Sunday, August 03, 2008

7-day challenge

Something some of you may not know about me is that I am competitive. Not in a, "I need to have more than the next person" but rather in a sport, game, or any challenge with myself or others. I've been involved in competitive sports ever since I can remember, but I know for sure since 2nd grade. And really, before that, since I have a brother 2 years older than me- everything became a competition. Things like H-O-R-S-E to who could get their chores done the fastest. Competition is in my blood and I can't help but try to win when I can.
For a month or so, I have felt as if I should "fast" or give up spending money for 7 days. I've also been lead to give up the internet, cell phone, pop, tv, and other random things at some point or another. The money one just wouldn't go away, I fought with myself over and over about how I could never do it, and how there were things that I just had to buy. But I decided to give it a try. I'll be honest, I failed the first time I tried. My neighbor convinced me to hit up the local pool on a hot summer day on my second day. After I gave in, I was kicking myself for being "weak" but I also thought about the quality time I spent with someone that is missing out on a relationship with Jesus. So, I tried again last week.
Now, when I say not spending any money, I meant that. I didn't buy gas, diapers, food, no garage sales, soap (which I was out of) or anything. The catch is, that Brenton wasn't doing the challenge, so he would fill in where I was saying no. I did really well, but I had to give in yesterday when I needed to buy my children some lunch since we were in the cities and it didn't look as if we would be home before everyone had complete meltdowns. However, after the lunch purchase, I didn't give in the rest of the day. So, in my mind I feel like I completed the challenge successfully, but I know that the truth is I only really made it 6 days.
Throughout all of this I learned that there are several times where I don't even think about what I am spending money on. I just swipe the check card without thinking twice. I had to really pray and talk myself through some situations where the easy way out would be to just buy it. There were incredible clearance sales at Target and I was practically shaking from wanting to indulge in things. Today was the first day that I could spend money, and I almost felt guilty for doing it, but we were in desperate need of food in this house. Friday we had chicken nuggets for breakfast for goodness sakes.
I won't lie there were times when I really worried about running out of gas because I wouldn't give into spending money. And I worried that we would run out of food. It was really hard to say NO to all spending. I challenge you to do it, and sometimes you might just have to expect and ask for miracles from God. I know for a fact he came through for me a couple times. For lent this past year, I gave up tv for 40 days! That was way easier than giving up money for 7 days. I think that might mean I have an addiction to spending. I like doing these little challenges, they really change something in me forever.
I think my next challenge might be giving up the computer or my cell phone. Also, two things that I think I can't live without. Let me know if you have any other challenges for me or for yourself. Or let me know how fasting from things has changed you.

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