Why Shopping Will Never Satisfy {Giveaway}

Why Shopping Will Never Satisfy {Giveaway}

*Update: The winner of this week’s giveaway is Heather Morgan!

Congratulations Heather ~ you’ve won a copy of Lysa TerKeurst’s devotional, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. 

My shopping habits had gotten out of hand.

What started out as a weekly necessity – running to the grocery store for bread, milk and eggs – slowly turned into an unhealthy preoccupation. Our neighborhood food mart was conveniently located next to a home furnishings outlet and big box store.  So no trip was complete without a “drop in and browse” experience at each location.

I had reached a point of major conviction when our family was packing up our belongings to move. I realized that we had to much stuff and all my purchased “treasures” had become burdens that needed to be dealt with. Not only was it time to declutter my overflowing closets, but more importantly, to declutter my heart.

I’m sharing that story in today’s Encouragement for Today Devotion on the Proverbs 31 Ministries website. You can click here to read what happened.

2014.CupofContentmentComplete

In the days that followed, God challenged me to a 90-day fast, but it had nothing to do with food. It was a fast from shopping. And I can remember my initial response to God’s challenge:

“I can’t do this. I’d much rather fast from food!”

I’m embarrassed to admit it was really hard at first. For 90 days I only purchased food and drink products for my family, but nothing more.  Everything else was off limits.

When I ran out of shampoo, I used my husband’s shampoo.

When I ran out of hairspray, I used an old hair clip instead.

When I ran out of deodorant…well…I got creative.

I asked God to break the cravings of my impulsive shopping and teach me to find contentment in Him alone.  As He began to change my heart, I discovered 3 triggers that would compel me to head for the nearest sales rack.

1. The need to compete ~ If a friend had something new, I had the false assumption that buying what she had would make me feel better and somehow more valuable.

2. The need to completeIf I felt lonely, sad, discouraged, anxious, invisible or insignificant, I had the false assumption that buying something new would satisfy and fulfill me.

3. The need to coverIf things weren’t going well and God wasn’t answering my prayers the way I thought He should, I had the false assumption that buying something new empowered me to feel in charge instead of waiting on God.

As I allowed these triggers to produce false assumptions in my thought life, it released a string of toxic reactions: a trip to the store, a momentary high, an jacked-up credit card bill and an empty heart.

Maybe you’ve experienced one of these triggers too. If so, here’s what I’ve discovered in God’s Word when it comes to earthly possessions.

Jesus teaches us to be on guard:

He told the people, “Be careful to guard yourselves from every kind of greed. Life is not about having a lot of material possessions.” Luke 12:15

God teaches us to be content:

Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5

God shows us what is profitable:

A godly life brings huge profits to people who are content with what they have. We didn’t bring anything into the world, and we can’t take anything out of it. As long as we have food and clothes, we should be satisfied.  1 Timothy 6:6-8 

Jesus tells us where to store up treasures:

Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  Matthew 6:19-21 

I’ve learned that no earthly purchase is worth compromising my relationship with God.

I’ve discovering that true lasting satisfaction only comes from spending time with Jesus.

I now realize that real treasures are stored in heaven, not here on earth.

What about you? Which one of the 3 triggers did you identify with most.  Do you struggle with being content? What treasures are you storing up in heaven?

I’m giving away a SIGNED copy of Lysa TerKeurst’s devotional, What Happens When Women Say Yes To God.

When Women Say Yes To God Devotional

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment {or prayer request) below and share my P31 devotion {or this blog post} with your Facebook or Twitter friends and your name will automatically go into the drawing.

I’ll announce the winner next week so be sure to stop by again or fill out the Subscribe for Updates box at the top of this page so we can stay connected.

I want you to know that I read every comment received on my blog. I also do my best to reply to as many requests as I can. However, sometimes I’m unable to reply to all of them. Please know whether you receive a written response or not, I am definitely thinking of you and praying over your requests.

Stay awesome and stay in the Word!

Leah

Comments

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  4. Rebecca Mohapi :

    Dear Leah, I was truly encouraged an revived by your giveaways. The subject on marriage,I have been married 30yrs and this morning I felt convicted abou my conduct in my marriage. God was leading me tom examine my thoughts and attitude towards my husband. I came accross your article at the right time and was to the point and so reviving. It helped me to look at my own shorcomings and wrongs instead of always correcting my husband and seeing him to be at fault all the time. Thank you again and God bless for the wonderful inspiration. Rebecca

  5. As a sales executive each day my focus is on a certain dollar amount. How much do I need to sell to meet my monthly quota, to reach my bonus. How many more bonuses until I can purchase that new piece of furniture or take that much needed vacation. Much like you I find myself buying things (unneeded items) because they are on sale. My excuse is “I work hard each day and should be able to reward myself occasionally, otherwise what’s the point. ” and “when was the last time I paid full price for something”. Although I am a giver by nature i can see clearly after reading this that I place earthly possessions in front of my want/need to become fulfilled by God. Please pray for me as I find other ways to reward myself for hard work. Pray that I see work as a sales rep as an opportunity to witness to one of the many people I meet daily. Thank you for sharing your story. God bless
    Julie

    • Hi Julie, thank you for sharing on my blog. I’d love to pray for you! Sounds like God has blessed you with a wonderful job. As you seek Him daily, the Holy Spirit will guide you and open doors to witness to others. What a great platform in the corporate world to share the love of Christ. Blessings, Leah

  6. Lord, you have established peace for us; all that we have accomplished, You have done for us.
    Isaiah 26:12

  7. Cammi Hevener :

    I think every woman has been thru this .. Shopping heals the heart .. but hurts the wallet .. 🙁 Which eventually also hurts the heart of ourself and others around us ..

