Friday, October 15, 2010

Following directions part 2

No shopping for a season sounded pretty incredulous and overwhelming to me so I asked God for more direction.  All shopping, some shopping, or what.  I have completely refrained from going to WalMart, Target, Dollar Tree.  I have gone to Safeway and Fred Meyers for groceries only.  I haven't gone to 7-11 for the occassional soda run that was so prominent before this experiment. 
After more examination, I feel what God wanted me to do was focus on what I shop for and being a good steward of what I have, both money and stuff.  Do I need soda?  No water works just fine.  Do I need food for my family, absolutely.  Do my kids need the tons of stuff I have found that's a "great deal"?  No.  Do they need my time and attention and playfulness? Absolutely. 
I feel that this challenge is supposed to expand to eating out and fast food too but I'm not sure so I'm praying about that part.  I feel like I've cheated a little by letting Chris know what I want because I don't want to go spend the money on it.  Today I posted on Facebook that I wanted a latte and a little while later I got a phone call from my love who was outside with a latte for me.  It feels different if he pays for it instead of me, even though it all comes from the same bank account.  Is that a little weird?
Well that's about it for me for now. 
Hope you have a great day!

Friday, October 8, 2010


Yesterday I shared what I felt God was saying to me about giving up shopping for 40 days.  Yes, I still feel I heard the voice of God.  That being said, I did end up shopping.  You see, the schools book fair was this week and on day 1 and 2 Billy wasn't allowed to go because of a behavior issue.  Day 3 we went but negative behavior reared its ugly head once again so we left.  Yesterday was the last school day of our week and he was an absolute angel as he asked.  He explained that he knew exactly which book he wanted and where it was.  We walked directly in and got the 1 item that he requested and paid and left.  Thus concludes my shopping for the day.

The major test had come earlier in the day when I saw an amazing deal posted for something that we would be buying for Billy for Christmas.  This deal would be a huge cost savings. I ended up emailing it to Chris with lots of whiny questions like, would God really want us to not save this much since we're buying those types of things anyways.  Billy had a leapster (portable learning video game system) and one of the blogs was sharing how to get the $25 games for only $5 each with $5 shipping (for the total order) and get cash back on the deal too.  Tell me you wouldn't be tempted to buy the limit of 5 thus paying only $30 and getting cash back out of it and having that part much of your Christmas shopping done.  I mean the day before I had picked up a Christmas present for Jake ($70 item for $15 shipped).  Isn't this what being a good steward and Advent Conspiracy are about?  Or maybe it's about not spending the money at all and doing with less.  Lord knows none of us need more things but it's nice to be able to bless our families with those little extras when we can.

Praying over my attitude and for contentment and for a giving spirit.  In spite of not shopping I still have plenty to share with others and much to bless with.

Well I'm off to Women of Faith.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Following directions

Last night at church our pastor shared with us that it is a season to fast and pray.  He shared that he was told to fast from football for the next 40 days.  He invited us to join him and to pray for what God wants us to abstain from during this time.  Always up for a challenge, I jumped at the opportunity.  Then I stutter stepped and then whined and stomped my feet and threw a fit!  Does this mean I'm not going to be obedient?  I'm not going to lie, it's going to be tough.

I very clearly heard God's instruction but since it wasn't what I wanted to hear, I rationalized that God couldn't have said that.  He loves me too much to take that away from me.  Again the voice persisted.  "Let go of it." it whispered in my ear.  "But God, that doesn't make sense to me."  I argued.  "Trust." the voice said.  "But..." I am very good at arguing and debating but with God, it's a tad different.  I relent faster most of the time.  Knowing He's already got all the answers and knows the end result, it seems silly to persist. 

Now the hard part...telling my husband (who is going to rejoice) what I heard God say.  Dang it.  Wishing this could stay between God and me but who would hold me accountable and check in with me if that happened.  Somehow it's easier to do what I'm told if other people know and hold me accountable.  Drats!!! 

"So, did God tell you something specific to give up for now?"  I asked.  He told me what he'd heard from God.  (I'm now very jealous...he got an easy one!)  "What about you?" he asked.  "Shopping." I muttered.  His and Jake's jaws almost hit the floor.  "You know this means that when I find those fabulous deals, you will have to go get them, right?"  I state.  They both laughed.  "I don't think that's what God meant." Chris said as gently and encouragingly as he could thru his fits of laughter.  Panic starts rising as I picture our grocery budget start going up.  "You'll need to follow my deal scenarios and use coupons when you grocery shop, you know.  I can't imagine God would want us to spend more and get less." I tell him.  "I don't see that happening."  Ugh! 

Praises in this...I had just ordered a Christmas gift for Jake that morning and had ordered my make up that afternoon. 

Bummer...I found a deal scenario that I could get a couple Christmas gifts for free this week but hadn't gotten out to do it.  I guess I will have to pass on that. 

Later, I am doing some stuff online and Jake says, "Mom, isn't that considered shopping and therefore you're cheating?"  Hmm....if I'm making money but not spending it, even if I am thinking about how I will spend it once I can, does that count? 

Well, now you're in the loop on where God's taking me.  Pray for me...and my family.  I will keep you updated what God does during this time and my successes and failures.  My heart is to follow His direction and go where He leads.  I know it was His voice I heard based on the struggle in my heart.  I still have a couple questions for him such as does it include grocery shopping?  What about my grocery budget?  Is it still shopping if I don't spend money?

What are your thoughts?