Because we’re within days of finding relief from our Lenten struggles, and because those days have me away from home, I’ll share the thoughts that arose in my fasting from spending.
I have none.
It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I “cheated” a handful of times, probably no more than any other Lenten season. Most notably, buying Easter hats on Thursday and a few margaritas last night. But I think Jesus, if living today, would still be impressed with my wherewithal, given that I went into a Target for 3 hats and came out of Target with only 3 hats. Honestly, I’m not sure that’s been done in human history. Look at me, walking through the valley of temptation and only succumbing to the pre-selected indulgences.
And I’m so humble, on top of it.
No, I thought the spending freeze would have a bigger edge of difficulty, and indeed it probably would have if I had a social life. However, I don’t see people regularly. I think this little experiment needs to be replicated in a setting of a larger circle of local friends. And a bigger pool of babysitters. (Kudos to Abbie K, who kept the kids for us on a non-Sunday when we used a gift card to eat out and celebrate our anniversary. She was kind enough to barter her services for a later dinner, keeping me much in spirit with the intent of this whole deal. She’s sweet like that. She also offered to buy my margaritas last night in an effort for me to finish strong. We had great theological conversation about the act vs. the heart. Again, she’s great like that).
But even if it wasn’t difficult, here’s the learning or awareness that took place:
1. My top missed spend was buying food already cooked at my convenience. Eating out. Hands down. My current dietary state limits the consumption already, so when Sunday came around (and Chipotle showed up), it was a day of celebratin’.
2. There’s a monetary aspect to having a social life, at least in the middle class. For people who have an interest in studying the poor, here is fuel. I know that the poor eat out as often (sometimes more?), but could it perhaps be in differing settings and conditions? There’s some sort of link. I just don’t know what it is.
3. I’d really like a julianne slicer. It would be easier to turn my zucchini into “spaghetti”. I haven’t yet run out and purchased one, but I’m secretly hoping it shows up in my easter basket. Since I’ve not told either Easter Bunny, I doubt it will.
4. I need new pants. My sister’s generous heart covered my buns for the past week with a pair of her hand-me-downs, but those have just enough stretch to start sagging. There’s a joke in here somewhere about Easter being the reason that my pants will stay up once we sing Up from the Grave He Arose (he arose!).
5. We never struggle alone. JJ has not suffered silently through my spending fast. Yet another example of how our decisions never operate in a vacuum.
Children are awake. Thoughts struggle to form words. It is finished.