Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Category: lent (page 1 of 2)

Hey, big spender (resolved)

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. 
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Bring on Easter

Though the whole fasting from purchasing has been a bit easier than anticipated, I still have a list of things that quite possibly will find a home post-Resurrection Sunday. 

1. Jeans that fit
2. A blender that blends (nothing says New Life like a smoothie you don’t chew)
3. Lunch out.
4. A glass container to keep my tea in the fridge
5. Something from IKEA. Just because. 
6. Some sort of white board for my office (I might Pinterest this, but I’ll need to buy supplies)
7. Lounge furniture for my back deck. 
How old am I that these are the purchases I drool over? 
Visit me elsewhere:

lenten update

A quick update of my Lenten experience. It’s going… fine. On the one hand it’s much easier than I imagined. It turns out I rarely go shopping for the sake of shopping, or really ever buy things unplanned. On the other hand, it’s made me quite the social recluse as most of my attempts to be with other people center around eating out, getting coffee or what have you. My cheating (“taking a Sunday” – but I’ll have you know I’ve made fewer purchases than there have been Sundays in Lent so far. I think this shows effort!) have all been around eating out – lunch or dinner on Sunday with the fam when I just don’t feel like cooking and will COMPLETELY justify and say it’s biblical. Also there the mental sanity day that I met KLR for lunch. That was a Wednesday and not a Sunday and I’ve repented for my sin. I know God’s okay with it because He completely blessed me with my time in conversation with her.

I wish that instead of just hiding at home until Lent is over, I would (have) become more creative in the ways I connect with others. I feel strongly that having others over and sharing a kitchen and a dinner together is a connection point. Since I married Mr. Hospitality himself, I wish we would make more effort at inviting others over. (On the other hand, I have no idea when this was supposed to happen. Our weekends have been booked solid, unless we’re sick, and sometimes both). I love eating out because the work involved is minimal. But I believe it also coincides with the minimal amount of relational depth that happens as well. Bringing someone into your home, to your table, is much more intimate than the industrial setting of fast food. But we’re a fast-food nation, and I wonder if our relationships have begun to mimic our eating patterns. We grab a quick conversation on the run, a FB message here and there, but relationship lacks nutritional substance. Quick calories that can fill your tank for the moment, but not the nutrients that make for healthy growth. 
My friend SC lives by the idea that you know the strength of the friendship when you can walk into the kitchen to get a glass of water. You either know where they’re kept or are comfortable hunting through until you find them. But that takes more than one visit to the kitchen to have those rights. And you’ll never know if you’re only meeting at Taco Bell. Dining together is more than just how quick an easy the food can be served; it’s allowing people in. It’s joining in the chaos of what it means to get food on the table. And in the comfort of creating all of that, relationships bloom. 
So, that’s Lenten Reflection #1: commerce has hijacked dining with friends. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones who still lives in Findlay and has breakfast in one another’s homes so the toddlers can frolic and you can enjoy a cup of coffee and a good breakfast burrito. 
Visit me elsewhere:
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