on having

We move too fast.

We need for too little, and move way. too. fast.

perfectly imperfect

Sometimes God places these gentle desires in my wretched heart, and eventually they grow & blossom into my desires.  Other times he’s as subtle as a mack truck.   He’ll ram me with piercing conviction.  There’s no mistaking it.

He has spoken.

perfectly imperfect

This year, this last few months, it seems He is speaking.  He is gently but firmly convicting me.

You have too much.

Of everything.

Your need for nothing destroys your need for Me.

perfectly imperfect

And He is so right.  Typical of Him.  Completely shatters my prideful sense of self-worth and praise.

Until there’s nothing left except my wasted heart for Him.

It’s a beautiful Grace that reaches me and you.

perfectly imperfect

This year, we won’t be doing a lot, and we will be doing more of the really important.  (P.S. Mom, my sweet grandmother, I miss you, and wish you were so I could talk about this all with you.  xoxo)

We have decided to buy the kids 3 gifts each, as a certain Someone was given on the day of His birth.  There’s nothing wrong with Christmas traditions, and we have certainly enjoyed them all.  But this year, He just won’t let me shake it.

You have too much.

Of everything.

I’m sure it’ll be hard for the grandparents to stick to our new conviction…but for whatever reason, I’m going to gently ask they join us.

I’m cleaning out the closets as I clean out the selfish corners of my heart.  My children are giving away more than they’ll receive this year…and that’s a beautiful, wonderful thing.  I don’t say this to boast…I’m honestly broken and quite sick of myself.

Do you ever feel that way?

I long to be with people who understand what need is, what need for Him is.

perfectly imperfect

While I’m sure it will be tempting to overdo, my brokenness reminds me of the need in the world.  The need for Love, for Peace, for the Grace that reaches this self-absorbed soul.

perfectly imperfect

There He goes again.

Do you feel that?

The warmth stirring within you?  Don’t worry, there’s more to come.  You can never have too much of Me.

But hurry.

 Give it away.  

Your time of need is over.

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46 Responses to on having

  1. Neena November 27, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    This is a wonderful post! We are trying to limit gifts this year, too. We are hoping to stick to the “Want, Need, Wear, Read” rule for the children’s Christmas gifts.

  2. the domestic fringe November 27, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    Such a powerful post. You’re right. We have too much, even when I do have needs, I still have too much – enough to share.

    I’ve been in a rut of stinkin’ thinkin’ over the past week and I needed to read this. I pressed the publish button on my own post about how I’ve been feeling over the past week. Think mid-life crisis, and it’s because I stopped being thankful. I am truly blessed.

    This year, we told our kids they are getting one thing from us. It’s because of financial reasons, but honestly, one is enough. That’s the truth. It’s just that too often we believe the lie that we need, need, need.

    Anyway, I bet this will be one of your best Christmases ever.
    ~FringeGirl

  3. Ashley November 27, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    I know. I feel this way more and more every year. This year my three-year old said, “I want to give away all my stuffed animals.” I said, “You don’t have to give them all away. Don’t you want to keep some?” Aaaarrrrgggg. Why do I do that? Why don’t I let him be generous??? There’s so much carnal desire in me, so much room to grow.

  4. Meagan November 27, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    Thank you for sharing your heart! I needed that this morning. God’s been convicting me. I have a jealous heart and I’ve been feeling it lately with Christmas approaching. My need for Him needs to be my heart’s desire. That alone, not boxwood swag.

  5. Lynn November 27, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    Wow….thank you for sharing from your heart! I needed that…

  6. Heidi November 27, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    How wonderful to be reminded that possessing Him, we possess everything! I think you might love reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan. That little book has shaken my heart up and ripped it open (in a really good way!) and much of what he writes in it resonates with what the Lord seems to be showing your heart. May you rest peacefully in the palm of His nail-pierced hand this holiday season!!

