Thursday, August 31, 2006

30 Days of Nothing

. 30 Days of Nothing. September 1 begins our family's 30 Days of Nothing. For the entire month of September, our family will buy nothing aside from the absolute necessities. There will be no running to the store for this or that. There will be no frozen lasagna or chicken nuggets. There will be no soda. There will be no checking out the clearance rack at Walmart. Our groceries will consist of the basics. I did our grocery shopping this morning for the entire month of September and spent $98.00 for our little family of four. I bought the biggest bag of rice I've ever seen. I bought 16 meals worth of ground beef, as this is what was on sale. Cheap stuff, yet nutritous. Frozen generic vegetables. Mind you, not the pretty bags of mixed stir-fry vegies. Just the basics. Canned soup- generic of course unless the large cans of Campbells were cheaper. Lots of spaghetti sauce- the kind in a can that costs $.88. Perhaps not as tasty, but we're doing just the basics and as cheap as possible. Powdered milk. (Please, before you turn me into the blogger police, my children actually prefer powdered milk. In their little minds, since Mommy makes it herself, it must be "fresher" as they put it. They get excited if Mommy buys "fresh milk.") And tons of eggs. Okay, maybe not tons, but several dozen! Also, yogurt- not the little containers of Dannon where you're really paying for the fancy little cups- the kind that comes in quart size containers and guessed it....Generic! My family will eat a healthy diet for the next month, which is more than I can say for lots of other people around the world, including my two Ethiopian children. There won't be much variety, but they won't starve either.

Why are we doing this? Are we gluttens for punishment? No, not exactly. The purpose is to fast from consumerism- the uniquely American ability to buy whatever you want at the blink of an eye. We want to end the cycle of taking our American affluence for granted. We want to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the burak (blessing) of living in America. We want to subject ourselves to this lifestyle for 30 days, knowing full well that as much as we are going to get tired of the inconvenience, that we are living better than so many people in the world. We want to understand how our children's grandmother feels as she daily faces her difficult life in Ethiopia. We want to allow God to reveal things to us that we haven't even thought of yet.

So what will we do with all the money we save? We are going to collect it in a jar. At the end of the month, our goal is to have $60.00 that we will use to buy a bike for a family in Kenya. (Yea, I know $60.00 probably doesn't seem like much, but please remember that stay-at-home motherhood doesn't pay much and for the past eleven months we've been paying $350 per month in fostercare fees for our Ethiopian kids) They will be able to use this bike to make deliveries for people, earning $3.00 per day. With this $3.00, they will be able to feed their children. More about this particular part of our 30 Days of Nothing in a future post.

Tonia over at Intent created this 30 Days of Nothing. I am inviting every person who reads this post to consider participating. Give the money you save to the charity cause that makes your heart skip a beat. Eastern Africa makes my heart dance. What's your passion? Sure, most American families could easily just write a check. Join us on this journey as we go even deeper than that. Dare to see what you might encounter during these next 30 days! Check back during September as I share my family's journey away from consumerism and into what makes God's heart break- widows, orphans, the poor, downtrodden, and oppressed.


tonia/sparrow said...

Wow! I'm so impressed with your grocery shopping. I hope you will blog about it during the month as you go through the process.

Thank you for participating!

owlhaven said...

I am right now heading off to the grocery store to get us set for the month too...
'fraid i won't get by for $100, but I am trying to make moderate choices!