Friday, January 14, 2011

The lesson I learned about "STUFF"

This past year, I learned that stuff doesn’t satisfy as much as it promises. I’ll tell you the story... Last Christmas (2009) I got the most ultimate present. One that I was totally NOT expecting. I got a hot pink IPOD NANO with a light pink, silicone case, and with my music already downloaded onto it, from my Grammy and Papa! This was the ultimate present because I had wanted one since my cousin 'A' got hers a year or two before. Her ipod is a really nice blue one with a green silicone case. On our sleepovers, I loved listening to “Little Women” on her ipod! I always dreamed of having an ipod. So once I opened it, I was seriously jumping over the moon! I was so happy that I didn’t think anything would ruin my happiness...... until A opened her “over the top” present too. She got a silver, wide lcd screen Sony CAMERA!!! Now, you have to understand, that I already had a camera, but It was a few years old, and it didn’t have the widest screen in the world. When I saw A open it, and everyone started making a big deal about it, I needed to quickly leave the room so that I could let out all the tears that I was holding in. I couldn’t help but cry and cry, I felt so sorry for myself, because I thought she had a better camera than me.

Can you relate to that? Have you ever had a Christmas or birthday that left you feeling unsatisfied? Every time you received a gift, it made you happy for an hour or two, but after a short while, you were not satisfied, and you wanted MORE? You open one gift, you say a quick thank you, you want another. Open another gift, say a quick thank you, you want another. It keeps going until all the presents under the tree are gone. You’re sad that it's over, and still not fully satisfied with the gifts you have?

As I was crying in the bathroom over the camera, I knew that it was wrong. I started asking God to help me stop. I realized that it was so silly of me because I got this amazing ipod that I had wanted for a long time, and A didn’t have a camera. A was also really happy for me when I opened my “ultimate“ gift, but I was the total opposite. Eventually, God gave me peace to stop crying and helped me to be happy for A, and thankful for my ipod and camera. I learned a big lesson. I learned that stuff on it’s own doesn’t satisfy my heart. When I dreamed about having an ipod I believed if I ever got my very own ipod, I would have everything I wanted - but, when I got it, it didn’t take me long at all to think of something else I really wanted. It's a trick. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have really enjoyed my ipod! I think thankfulness is the key. The more thankful I was for my ipod and camera, the more I could enjoy them. Here’s the BIG lesson I learned through many discussions this year with my family: The more thankful I am for what I have, the more I can enjoy my ‘stuff’, and the more focused I am on others the more satisfied my heart is.

For this reason, this year, my family decided to do Christmas a little bit differently. (In my perspective, we came to our senses a little more!) This year was the...... (drum roll please).......“Spend Less, Give More” Christmas. Our goal this year was to give more to people who NEEDED, and less to each other, (because we really don’t need anything). My dad gave each of us a certain amount of money to give away, so that we could discover the joy of giving! My gift was some Agricultural packs for families through World Vision. We also had a fun time packing shoe boxes for Samaritan’s Purse. (We filled boxes with school supplies, candy, toys, toothbrushes, soap, etc.)

Our church also did something called “The Advent Conspiracy”, which is a movement to worship fully, spend less, and give more at Christmas time. As a church, we all pitched in money to buy gifts for some families in need in our city. Some people volunteered to go shopping and buy groceries and gifts with the money. The kids got to wrap the gifts and deliver the hampers (with some adult volunteers) to the families. It was so much fun to bless these people with food and presents because they wouldn’t have had them otherwise!

I have been thinking about how much orphans and orphanages around the world NEED, when I only feel sorry for myself because I don’t always get what I WANT. From now on, I don’t want to ever feel sorry for myself AGAIN, when I have everything I NEED already and orphans around the world don’t. Orphans NEED stuff like clean water, healthy food, shoes, clothes, warm blankets, medical care, a safe place to live, an education, and most of all a loving family. Now, I have All of this, and it’s just plain silly of me to think “I Need/Want More” when I DON’T!!!!! I feel extremely happy that the money I am hoping to raise by cutting my hair is going towards things that orphans truly need.


  1. Amazing Sharaya! I am going to read this to my kids and ask them what they think - I hope they get the point! I also have to remind myself that "things" don't satisfy. Great writing too!

  2. You are waaaaay to "Deep" and "Thoughtful" for me. :-) I'm still upset that I didn't get my Mega Blaster 2000 Water gun when I was 8... *sob* In fact, I might just go cry about it all over again.

    Beautiful post Shayah! You still amaze me...

  3. Beautiful Post Shar! You are so right! We don't *need* alot more stuff, we have to find a way to be thankful for what we do have instead. And find ways to give more to those who truly need it.

    Well writen Girl!


  4. What a beautiful post!

    Would you allow me to repost it on the website I think your words would really be encouraging there for other families! You would have to write a short biography to go with it and send me your picture to use with the bio. Think about it, ask your parents, and let me know what you think.

  5. Wow aren't you just the little writer! How uplifting! You are a true gift and as a adopted parent myself, this is just wonderful to read!

    hugs to you and your journey

  6. way to go Sharaya - you've already figured out what most people spend their whole lives trying to understand. Unfortunately it doesn't get any easier to sort out as you get older...we still get obsessed with 'stuff' and think that it might make us happy (and it still doesn't.) But at least when we recognize that, we can try to live differently and find happiness in Christ.

    Enjoying the blog so much!

    Mike and Jana

  7. How amazingly insightful you are! There are many, many adults who have not figured out what you have. Your ability to translate your insight into the written word is a gift. Please keep writing as I am sure that you will be an inspiration to many people out there.
    Thank you for bringing awareness about Chinese orphans to the people that read your blog. My husband and I adopted our daughter almost four years ago. She is amazing and has so enriched our lives. We love her so much. We have been given such a glorious gift but our hearts still ache for the thousands of children still orphaned in China and throughout the world.
    It is people like you, who care so deeply, that will change the world. Please keep up the good work and may God bless you.

  8. Good lesson Sharaya-I still need to work on that-hehe