A Cultivation Project: Non-Essential Spending (Mid-Month Check-in)

A Cultivation Project: Non-Essential Spending (Mid-Month Check-in)

I actually couldn’t wait to get posted up outside of a coffee shop this morning to begin writing this mid-month check-in.

As a “writer”, nothing makes me feel more inspired than the moments where my thoughts are flying and I become desperate for my fingers to find themselves rapidly gracing the keyboard in stride.

Even more inspiring, is when you commit to giving God any measure of your heart, and he turns it back to you in far better condition.

I’m giving all the credit to God for pulling me towards this month’s non-essential spending challenge. Because if it was up to me, I would have gone right along swiping, buying with 1-click and thinking I needed more, more, more.

But isn’t that one of his great mysteries? The ability to download our needs to us, even when we’re too distracted to readily notice.

He always prevails.

Marking the first month of 2018 with the words “contentment” and “essentialism” has brought a newfound sense of clarity in a short two weeks.

By making one big choice – I will not do any excess spending – I resultingly, made 100s of other decisions well in advance.

For example, every time an email or Instagram popped up to tempt me, I was able to move along with resolve and gusto. There was no “should I or shouldn’t I?” battle because I already had the answer.

No.

Which I’m discovering, is one of the most liberating words in the English language.

To further reduce the clutter and temptation, I’ve unsubscribed and unfollowed a number of accounts that aren’t currently supporting my goals.

There’s not always a clear good or bad, black or white, but there is the feeling of too much. And as shared in Essentialism, the antidote for it is this concept:

“Less – but better.” 

Less spending. Less stuff. Less clutter. Less decision fatigue. Less falling into the trap of materialism.

Which makes way for a better sense of…Contentment. Presence. Gratitude. Appreciation for what is. An eternal, kingdom mindset. And a reliance on God to provide for our every need.

I added the aforementioned book – Essentialism – to this month’s recommended reading list for the challenge, and now having read it, I can stand behind that recommendation wholeheartedly. I know it will be a book that stays front ‘n center on my bookshelf in 2018.

To get into the nitty gritty so far – have there been any purchasing slip-ups?

Well, there have been coffees, a couple quality meals with the hubby, food on the road, and treating our family to breakfast. But outside of meals out?

No. 

And you know what God’s done with that?

He’s reminded me of my identity:

A daughter. A princess. To the King.

Who offers an inheritance that beats anything Meghan Markle is coming into (no offense to the throne of England).

He’s put things into right perspective. Does that stop me from working hard, desiring nice things, loving great products, having a career in marketing, believing for financial provision, giving or receiving graciously? No, it doesn’t.

But it does keep me from being a slave to stuff. 

 

17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17 (NIV)

 

Earlier this month, we also had the devastating news of losing a family member on my husband’s side.

Being in the hospital with everyone and watching her pass was heartbreaking beyond words – at least beyond any I’ve managed to arrange with coherence.

It’s in these gripping moments, and those that come after, I felt arrested with an awareness of true value – the things that are lasting and eternal.

 

8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

Isaiah 40:8 (ESV)

 

True wealth is about the state of hearts and the people they beat for. 

Admirably, she left us all with a rich legacy.

 

As it’s been said, we brought nothing into this world, and we’re taking nothing out.

Do I still have a long way to go with fully embracing this myself? Yes, yes I do. 

But so far, it has proven to be what I hoped it would – a cultivation project.

Onward,

x, Kaitlyn // #cultivationproject #contentmentchallenge

P.S. Stay tuned! I’ll be sharing the rest of the details for February’s challenge soon, should it be a good fit for you to join me!

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