"A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life..."
Oh, that I might be like the Proverbs 31 woman!
I feel like God is calling me to a spending fast. Through prayer this morning, I feel like He's asking me to only buy groceries, gas, and essentials (like medicine, toiletries, etc) for the next three weeks. That may seem easy, but that excludes eating out, coffee, spontaneous purchases, clothes, and fall decorating items! It also means that even if I have a gift card somewhere, I won't be able to use it because I don't think it's about the money per se, it's about my heart. Wow.
Honestly, though, I probably could have seen this coming from a mile away. I feel like this year one of my heart's prayers has been, "Lord, I want more discipline. Lord, I want to be obedient unto You. Refine me. Make me more like Jesus." I will be the first to say that it hasn't been super easy for me to be obedient to all that He's asked of me (e.g. He called me to run a half marathon, oh LAST JANUARY, that I'm just now going to run in November), but the discipline--or at least the desire for it--has been good for my soul. I want to be rooted deeply in God so that all that I do is fruitful and honoring to Him. Through this process, I feel like God has been convicting me of living in my "comfort zone"... always being comfortable, not letting myself get too stretched or too challenged. Training for this half marathon is one specific way that He is breaking me of that. Most of my runs are hard for me and I want to give up, but, thanks to my wonderful husband, I don't give up and I press in. This is working discipline and perseverance into my spirit.
Money is also another area where I have always experienced comfort. I grew up in a family that was blessed financially and with a dad who is a hard worker and dedicated to providing for his family. So I never experienced the discomforts of not having. (Not to say that my parents said "yes" to every one of my wants.) After I graduated from college I went straight into the nursing profession, so I have had a steady income from the get go, when a lot of my friends have struggled in different ways financially, which has caused them to lean on God in different ways than I have. I am so thankful to the Lord for my job and the way He provides for Andy and me through our incomes and our jobs, but I will be the first to admit that I don't lean on God for finances. I live in the comfort zone. I don't want to live in the comfort zone! I want to know that every single penny I have comes from heaven and that I am simply a steward of the money God gives me. I want to experience the "pains" of not having and live in the stretching, uncomfortable zone -- where I lean on, depend on, and look to God for everything.
Ahh, so this leads me to a spending fast. My prayer is that in these next three weeks (starting this upcoming Tuesday), I will experience holy discomfort. I pray that I will find myself leaning on God to meet my needs and meet my longings. I pray that I will discover that the longings I may have for the things of this world fade away in light of God's presence. I pray that the truth God is more than enough for me will be more and more real to me. I pray that I may become more disciplined like the Proverbs woman, and in turn may become more of a blessing to my husband. I pray that my spending habits will be refined. I pray that God will be glorified in my feeble attempts to become more like Jesus.
Forgive me for any rambling or run-on sentences in this post. I just wanted to get it out right away. I want to be kept accountable to this. Thanks for reading!
P.S. The reason I'm starting next Tuesday is because Andy and I are going to a farm on Columbus Day to buy apples, cider donuts, flowers, and pumpkins... or at least just enjoy the autumnal experience of a farm in October! Check back next week for pictures!