Can you be a Christian AND drive a BMW? I can't. At least, not anymore.

Re-entry is kicking my sass. And by sass I mean: coming home to the United States has been an unexpected culture shock--and it's killing my sense of humor. Our family took a tour of Hearst Castle this past week and in the middle of it I loudly announced: "THIS IS SUCH A DISGUSTING, UNCONSCIONABLE DISPLAY OF WEALTH!" I'm sure the rest of our tour group was super happy that I was in their group, yes?

I should have just shut up and ooooh'd and ahhhhh'd like everyone else, right?

But then the tour guide announced they spent 1/2 million dollars repainting one ceiling. ONE CEILING. I almost blew my lid at that point. I wanted to climb on top of Hearst's ridiculously ornate fireplace mantel and yell: DID YOU KNOW THAT EVERY DAY 45 BOLIVIAN CHILDREN DIE SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER????

But I didn't. Instead, I just cried the whole way home. It's just. I've never been DISGUSTED by opulence. I've never been HORRIFIED by luxury.

And now? I am.

I used to drive a BMW. I won't EVER be able to justify that again.

I used to pride myself on my growing collection of designer handbags. I am disgusted by that now.

I routinely spent hundreds of dollars on clothing and accessories. If only I could sell everything and fund the sponsorships of hungry Bolivian children!

Worst of all, a couple years ago I seriously considered plastic surgery. Here in the OC, it's just sorta expected that women will "fix" themselves after childbirth. I am HORRIFIED by that thought now.

There is an inherent CRUELTY in luxury--and I think especially for a Christian. There is simply no way I can reconcile what I saw in Bolivia with the typical Orange County lifestyle. I can't help but think that Christians living luxurious lives is a scourge in the eyes of God.

If I'm being judgmental, it's only because I'm a Christian who likes luxury. I'm giving my own self a huge kick in the pants.

I mean, how can I justify spending money on designer handbags when the children I embraced don't even have clean water to drink?

My faith means ABSOLUTELY nothing if I am able to hug these impoverished children and then waltz back into my plush, comfortable, full-bellied life and whine about "dilemmas" like: should I wear the platform heels or the designer boots?

My faith means NOTHING if I don't actually DO anything to help.

I turned on the tap in our hotel room and started weeping because it was CLEAN water and I could DRINK it.

I don't know what's happening to me. I can feel myself morphing into one of those bleeding heart, save-the-world people!! OMG! Am I becoming a liberal????????

Maybe I am.

I'll take on any label if it means little kids won't have to sell trinkets from a pushcart just so they can eat that day.

Because more than a label, I'm a mother. And my heart will never be happy again knowing there are little kids starving....especially if I can do something to help.

Please sponsor a child.

What do YOU think? In light of global poverty, is it appropriate for a Christian to live a luxurious lifestyle?

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