  8. Leah – your post on Proverbs 31 caught my eye as I gave up shopping for Lent. Your words rang true in my own life and my eyes were opened to the depth of my need to “fill” the emptiness within me with shopping. Your blog is truly amazing and I signed up almost immediately after reading your posts. It will be nice to get emails from you – rather than another store seeking to “fill” me with material items of this world. Thank you again for sharing your story. Your honesty is refreshing for someone who hides their desire for material things. God Bless you for sharing your inspiring words with a sinner that has a lot to be thankful for – I just need to look to the birds of the air – for our heavenly Father takes care of them and He will take care of me too.

    • Hi Cindy, I’m so glad you enjoyed my devotion that ran on the Proverbs site last week. I’m praying that God will provide all that you need as you delight in Him. Sweet Blessing, Leah

  9. Thank you for sharing as His Spirit leads, Leah. I have struggled with this issue off and on for as long as I can remember. After being a stay at home mom for nearly two decades, a divorce caused me to seek employment. We had a couple of years that I called our “years of letting go.” I was working multiple part-time jobs and we were selling things simply to pay the electric and water bills, etc. That was actually a wonderful time of drawing closer to the Lord and growing in Him. Going back to work brought the need for appropriate work clothes. I also have two (as of August, three) kids in college who have needs. Therein lies the current struggle. What really constitutes a need? Do I need another pair of black pants for work? In fact, what is an appropriate size wardrobe? Does my daughter need a suit to attend an event for law school that could affect career options? Do we need a new sofa after the dog chewed off the front of it? And so on. I find that I do well for a while as I pray about where to put God’s money. Then, I justify purchases that aren’t necessary in the midst of trying to meet valid needs. I’m prayerful about going on a 30-day spending fast. Thank you again for sharing your heart and your experiences! Be blessed!

  10. Wonderful truths here, Leah! Thanks for your transparency. It’s easy to get caught up in the thinking that ‘things’ will fulfill me, when the truth is: only Christ can do that! God bless~

  11. This hit me square between the eyes… and straight to the heart, my heart. This has always been an issue for me. I’m working on it! Praying that I desire God more than that “thing” that I want to buy- which I usually don’t really have money for anyway… and sometimes still buy :0/

    I wish that once you decide to place your weaknesses in God’s hands, the consequences disappeared! I know, I know… but come on, haven’t you ever thought that too? Change is hard, but living outside the will of God is harder…

    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Leah,
    This is one of the most meaningful devotional emails I have ever read. As soon as I saw the title I knew it was for me. I too have fallen into the trap of constant buying saying to myself this is such a great deal you JUST can’t pass it up. Way too much credit card debt later, I feel guilty, worried, and ashamed. I too have caused so much harm and worry to my family. Then I think of how God must see me as such a greedy and uncontended person. I am going to read more about the 30 day fast from buying anything other than food and gas and pray to God to help me succeed in this and then go to a 60 day fast.
    Please pray that I stop being so greedy and lose the feelings of unfullfillment I go through so often.
    God bless you and your ministry.

    Debbie

    • Debbie, I’m so glad my story resonated with you and I’m thrilled that you’re going to do a 30 day challenge! I’m praying for you today and want to encourage you with a reminder that you are not doing this challenge alone. God is with you every step of the way! Leah

  13. Thank you for sharing. I know I have too much “stuff”, and yet I’m struggling to stop buying more “stuff”. I need to read this book. Planning a vacation soon, and yes I will take too much “stuff” and probably buy more. I will start praying before purchasing.
    Sharon

  14. Thank you for this important reminder to be content! I struggle with holding onto my “treasures” more than the desire to buy more. Please pray that I will seek God’s will and focus on treasures of worth. 🙂 God bless you and your ministry.

  15. I’ve struggled with these issues my whole life…at times more than others. Right now, as my fiancé and I are planning our wedding on an extremely low budget there are moments when pangs of wanting more and thinking our wedding should look a certain way…you know, like those Pinterest pictures…hit me in the gut. I pray I may be completely released from this and able to rejoice fully and completely in the gift of our quickly approaching wedding, even without all of the trimmings we think a wedding should have in our society today! I know God has blessed me so extravagantly with the man I soon will marry… That is more than enough!

  16. I am studying fashion design, so not buying clothes is a hard concept, but its one that i am working on this year, I don’t like to keep up with all the trends, but a few here and there. I want to use sustainable resources for my projects this year as much as i can, but that will make our costs go up, a LOT! I get very stressed and anxious very easily, especially because of study and money. the materials for uni are so expensive and i need to buy fabrics so often. I know that my relationship with God needs work, and that its through this relationship that I can ease my anxiety.

    • Hi Kate, I would imagine this might be an extra challenge since you are in fashion design. 🙂 The key is balance and not allowing the buying to be an emotional response or a need to fill a void. You mentioned about being stressed out and struggling with anxiety. I’ve created an anxiety series on my blog which includes helpful tips and Biblical insights that may help you. The series is called the Anxiety Cleanse. Here is the link to Week 1 if you’re interested in reading it. http://www.leahdipascal.com/2014/02/the-anxiety-cleanse-week-1
      Blessings, Leah

  17. Thank you for this message. It is straight from God to me. I have had many disappointments and heart aches in my life. Lost my son and mother the past two years. I have turned to buying things I don’t need at thrift stores to ease the pain and loneliness. Although I am in Bible Study and been a christian many many years I feel my life is out of control and I am missing the intimate relationship I had with the Lord in the past. My prayer life has also suffered and I feel a distance between me and the Lord. I have been struggling tonight and talking to the Lord and came across your devotional. This is just what Ineed to fast from shopping and spend that time ewith the Loird. Please pray for me as I do not have the emotional support of my husband after 53 years of marriage. He goes to church with me now but our marriage has been abusive in the past. I guess I use shopping to fill the void. I ask God’s forgiveness and mercy for allowing something to come between us.thank you again.

