This weekend, I went to HH Gregg and picked out a new refrigerator for the house. It was a surprisingly easy choice after the shingle incident. While I was there, I decided to price microwaves. Mine, afterall, probably belongs in the Smithsonian. I have an 80s model that still has the dials for the time and temperature. I made my choices and was about to leave when . . .

I saw the vacuum cleaner section, and decided to have a look. I have had mine since 1994, afterall. (I bought it with my first tax return after college). Then, since I’ll be doing a lot more gardening at my new house and will probably want to freeze lots of produce, I decided to check out the chest freezers. And before I left, I went and looked at the electric range/ovens. (Not as expensive as I had imagined.)

The more I looked, the more I felt I needed. Plus, wouldn’t I want all of my new appliances to match? And once I started thinking about the new appliances, I realized I really should paint the kitchen. White walls and yellow cabinets just don’t feel right. And as long as I’m in the decorating mood, I would really love a new sofa and some curtains.

See where I ended up? Stuff lust. The more I thought about buying, the more I wanted. I began to rearrange my whole budget, thought about getting a second job, and even wondered whether my contribution to the building fund at church would really mean that much anyway.

I don’t think I fully snapped out of my reverie until church the next morning. My preacher was discussing Adam and Eve’s sin and response, and among his many points was a definition of lust. Not just the sexual desire we often associate with the word. He said the Bible has a much broader definition. Here’s how he put it, “Wanting something so much you’re willing to sin to get it or to sin if you don’t get it.”

Ok, I get it. I was lusting after major appliances. (Not only is this a sin, but it’s also a sign that I’m getting old).

So while I work on my heart issues — dispelling the lie that I can only be happy with more stuff — I’m also sticking to my original plan. One refrigerator, one microwave.

At least for now.


Charity Singleton Craig

Charity Singleton Craig is a writer, author, and speaker, helping readers grow in their faith and experience true hope in the middle of life’s joys and sorrows. She is the author of My Year in Words: what I learned from choosing one word a week for one year and coauthor of On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life That Lasts.

  • km ,

    Thanks for the great reminder…I’ve been in the shopping and buying mood lately and this was a great wake up to wants vs needs.

    • L.L. Barkat ,

      Yes, the moose wants the muffin.

      You know, I’d take either a muffin or a cookie right now…

      • Charity Singleton ,

        I mean “cookie.” It’s the moose who wants the muffin, right?

        • Charity Singleton ,

          Funny, I had the same thought about the mouse and the muffin as I was writing. That’s one of my favorite children’s books — the whole series, in fact.

          I’m not sure I circled back to the beginning quite as effectively as Laura Numeroff, thought.

          • Kay ,

            You sound like the children’s picture book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

            • L.L. Barkat ,

              I laughed out loud at this… great humor, great writing… I will probably come back and read this from time to time.

              Anyway, stuff lust is like bunny reproduction… out-of-control (sorry, I’ve got bunnies on the brain… I just posted on rabbit matters).

              • Andrea ,

                That’s why I try to stay out of malls as much as I can!