Thursday, February 14, 2008

what NOTHING looks like....

I'm amazed at the amount of money I must spend in a week without even thinking. This 40 Days of Nothing hasn't been easy....here's where I've felt it:
Sodas - I usually get my Polar Pop full of diet cherry pepsi with crushed ice on my way to work/campus and nurse it all day long....it's almost a security blanket just to have it near me.

Road snacks on the way out of town....

Valentine's Day....42 hand-made valentines for the girls' classes with no candy treats. I worried the girls would be disappointed, but sophia bragged to her classmates that hers were "homemade"...

Groceries....this has been hard, and it's only been a week! What's essential and what's just a want? I think I crossed the line a little today when I bought some special cookies to go on our Valentine's Dinner chocolate torte.

Curtains...we painted the bathroom over Christmas break, and I just decided what kind of curtains I want to make...but we've got a frosted window, so it can wait a bit longer!

I'm not really about depriving myself just because it's Lent....but every time I say no to eating out, every time I refrain from spending money on a pack of gum or a polar pop with crushed ice (oh, how I love thee...), I'm reminded of how differently the rest of the world lives, and our responsibility to care for those who have less.

I'm also struck by how it's affecting the rest of my life. My whole family has noticed how much more calm and patient I've been this week (I'm trying to ignore the implication that I'm not normally patient and calm). I can't help but believe that when I stop numbing myself with buying and consuming, it allows God to fill those parts of me that want to be filled.

And He's so much better than a polar pop!!

4 comments:

krista said...

"it allows God to fill those parts of me that want to be filled".....you're right! In a Lent devotional I'm reading, the author challenged me to do just that. I really liked the description of how replacing even one self-indulgence makes room for God to live. To think of my life as "real estate" is a bit weird, but helpful.

And...I LOVE Polar Pops!! However, I'm a 90% Diet Coke/10% Coke girl. But finding crushed ice or even better, ice pellets, is a rare commodity around here. I'm jealous. =)

Diana & Bob said...

Bob and I have changed our habits over the last few months.

Several months ago I quit drinking Diet Coke and anything with Nutrasweet in it. Nothing to do with Lent, I did it for health reasons.

About that time Bob and I decided to limit our 'eating out' to once every 3 - 4 weeks. We found that we were consuming way too many mindless low quality calories and junk food. A bad habit we do not want to pass on to Alex. Now every 3 - 4 weeks we pick a NICE restaurant and have a wonderful meal while enjoying each others company. It's so much more special this way.

LISA said...

Gretchen,
You are doing so well on your 40 days of nothing!!

Children's Hope International said...

This is really cool to read about. You may wish for the 40 days to pass quickly, but I look forward to more updates and insights during your Lent!

Thanks for the encouragement and the nudges you give through your blog.

Jennifer N.