time understanding how much is enough. I have a hard time giving extravagantly because I am too busy living extravagantly.

Don’t get me wrong…I give. I sponsor two children. I tithe. I step out in faith (or in reasonable faith) when my pastor asks us to think about how we can help expand the vision of our church.

But what I still haven’t managed to do, with any success, is sacrifice. I haven’t managed to stop indulging in my long list of wants – eating out, extravagant vacations, a new pair of shoes. I haven’t realized that just because I WANT something doesn’t mean that I NEED it.

My goal is that over the next year I can make some real sacrifices so I can give extravagantly, instead of selfishly living extravagantly.

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Good for you tackling this so early in your life. This is something I've fought over my life and was a driving factor in my life. It lead to a lot of debt and a lot of trouble that took years to overcome. I'm still trying to come back from some of the effects of it.

    This is a great thing for you to be working on, Lindsey. It's going to be exciting to see how much better you love life when you get it under control.
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  • Thank you for putting this out there. It hits a little too close to home, but thanks anyway. I need to spend some time addressing this issue in my life too.
    My recent post Book Review: Kaleidoscope by Patsy Clairmont

    • The irony is that I am about to get off my macbook pro, pack it up, drive home in my volvo, and meet a friend for some sushi. Yuck! Why in the world did I write this? Maybe I should just delete it?

      • No, don't delete it! It's a great post that touches on something a lot of people need to think about–myself and my children included! We're all working through things. Contentment is a big issue. We are so rich compared to most of the world, but I often feel \”deprived\” if I don't have the things others do. That's terrible!

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  • Sacrifice doesn't always mean that we go without to give all we have possession wise….I think more than financial sacrifices God wants the sacrifice of surrendering to HIS choice for us…whatever it may be….He loves to give to His children too…He seems to delight in giving harvest where his obedient children have not sowed as well…..but you are right, if our possessions possess our heart and attention more than our Lord possesses our hearts then that has to be examined…and resolved until your peace is returned….but if it were simply about giving away, or living with less…I think sometimes that is the "popular" view of sacrifice…but the harder one may have nothing to do with simply living with less financially but giving more spiritually in obedience…
    love that you are choosing to ask the questions, the answers are between you and God! hugs!

    • Sweetie, I agree. I certainly think we should enjoy our blessings. I am not thinking about this like a restrictive diet. I just need to jolt myself out of the constant mindset of needing new things. Does that make sense?

  • 'It is more blessed to give than to receive."

    we could all give a lil more.

    great post!
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  • oh boy, sacrifice! thanks for stepping on my toes. i can give, give, give until it gets a little inconvenient! thanks for the reminder, lindsey!

  • Great challenge! I believe this is something we ALL struggle with to some degree or another.
    My recent post Do you struggle to ask others for help?

  • Great challenge! I believe this is something we ALL struggle with to some degree or another.
    My recent post Do you struggle to ask others for help?

  • I didn't grow up with any sort of affluence. I remember our family being on food stamps, my dad working two jobs, having to have government assistance to get my new glasses. We always had what we needed and when you don't know any better that's sometimes usually enough. But now…..I struggle with being possessive of what I do have. I want more often than I need. I struggle with having a giving heart and attitude. It is something that I'm slowly learning.
    My recent post Fearful of There

    • Growing up one of my best friends grandmothers had been poor as a child and so as she got older she hoarded things that she had missed out on. One day when we were playing at her house we stumbled upon closets of Madame Alexander dolls still in their boxes, they'd never been touched. It was so interesting to me, even as a little girl, that now that she had things she still didn't really enjoy them.

      Don't know why your comment but your comment just flooded back that memory…

      Thanks for sharing your heart about this. It is so interesting how our childhoods continue to impact our life.

  • great post. it doesn’t mean we’re sacrificing, simply because we’re giving. because sacrifice requires death. a death, maybe, to what i want or how i would have spent my money in a given situation — but more a death to the person i once was. too often we try to make small sacrifices along our life journey, believing this will lead us to a life of sacrifice. but it doesn’t.

    sacrifice involves a different journey altogether. true sacrifice always requires death.

  • I love this one and I love that you want to wrestle with it. You are a generous person. Sounds like God is just calling you to a new place in that. (Does this mean we can't go shopping, though??)
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  • Lindsey, that you are asking this of yourself – and that ANYONE would ask this of himself or herself – demonstrates that you are far more along on the path of wisdom than most people ever get to appreciate.

