Before I go into the 30 Days of Nothing, I'd like to say that today marks the beginning of week #2 of school. I definitely got out of bed in time to get Kaitlyn ready without too many problems. Except for the fact that two hours wouldn't have been enough time today! Tolo na ebakesh (hurry up please) wasn't in her vocabulary today. Rough morning, but she made it in one piece. Now I'm left with Lucas. Sweet faces like this are what makes it all worth it- burakaeyae:
Now, about this 30 Days of Nothing...
I went to the store last night. We were out of shampoo and there are still 25 days left. Enough said! I did resist the urge to buy pretty hair clips for Kaitlyn!
30 Realizations for 30 Days of Nothing:
1. Having spent only $98 on groceries for our family of four for the entire month of September, I still haven't come even remotely close to living like much of the world lives.
2. Firstly, I actually had $98 to spend on groceries.
3. My cupboards are full.
4. In fact, they're overflowing with food.
5. Despite the fact that there isn't going to be a whole lot of variety this month, I have enough spices in my cupboard that we can have a different flavor of rice every night without having to repeat anything.
6. I have enough rice to last for an entire month.
7. My kids can eat as much as they want.
8. There is no need in my house for rationing our food.
9. I have hot running water right in my kitchen.
10. I have a kitchen in my house.
11. I have a house.
12.I have a stove in my kitchen where I cook the food that I just pulled out of my refrigerater.
13. I have a refrigerater.
14. It's full of food.
15. I can't count the times I've had the audacity to complain that I couldn't find anything to eat, which really meant that out of all the food in my house, none of it appealed at the moment.
16. If we did run out of food and money, we wouldn't have to be hungry.
17. We could turn to our church for help.
18. We would go "shopping" in their food pantry.
19. My kids wouldn't have to be hungry.
20. I wouldn't have to go hungry for the sake of feeding my kids.
21. I have never had to make such a choice.
22. And if I did make such a choice, it would probably be due to the pride that would keep me suffering in silence rather than an actual need for that kind of sacrifice.
23. I have thrown away enough injera batter to feed my Ethioian kids' entire orphanage a high- protein breakfast for a month.
24. If I ask God to open my eyes to the reality of my wealth and my waste, He will do it.
25. God isn't helping me to see this so that I can feel guilty.
26. God doesn't motivate people by making them feel guilty.
27. God wants me to recognize my waste so that I can reign it in and steward our resources better.
28. Our wealth isn't for us alone.
29. God has blessed us as Americans so that we can bless others.
30. Saving money so that a family in Kenya can have a bicycle for making a living is just the tip of the iceberg for our family...
Burakaeyae (My Blessings) thus far:
1. Avery designed a logo for Bikers for Christ several years ago. This weekend, we discovered that it has been used on a T-shirt, which we could have purchased at the BFC retreat. But, that definitely would have broken our fast from consumerism. Later in the evening, knowing nothing about our 30 Days of Nothing, Pastor Fred Z, founder of BFC, pulled Avery aside and gave him a T-shirt for him and one for me too! I've come to know God as my Father and He is so lavish with me. Certainly, a T-shirt isn't exactly a need for me, as I have plenty of clothes. But our Father wanted the pleasure of watching His kids enjoy a little token of His affections.
2. I fed my kids donughts for supper at the BFC retreat. I didn't have to do that though. God already had it taken care of. We enjoyed fried chicken and salad, compliments of Stillwater Lodge. We didn't have to eat donughts just because they were there. God gave us something much better. Next time I will trust Him more. This made me realize that I've been worried about the fact that I'm soon going to have four kids, yet I drive a sub-compact car! Definitely a problem, especially since three of them are still in car seats. I've tried to figure out where a larger vehicle would come from. How will we pay for it? We've already spent $4,200 on fostercare for our kids in Ethopia, far more than we ever anticipated spending. Money that we had earmarked for a van. Our "van money" is almost completely gone now. Now I know that if God cares enough about us to make sure we had frivilous T-shirts and fried chicken despite the fact that we weren't hungry, then He will surely see to it that we have a vehicle where we can drive our kids around safely. Trust...
3. Generic Saltines and Stale popcorn out of the trashcan. That's right, this was a blessing to me yesterday! Supper last night was cooked by some very good friends who honored us by inviting us to supper and pampering us and serving us. I didn't have to do a thing. It was soooooo nice! They wanted to love us by taking care of us. Not only that, but aware that we're doing this 30 Days of Nothing, they sent us home with three pounds of venison (deer meat for those of you who have never hunted or are opposed to hunting!). As we were leaving, Amy opened her cupboards and started looking for other things she could send us home with. Hence, the Saltines and stale popcorn (for feeding neighborhood ducks- I can't afford to be feeding them bread this month!) .