    • Elsie, I’m so sorry for your loss. Having to grieve a son and mother within 2 years must be extremely painful for you. God is always ready to forgive His children so rest in knowing that He’s ready to give you all the emotional support you need. Your greatest joy will come from spending time with Him. His presence far out ways the temporary thrill of anything we could ever purchase. I’m praying for you today, Sweet Friend. Blessings, Leah

  18. Jan Albritton :

    Oh, Miss Leah! You have put out in the open an issue that I am struggling SO HARD with right now!!!!! I was never a “clothes horse”, you know? Someone who went shopping for clothes all the time and who just did not feel complete if a day or a week had not gone by if I had not bought a new little pretty goodie for myself. In fact, I probably went for the majority of my almost 60 years of life shopping for clothes maybe once or twice a year. UNTIL….. the past year and a half to two years I have gone absolutely “clothes crazy”!!! It has gotten totally out of control!!! My husband is on my case – where he used to give me a gift card to Belk for my birthday and/or Christmas, he now says, “where did you get that?’, or “how long have you had that”? I have cut back on my spending quite a lot in the past couple of months, but I am still struggling with the “rush” or “thrill” of buying something more…more…more…HELP! I have been praying over this and with your assistance with this exact subject you have written about here, I request a prayer to help me in letting go of the “things” and finding contentment in the Word of Our Lord. God Bless you and thank you for bringing this up!!! Your Friend, Jan Albritton

  19. Since becoming disabled I find that I to try to use shopping to fill a void that I know that can only be filled by God. I ask for pray for physical healing as well as emotional healing and the knowledge to understand what I read in His word. I’m also asking for prayer for personal matter regarding my daughter and the relationship that she is in. Thank you so much for the post and I pray that you are blessed to the fullest and God continues to use you to help the rest of us grow.

    • Kathy, it would be an honor to pray for you and your sweet daughter. I love that you desire to understand God’s Word as you read it. I’m reminded of a great verse that I hope will encourage you today. It’s a promise from God that we can cling to when it comes to understanding His Word.

      “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and hidden things {in my Word} you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

  20. Thank you for such wise words! I am getting ready for another international move and I am in the hoarding mode. What do I need to buy that I can’t get for the next 5 years? It is really overwhelming. I just went through my closet and took out al the clothes that I can no longer fit into (and hope that ONE DAY I will again) IT was very freeing. The most precious times of my life was when I lived out of what I could carry around Europe in a back pack!

    I will definitely pray about what to buy next!

  21. Hi Leah: I’m new to this blogging idea. It is such a comfort to know that other women experience the same difficulties I do. I also have had a hard time with over-buying. Buy multiple items because they are on sale. One of my resolutions this new year is to buy only what I need at the time. I don’t need to have a pantry that looks like a grocery store. I don’t need the latest new gadget for my kitchen. It brought tears to my eyes when I read that you gave away kitchen items to the Children’s house because they needed those items. I, too, need to find a charity that needs items I can donate to. I would love to read your devotional. Please enter my name in your give-a-way. Have a blessed day!

  22. Erin Milburn :

    This really speaks close to home! Packing up my house to sell and move this month, I realized how much random stuff I had acquired! I know I need to organize, reduce, and be happy with my blessings. Thank you.

  23. Hi Laura,
    I can really relate with your devotional. I have always fought against clutter, impulse buying and always buying 2 of everything. I know I have a problem and I work on it constantly but I forget to bring it to God many times and so I fail. At the first of the year my Husband was diagnosed with colon cancer he has a 3 generation construction company he keeps everything in his head and like his father and his Grandfather they have had a very hard time relinquishing responsibility to their sons. Of course he had to and my son has done well. But while he was in the hospital for a month we became worried about bills and I told him I don’t have to live in our huge house on 5 acres and if we have to sell as long as I’m with him I would live in a one bedroom apartment if it came to that. Then I panicked and thought about for one my craft room, anybody relate, my storage barn, and on and on. Even though we may stay here for the rest of our years I want to let go of this terrible habit of hoarding. Thank you for sharing your story. Oh and by the way my husbands prognosis looks really good. But he starts chemo next week and I would appreciate prayers. Thanks again, Debi

  24. Leah

    I find myself exactly where you were. My husbands very lucrative job has changed and we have made the decision to downsize. He accepted a position that enables us to move back to the small town where our entire extended family lives. (Not at the income we were accustomed to) An answered prayer and something I’ve waited for for 26 years. It comes with sacrifice. My husband is traveling every week. I’m home with an upcoming May high school graduate, college graduate and an eighth grader and our home and vacation home for sale. Life has been good..God has been
    great. Now, an additional opportunity is going to present itself, that would provide us with the life we have lived for several years. I’ve turned to prayer constantly and so desire Gods direction in our direction. Please pray that we make the right choice all for the Glory to Him.

