curious thoughts {use it up, wear it out…}

Zack and I are members of a small group of married couples that meets on a weekly basis to study and discuss the Bible, share about our lives, eat some good food and fellowship with each other. There are six couples in the group, and we have been meeting together for over 3 years. We all got married around the same time, all bought houses around the same time, and will probably all end up having kids around the same time. The first “new member” of the small group was just born a few weeks ago, and I think the baby itch is starting to spread among the women. Oh boy!


Anyways, we are currently reading through the book Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. Last week, Piper introduced a phrase that I had heard in passing before, but never really thought about. The phrase is “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” In the context of the book, Piper was using this an a foundation for a discussion about living with a “wartime lifestyle” and finding out satisfaction in Christ alone. The chapter was very thought provoking, but what really stuck with me was this phrase. I have been thinking about it in the context of my own life, and in the context of where our nation is economically.

Now, I don’t claim to know all that much about politics, or history, or the economy. But, I do know that this phrase was coined by the women of the Great Depression. I also know that right now our nation is facing one of the most challenging economic times in its history. I won’t go into details, because we all know the stats. I just wonder why, in the face of this economic crisis, we turn to credit cards instead of penny pinching? I know that this is not the case across the board, and I certainly don’t want to make a blanket statement, because I know full well that there are many families out there who are being creative in finding ways to stretch their dollar in the face of the current economy.

My main point in bringing this up is simply to give you and I something to chew on. I want to learn to live with less, and be content with what I have. I also want to learn to get creative and “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” I think that is a great battle-cry for anyone to have, whether rich or poor. Being wasteful with our resources is never wise, and learning contentment is a priceless lesson.

  1. Lori H says:

    Thanks for provoking our thoughts this morning, Bethany! I have Piper’s book on my to-read list. I grew up with frugal parents and am now appreciating it so much. I know what to do in these hard economic times and it doesn’t include turning to credit cards! Have a great day.

  2. Hope says:

    I totally agree. It is an adjustment becoming “humble” in today’s society, but what a great feeling it is experiencing the blessings that come from a simple lifestyle.

  3. Em says:

    I hear ya…I only have a credit card because my husband insisted we needed it in case of emergencies (I think he’s right). I’m frugal to a fault though…It’s nice to hear you feel the same way though!

  4. Tracey says:

    Hi Bethany, I have only recently started subscribing to your blog. I really appreciate your thoughts today – they have got me thinking, and I will have to check out this chapter in Piper’s book (I have listened to a few of his sermons, but not read any of his books). There is so much frugal living stuff around, I would love to read some thought out Christian reflection on this.

  5. Jules says:

    Sigh. I just love your blog and the way you think.

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