Monday, August 3, 2009

August - A Month Long Journey

It is August! It is time for our family to go without! It couldn't have come at a better time, we're still in the vacation mindset of eating out and splurging, so our reality check will come via hard core disciplines this month. Actually, it may sound like an awful practice, but I really look forward to our fasting months. For some reason I am challenged to save, bake, create from scratch, stay home, spend more time in God's word, listen to relaxing music, bring out the candles, read those books I've been staring at, and pray more. I love the fruit of our month long fast, prayer comes more naturally and concern for others is always more on the forefront of my mind. I always feel closer to God and my time in the Word is more in depth. Not spending is like going without caffeine. It is really hard in the beginning, but after a few weeks you don't even noticed your without it. An added benefit of our no spending month is the subsequent months also benefit. In reviewing our numbers, we eat out the most two months prior to our fasting month, we also spend the most in the months of January and July which are the months leading up to our fast. A month to regroup and focus our minds on the family and biblical priorities changes our entire family - not just the finances but also our hearts!

This month when challenged to watch TV or spend money I will be praying for two dear mentors of mine (1 from last year and another from this current year) who have lost loved ones this past week - one a husband and another a son. I can't imagine how to comfort or even share in the loss of such a tragedy. The bible says when we humble ourselves (Ps 35:13) and discipline our bodies (I Cor 9:27) our faith will draw us closer to God and he will instill us with godly wisdom. I'm excited to see myself become more disciplined and compassionate. I often find myself "put out" by the unplanned events of the day, the neighbor who wants to talk or the mom who needs a break for a few hours, instead of looking at them as God-ordained meetings. Our family is also working this month on being content - content with where God has us. We also are praying for obedience, we know some tough choices are in our future and we want to obey God regardless of what He asks of us.

It is going to be a wonderful month! Day 1 is over and no money has been spent! I celebrated by baking us a crisp with the blueberries we picked in Oregon. John just got home so we're off to talk about the challenges ahead and the budget we want to abide by this month. I'm thinking I can get away with only spending 100.00 on groceries?

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