Choices. Buy vs. Make?
We are continuing in our Choices: choosing good in a world serving junk series. I am excited to bring you a guest post from my Summer of Joy buddy, Britta La Font. Having just walked away from a week at Camp Create where I got to spend the week creating and using my hands this idea of what it looks like to choose intentionality when it comes to what I buy vs what I make is high on my list to evaluate as we head into the holiday season. Check out this great insight from Britta below.
P.S. – I had a few people sad they missed the Facebook Smackdown sign up. I plan to do it monthly so you can jump in next time.
My friend shared an article with me this week: Today’s Culture of Meaninglessness. And it talks about changes in our culture, as it moves further away from its Judeo-Christian values. It’s a little depressing. So, let me share the part that intrigues me:
- “If you define a human being as essentially an animal with material appetites … then it’s a very short step to saying, ‘Well, the most important thing is the satisfaction of those appetites,’ and the pursuit of pleasure becomes … the highest good in the culture.” – Dr. Stephen Meyer.
- “Descartes said, ‘I think, therefore I am.’ In our culture, it’s ‘I shop, therefore I am,’ ‘I consume, therefore I am,’” Stonestreet said. “Our culture has convinced us that we are nothing but consumers, [but] what we are made to do is produce. And this might be the most dramatic generational difference between the Greatest Generation (and today).” – John Stonestreet.
- Most [of today’s college] students are looking for meaning in a Godless world – and when they find something to glom on to, they embrace it…[but] We have a culture that’s offering them nothing except playing video games 13 hours a day.” – Dr. Stephen Meyer
I am fascinated with the connection between being a producer, rather than a consumer, and the feeling that life has meaning. I think the underlying principle of the article is that we are made in the image of our God. And He is a Creator.
And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good (Genesis 1:31).
In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands (Hebrews 1:10).
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).
And how do we spend our free time? Watching TV? Shopping? Social Media? Going out to eat? Playing video games (even adults)? This article is about secular culture. But most of us Christians, who know that we are made in the Lord’s image, reflect this secular value of consumerism.
Women! Think of how hobbies and work at home have changed in the last 75 years: Homemakers used to sew, knit, garden, preserve their homegrown fruits and veggies…and there for a time, there was macrame. According to Jane Austen, in the best book EVER (Pride and Prejudice, amazon link), an “accomplished woman” of her day (the early 1800’s) was expected to excel in music, singing, drawing, dancing, modern languages, and be well-read.
This is not meant to criticize. I see that I am more of a Consumer than a Producer. I watch TV. I surf the internet and hang out on social media. I love to go out to eat and to shop online. On the other side of things I write, I make graphic mages, I decorate our home for each season, open my home for the ministry of hospitality, I teach women and children (including my own), and I like to cook new recipes (when I make time for it).
I see now that in my life, I haven’t prioritized producing. The thing is, being a producer of things is harder, but more rewarding. The easy thing is to bring the store-bought dessert or a veggie tray for a gathering, rather than making a dish. Buy the decorations instead of making them. Listen to the music, instead of learning to make it.
As consumers, my kids love video games and movies. On the producer side, they both play music. She loves ballet. He loves martial arts. But when they have free time? They would choose to consume rather than produce (Minecraft just came to our house). Here is a great article about the downside of that! My kids and I have the same conflict. Don’t we all?
I cannot be a more of a consumer than a producer and find #aSimplerJoy. My mom is a quilter, and I have considered and rejected that. My mom and dad and sister are all gardeners, but I have had that brown thumb thing. So I am going to dive into my cooking a bit more. And me and the kids have just started voices lessons together. But I am still on the lookout for another hobby. I have been looking at a tutorials for producer wannabes on Craftsy. And this week I am signing up with my kids up for the free mini course on figure drawing. It’s a start!
Here are some creative people that have inspired me in this direction:
- Mixed Media artist Emily Thomas started a business making beautiful things! You can hear from her HERE on Friday!
- Scripture Print Artist Jess Connelly shared at the Declare Conference about how she gets inspired…it was so AWESOME to hear from her!
- Humble home decor genius The Nester refreshes me with every post! <sigh>
How about you? What are your hobbies? Favorite creative people?
Britta is a sojourner. She was a military kid and is a military wife, now living in the high desert of Arizona and far, far from her New Orleans family. She happily homeschools and one of her favorite hobbies is snuggling on the couch reading history and literature with 11-year-old Gracie and 9-year-old Josh. Britta and her husband Scott recently celebrated their 20th Anniversary. Britta writes about the intersection of God’s Word and her world at Britta Lafont ~ Everyday Holiness (brittalafont.com).
Potter Image Copyright: danymages / 123RF Stock Photo