  25. How true, Leah, thanks so much for sharing your powerful experience and the lessons learned!

  26. I think I can relate with all three triggers at times. And what do we do with all our “stuff”?! I have been feeling Challenged to re-evaluate where I “put” my money, that it would be lifting up Gods kingdom, not wasted on stuff that doesn’t last… He fills me, not stuff… And there is a great need… When God says “give” I want to feel free to say yes!

  27. Wow how your words resonate with my heart. I am certainly ‘in’ for this journey. I ask that you pray that while I declutter my life that I will have the wisdom and willingness to look at the triggers for my numbing behavior. It is truly my heart desire to change but I know that it is not possible without His strength. I also was introduced to 40 bags in 40 days on FB. I think two signs is enough for this stubborn child. Thank you for courage and obedience. I needed it- prayer answered.

  28. Robyn Stallings :

    I am sitting on mattresses (because all of the actual furniture has been taken out) drinking coffee and getting ready to read my devotion in the middle of my daughters room looking around at half filled boxes wondering how am I ever going to get moved out of my house in time for the closing date. And then…. I opened my favorite women’s devotion website (Proverbs 31) and found your post for yesterday. Your message was just what my heart needed today (and yesterday…I so wish I hadn’t let myself get so distracted yesterday morning and missed out on what God could have done the. But that is the Amazing God we serve…He is waiting on us for even if it takes a while to get there!).

    My family is making a major change from the suburban life to the country – Very much a God lead decision for us…but change is hard. I just wanted to thank you for reminding me of God’s plan for our hearts in these situations. Your message has helped me look at my day and release the anxiety of my “stuff” in those boxes. I appreciate your ministry. I know online ministry does not allow you to see the fruits of your labor so I justed to tell you that God used you today to encourage His child and strengthen His Kingdom. God Bless!

  29. Hi. Thank you for your insight and the love I feel when I read your words. I would like to ask for prayer for my daughter’s school situation. She is in a difficult graduate school and is struggling with a particular class, her roommate, and general anxiety and exhaustion from such a heavy load.. Thank you.

  30. Thank you for your post I am trying to downsize my home. Very difficult

  31. NAOMI MATYAS :

    This post spoke VOLUMES to me. I greatly struggle with shopping. I identified with all three of the reasons you listed, but number 3 really jumped out to me. The need to cover. I cannot tell you how many books I have on my shelf that I bought in hopes that it would somehow “fix” me. Just buying them made me feel better, more in control. I think I’m going to be re-reading this post a few times…. and sharing with my sisters who both “therapy shop” like I do. Thank you for writing this.

  32. I am a shopping Addict !!! This devotion spoke to me today I just open my email and saw this message just after I just got off online and purchasing some makeup that I really didn’t need. Talking about feeling shame and guilt my heart just sank when I started reading this message,
    yes I shop because I am lonely and in a marriage that is broken and I am working on fixing it and being the wife my husband wants and needs my shopping is the big cause of my broken marriage among other things I have done that I am not proud of .I keep praying to god to help guide me onto the right path I want to obey him and do the right things and change my bad habits and be a confident godly woman ,I talk to god throughout the day and he answers my prayers when I ask I know the difference from right and wrong and always feel guilt and shame when I shop but I still make the purchase and beat myself up and I realize money is evil when used in the wrong way, yea god I need to clean out my closets and house and donate items to someone who may need things I have an appliance warehouse that I used them once or twice then hide them My husband always makes a joke to friends and coworkers about my collection and tells them if they need appliance we have one that they can have .please pray for me I will take this 90 day challenge not to shop and start saving money I realize I have a real problem and hate it God his my savior and my rock he will not forsake me or judge me I know he has faith in me and knows I can change my ways.

  33. Thank you, we just moved and I had this same conviction. Boy do we have way to much stuff.

  34. Ann Marie Peterson :

    I’m sure sharing your experiences with this many women was not easy. Your transparency will be a blessing to many and I’M SURE God will use your experience to help many women also. Blessed to be be your friend.

  35. I have been seeking Gods word daily. I need his stength and love to get through the day . I used to shop and search for bargains too but it never filled the emptiness I felt . My husband and myself own our on business and our work has been very slow so money has become very tight so there isn’t any money for extras . I am looking at this as a blessing because I am having extra time in Gods word !! I have been a Christian since I was 16 but I never grew in my faith . So now I am seeking God with all my heart and listening for his guidness in our life now . Bless you Leah and thank your for your site . I have learned so much !

  36. I also struggle with wanting too many worldly things that only bring joy for a moment. However, through some financial situations and other things, I have learned not wait on things and to be more content. I know in my heart God is all I need! I just need to stop and always keep my mind in check when it tries to tell me different. God will provide all I need and at just the right time!

  37. Thank you for your transparency. Your devotion was perfect in God’s timing. He has convicted me that I need to deny my self and stop looking to earthly idols for my worth. My husband has also expressed his displeasure with my shopping.
    Thank you for sharing the lesson God taught you. God is so good to take us through trials so we can minister to other; and you are doing that to many of us today.
    I can relate to your impulse purchasing because things are on sale.
    I can also see that I purchase to complete and to cover. My marriage has been in a storm and my husband has been away from home a lot. I see now that I have been buying to fill my feelings of loss; to make me feel better about myself. I like the attention I garner when people notice my outfit.
    But God has called me to die to these earthly idols; to put Him first alone; to seek His approval alone.
    I have been trying to do a spending fast to obey God and my husband. Thank you for the encouragement and the scripture to help me stay my course.

