28 August, 2012

I have new stuff

I'm not sure why, but I have some difficulty owning up to the fact that we have some new "stuff" that I'm gaining a lot of pleasure from.
  • Is it a missionary thing? That we have to always have second-hand stuff (you know, the old "used tea" bag syndrome)?
  • Or is it a reaction against the materialism that so encases our societies?
  • Or is it that I secretly feel that having (and enjoying) new stuff is an ungodly thing to admit? Something like the ancient gnostics who believed everything non spiritual was inherently bad?
  • Or perhaps it is this song:

Well I'm now going against my feelings and I'll tell you about the stuff we've got.

David's mum wanted to give us a big gift when she was here. She ended up buying us a new digital TV (our old TV was a dinosaur and because Japan is now totally digital we haven't been able to watch live TV for some time). It's 28 inch and is wonderful. But we still can't watch live TV. Our antenna needs to be changed, so as I type I'm hearing the antenna guy outside replacing our antenna (thankfully at the expense of the landlord). By the way, what a terrible job, climbing on people's roofs: stinking hot in summer, freezing cold in winter! So soon we'll be able to watch Japanese TV. I don't even know what's on these days, it's been several years . . .

When we went to Costco, just after our camping trip back a few weeks, we finally found a Stick blender. We were given one for our wedding, but had to leave it in Australia because Australian electrical goods need 240 volts and the Japan's network only gives out 110 volts. And up till now we haven't seen separate stick blenders (apart from a food processor which we already have), or they've been too expensive. But now we have one. David made smoothies the other day with it. Today I made myself an iced decaf coffee and also blended the home made tomato sauce (US = ketchup) that I whipped up. It's terrific, the stick blender, I mean! But I'm sure that the tomato sauce will be great too, it smelt delicious.

Broken over-the-ear headphones
New ear buds.
Yesterday I did some shopping for Fathers day and another family birthday. While I was out I also bought myself some snazzy ear buds after my fragile over-the-ear ones broke on our journey to Australia. My new ear buds have a retractable cord and different sized rubber bits. So you can choose the size that fits your ear canal. Makes sense! I've always had trouble with ear buds because I have narrow ear canals. By the way, ear phones are wonderful things for long train journey like I'll do on Monday to our monthly OMF prayer meeting.

And I got interrupted in my posting by the antenna man who got busy discovering that most rooms in this house (think four out of our six rooms, not including bathroom or toilets) had outdated TV outlets. Ancient, if I read things correctly. They were finished installing the antenna a loooong time before they finished sorting out all the outlets! But now we seem to have access to a lot of stations, even a free satellite disk that the "ABC" of Japan provides. We shall have to explore this.

So now you know about my new stuff. Do you ever feel embarrassed about owning new stuff or is that just my special weirdness?


KarenKTeachCamb said...

Enjoy! So long as the things don't get in the way and the desire to have them doesn't become inappropriately out of perspective then I think it's OK to have nice things. Living overseas we often make do, or put up with things we might not tolerate in our home countries, so if God provides something special for us (through specific gifts) we should enjoy them as just that, good things He has given us to enjoy.

-J said...

Great post! We all have to have "stuff" to live, and sometimes the "stuff" gets updated (through many different means). I have a post brooding about the used tea bag syndrome. I appreciate that you aren't *hiding* reality out of fear of man, as I think many are wont to do, and that you brought up the questions. I especially think the "everything non-spiritual is bad" idea has a stronger foothold than many know, and it often works out like this (unconsciously): if missionaries are spiritual, then they never have non-spiritual "stuff," activities, interests, etc. Quite unhealthy, unbalanced, and not the way Christ wants us to think, in my opinion. Thanks for broaching the subject! And I'm glad God has blessed your family with these useful tools and bits of delight. :)

Wendy said...

Thank you ladies for your encouragement. I'm glad that I could turn this post about "stuff" into something deeper and more meaningful. After living in a brand new house a few years ago I've thought about this a bit. Why do we love new things so much? I believe it is the shadow of longing for the perfect world (and heaven) that God made us for. So, it isn't wrong at all if the desire was given to us by God, but just, as Karen says, getting the perspective right is the important thing.

-J said...

I'd never thought of it that way, but I think you're right ... that it's the shadow of longing for a world made right and new.