Blog by Jannie Wolff
Blogger: Jannie Wolff
In 2013 I started writing a blog about daily thoughts and ideas and stories – it was in a way a devotional, because I was sharing things that I had discovered as I was learning to live my life in a new way. I was born again in 2005, and the impact on my life was so great that everything old was made new again. One of the things that I started to discover was that there are lots of misconceptions about God in our world today. One of the most common ones, and one that can often keep people away from the goodness of God sometimes, is the mistaken belief that God does not want us to have nice things and enjoy life, and that we are meant to give everything away and live a life of poverty. While that may be a calling for some, it definitely is not for all. It is true that sometimes God will provide the luxuries we want in very unexpected ways, and that is what led me to write the newest section of my blog, beginning in September of 2015, that is called “An Abundant Life.”
I often tell people that when I first moved out to New Jersey from Manhattan, I went kicking and screaming. I really couldn’t believe that after all the years of living in wonderful apartments in what is truly one of the most amazing cities on earth that I would be stuck living some place removed and remote from everything I thought I needed and loved. But over time, as I complained to God, the answer kept coming back, “Look around you.” And when I finally got over myself and started to look around me, I started to find the most wonderful people and places and things. New Jersey is a mecca for thrift store shopping, yard sales, gate sales and estate sales, and though I had not realized it when I first moved here, the art scene is thriving. There are so many wonderfully talented creative people in my life now, people who remind me of those wonderful old days in New York City that quite honestly I don’t ever think can be again there because the spaces and places where we wrote and performed and created and played and lived and loved are gone. I still go into Manhattan and enjoy my walks in old neighborhoods for the memories they bring, but my life in New Jersey is so fulfilling and exciting that I feel like I’ve found a dream come true.
The first apartment I lived in was very small, but when I moved into a new place a wonderful artist and designer friend gave me some beautiful pieces of midcentury furniture. He was moving away from New York, and as he couldn’t see my new apartment in person, I started sending him photographs to show how his furniture had become an anchor that helped me begin to design my own special space. As I reveled in thrift store shopping and walked around to different sales, I started to find beautiful and unique pieces that have made my humble home a place of luxury. Practically everything I wear is from a sale or thrift shop too, and when I hear the compliments I love to share that whatever it is that people are exclaiming over cost me five dollars or less. Yes, there are times that I might splurge for ten dollars, or on occasion twenty, but that’s rare, and for a rare item. Most of my clothing cost me far less than that. And jewelry and accessories? I have so much abundance that I can give things away and bless others. The only time I spend what would be considered more than what my grandmother called “pin money” is when I want to support a designer or artist or small shop owner, and even then, because these wonderful creative people want people to enjoy the things they create or refurbish, they make it affordable and possible to own their gorgeous works of art.
An abundant life? Yes, you can have it. Start by looking around in your own back yard. Walk around the spaces and places where you live. Go to a thrift store, a gallery opening or a designer’s shop. If someone is having a yard sale, stop by to say hello. You might just walk away with treasure.
Written by Jannie Wolff