Wednesday January 2 I went to bed hungry but happy.
It all started a few months ago, when I started feeling this urge to be more intentional with my life- my thoughts, spending habits, time, interactions with people, words, hobbies….my life. It sort of made sense with many of the changes I’ve had in the past few months and years and as I’ve begun thinking about “life after the Army” (which I still don’t have quite figured out, but that’s a story for another day). As I continued to think about this, I kept seeing little confirmations in the form of books, blog posts, texts, conversations, songs and poems and over the weeks before Christmas it sort of all started coming together a little more, well…intentionally. I began to think more seriously about how I could actually do this- live more intentionally and simply. And not just in general, but specifically, in ways that were painful enough at times for me to actually feel it and have to think about it. I have been called a “bleeding heart” more than once in my life, but what I was thinking about was more than this- more than an emotional one-time experience, but instead I really wanted to find a way to live this next year differently.
As I started sketching out my ideas and thoughts and plan, I also began to focus on how I could turn this “inward” project more outward to use what I hoped to experience and learn to help or support others. There are 3 families I support who are involved with international ministries, and they kept coming to mind as I was in this stage of the planning. I won’t go into details for privacy and safety sake, (hopefully I’ll be able to tell you more about them in the coming weeks) but for now I’ll just say they are living in and/or working with peoples from: China, the Middle East and Ethiopia. I started to think of ways I could support them with this plan that was beginning to come together and was excited as the thoughts and ideas kept coming. I continued to think and read and pray about it and eventually had a plan that was alternatingly exciting, fun and terrifying to think about.
In the weeks to follow, I’ll hopefully have more to say, but for today- I just needed to get this post out there- to write it and hit “publish”. Mainly because up until now, other than one person, I haven’t told anyone the specifics of this, the name of it or the timeframe of it. I discussed my thoughts and ideas in general with lots of people, but I was still deciding if this was going to be an intermittent thing, a “do it if and when I feel like it thing”, a “January thing” or a year long thing. From the beginning, I’d been feeling like it was something that needed to be more “intentional” (there’s that word again) and that comitting to do something for a year would be a pretty hard goal to meet. And so, a year it is. Which sounds really scary and hence the need to commit and make it official. And so I’m sharing with you:
A commitment to live more intentionally sacrificial in 2013 in support of personal growth and my faith in Him and 3 dear families who are living more sacrificially than I have ever dared.
On Wednesdays in 2013 I intend to:
- Be simple: no makeup, no jewelry, no spending money
- Eat simply: only fruit, or food that the poorest in each of these countries might eat on a given day
- Live simply and quietly: using candles, resting (so no aerobic exercise)
- Pray for these three families and the peoples they are working with, as well as support these families more tangibly with encouragement (emails, packages, letters, money)
- Focus on the lives of those less fortunate around me and concentrate on gratitude when I am feeling the effects of living this more “simple” life on Wednesdays.
And that’s essentially it in outline form. There will be more, but as I said for now, I just wanted to get it out there for accountability and “realness” sake. Looking back over this list, even now- it gets me more than a little nervous. No makeup? I don’t even wear much makeup but what if there’s a party in 2013 that falls on a Wednesday? No makeup and no jewelry? And no spending? What if I need gas or toothpaste? And limited food? Wednesdays are often days to meet up with friends for a drink or snack? And no aerobic exercise? What if I need to run that day? This is not going to be easy but that’s sort of the point. Will I make it a whole year? I don’t know. I’m really going to try and I hope you’ll encourage me to stick with it if you see me slacking. My goal is to write here weekly, even if just a short entry to stay accountable.
I’ll write more about Wednesday #1 next time. It went surprisingly well. Until I was deciding which bottle of wine to drink with my dinner of rice and beans, and realized that the average person in these countries does not drink wine.