I would be a Stil Meri

This is my FIRST heart observation for The Summer of 7, and I’m excited to HAVE a heart thing to report since some of this stuff feels like dumb legalism.

One of the reasons that I had to change my Summer of 7 Food Challenge from

only eating food I’d walked for and not eating any of the other food in the house for 7 days


eating any food in the house but not buying any new food unless I walked for it for 21 days

was because I was a stil meri. A stil meri no gut tru.

Don’t you love it when I speak Tok Pisin? I know you do.

I am in no way indicating that this is a stil-meri. It is just a picture of a Papua New Guinean woman. 🙂

Okay, here I translate. (Literal: Steal Lady. No Good True.)


In Papua New Guinea, there is an expression for women who steal. They are “stil meris.” When we lived in PNG, most of the missionaries had a Papua New Guinean house helper to help with cleaning and errands. (AWE-SOME.)  Not infrequently, you’d hear about a “stil meri” who stole from her employer, usually small things, but things that were noticed missing nonetheless. These women were usually fired and then kind of “black-listed.” (I am not making this stuff up after reading The Help. This stuff is really true.)

In my imperious way, I could not imagine that these women would have the audacity to steal.  Weren’t they thrilled to have a good job with good pay for good Christian missionaries? Why would they risk all that? What was so tempting?


For  a mere seven days, I was supposed to be limiting myself to the food I walked to buy. It is pictured here.

It’s a lot of food! And it is delicious and healthy.  Of course, I also had the option to walk and buy more food. And I even did walk to town and had dinner at restaurants. That wasn’t the problem.


Right in front of my face were dozens and dozens of foods that I was NOT suppose to eat, but which were RIGHT THERE. Who would notice if I ate the remainder of Dylan’s delectable peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwich (instead of my delicious tomato and cheese)? Who would see or care for that matter if I put sugar in my coffee instead of the honey that was “mine.”

The excess was my temptation. And I could not resist it because I didn’t really think that it mattered in light of the gross overabundance. The absolute overabundance everywhere around me causes me to think that resistance is futile, even stupid.

When you are surrounded by excess, giving in to temptation seems more logical than resisting it. Of course, not wanting to waste also motivated me, but not wanting to resist motivated me too. Greatly.

The truth.

If I were a Papua New Guinean woman with a small garden, a bag or two of rice, and a can of tinned fish when I was lucky, who walked hours and hours from her village to work in the home of a white missionary woman with a refrigerator full of yumminess and cupboards stacked with choices, I would be a stil meri in a skinny minute.

Oh Lord, how do I pare down this life and this heart from greed, indulgence, and pride?

Proverbs 30:8-10


I’m linking this up to The Summer of 7 Blog Hop about the Food Challenge. Please feel free to comment, link up, and even share the code to the blog hop at your blog. 🙂


5 thoughts on “I would be a Stil Meri

  1. “When you are surrounded by excess, giving in to temptation seems more logical than resisting it.” – This is powerful.

  2. This was a powerful post. I know that I would be too. Isn’t that why I take extra sauces from Chic-fil-a when we get to go? And I eye the food of other people at work who order out but don’t finish there meals. I realize that I can not look down on others with judgement because given circumstances where I am limited, I will be tempted to do the same things. My question is the same as yours. There is definitely a heart issue for me.

  3. As Laura (and YOU) pointed out, it’s the excess. So hard to not give in when it is RIGHT there.

    (on an unrelated noted, I really like the look of your blog and went over to Woo but kind of got lost :). Which theme is this?) Amy
    Amy recently posted…Ruthlessly eliminate hurryMy Profile

  4. Girl – this food week has caused me to steal too! I am not proud. I stole all the cherry tomatoes off the salad plates at my table at a wedding reception. I didn’t think anyone was going to join my family at our table. After I scarfed up all the tomatoes — sure nuff 5 more sit down. And can you believe someone had the nerve to say, “hey it looks like someone took all our cherry tomatoes.”

    I confess I did not confess! I just smiled and drank my water.
    Positively Alene recently posted…stop for the one tuesday {a homeless man’s food}My Profile

  5. Just discovered your blog and am loving it! This post rang true in my heart. Thanks for sharing yours.

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