I've been on a bit of a spending strike lately because I accidentally forgot to pay a bill, you know, one of those BIG bills that cost too much. Anyway, since I've been trying to cut back on the money going out of our bank account I've been cooking at home, a lot. And I have to say, I'm LOVING it! We had gotten into this bad habit of going out to dinner quite a bit because it was easy and they clean up and so many other good reasons. Plus it was always a good excuse when Rusty would come back home to go out to dinner and enjoy a nice meal with him. AND they have Chick-fil-a everywhere here and it's quite possibly my favorite place ever. Don't judge me, I love their plain chicken sandwich, it's like a little piece of Heaven on a bun.
Back on subject, I've been trying to avoid going out. I love to cook and bake, but for some reason haven't been finding much joy in lately. I think it was just because I wasn't being creative and just making the same things over and over which is horrible in my opinion. Also, all the clean up kills me. I feel like all I do is clean here. The house is big which means that there is much more space for the girls (and me sometimes, too) to get messy, then add on the messy kitchen and well, I'd rather just go out to dinner than have more to clean everyday. But lately, I've been finding so much joy in cleaning and cooking. Sometimes I don't, I won't lie, it becomes mundane. But at the same time, when I wake up in the morning to a clean living room and kitchen I feel ready to start my day. I had to figure out that what was giving me the joy.
I hate being down in the dumps and sadly it happens to me quite often. I realized that when I would feel down in the dumps I would go and spend money and I would feel so much better -coughaddictioncough- even if it was on something like going out to dinner or buying one of the kids something. So not spending money lately has been making me feel down. Even though, when I rationalize I realize that the money I am spending may not be huge at the time, but several small purchases becomes a lot of money and all of those small purchases quickly deplete our play money which can quickly turn into our "not play money". And most of what I would buy wasn't that important or needed. On the phone with my mom the other day I finally belted out a truth that was hard for me to admit. Because I am a stay at home mom with no relief all week, I felt like I was owed something. My purchasing became my "paycheck" and I didn't feel bad about it. I still don't feel bad for buying things, but I realized that the things I buy aren't what defines me or fulfill me. I don't need half the things we were purchasing and if I would stop spending on nonessential for a while we'd be able to save more and buy some of the things we've been wanting for a while.
I've been having to make a conscious effort to keep focused on Christ and praise Him throughout the day. I'm the worst at praying and reading the Word. It's not that I don't want to, I just never do, I'm good with excuses. I realize though, that filling that void that makes me want to buy stuff with joy and happiness instead is an easy way to stop feeling the need to spend. Now when I do spend money I am doing so a bit smarter and not to fill a void. Plus, I was watching hoarders the other day and got freaked out. What if when my girls are all out of the house and I don't have anyone to annoy, I just go spend money and buy stuff NO ONE wants and then my house gets filled up with crap and they have to dig me out. I don't think that would ever happen, ha, but my point is that I was watching the show and immediately recognized why they were shopping and buying. (Not the nasty houses that have dead animals and stinky, rotten food. That's just lazy!) I don't want to allow something as meaningless as shopping overtake my life.
It's sad that something so fun and enjoyable can so easily become something that can ruin you. I know that just one bill didn't ruin me and I lived through the day. But, what I am saying is that shopping, or eating out, or anything else that you do for fun, if not enjoyed in moderation can turn into something else and have negative effects on your life and in my case, made me take my eyes off of Christ and that is not where I want to be. It was giving me nothing while I poured so much into it. When I focus on Christ, He gives back and fills that void 100 times over.
I hope that this spoke to someone. I felt compelled to write it, maybe just for me, I don't know. It's been a month full of learning for me. I think it's funny how God always teaches Rusty and I lessons like this. Sometimes they're subtle, but sometimes they aren't. He always puts us in situations that we get so much out of. When we got hired here we were both so excited and still are. We are loving it here and feel so at home. Now God's up to something again and Rusty and I are just going with the flow. We aren't moving, thank goodness, but Rusty's area that he's over has been changed. When we got hired here his area was North Carolina and Tennessee, which he loved. Suddenly last week at work he learned that he is now over South Florida. He's a bit sad to be leaving the area he was in, but like I said, we're just watching to see what God has in store with this move. I'm excited because Florida is my favorite vacation spot and now I'll get to visit a new area of Florida, and now I feel better about him travelling all winter because he won't be travelling into snow and ice, but instead be in the warm Florida sun. I better start working on my swimsuit body, ha! But why the sudden change? We don't believe in accidents or coincidence. We believe EVERYTHING happens for a reason. We'll see where this is going.
I hope you have a beautiful weekend. We're supposed to dip into the 20's tomorrow night and I am scared and excited. While I want to go outside and build a fire and roast marshmallows, I'll probably be shivering in the house next to the fireplace, ha. By the way, this post wasn't what I originally planned on writing, I really didn't mean to, but I felt it was placed on my heart and I had to share! Blessings!