Sunday, March 20, 2011


The kids here don’t have tennis shoes. Most of them have flip-flops that are too big or too small for their feet. Some of them have no shoes at all.

I have three pairs of tennis shoes at home, flip-flops in every color, five pairs of boots, and nearly a dozen other pairs of shoes I hardly wear.

Even with owning all these shoes, I still enjoy shopping for more. I love going to the mall, trying on heels, and purchasing the perfect pair to go with that dress I bought last week.

But why?

Why does stuff make me happy? Why do inanimate objects bring me joy?

A cute shirt. A new pair of jeans. A trendy necklace.

Does stuff make me happy because of the way that stuff makes me feel? Do I get a sense of self-worth or belonging if I wear the latest and greatest trends? Do I feel that I need to look good to be loved?

I think that looking great and feeling great brings a sense of confidence. But should I be gaining that self-confidence elsewhere? In things that matter, like in how hard I try or in how I treat others??

I like stuff because stuff makes me feel good. You know what else makes me feel good? Making someone smile. Making someone laugh. Knowing at the end of the day I changed someones day for the better.

Self-esteem and belonging; the two categories that I, along with the majority of the population, struggle with the most. How do I fill that need with things other than things? I want to belong. Everyone wants to. So do I wait around until that one special person who “loves me for who I am” comes along? Better yet, how do I love myself for who I am? How do I love myself for who I am, if how I judge myself is based on what I perceive others to think of me?

If my friends like me more or less depending on what I’m wearing, do I want those people as friends? If my friends like me more or less depending on how skinny I look in what I’m wearing, do I want those people as friends?

When I look around and I see people who have more, I immediately begin to want. Why? What about the other 90% of the world who has less? Why am I even comparing myself to what the small minority of those who have more?

I have clean drinking water. I have three meals a day. I have shoes.

Everyday we are bombarded with messages telling us we need bigger, better, more. But why do we need these things? To make our lives easier? To bring us joy? To look ten pounds thinner? Ten years younger?

Why do we all want to be younger? Time is the one thing we cannot buy. Time is the one thing we should regard as precious and valuable, but instead, that one thing is a dream car, or house, or designer pair of shoes.

I'm not sure how to change that feeling of always wanting more. But I am sure that I want to make the most out of the time I have, and stop wasting it worrying about stuff.


  1. Laura - I am blown away! You rock!!!

  2. Laura - don't know if you're interested, but I thought I'd share the website of a friend's daughter who is currently working with an orphanage in Nairobi - in her 'profile' she shares experiences/awarenesses that parallel yours.

    You are both amazing young women

  3. Awesome post! And here's the wonderful thing...that someone that "loves me for who I am" is already at your side. We have a God that is crazy about us. In a world where stuff and relationships with others will come and go, there is one relationship that remains constant. So instead of judging yourself based on how others perceive you, judge yourself based on God's perception of you...a unique, beautiful, and perfect human being. I think that learning to love God and learning to love yourself go hand in hand.

    Still very proud of you! Love you!!

  4. Laura -- thanks for all your blogs and very much agree with hikeagiant2 (yes YOU rock) and also with Dan's comments (God is crazy about us...sees us...knows us, etc...and learning to love God and learning to love yourself go hand in hand). Love your spirit and enthusiasm! Hugs to you, Alice

  5. Laura - I knew this would be a wonderful experience for you. This is a moving blog. I think you have always been so loveable, in any outfit! You wear a smile so well, your voice exudes love and caring, your expressions brighten the hearts of those who are around you. I can often picture you in my mind so clearly, yet I have never recalled what you were wearing, so I guess that isn't what matters. Check out Sam's confirmation verse (Ephesians 6:13-17). Now there's an outfit for you! Love you, Debbie