Friends & Clutter

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Matthew 6:21

Yesterday I met a friend I haven't seen in a very long time for lunch. It took us three, almost four weeks of telephone tag to organize a luncheon date. Normally, I would give up after two phone calls due to low energy levels. But this time my friend was good at her own follow up, so we managed to get together.

I tried an organic green and beef salad with blue cheese. This is the second time I've tried it. The first time was absolutely pleasing to the eye and delicious to the palate. This second time was not nearly as aesthetically pleasing. Can one use the word "aesthetic" when it comes to food presentation? I'm not sure. But oh well, I just did! The salad plate was missing the eye catching red grape tomatoes I'd had the first time around. Sadly too, the organic spring greens mix looked as if they were wilted by the hot sun we've been having.

I did request, and receive, some grape tomatoes which made the salad look more appealing and I found that the taste wasn't too far off the mark. My friend had a veggie and cheese omelet with multi-grain toast. She didn't complain or comment so I guess it was fine. I didn't get photos because we were both a little hungry by the time lunch was ready.

Besides eating, it was simply nice to see my old friend again. As always when we haven't gotten together for awhile, we have a lot to catch up. But our luncheon and conversation did not seem rushed which was nice. She had to come downtown today for an appointment not too far from where I am staying. She was taking some kind of course for diabetics at the hospital in the neighbourhood so it was easy to schedule a get together once we finally did connect by phone. She later reported that her regimen of diet seems to be keeping the diabetes in check and that was wonderful news!

It seems that she and I are both at the stage of down-sizing and decluttering for potential moves. In her case, she needs to start thinking about the long term future as a senior citizen and is looking for a place with medical care on site and an elevator rather than stairs. In my case, I simply want to simplify for two reasons. Firstly, to make any future moves easier. Secondly, I just have too much accumulated in my small apartment, especially books and clothing.

My involvement with Kenyan missions made me realize how much "stuff" I have accumulated and how much I used to spend weekly or even daily; most of which was totally unnecessary. What I spend on one meal out can be translated to a set of bedding sheets or a mattress for a villager or school supplies for an orphan child, even medicine for a sick child or widow.

Victor Smiles
[Victor receives school supplies]

[Mercy, another child who needs your help]

I'm learning to be more frugal, do with less and send more to the mission field. I'm not feeling guilty about it. I've just come to realize that material things and accumulating more of them, holds little value in the big scheme of life. I've always realized this, but these past few years I have a much deeper appreciation for what this really means.

By consuming less, I save more of the green stuff. Both green money to send to Kenya and the green earth which we inhabit. Involvement in Kenyan missions has prompted me to examine my spending habits very carefully and make some adjustments. What I learned in the process about the kind of steward I am was quite eye opening.

I've always tried to be a good steward but I think there is always room for improvement. For the last two and a half years, I've been embarked on a continuous quest for improvement in this area. May I challenge you to look at your own spending and see if you can do more to help the Kenyans? There are really so many more needs at several missions. Much more than I can meet on my own. If you want to do something and see the results first hand, let me know.


  1. Dear Joyful,
    your article is great, and thought provoking. I think that every-one should look at all we have and how
    much we spend. My husband when leaving a mission, he would hardly go out to eat, he would say that this one meal could buy food for an orphan for a month. My we all take that approach. hugs.

  2. You mentioned the word aesthetic, For readers like me, I thought I would expound on that word. The definition says, It's the theory of the fine arts and the philosophy of the mind and emotions in relation to it; That branch of philosophy which deals with the beautiful: The doctrines of taste. So you picked the right word. Thank-you for expanding my vocabulary. hugs Brenda


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