    Want vs. Need. Hate to tell ya this good lady, but it's NEVER going to be a cut and dried issue that can be resolved in terms of black and white. It is a contest we are bound to fight for as long as we are in this world. However within it there is the potential for *massive* spiritual growth.

    I realized years ago that before addressing whether I "want" a thing or "need" it, or even what God would have me to do, I ask: "what did God MAKE of me? What is my identity? What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? How would a thing change me?"

    Because most people seek what they *want* without even trying to understand what it entails to them as a person. And as a result, more often than not, a person will ask for something that they want but in the end will corrupt and destroy them. It might not do it immediately, but over time it *will* wear them down and utterly corrupt them.

    The wise person however knows and asks for what they NEED. Realizing that they can ask and seek for something that will make them stronger, wiser, and better equipped to handle the life and challenges that God has presented before them.

    I'm not saying there is something inherently evil with the concept of "want". There are many things that I want also. But I've also learned (sometimes very painfully) that I should never ask for them on my own terms. Instead it is better to ask God to prepare me with what I NEED, and having faith that in time He will give me those things that I want… and that He will do so when I am at last prepared for them as He understands me, not as Chris understands me (because Chris messes up a lot …)

    Ask to know what you need. And He *will* give you what you want 🙂
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  • I have struggled with this too. Thank you for putting words to what most Christians wrestle with, but don't admit!
    My recent post You Don’t Drift Into Health

  • i sooo dig this series 🙂 i went through and read all of them last night.

    girl, you may be pushing ME off the ledge soon! I was so challenged to pull out my goals and put them up on my blog… i've kept them hidden in my own personal journal, shared them a couple of times, but never really went "public" with them. this morn as i was getting ready, i kept thinking about this series and it was gettin all up in my bidness… like, "Ok Jenny, it's time. You need to jump. Take a risk, share your dreams…"

    oye. 🙂
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  • We have come to associate sacrifice with giving up or giving over, or with pain, loss or surrender. It really means "to make holy." I think it has more to do with our attitude toward our "stuff."

    There is a tendency to encourage guilt in affluent people. If from your affluence you are cheerfully giving to the needs you encounter, there is no need to feel guilt. If from your affluence you buy goods and services, you are helping provide jobs to people who need them and dividends to investors; there is no guilt in that. On the other hand, if your wealth and your "stuff" is at the center of your life's focus, something is wrong; reference the rich young ruler (mark 10:17-22); his "stuff" got in the way of following Jesus.

  • Jacklyn

    I need to get better at this too. I graduate and start working and immediately think I can start living like my parents. Ummm…no. haha. They worked years to get where they are. I'm right there with you though.
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  • Lindsey

    This is a very brave post. It's also very honest. It's also painfully close to the reality of many of us.

    Thank you for opening this up, and challenging me (and others) – even if that wasn't your intention!
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  • Lindsey, do you love God with everything you have and do you love your neighbors as yourself? Focus on this–not on what you have or don't have, not on what you buy or don't buy. If you're bothered by or feel guilty about your lifestyle, then ask God for knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Put your faith in God and when you ask Him to lead your footsteps, believe that He is. For all you know, those new shoes you bought–I'm being hypothetical here–might end up with someone else as a blessing to her.

    While you're loving God with everything you have, remember the love of money is the root of all evil. I take Christ's words to heart and my prayer has been and will continue to be, "Lord, keep me from the love of money." If you feel that's a problem in your life, then pray and rest in God's faithfulness. He loves you, and His love is absolute and is strong enough to give you protection!
    My recent post #37 THE DOING OF PRAYING: WARFARE

    • I guess what I was trying to get across here…is that I struggle with the importance I put on things. I want to get it more in check. And acknowledging it as a weakness, is a first step to that end.

      Thanks for the words.

      • Yes, I understand and God is faithful. We're all the same and, yet, we're all different (how's that for a paradox). I'll be praying that God will satisfy your desire for change. We all have weaknesses–let's not get started on mine. Anyhow, keep pressing and you will find what you're looking for because God loves you and His love never fails!
        My recent post #38 THE DOING OF PRAYING: VICTORY

  • Very honest and brave, and hits very close to home here. I justify my giving at church and few other spots as long as this doesn't interfere with me getting my "wants". Very challenging, Lindey.
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  • All of those are possible, and it must be hard to be that honest. I give you kudos for that.

    I'm doing #2 right now, and I've finally found something that works. (Oh wow, don't read that how it sounds, but how it's written out) Anyway, what I've learned is everything is attainable if we just determine within ourselves to do it.
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