By Lisa Ash Drackert of Kansas City, MO, USA
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. -Matthew 4:1-2 NRSV
Never before had my commitment to live a non-materialistic, unpretentious lifestyle been challenged as it was during wedding planning.
At the beginning of our engagement, my fiance and I made a planning guideline for our wedding that would align with our values: utilize talented friends, limit consumption and waste, support the local food movement, and play ridiculously good dance music.
We designed a wedding based on those ideals. We used borrowed and inherited decorations. We bought biodegradable dinnerware. We made purchases from businesses within walking distance of our house. We opened a gift registry that only asked for donations to charitable organizations and monetary gifts for our honeymoon. We told our wedding party they weren’t getting traditional gifts. We never once used a Pinterest board.
Two months before the wedding I experienced major anxiety. What if I wasn’t “doing enough” to make this event absolutely fantastic? What if the guests would think we forgot important things? What if people were bored? What if our wedding party and families felt slighted? What if out-of-town guests left holding a grudge over not taking home a party favor?
In response, I spent several frantic days buying, buying, buying-more gifts, more decor, more flowers, more of everything we had promised we would not buy. I experienced even more anxiety over spending the extra money. It took some honest conversations with my fiance to bring my vision back in line with what was truly important. The wedding would reflect our lifestyle and our values. It didn’t need to live up to anyone else’s standards. So, I spent a few less-frantic days returning items.
I realized I felt best when I made decisions in line with my values of simplicity and humility, even if they went against the norm of the industry.
And the wedding was perfect!
God, may my deep hope align with your deep vision. Release in me anything that keeps me from freely following your Spirit. Amen.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Breathe deeply as you enter a time of silence. Become gently attentive to what may be restricting you from faithfully responding to the divine invitation in your life. Are there priorities, attachments, tasks, or motivations competing for your response? What does freedom for God look or feel like in you this day?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.