  38. As I read your devotion on Proverbs 31 & then read the story of your 90 day fast from shopping for anything other than the food & drink, I felt like I was reading the story of my life. No matter how many times I vowed to stop adding more items to our possessions, something would always catch my attention. The Lord used you story to convict my heart & to speak my deepest need, which He assured me can only be met in Him. Your story filled me with hope that I can change. In reading so many of the comments shared by other women, I know I’m not alone in my struggle. Thank you & please pray for all of the women who can relate to your story.

    • Mary Joe, I’m so glad to hear that my story resonated with you. As you take the next step in following God’s lead, know that I am praying for you. Sweet Blessings, Leah

  39. Your article reminded me (once again!) to find my contentment in GOD ALONE, not in purchases. I justify unneeded purchases by making sure they are small: “over-under-spending” (as Ruth stated so eloquently!) – looking for the purchased item to fill in the empty places in my heart and spirit. My struggle today? A recent event in our family may cause my husband to lose his business and be unable to provide income for an extended period of time. I am struggling with fear, worry, anxiety, anger, and even a depressive spirit. I KNOW I can lean upon the Lord. I stay in His Word, but oh, some days I grow so weary!! I remind myself of God’s faithfulness, provision, and protection for He has proven Himself continually! But I would appreciate prayer support! Thank you!

    • Velvet, I’m praying for your family and husband’s business. I know how stressful that can be as my husband almost lost his construction business when the real estate & banking industry collapsed a few years ago. But God…He was so faithful and took care of our every need. He will do the same for your family. Trust God – even on those days when life seems scary – and be confident that He will come through for you. I hope you check out my latest blog series called The Anxiety Cleanse. I think it may help you in dealing with some of your stress, fears and anxiety. Here is the link to Day 1 http://www.leahdipascal.com/2014/02/the-anxiety-cleanse-week-1
      Continued prayers,
      Leah

  40. Leah, God always has divine timing. I am a spendaholic and need to declutter my life as well. So needed to read your inspirational words. We actually rent a storage unit – $120/month for all the stuff that I may “need” someday!
    I love the idea of a 90 day fast…
    I pray for God’s strength.

  41. Leah, thank you so much for your perspective on spending. I am probably an “over-under-spender”. I, too, find myself under-spending on sale items, thinking I’m actually saving money in the long run. But when I’m walking around a discount store, I can look at all the pretty things, and avoid looking at all the ugliness of the stress and pain in my heart. And that pretty thing for $3.99 makes me feel so good, but only for about 3.99 seconds! I will be praying over this area of my life.

  42. Definitely what I needed to read as I just got paid and am trying to figure out how to cover for all the things I bought before I even had my check! Thank you! I shared this with my Facebook and Twitter friends, as I know I’m not alone!

  43. Heather Morgan :

    Thank you for sharing the 3 triggers of spending. I identify with the third one, the need to cover…Two years ago my husband and I felt God prompting us to have me become a stay at home wife and mom for our three children. It truly was an act of obedience and I’m so thankful for a husband that works so hard to obey the voice of the Lord. In our two years of being a one income family of five, I have struggled with feelings that God doesn’t know our needs and that I have to help him out. I know those feelings are lies and I can look back and prove God to be faithful, as we haven’t lacked in anything. Thanks for the encouragement today, and I’d ask for prayer to be content and trust that God is for me, even when it comes to the desires of my heart. I appreciate the encouragement you share through your experiences. Thank you for telling of God’s goodness and challenging us with His truth!

    • Hi Heather, thank you for sharing which trigger you identified with the most. I’m praying Isaiah 26:3-4 over your family today. Trust in God’s faithfulness and be assured that He is your Everlasting Rock. A firm foundation for your family that will never be shaken.

      “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4

  44. Melissa Fordyce :

    Thank you so much for this . ❤️

  45. I can relate! Shopping made me feel like I was somebody, I fit in. I am learning that I am somebody in Christ and it’s a wonderful fit. Contentment is my word for 2014 and it is an everyday challenge for me, but through Christ I have strength. At least that’s what I keep telling myself!! I know it to be true but with commercials telling us everyday that if we use this or that product we’ll be more appealing or more accepted, well, it can be hard. Contentment!!!

  46. Thank you for the article. Please pray for me and my daughter and her family. I am asking the Lord for Him alone to be our all in all.

    • Hi Diane, thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. I am praying for you, your daughter and her family today. May the Lord bless you in all your ways and comfort you with His unfailing love. Blessings, Leah

  47. This was a great reminder to give more to those who are in need. What a great way to clean house and give to those who need things that we keep stored away around the house.

  48. All three areas you discussed have been problems areas in my life. The Biggest one is #2…..buying something new always makes me feel better, but only just for a moment. I need prayers in this area as a mother….I fear my boys are growing up with the idea that always buying things makes life better. I fear I have not set a good example, and while yes it is typical of children to want things… but somedays I feel my boys have unrealistic desires. Thank you for this wonderful blog to think about today!

  49. Wow, I so needed this devotion. Thank you so much for sharing your heart on this. I have had a problem with shopping also. I don’t know why we think we need things, but I am guilty. Please pray for God to speak to my heart as to why I look to material things instead of Him. Thank you so much!

    • Tammie, thank you for leaving a comment on my blog and know that I am praying for you today. I truly believe that as you spend time with God, asking those honest questions, He will reveal the source of your struggles. His love for you knows no bounds! Blessings, Leah

  50. Wow… I so needed to read your devotion. So glad I now have scriptures to help on a daily basis. Thanks.

  51. I learned to be a shopaholic from my mother. And although I am finding contentment in what I have and give away, I ask for prayers for my mother. Who is still caught up in the vicious cycle of emptiness being filled with belongings. I pray she can find joy, love, and contentment in God.