    • perfectlyimperfect November 27, 2012 at 10:44 am #

      Ha, Heidi! Read it this fall. And it did the same thing to me!
      :-)
      shaunna

    • Jody November 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

      I’ve heard of this book, but haven’t read it. I’m putting it on my list & hope to read it soon. Thanks for the reminder :)

  7. Heather November 27, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    Shaunna. Wow. How true this is. Just a few weeks ago as I walked through Target to look at Wrapping Paper (like previous years, dreaming of my tree on Christmas Morning) I was struck by those who I was running a donation drive for those affected by the damage of Super Storm Sandy. Many of those people have NOTHING, nothing. How could I possibly be running this drive and filling my two car garage with things from others and still be running around buying new stuff for my children for Christmas? How could I be buying more when my playroom is stuffed to the gills with toys and books and dress up stuff? My kids are generous to give away toys and things. They are, we are very generous to give away…but I am still constantly telling the kids they have too much to keep up with putting it all away. So yep, I am sick of myself and trying to make priority in the people and most importantly, the reason Thank you for the reminder!

  8. Anna@agoodhome November 27, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    Thanks, Shaunna. This is really beautiful, and so true! Whenever I feel bummed about not being able to afford the next decor thing that I MUST have, the Lord reminds me of just how much I already have, and how there are some many others who have so little. Praying that He’ll change our hearts to reflect his!

  9. Angi M. November 27, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Shauna,

    You spoke the words that my soul has been crying. I too long to be around those that understand and “feel” the NEED for Him…not things.

    We also put a limit on gift giving this year…they will be small and meaningful. Last weekend I emptied the closets and the attic of all things that we do not need but others will. This weekend we will deliver them to shelters and the Goodwill.

    God bless you Shauna for listening to Him speak to you…you are a special woman.

    Angi

  10. Colleen Quigley November 27, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    This past July my brother’s 15 year old son was killed in an accident…..suddenly all the things I want have become so small. Feeling such loss…seeing great great grief in the eyes of my family….no words. Losing what is truly precious does put material things in perspective but for how long I wonder….the next few months, a year, and then will I again want more stuff? The fruit of the Spirit: love, joy……SELF-CONTROL. I want to mature in this area of my life. I find the growth comes as I say “NO”, I don’t need that, it’s not important and it’s satisfaction won’t last. But it is a constant battle. One He helps with as we lay our heads against His heart and learn what is of true, lasting value. God bless you on your journey of life and may we all learn what is gold, silver and precious in His sight.

  11. Melissa from the Blue House November 27, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    I am in THIS SAME spot, right now. I just finished reading Crazy Love by Frances Chan and 7 by Jen Hatmaker, and both spoke to this ‘thing’ I’m going through where I’m convicted by all the crap and all the waste and what’s REALLY important and the fact that there are cold homeless people sleeping outside as we speak.

    And as I hung up my three coats in my closet yesterday I couldn’t help but feel a little sick.

    We’ve always done the ’3 gifts’ thing, btw, and my kids haven’t really suffered too terribly. :)

  12. Danielle November 27, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    How true this is. I yearn for simplicity and meaning in my gift giving to my children. They don’t need more and they don’t need to see me buying them more. I don’t want them to forget the meaning of Christmas. Everything we do matters.

  13. Kimberly from Serendipity Refined November 27, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Well said! It’s a mighty undertaking but I know that you’ll succeed because your motivation comes from exactly the right place! xo

  14. Mary November 27, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. It’s so easy to get mixed up in the excitement of giving and receiving that we forget it’s all nothing compared to what God has given and plans to give to us. Your post reminds me of the scripture about storing our treasures in heaven rather than our earthly possessions that have no eternal value. My love and I are (most likely) getting married next year and I look forward to sharing this with him as we hope to have a family one day and will want to start our own traditions. Thanks again for sharing because it blessed me. :o ) Merry Christmas!

  15. Denise Adams November 27, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Thank you for sharing your heart and for the reminder. We all have way too much and I too have been convicted of this. My family is involved in drilling water wells in remote areas of Peru and Africa. Those people have nothing and are a constant reminder of our over-indulgence.

