It's time for another thrilling update on how not to spend money mindlessly and get your life in order at the same time.
First, I must confess. I did a McDonald's drive through for dinner Friday night enroute from work to church. It wouldn't have been so bad, but, what I chose came to $6.81 when I could have easily filled my stomache on half that. Que sera. They say confession is good for the soul. Shouldn't I feel better?
I got on the freeway Monday morning and there was someone looking for a hand-out. Ah! An opportunity to give more. Sadly, I didn't have time to dig out any money so I missed the opportunity. Later, I made a point of pulling out a few dollars and placed them in an easily accessible place in my car. Next time, I'd be ready. Friday morning, there's another guy. I picked up a three $1 bills and held them up...he quickly moved toward my car, I handed them to him, said, "God bless you" and went on my way. When I exited, just past LAX, there was a young woman at the off ramp as I waited at the signal. I started to pull out more and then noted that she was sitting on the ground, talking on her cell phone, laughing rather gaily. I opted not to spend any money here. Seriously! The happiness didn't bother me, but the cell phone put me over the edge. What's wrong with this picture? Remember, I vowed not to spend mindlessly. Maybe I'm wrong, but to have given her money would've felt mindless indeed.
Later that same day, I went to Home Goods, ostensibly to buy some items for work. Predictably, the moment I entered the door, I found beautiful print 120" table cloths. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find table cloths long enough for my dining room table? Very difficult indeed. I had it in my cart and I was justifying it like mad. But, at the last minute, I came to my senses and put it back where I'd found it. I reminded myself that I have an adequate supply at home and although it was beautiful, it was not a necessity. The good news? When I got home and re-measured my table, I realized that my table is 138' long with all the leaves. It wouldn't even have fit! That was a close one, and it would have been all for naught!
Today I did what I've been threatening to do forever. I went online and reviewed all my deleted email for the last couple of weeks. You, know-the ones you get all too frequently and usually delete without even opening them? Everyday, I tell myself, "UNSUBSCRIBE, you dope!" Well, today, the dope, did. I will not miss all the updates from Loehman's, Bev Mo, Career Builder, Ethan Allen, World Market or any of their friends. I eliminated more than twenty source of temptation and irritation. Yes! As I aim to spend less and spend intentionally when I do choose to spend, I don't need all these establishments whispering in my ear about what they have to offer and at what rock bottom prices. Simplify. Simplify.
I am working this, but, I have to confess; this is sooo not easy. It's changing the way I think. I am realizing how much I bought into the L'Oreal mantra, "You deserve it." Whether a mani-pedi (haven't had one since before Christmas, thank you) a grande, non-fat cappacino (I used to think the non-fat part made it a sacrifice) or not renewing the pile of magazine subscriptions that morphed into more things on my "To Do" list; they all have taken time and money that have kept me from doing what I really value. That, and taking up time and energy and space, making this already disorganized soul feel completely overwhelmed. STUFF! Ugh!
I'm pressing on. It should be no surprise, but somehow it still is, that when God starts whispering in my ear about something He wants me to listen to, I hear it everywhere. At church, on the radio, in my morning devotional time, and from others. Just yesterday, a new friend (who, by the way, knows nothing of this journey I'm on) said, I have a book for you...I think you'll like it. The name of the book? Simple Abundance. Really?
I'm still listening and the whispers are getting louder every minute.