  52. This blog was written for me. I spend a lot of time alone and to fill the void, I shop. I shop to compete and I shop to complete. I feel lonely, invisible and unworthy so I shop. I know that God has brought this to my attention many times before but I’ve ignored it. I could definitely use prayer in this area. Thank you for this post today!

  53. Angela Acosta :

    I wish I had this years ago. I loved to shop and I had the debt to show it. During the past couple of years our income changed. My husband was very good at asking me if I really needed ‘that’ and/or could ‘that’ wait.

  54. TH E NEED TO COMPLETE IS MY TRIGGER. I HAVE TOO MUCH OF EVERYTHING, BUT I AM STILL A COMPLETE SUCKER FOR A REAL BARGAIN!!!!!!!!!! MY HOUSE IS A REAL MESS BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE ROOM FOR EVERYTHING.

  55. Virginia Walter :

    Thank you so much for your devotion. I never really realized how much of a problem my spending was. I want God to be first. I want to be content, even in this hard time in my life. I am not on Twitter or Facebook but I just wanted to say thank you!

  56. Thank you for being “real” and your words of wisdom. I need this soul-shifting action. Funny but i was trying to decide when and if i would perform my first fast….but i am currently dieting so i didn’t want to “cheat” the reason for my FAST. This is perfect timing…..it’s just like God to challenge me like this. I am starting this 90-day spending FAST. Everytime i want to buy something other than food/drinks…i’m going to start praying and talking to God. I buy for lots of reasons….so i need to look to my creator King to satisfy what i’m lacking that i am trying to “fix” by shopping. Please keep me in your prayers. I am a mess….and this challenge and FAST will get me back on the right focus.

    • April, I’m praying for you today and believe with all my heart that you can do this 90-day fast. If I can do it, anyone can! When you find yourself at the checkout counter wanting to buy something that you know you don’t need remember this: No purchase is worth compromising your commitment to the Lord. You can do this, Sweet Friend. I believe in you! Leah

  57. Your devotion really hit me hard this morning and challenged me. I could identify with you so much. My husband and I have been really going thru some hard times financially with our business. It seems like I am always looking for close outs, clearance sales etc. and making excuses like I am saving us money in the long run. Your challenge seems so hard, but I want to try it, at least for 30 days to start out with. Pray that God would help me thru this and help me to be a good steward of his money..

    • Janice, I’m so excited that you’ve decided to do a 30-day fast. I’m praying for you today as you begin your new journey. When you successful meet your goal date be sure to send me an update so we can celebrate together! Blessings, Leah

  58. We are in the process or decluttering our house and it’s very frightening to see what has accumulated. Thank you for this devotional / post. I would like to ask for your prayers. I am in a situation / relationship that has reached a point of confusion. If I choose to end this relationship, am I giving up or am I acknowledging that it’s time to walk away? If I choose to continue the relationship, am I doing so for the right reasons? As you can see, I’m a bit of a mess. Thanks for your prayers.

    • Hi Susan, I’m praying for you today – asking God to guide you in His truth as you make right decisions that will honor Him in your relationships. He knows your past, present and future. Trust Him to lead you on the right path as He points out the road that you should follow {Psalm 25}. Leah

  59. My husband often reminds me, “It’s not a bargain unless you really need it!” Thankfully, I do not enjoy shopping, however, your #2 is my weak spot when I do go shopping. Thanks for the good reminders from Jesus who was content with very little while on this earth. God bless you!

  60. Thank you I really needed this! My biggest purchases happen online which is so easy to do with just one click of a button and then they ship it to you…. Please pray I go to God when I’m feeling the urge… I’m starting my 90-day shipping fast today!!!! Thank you for your openness to share your struggles… But also the blessing of coming out on the other side!

    • Tanya, I’m so excited you’ve decided to do the 90-fast and I’m praying for you today, Sweet Friend! If online shopping is your struggle, how about putting a post-it note on your computer screen with a Hebrews 13:5 written in a pretty font? Having the verse at eye level can be a great encouragement and reminder while surfing the Internet. Blessings, Leah

  61. Thank you so much! This is exactly what I needed.

  62. Thanks so much for sharing this. I have always wondered why shopping was so addictive for me and now you have given me so much to think about and a new way to look at my behavior. Please pray for me to be strong and follow your advice and to do the the 90 day fast. Thanks so much. Kim

  63. I really enjoyed this blog post and is something I needed to hear. I too have this shopping addiction,mostly for clothes or shoes. Even though I usually buy them onsale or at thrift/resale shops it has drained me of money I should be using to pay bills or use towards my schooling. I have realized that I do this for the triggers of comparison since I see other people in nice clothes at work or on pinterest or stores and would like to look like that too. I also do it for the emotional reasons you’ve mentioned if Im stressed or have had a bad day. For lent this year I have chosen to give up shopping for clothes and other unessessary items. l have been doing well with this so far and your post couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you for sharing your story with us and reminding us that God is what we should turn to when dealing with these triggers and issues.

    • Rebecca, I love to hear that God is already working in your heart as you’ve chosen to overcome this area of struggle. You’re right – the comparison trap is even greater now that we have social media. Honestly, I have to limit my time on social sites because of that very reason. I’m praying for you today, asking God to guard your heart and mind as you’re browsing through the stores during this season of lent. Sweet Blessings, Leah

  64. Thank-you for your post! Like you, I was so proud of bargains bought on sale, especially second-hand. At first, it was for me a spirituality of providence. Then it became a “high” to find a special item…eventually I would spend hours just browsing, and my apartment is so cluttered, I need to give many things away. But it’s also a process of joy and freedom, especially if there’s sacrifice involved. I’ve been tempted lately to but a new couch – or at least sew a new futon cover, to symbolize that I’m ready a new lifeand forget so many painful memories (it’s 15 years old). Maybe God wants me to keep waiting on Him here too. God Bless you!

