- A new pair of tennis shoes for me (my old ones were worn out - mostly)
- A shirt, a sweater, and a belt (irresistible after-Christmas clearance)
- A case of wine and assorted snack food from Trader Joe's
- 2 books at Barnes and Noble
- Chinese food, Mexican food, pizza, bagles . . .
- Breakfast at our favorite diner (twice)
- New Year's Eve dinner with friends (one very last hurrah!)
"Simplicity" is an important value and spiritual discipline for me. Christian simplicity means living thoroughly centered in God so that all things in life - including our possessions and our schedules - draw us deeper into the life of God in the world. It means putting aside a frenetic pace and compulsive extravagance. (For more on simplicity as a spiritual discipline, read Richard J. Foster's The Freedom of Simplicity. It is inspiring and challenging.) Living simply does not come naturally for me, or for most people in our culture that values busyness and consumption. As we move toward the end of 2011 and the start of our debt year, it has become obvious just how much I enjoy having and even buying all sorts of stuff. Too many times already I have said, "better hurry up and buy this or do that because we won't be able to do it next year." It is only a year, right? Someone who values simplicity should be able to sacrifice a little bit for a year without too much difficulty, right? Here are a few of the things we have bought or done in the past few weeks because "next year we won't be able to":