Sanctified Tourist

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I have been curb shopping in my neighbor's trash y'all. I found more than I bargained for.

Curb Shopping at Christmas


I have been curb shopping in my neighbor's trash y'all. I found more than I bargained for.


I have been feeling a bit Scrooge-ish lately and haven’t been able to put my finger on the problem until I found myself curb shopping in my neighbor’s trash last week.   It’s excess y’all.  We are a people who can put our excess to the curb without a thought…most of the time to make room for more.   Tis the season of excess.

I have been curb shopping in my neighbor's trash y'all. I found more than I bargained for.


In stark contrast, I have observed a different kind of curb shopping taking place in Cambodia, my future home.  I have seen a man hand-cutting a certain kind of grass in the front of businesses in order to  feed his ox.  I have seen an older woman pulling a cart, stopping at every trash heap looking for cardboard to sell.  I have seen beggars sitting on curbs, and girls with baskets hoping someone will buy their boiled snails.  My daughter observed a tiny girl, perhaps six, struggling with a buggy much bigger than her, going from house to house searching for cans to recycle.  A daily struggle to survive for some.

I have been curb shopping in my neighbor's trash y'all. I found more than I bargained for.



Back here in Texas, I have a gorgeous tree, I have spent lots of money on gifts,  I watch the holiday shows, I attend parties,  I meet up with family, I eat scrumptious food…all in excess.  I celebrate in a cheery little bubble that floats high above Bethlehem.   Sometimes I glance down lovingly at the manger as I float through the holidays, but to be honest, I am trapped in cultural distractions that steal my focus.  The cultural noise of excess drowns out His holy birth.  I have put Jesus to the curb while making room for meaningless diversions.   My Scrooge-ish mood feels a little like guilt.

So this year I will line up behind the wise men with my gift for the baby Jesus.   I will bow before Him and ask Him to make me more like Him.  To open my eyes to suffering.  To warm my heart to the helpless.  To cleanse my desire for material possessions and replace it with a desire to love Him more.  To fill me.  Then I will be ready to serve.   I don’t have much to give, but I do have me.

I have been curb shopping in my neighbor's trash y'all. I found more than I bargained for.


i love 2



+Closeup picture of my Christmas tree

++Picture of the treasure I found on the side of the road

+++Picture taken in Cambodia during the water festival

++++Picture taken of the Christmas decorations outside The Woodlands Pavilion.  We were on our way to a concert by Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant.

 I am not paid to endorse any products or ads on Sanctified Tourist.










5 thoughts on “Curb Shopping at Christmas

  1. I can totally relate. I left the mainland US over 35 years ago and lived most of my life in a very tiny and remote island in the pacific. There is a lot of poverty there. Life there taught me the difference between needs and wants in a way nothing else could. So now- here in rural Japan living simply ( and on the lower end of the economic ladder) I’m content. Very content and blissfully happy for the little things we do have. Here and there I visit family in ” the states” and honestly- I love seeing them but I can’t wait to go home. It’s that environment of ” excess” that I see everywhere that really depresses me. Like you said… People float around in a bubble.

    I’ve been to many poor, poor countries… I’ve seen people living in houses made of cardboard and tin and plastic and whatever else they could find. I knew many people who lived like that on island.

    But in all that poverty I saw riches that I never see when I go to the mainland…..

    Merry Christmas.. Xxoo


    • It is the same way in Cambodia. There is a very wealthy class of people. But most are very poor. They have built this fabulous new mall in the capital and the people from the villages make it a holiday to come there and ride the escalator. I am like you in that I am “blissfully happy” living with less. It’s hard to explain, but it’s almost a spiritual experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes- I know that it’s the joy I find in Jesus that enables me to live like this. Oh! My goodness…I’ve done that very thing myself! Taking the kids to the big fancy Naru Building when they were little to go for an escalator ride! I totally get that!


  2. It’s true! I have so many things that aren’t even neccesities in life! I want to cultivate a spirit of gratitude to the Lord in all things.


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