We’ve been talking brave lately, and I’m hoping to share some real life stories of women living reckless, in a drop-it-all-and-go-where-God-tells-me-to kind of way. Our stories are all different, but we can each step out as He calls. Today, Karmen of Blessings Beyond the Barnyard is here sharing what I consider to be a brave testimony of getting real and coming clean. Please welcome her warmly.
by Karmen Smith
from heavy drink or substance
Hi, My name is Karmen and I am a REDEEMED shop-a-holic.
I don’t think enough people call it what it is…
Lust of the eye.
Here’s a bit more of my story:
I LOVED pretty things;
clothes, shoes, clothes, accessories and did I mention clothes??
Things for my house
Things for outside
but mostly clothes for
and I treated myself
whether shopping for work clothes or lounging attire,
only the finest would do.
Let it be said,
here and now,
I never said this was a pretty story…..
dropping a hundred plus on a dress..
or a bathing suit
or an outfit to sleep in
without a moment’s hesitation
my nine digit credit card number
I ordered online, over the phone or shopped this one particular OVER PRICED brand
and it was fine.
But not really.
Love, a self employed farrier (farrier=one who shoes horses).
Me, a school teacher.
My level of shopping
far exceeded our means.
Deep down..I knew it
Cowboy Dan didn’t.
I was sneaky.
As quickly as my loot would arrive
it would strategically
into the laundry room
to be blended with old.
Rarely a word spoken …
until the statement would come
and I would have to ask for Love’s help
because my paycheck
rarely covered my habit.
Week after week I would ask our Sunday school class to “pray for me”
“I’m greedy. Pray that I will not be so greedy.”
that’s what I was.
I didn’t mean it.
The same empty words would flow from my mouth
10 years this went on
Tucker, our oldest rascal was born.
I wanted to take off work
and come home and mother
but I couldn’t.
Who said so?
I was in bondage
My heart became heavy.
A new study was announced at church:
We signed up.
For 10 weeks we studied what God says about stuff and money and stewardship.
CONVICTION came down.
I just thought I knew what a H.E.A.V.Y heart felt like
“It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.” Psalm 119:71
My pathetic prayer
“Help me not to be so greedy.”
“FATHER PLEASE FORGIVE ME! Father FORGIVE my vanity! Forgive my poor stewardship. Forgive my lust of the eye! Change me Father. I want to HONOR YOU with ALL that you have entrusted to me.”
My heart was no longer heavy
it was broken
over my sin
and by His grace and because of HIS MERCY
I have been FORGIVEN.
Since and NOW
We shop sales.
We GIVE MORE
Because we agree with the wise King Solomon, the one who had it ALL and yet said
“Vanity of vanity. All is vanity.”
We can testify to
“LITTLE is MUCH when GOD is IN IT”!
we SPEND LESS
instead of buying too much and asking for forgiveness
We pray and ask “Will this honor YOU Lord?”
No more secrets
I discuss with Cowboy Dan BEFORE I shop
“How much do we have to spend?”
I share my finds with him when I return.
Do I have to do this?
We know where HIS money goes.
It’s all HIS
on loan to us
to be found FAITHFUL.
I share this ugly story
I’m a real girl
with real issues
who’s been FORGIVEN
Karmen is the voice behind Blessings Beyond the Barnyard. She is a former first grade teacher (who will write a run on sentence in a second)…turned stay-at-home, home-school mother of two rowdy, cotton top, little boys. Karmen is married to her high school sweetheart, aka Cowboy Dan, and is more in love with him today than when she married him 17 years ago.