In all of my attempts to learn more about stewardship, sustainability, simplicity, and intentional living, sometimes I get frustrated. Do you ever just fall flat on your face? I know I'm not the only one. I consider myself a student of this "new" way of living, and if I had to give myself a grade I'd have to go with a C-.
Last week started off crazy as I began it with catering a business event for a friend. On Tuesday morning I sat down for a while and did a two-week meal plan. That part I passed with flying colors! I even included some new recipes while working with the things that we already have in our cupboards and freezer. I went to the grocery store and for less than $90, I had 12 meals completely covered. That's still probably too much money, but it's hard to eat "cheap" when you're purchasing high quality, organic ingredients. Next year we are definitely having a garden.
Consider Proverbs 31:14b, "She brings her food from afar." We definitely have to bring our food from 'afar' because I have to drive over an hour to get to what I consider a decent grocery store. I can get some staple items at the local Wal-Mart, but it's kind of hard to find organic coconut milk and fresh pluots in this county. In the same chapter it is written, "She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard" [verse 16]. Here's where my failure comes in. From my earnings, I overspent at the grocery store on Friday. We just needed a few staples from Whole Foods...and I just got trigger happy. I am embarassed to say how much I spent, but it rivals a person's electric bill. The first problem was that my husband was with me. He loves to have an over-abundance of food, and we just love cooking together so much that it's hard not to get inspired by shiny bottles of Asian condiments and plump, house-made sausages. We stuck to the meal plan, but we purchased "extras". The second problem was that I completely, on some subconsious level, abandoned my calculator. Normally when I'm shopping I keep it handy as a reality check. I was pretty upset when we got in the car [buyer's remorse...shouldn't that follow shoe shopping?]. However, here is my justification. Number one, produce is expensive. All summer long we've barely had more than bananas in our house due to budget restraints. It isn't fair that apples are $3 a pound. We chose to purchase pluots because they're only available this time of year and that are a fruit that we learned to enjoy while living in Texas. Secondly, we were in the city visiting Justin's family as his grandfather was gravely ill and they had called all of the family in to say their goodbyes [thankfully, he seems to be making a miraculous recovery]. We needed to feed some of our family supper because they were numb and unable to make decisions on the necessary. Part of that included purchasing fruit, cheeses, and tea for them to have around their home as needed.
Do you ever have experiences like that? I tried so hard to stick to our budget and only purchase what we needed, but it just got away from me this week. I'm thankful that it was only food, something that won't waste but rather sustain. It ended up being ok in the end. I mean, it could have been shoes or makeup. :)
"She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27. Tomorrow is the start of a new week. I'll be making homemade tahini for homemade hummus, French bread, and a cake for someone's anniversary. Should be an exciting week of learning more about intentional living! I hope that you are encouraged by my "failures", and are as grateful as I am that God grades on a curve!