November 4, 2010
I am in month three of my spending fast. The first month was ok. But about week four, I couldn’t believe it was only week four! Month two got pretty hard. So while as before I would avoid clothes sections and online shopping completely, during month two I made up for it with avid window shopping – Target, Gap, even Anthropologie (which I could never afford anyways). I would look wistfully, and feel sad. So to offset this plummet in enthusiasm, I decided to tell my sister of God’s little plan. She’s too far away to buy me things, so I didn’t have to worry about that, and she knows and loves me enough to support me in this anyways. It was good to tell her. I hope you have someone in your life like my Jennie.
Since then, it has kind of been on cruise control. I am definitely used to not spending money on myself. There are still things I want, but I just dismiss them. They will always be there. Stuff will always be there. Things to spend money on will always be there. But what is God trying to teach me now?
That, I suppose, has been my biggest question. Why am I doing this? A lesson in discipline? A practical way to save money before Christmas? No reason except to see if I’d obey? All are good enough reasons for me! And I think he will reveal some more of those reasons as time goes on. Today was a good example of that…
Today was the first day I officially broke the rules. You see, Phil had bought me a Starbucks gift card so I could get some drinks here and there. But between taking out students and buying chocolate milks for the kiddos, it ran out quickly. And today I just wanted a tall, warm, delicious eggnog latte. Yes, they are back! I was starving (didn’t have time to eat breakfast, as per most days), and it was a glorious, sunny fall morning. So I rationalized it as “It’s food. I’m allowed to buy myself food!” although up until now, Starbucks had been off limits. I order, I wait, I try not to feel guilty. But when I get to the window, the barista tells me that the car ahead of me paid for my order.
But in the best possible way. I didn’t feel guilty or ashamed, just reminded of how much God really looks out for me, and how much (for whatever reason), he really wants me to stick this out. It makes me think of what Paul says in Romans 5:8 – ‘but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ Today, that verse might as well say ‘God shows his love for me that while I was in line ordering and disobeying, Christ paid for my Starbucks.’ I sure love Jesus.
P.S. When I ran out of shampoo, Phil noticed and picked some up at Target with other toiletries. Thank you babe, for noticing my empty shampoo bottle.