Today completes 10 days of our spending experiment, and I'm learning a lot. Sometimes it feels no different than our regular rhythms—I still get groceries, take my lunch to work, and spend time doing things I enjoy. Other moments are stark reminders that I'm out of my norm.
Take last week for example. Wednesday I was happy to take advantage of a free breakfast coupon at Corner Bakery . . . only to realize on the way there that I wouldn't be able to purchase coffee to go with my free oatmeal. Thursday I attended an all-day conference and I brought my lunch . . . then realized everyone else was going out to eat. I sat with them at Potbelly's while they ate, eating my lunch when we got back. Friday my coworkers went on their weekly coffee run . . . and I went with and had to explain why I wasn't ordering coffee. I'm getting better at navigating these awkward moments—both by knowing what to say to others and by learning to rest in the discomfort.
I've also craved Dairy Queen and wanted to stop at Starbucks countless times. I've forgotten a key recipe ingredient and couldn't run out to the neighborhood grocery store. I've run my car near empty because I was far from home and realized my agreed-upon gas station was far away. I've started on crafting projects only to realize I don't have all the materials . . . and I can't buy them.
However, our bills have gone down, and our diets are made up of more whole foods and whole grains than ever before. Plus, I've found that I'm more connected to God lately. As I've been working through my current devotional book, Seeking Spiritual Intimacy by Glenn E. Myers, I've found myself really thinking and applying. I've found myself resting in God's presence more. And I've found that my passion for spiritual formation is being reignited--as evidenced in a meeting I attended yesterday. I kept bringing these church leaders back to the facts of spiritual formation: we can't measure it through numbers, it won't happen accidentally, and we have to work on it in ourselves as we help others in their journey.
I'm feeling more like myself—like a better version of myself. Plus, I feel confident to tackle other things, like cleaning out our home office. As I think about this process, part of me wonders if it will get easier and easier as I go along this month. Another part wonders if it'll only get harder to say no to my desire for a cold brew from one of our local establishments.