  65. This post couldn’t have come at a better time. We are beginning an international adoption and have no money for it. But God is saying go! This made me think of some changes I could make to help bring our child home. Please pray for God to take care of everything and that he will hold us and her close to his heart till we can be together!

  66. Allison Shapard :

    Thank you for these words today. For some reason I thought this past week was “spend a spring break.” I am disappointed in myself for not doing the things I love , spending more time with family & friends but I got caught up in the race to spend money simply because the week was called , ” spring break.” Today’s verse was powerful & has reassured me to put the brakes on spending! Again thank you for your words this morning.

  67. I am crying reading this, I feel like it written for me. I am in the same situation, we had to downsize so we could get back on our feet & we are looking forward to the day when we can move out of this little tiny apartment and back into a house. But even though we are in a smaller space I have kept finding “deals” and we are no closer to moving then we were 2 years ago. My spending habits have kept my family in bondage. Last week I gave up shopping until Easter but it’s been hard, so hard. Thank you for sharing, The Lord is very much convicting me of my need to turn to Him & turn away from all the materialism I have allowed into my heart. Be blessed!!

    • Jenny, thank you for being so honest about your struggles. I had a hard time too but I knew God had my best interest in mind when He challenged me to do the 90-day fast. He wants what is best for you too and knows that materialism is nothing more than an empty promise the Enemy uses to trap us into debt and heap guilt over us. God doesn’t want that for you. Let Him love you through this process and when you get that urge to buy something remember that He is by your side to give you strength to make the right choice. Blessings, Leah

  68. Thank you for your encouraging words, Leah. They were just what I needed. I identify with all three triggers, especially emotional shopping, and the high that comes with scoring a great deal on an otherwise overpriced item. Please pray for me to be content and satisfied in the Lord and Him alone. Please pray I would turn to Him as my true source of joy, rather than trying to find it in material items. Thank you again for your encouraging words, and for guiding me to your blog through the giveaway. I found your anxiety cleanse, and plan to read through that as well! God never ceases to amaze me with His perfect timing.

    • Hi Amy, thank you for sharing your thoughts on my blog. I’m praying for you today and hope you enjoy the Anxiety Cleanse. I believe God will use the verses I’ve included to encourage and draw you closer to Him. Rest in knowing how much He truly loves you! Blessings, Leah

  69. I can definitely relate to this, shopping has always been a crutch for me. I get so frustrated with the sheer amount of stuff I have sometimes, it really is a burden. I need to purge for sanity’s sake! It’s hard to resist the allure of a clearance rack, credit cards make it far too easy to think you have more money then you actually do. I want to do better in God’s eyes. Shared this with my twitter followers.

  70. Thank you! Your devotion this morning is what I really needed. I often share them with my friends. Blessings….

  71. Thanks for sharing this. It popped up on my Facebook newsfeed through Proverbs 31 – I began a fast two weeks ago that God called me to in the same area – so I knew it was God sending the encouragement my way this morning. I felt God calling me to do this until my birthday in July. I’ve already been blessed by this new “permission” to pass up an item – even if it was a great deal! Looking forward to the next few months.

    • Melissa, I love to hear that God is already working in your heart and confirming His direction for you through your own personal fast. I’m praying that you meet your goal date in July with complete success! I know God will bless you abundantly as you continue to follow His lead. Sweet Blessings, Leah

  72. Your devotion has spoken to me more than both M2C studies has. This is my craving and my real need. I have always shopped to satisfy my empty heart. Thank you for your openness and willingness to be real. Have you considered an online shopping fast that we can sign up for and participate in? Possibly receive daily challenges and encouragement from you? Have you written a book? I would love to read it! And a devotional book! And study guide! I have your whole next year of writing and speaking planned, don’t I? lol You would have to give the book away though as an eBook, otherwise we would have to go SHOPPING for it! Just kidding! Seriously, I am curious about the anxiety cleanse, too. I have already shared this devotion with several Facebook groups I am apart of, incl. my OBS group because I am convinced there are people like me who struggle with shopping more than food. But there aren’t many resources out there for shoppers anonymous and there are far too many SALE signs, as you said in your devotional. Please don’t stop your resources for shopping addictions with just this devotional. You are on to something big. Thanks for taking the time to read.

    • Hi Laurie, thank you for offering such great suggestions! Your comments are so encouraging to me and I’ll certainly pray about it. I typically write from my own experiences and offer a series if women really seem to respond well to a particular subject. I’m currently posting The Anxiety Cleanse which was a follow up from my P31 devotion from last month. I think you’ll really enjoy it. My next big project is an eBook that will be free on my website. 🙂

  73. Thank you so much for this devotion because it came at exactly the time I needed it! I will definitely be thinking about this post anytime I think I “need” to buy something and I will remember the Bible verses. Thank you!

