Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What I've Learned By Giving Up Shopping (for Lent)

What do you DO?
Three Questions

but back to the series...

"Three things are necessary for man's salvation," said Thomas Aquinas, "to know what he ought to believe, to know what he ought to desire, and to know what he ought to do."

In this three part series, during Lent, I am going to take apart this quote from Aquinas. In this quote, he begs the question.... actually three questions.

What do you believe?

What do you desire?

What do you do?

These are the three essential questions for faith and for salvation.  Aquinas said it: it must be true!  :0)

This year during the season of Lent, this will be the focus of my conversations. 

Today, I'm discussing what we do.

How's the 'no shopping' going for Lent?

Well, it's interesting. It is really opening my eyes!  The first few days, I just went about my normal routine, and I was surprised at how my consistent shopping this year has rescued me from the temptation to go to random stores throughout the week! :)  I changed my routine, so that instead of going to run errands Monday and Tuesday, I now go to Aldi on Sundays so that I don't have to go shopping or run any kind of errands during the week.  Without my rules in place (consistency is the backbone of life!!!), I think this would have been a disaster.

I was also able to have a day out with Frances on Sunday.  That way I could focus on her and her needs without the temptation to buy a whole lot for myself (I did get a stampad, a gluestick, and rubber cement for my craft collection on Sunday)!  That was a definite win and a resurrection moment for me-- taking my eyes off myself because my myopic lifestyle was damaging my relationship with my kids.

Am I saving money? Well.... not really. Yet.!  I am saving my going to Aldi. The thing is, I was going over-budget before, meaning Stephen wasn't really saving either.  Now I think he is saving, but I'm sticking to budget.  It is really frustrating and humbling to be in this position. But have you ever had to feed and raise 6 kids?!?!   They eat SO MUCH food and they are little consumers themselves. ACK!!!  The sad thing is we're going to be in a little bit of debt when we do our renovations. I would so much rather save a huge chunk in advance, but we'll have a loan to pay off when this is said and done. I suppose the upside is that we have NO other debt... no student loans, no credit card debt to pay off.... ETC!  SO I feel good, all told.

What am I learning by giving up shopping for Lent?

I am definitely learning how selfish I am.  I didn't realize how much I think about what we "need," constantly.  I have had to lay down my wants and focus more on my needs.

I have also learned that shopping is hard to avoid. I can't even read some blogposts or check the weather without feeling like I'm shopping on Amazon.  Avoiding all online shopping has been difficult!  Honestly, though I have gotten out of the habit of shopping on Amazon and almost completely online shopping, because we have had to be super thrifty especially recently!

How does 'no shopping' affect relationships?

This is HUGE.  There is more trust and even affection between me and Stephen. There is an arrow pointing from within our hearts and straight to God (I won't disclose what he gave up for Lent, but it has been a period of growth for both of us, FOR SURE).  We have that love for God in common, and in turn he leads us in paths of righteousness and excitement for his namesake.  #hyper

My kids of course notice that I'm not spending a bunch of money, and they respect me for that. Especially the older two. They notice everything we do, guys.

My relationship with myself is better, too. I have more self-respect because I don't have to question where the money is going.  During Lent, it goes for groceries and gas.  So far, that's about it.  Plus providing for my kids' needs.  I am able to do my job as wife and mother with more grace, and just that alone is worth the sacrifice for me in the end. (!!!)  :)


I know some people give up something different everyday of Lent.  Or one day a week.  Or just Fish Fridays. I challenge you to challenge yourself. It is tough, but worth it.
cross-posting at the ACWB