  16. yvonne November 27, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    I think your heart is beautiful I guess you are financially soundto be able to worry so much about this. I have a very limited income so not so much room to cut back but it is good for us all to remember how much we really do have just being part of the Ameican culture. We are free to worship God the way we are without concern for our lives or safety, some are not so fortunate. God bless you all this season.

  17. Alisa November 27, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Thank you for this. I too am I going through things that are hard to deal with and ‘believe’…but this truly helped me

  18. Kelle McCarthy November 27, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Our two boys have never known any different on Christmas morning! They have always had three gifts each to open, and they know that Jesus received the same. It really makes things so much more simple and they appreciate what they get some much more. Many of my friends are now also giving the 3 gifts to their kids as well and have thanked me for reminding them that less is best.

  19. Denise A November 27, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    Beautiful!!! I have been feeling very much the same way. We have decided this year to keep gifts to a minimum….and that’s hard for this grandma!! My husband and I as well as our children definitely have so much more than we need. And as much as I know we have more than we need, we also have a gracious God that wants to continually bless us with the desires of our heart….Enjoy Gods goodness and don’t feel guilty about his continual blessings :)

  20. Flower Patch Farmgirl November 27, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Beautiful, this.

    • perfectlyimperfect November 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

      Thank you, sweetie. Your beautiful blog is on my list tonight. ;-)
      xoxo
      shaunna

  21. Becky Nelsen November 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    You are so absolutely correct. The Lord has also spoken the exact same things to me. I pray He forever reminds me that He is the only One that can fill the need for Him…all other things, and other people, and self-worth,and self-importance with which we try to fill that hole…that void that only He can fill…are idols.

    Praying I praise and serve Him alone this Season.

  22. Heidi@AllThatBringsJoy November 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    I understand. Actually our extended family is struggling with these thoughts right now. Some want to restrict present giving because they want their kids to see and feel the REAL reason for Christmas, while others are having a hard time because showering the kids in gifts is a joy for them. Like one of my inlaw’s said, “The wisemen did bring gifts to Jesus!” So I think 3 gifts each sounds just right :)

  23. joyce miller November 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. This post touched something deep within me. Heartfelt and sincere. Appreciated.

  24. Angie November 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Shauna, you make me cry……Yes, we have to remember how blessed we are and that not everyone in this big world is. I think this will be your BEST CHRISTMAS EVER! Blessings to you and your family.

  25. The Hill Hangout November 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    Yes, yes, yes! I so GET where you’re coming from. God has spoken (shouted) the same message to me over the last year, and it has lead to some MAJOR de-cluttering around here. We have de-cluttered our toys, clothes, and junk. We’ve cleared out the excess from our calendar. We are fighting fiercely for a more simple life. It sounds crazy that we would have to fight for simplicity. But the Enemy uses the TOO MUCH to drown out what is really important. There are times I can’t focus on Christ because of the TOO MUCH that is in the way. It has not been an easy process, but we have made progress. We aren’t so distracted by the TOO MUCH and we actually have time to ponder Him and the needs of His children. And we have time to actually do something about those needs. Goodness knows we have a long way to go, but we are better than we were and it has made a world of difference in our lives. Paring down is SO worth the effort!!!

  26. Leslie November 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    I am so glad you wrote this.
    I have been realizing the same thing lately.
    I can’t seem to shake the notion that even though I am extremely blessed and better than I deserve, I have too much.
    I have been simplifying, letting go of stuff to embrace more living and other souls.
    Loved reading this and knowing I am not crazy, just convicted.
    HUGS!
    ~Leslie

  27. chrissi November 27, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    love this post. thank you.

  28. Deb Owen November 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    We do the 3 gifts also. I think it helps us all remember why we are really celebrating HIS birth. It is not always easy, but I’m with you on the “too much”.