  74. I would like to thankyou for your post today! You really spoke to my heart.
    I realize I have a shopping problem, I jokinly call it “shopping therapy”
    We also moved two yrs ago from our home of 22 yrs, I was embarassed by what I had accumulated over that time! I see the tangible result of excessive shopping but also how it has hurt us with our finances. We downsized as well, financially, like no morgage but the house is a large old fixer upper located in town. Its a wonderful turn of the century house with lots of potential.
    We just receently were able to get to a place where we are almost debt free.
    Please pray for me that with the Lords help I can conquer this addiction
    God Bless, Jenny

    • Jenny, thank you for being so honest about your struggles. I can certainly relate and know how “shopping therapy” can quickly turn sour after the thrill is gone and the reality of more debt appears. How exciting to hear that you are almost debt free! I’m praying for you today and believe with all my heart that God will honor your desire to conquer the shopping addiction. Sweet Blessings, Leah

  75. Angelika Johnson :

    Thank you for this post. This is definitely something I struggle with. I also then have associated guilt because I don’t earn an income and I know how hard my husband works to provide for us. The money I’m spending could be saved instead. I am going to try a 30 day challenge.

    • Angellika, I’m so excited you’re going to take a 30-day challenge! I know God will bless you through this experience as you trust in Him. As you say no to unnecessary purchases you also get to say good-bye to the guilt. That’s freedom with a cherry on top! Blessings, Leah

  76. Thank you so much for this wonderful Devotion and encouragement. I have a `BIG problem with SALES Items. This sounds like me. I will rely on God to being content. I will nee his help. Thank you again. Many blessings.

    • Maria, thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. I wanted you to know that I’m praying for you this morning and have complete confidence that God will help you in the area of struggle. May you find greatest contentment in Him alone. Sweet Blessings, Leah

  77. Hi! I’ve struggled with this for a while. I buy things when I only have pennies left! I’ve tried to figure out why I do this, and I think it’s because it makes me feel like I have something to look forward to! Getting a package in the mail! Praying for God to help me be content with what he has given me!

    • Rebecca, I’m so glad God is already showing you why you may be over buying – “makes me feel like I have something to look forward to!”. I’m praying for you today, believing God will change your heart so that the experiences you look forward to the most are spending time with Him. Sweet Blessings, Leah

  78. Cindy Mchaffie :

    Loved your devotion- it so true and something God has be teaching me these last few years(it’s hasn’t been easy and I still struggle) to be contend with what He has given us am learning that that is more than I could have ever dreamed. xo

  79. I spend a lot of time alone and find myself shopping to fill the void. I could really relate to this blog today.

  80. Thank you for the honesty of your post! I am seeking God for his fulfilling peace in my life, and for him to be all that I need for my life. So that His desire becomes my desire.
    blessings , mary johnston

  81. I read your encouragement for today, and it struck me that this is my life. It described me totally! I moved 8 months ago and I realize I had to much stuff. In fact we downsized and we had to rent a storage unit to hold our belongings. I know that The Lord is telling me to STOP spending and buying things I don’t need. My shopping habits have been out of control for a long time. I thank you for your encouragement today. I am going to commit myself to buying only what we need! I am going to start small and build upon that with the Lord’s help!

    • Barbara, I know God will help you in the area of shopping. Next time you’re at the checkout counter with your items remember that He’s there with you. Not to condemn you but to help you make wise choices that will bring freedom from the burden of overspending and debt. Sweet Blessings, Leah

  82. Phyllis Jones :

    How timely this post is…I just faced my own irresponsible spending (right after a tax refund). Thank you for sharing. When I saw the “cover”, I knew that was me as well as “complete”; I spent way too much on hyped up skin care and have been emotionally upset over my grown daughter. Please pray that I allow God to truly lead me and that I obey. I too, have purposed to buy when I need the item, I came across a neat site: frugal.com
    Blessings.

    • Phyllis, thanks for sharing your thoughts and suggesting the frugal.com website. I’ll be sure to check it out. I’m praying for you this morning, asking the Holy Spirit to gently remind you of this post the next time you start to make an emotional purchase. May He remind you that He is the only One that can truly satisfy all of your needs and comfort you when you’re upset, discouraged or lonely. I’m praying for your daughter too. Sweet Blessings, Leah

  83. Jane Clements :

    Enjoyed this devotion very much…

  84. I can totally relate! I need a spending fast & decluttering focus in my home too. Thanks for sharing!

  85. I find myself at a time in my life that I hunger for and seek more knowledge and understanding of the path God has chosen for me. My prayer request is for physical healing as I continue to nourish my soul.

  86. Doris Dubbert :

    I was very excited to find your blog and to meet, through your words, another of God’s chosen lamp lighters. I will definitely be filling out the update section at the top when I am finished here. I find myself at a time in my life that I hunger for and seek more knowledge and understanding of the path God has chosen for me. My prayer request is for physical healing as I continue to nourish my soul. God bless and keep you!

    • Doris, I’m praying for you today and asking God to restore your body and soul with His healing hand. As you rest in His presence, cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you and loves you. Below is a link to some suggestions that can help you physically feel better. I posted them to my blog earlier this week. I pray they help strengthen your body and restore your energy. Blessings, Leah

      http://www.leahdipascal.com/2014/03/the-anxiety-cleanse-week-4

  87. I need prayer for seeing what God wants me to do in a certain situation, what His will is for me… I do know I need to do some decluttering. I’m working on it. 😉

    • Hi Laura, I’m praying for you today ~ asking God to guide your decisions and fill you with wisdom as seek Him for guidance. Below is a promise that He will lead you as you put your faith, hope and trust in Him. Receive the grace that abounds in Christ and know that He loves you. Sweet Blessings, Leah

      Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.
      Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me.
      All day long I put my hope in you. Psalm 25: 4-5

  88. Thank you for wonderful words. I need them. I shared it both Facebook and Twitter.

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