Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Changes.

I just wanted to follow up on our last blog post and share some of the life changes we are feeling called to make.  This is not the first time we have had a conversations like this, so please don't think this is a brand new thought for our family or something we are just jumping into.  Previously, we have felt similar convictions and have done small things to change and have really tried to align our life with what we thought God wanted of us.  BUT now we feel Him asking for more, challenging us to make some sacrifices, to be a little different so that we can be more like HIM.  I think one of the biggest changes for me to is to be much more purposeful and strategic, so others can have more and having a well laid out plan to help make this happen.  It is scary but it is a good scary, full of anticipation of newness and of fresh perspectives and of change and challenge (did you hear that mom, CHALLENGE? you in?? :) ) So here we go, we have 5 months until the end of the year, we will re-evaluate in the beginning of 2013 to see if we could give even more and buy even less (I keep thinking, seriously?? how could that even be possible? BUT God is big and I have heard all things are possible with Him...)

1. We are going to up our giving we will continue tithing to the church but in addition at the beginning of each month choose an additional charity or cause to give to.  For me, this is the exciting part, I am really excited to see how God will move and work in our family as we sit down each month to decide how to give.

2. We are going to stop buying things new.  In order to reach our 17% we have to cut back significantly on what we buy.  When we do decide to buy something we are going ask ourselves these questions and follow this order before purchasing -
             1. Ask the question do I need it?  If the answer is no, we will ask ourselves these questions before moving on - Why do we want and what will it add to our lives?
             2. Can I make it?
             3. Can I buy it used locally?
             4. Finally, if I am going to buy it new, I must know where it comes from and how it was produced (ethically, environment impact).  Hopefully, this will make us much more conscious and cautious consumers.

3. We are going to address one Social Justice Issue as it relates to food consumption each month - This month is coffee - this is a pretty easy one since we don't drink that much coffee, but every time we do it must be certified fair trade.  Next month is chocolate (I need more time to gear up for that one (I love my chocolate!!!!) and to research as I know issues of slavery and fair wages with chocolate production are very complex). Then we will look at waste, food production issues, and eating biblically.

4. We are going to fast - This is a discipline that I love in theory but rarely do in practice, but I really want to incorporate it into my life. I feel like the bible is full of references to prayer and fasting in connection to big revelations and understandings of God. I want that.  Sooooo, since we are doing an overhaul why not just add it in, right? We will take 1-4 days each month to fast from something, this month is food, then cell phones, then internet, then noise (I am not sure how this one will work, but I love the idea of SILENCE!!) and in December, Christmas music, hahah just kidding but Colin would like that or maybe just singing loudly and badly to Christmas music,

So there you go, now you know what God is doing and stirring in our lives! Please share with us what He is doing in yours?
I feel like he is moving and stirring new things in so many people these days.  Today, I chatted with two friends who are feeling similar stirring in their souls.  It is so encouraging that people are wanting more and challenging the status-quo!  One friend passed the book 7 on to me today (read her blog post about it here, actually just read her entire blog, it's great). I haven't read it but after flipping through it, I feel like it is divine timing as well. We might be adjusting some of our goals based on her experiences!

***Ohhh and I should probably make a few confessions, I went shopping when I was in Arizona in July.  Fortunately, for me I bought a few fall staples, which I know will make this new budget a little easier.  In addition, we had been saving and planning for a trip to New York City to visit my dear sis, Natalie and her boyfriend Chris.  We are still going to take the trip, but adjusting our spending plans while we are there.



3 comments:

jennie said...

Love love LOVE this, friend! i am mulling over a post in my head for next week about my upcoming fast - trying to figure out how all of this is going to fit into our lives. Keep sharing, and i will, too. You are inspiring me to do more and think BIG! :)

Natalie Acklin said...

This is awesome Emma!! I haven't been able to read your blog in a few days and love this. You guys are so inspiring. It is hard to make changes, but you always make it seem so doable. Breaking down and starting with baby steps isn't as itimidating. Thank you for the inspiration!! And for still coming to visit me & chris :)

eabetzler said...

Nunu and Jennie- The inspiration goes both ways! I love having inspiring people like you two in my life!