So I think I’m going to try something different…I’ve been trying to put on my best behavior and write like a professional because I was writing about serious stuff sometimes, like what I feel God is telling me, what I’m going through, etc., but to be honest, it feels stiff and formal to me, and that’s just really not me. Unless I’m writing college admissions essays, or back in the day when I was writing corporate emails, proper isn’t really my preferred writing style…I prefer to write like I talk, so here we go, welcome to my new blog! Mrs. W, if you’re reading, I apologize for how far I’ve fallen since AP English class! I would like to think that I can still swing an intellectual and proper piece if needed, but who does that on the daily? Not me! If I write more casually, it doesn’t mean at all that I feel like the stuff I’m writing or thinking is any less important, but I feel like I relate much better to people when they’re real in how they talk about experiencing God and life. So this is going to be loose and rough around the edges – like life itself – and maybe not grammatically sound, but I’m not really trying to win any Pulitzers here, so it’s probably fine. One of my goals for 2018 is to be more unapologetically me….to be true to who I am, without trying to be what I want people to think I am. That includes being ok with sometimes wearing yoga pants to the grocery store when I’m comfortable and don’t feel like wearing real pants, and now, a different style of chatting with you!
Ok, so with that out of the way, this week’s theme is enough. I recently saw a post on social media where the writer was asking their readers what one word best summed up what their goals and/or ideals were for 2018, and one lady said her word was enough. I thought that was so powerful because in our world today, the more common word is more. What more do you need to do to be accepted? What more should you buy, eat, or schedule? What more should people do for you? I was originally going to write about something else this week, but I usually pray before I write and ask God what he wants me to say any given week, and He just whispered the word enough back to me, and so here this is instead.
We started 2018 with a strict budget, for a few different reasons. We have a goal of saving for a house of our own and several other goals and even though we have been very careful with our money for our whole marriage, we decided to take it a step further in 2018. As I have also taken a pay cut staying home with our baby girl, it seemed a logical choice to reevaluate our budget.
Among other budget items, we created a very strict one for groceries and household items – less than half of what we had been spending recently! (Now I say “we” but really it was “I” doing the spending because I do the cooking and most of the household stuff since that’s my department – yay! Thats not a sarcastic “yay”…I am a very happy homemaker!) Anyone that knows me knows that I love to cook, and along the way, having a nice dinner together at night has become important to the way I want our family to be, so I think I was getting a little out of hand when it came to grocery spending. With having a baby and moving, I also got out of my habit of meal planning and would just grab things and wing it when it was time to cook. I also had found some good stuff that I could have (catch up with my MTHFR post if you want!) and got a little giddy with the buying of said things. I also get really bored with eating the same things over and over again and try to make new and interesting things when I can. All of this combined means that my grocery trip was costing way too much for a family of 3, and I’m actually excited to get back to being more strict with what I’m spending because I had known for awhile that I was spending too much but hadn’t fixed it yet.
Last week was the first week we really went full throttle on our budget (holiday leftovers can carry you through for awhile if you don’t mind eating the same thing 3 times a day!) and so the few days before I went shopping I sat down with the circulars for my standard grocery stops and planned out our meals based on what was on sale, what meats I could use for several meals, etc. I got a little excited as I pulled out old receipts to check prices and see how I was doing on my list and found that I could get most things that I needed and stay on budget (sidenote: Aldi is a serious win for budgeting families! I don’t know what I’d do without my Aldi!!).
As I got to the store, I started out strong sticking to my list, shopping with my calculator to keep track as I went along. I was doing great until I realized that all of the expensive things were in the back of the store and I hadn’t gotten to them yet! This meant I had to put back some of the extras that I had thought I had money for, and some of the bargain items that I really wanted went back on the shelf. I started feeling bummed out at this point, asking how it would ever be possible to get the things we “needed” on such a tight budget and bemoaning the fact that I had to pass up on all of the fun and exciting food items. I saw others with bulging carts and was envious that they didn’t seem to be worried about counting every cent. When I got to the register, everything I needed for our meals came to about 40 cents over my budget because I miscalculated tax on something as I was going – oops. Math is not my strong point.
I loaded up my groceries into the car feeling a little deflated. It was also about 9 degrees out, so that didn’t help matters! I was running through the things I had bought in my head, and thinking of some things that we weren’t able to afford this week and feeling proud of myself for staying on budget, but depressed at the same time that I had to stick to a budget in the first place. But as I got in the car to drive home, the word enough just flashed through my mind. As I drove, I ran through the meals I had planned, the baby food I had been able to buy for my daughter, the box of diapers in the trunk, and the $20 I had used to fill up the gas tank – I thought, how awesome is that?! I have all of these things and we are still saving money! I started praying a prayer of thanksgiving for all that I had and that God has provided enough for our needs to be met, and my attitude immediately turned around; I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratefulness and joy that we had enough. In His word God promised to care for us, and to meet our needs. (Luke 12:22-34). In fact He often waited until people had almost nothing and then still provided for their needs, like feeding the 5,000 with what was originally just a meal for one or two (Matthew 14:13-21), or blessing the widow with an abundance of oil to sell when she only had a few drops left (2 Kings 4:1-7)– He is a good Father and made sure they had enough. He makes sure we have enough. He is enough.
I for one am going to focus on what I do have this year and practice thanking God that it is enough instead of constantly, out loud or in my head, searching for more.