  29. karen@somewhatquirky November 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Nice post Shawna. This time of year is so challenging and grips your heart in so many ways. We have virtually stopped giving any gifts that I didn’t make. I want to be generous, but giving gifts is not the only way to express that. I try to find other ways to show my love for others.

  30. Lorie November 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Oh thank you for sharing your heart and what our Lord has been communicating with you. Amen!

    This is a beautiful post of simple truths and something that my own heart has been feeling for some time…I struggle daily with an envious heart, falling into the lie that others’ have better, or more than I have; but when in truth, I have so much more than I need. I’m so ashamed and long to have a changed heart.
    Most of us don’t really understand the concept of “need”.

    I believe that your Christmas will be even more joyful in its’ simplicity and the true spirit of this season. God’s blessings to you and your beautiful family. Merry Christmas!!

  31. Allison November 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    I’m thinking God’s up to something…He’s moving on His children’s hearts in unity about this issue. As I remodel my house and everything has been moved out, I am grieved to see my excess—things hidden in cabinets and boxes that I had forgotten I had. The Lord has been speaking to me about letting go and holding everything very loosely–with open hands. Many of these things could be blessing others who are starting over, etc. I have committed to Him that all this will NOT go back into new cabinets and cubbies. I look forward to simplicity and letting Him fill all in all—more freedom and joy will follow, I rest assured!

  32. Bliss November 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    The urge to spoil my kids is always there, and it’s easy to have too much. By far wiser to focus on having less.

    Bliss

  33. Susan November 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Beautiful.

  34. Holli Keaton November 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    I LOVE the idea of three gifts each, like the three wise men gave Jesus. Thanks for your beautiful post.

  35. Jeni @ Restoring Piece November 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    (Looooooonngggg sigh) Yes. Just yes. I understand. Sometimes I fee like all of my “stuff” is like wearing a fat suit and I’ve been searching and searching for the zipper to this thing! I’d like to pull it off and breathe again.

  36. Nancy November 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    Have you watched “The Advent Conspiracy”? We went through it last year with our small group, and it really helped focus us in this direction.

  37. cindy November 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

  38. Beth November 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    Wow Shaunna!! This is exactly what He has placed in my heart this year!!

    We are doing the “want, need, wear, read” gifts for the kids this year – they have WAY too much and so do I!! He is obviously moving in the hearts of many this year – across the world it seems! Something great is afoot that is for sure!!

    Thanks for sharing – it’s great to know that I am not the only one!

    Beth

  39. Ann November 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    Absolutely beautiful and power post. The aftermath of Sandy has left many of us in NJ feeling like this…after seeing so many families displaced from their homes or completely losing their homes, its humbling and I thank God we were blessed to not have suffered such losses. My heart and prayers go out to all of those who have lost.

  40. Ann @ Not Just Signs November 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    Absolutely beautiful and power post. The aftermath of Sandy has left many of us in NJ feeling like this…after seeing so many families displaced from their homes or completely losing their homes, its humbling and I thank God we were blessed to not have suffered such losses. My heart and prayers go out to all of those who have lost.

  41. Dawn B. November 27, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    I love this…and agree with all. We need more of Jesus…not stuff :-) Thank you for sharing what He as put on your heart.

  42. Rachel November 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    I hear you on this one! Father has been showing us the same things over the past year. We also decided to only get each child a couple of gifts…trying to teach them Christmas is not about
    us, but Him! Joy is found in Him and what He wants for us to do and how He wants for us to use our monies. We decided to take a large portion of what we would usually spend on “us” and use it for others who are in need.
    We receive the Compassion catalog around this time of year and spend time with the kids reading through it and letting them pick the things they would like to use the money for. They even do extra “jobs” to earn more money to give instead of put away for themselves. They actually really enjoy it and get so excited about it! It has been such a blessing……blessing the Lord on His birthday by blessing those He loves so much.

  43. Kristian December 8, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    I’m so glad I read this! Your posts are beautiful.

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