One month. 29 days. 1/3 of the challenge.
I cannot believe that today marks the end of this first month of my 90 day spending fast, otherwise known as the “Contentment Challenge.” In case you haven’t caught my last four posts, I have followed blogger Nancy Ray’s challenge of only buying necessary items for 90 days. So in these first 29 days I have paid for only groceries, gas, bills, and gifts. While this challenge seemed easy at first, this past week has been especially difficult and not simply because of this fast.
For the past week I have been struggling with a cold. I haven’t had much energy, been coughing out my lungs, and sneezing everywhere. So naturally, I spent most of my time outside of work, at home with Netflix and a new book. While I would normally go out and buy a new book instead of reading one of the six unread books on my shelf, this week I had no other option than to indulge in one already at my disposal. I chose Make It Happen, by Lara Casey. Her book prescribes letting go of your fears and setting your heart on the path that God desires for you, not the path that says to simply follow your dreams. What struck me about her writing is how open and honest she is through her struggles with an eating disorder, infertility, divorce, and the emptiness that comparison can bring.
Casey describes comparison as coveting. Coveting: the main reason I started this challenge, one of my idols and one of the ten commandments. I reasoned that I have always been one to compare myself. Whether that is through social media (do I have enough likes? enough followers?), in my appearance (am I as pretty as her? do i measure up?), or in my academics and work life (am I trying hard enough? did I make the best grade?), I have seen the destruction that comparison can have on my life. Although this not an overnight fix, I pray that as my heart is softened during this challenge that I can see coveting things and comparing myself to others (sadly even people I have never met) is one in the same. I am thankful to have read this eye-opening truth.
This slow and sick week led to a peaceful and BEAUTIFUL weekend! It reached seventy degrees in February this past Sunday. Even though I had several cough-attacks, I decided that I couldn’t let this weather go to waste, so I took Kenan (the dog I was watching this week) on a walk through a local biking and running park. I was honestly so incredibly happy being outside and soaking in the sun that nothing else mattered. I had my headphones in listening to some Mat Kearney, my Chacos on, and a joyful puppy pulling me through every mud puddle. Hopefully one day I will buy a bike instead of walking the bike trails.
I also spent a considerable amount of time watching the new Fuller House series, a remake on the 90’s classic, Full House. I grew up watching the Tanners and immediately binge watched and laughed out loud at how some things just don’t change no matter how much time has passed.
Sunday, which is always my favorite, was spent with one of my best friends that I fondly refer to as Tiny Shannon. She appeased my spontaneity by agreeing to accompany me to a local treasure, WigWam Village. Yes, they are TeePees, and yes, you can sleep in them. No we didn’t stay; we merely took photos with them.
Both of us are recent graduates and love traveling. We decided that we want to go to the mountains and the beach this summer. So yesterday, at one of our favorite spots, Spencer’s coffee shop, we planned our trip to Asheville and Wilmington, North Carolina, while sipping on iced coffee and chai tea (Thanks for the much needed drink, TS!). Shannon and I also might be living together in Louisville this next year as I head to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for Biblical Counseling and Shannon potentially works in research at hospital (crossing our fingers!, so we also looked into apartments as well. It has been so great hanging out, going on walks, and enjoying this awesome weather thinking of fun days ahead.
Since I was sick and dog sitting, I only had time to make a few little meals (breakfast) this week. I have recently become obsessed with taking pictures of my food because of this challenge. So, enjoy!
And to end this week on a LEAP, this leap day featured another perfect sunny day, more friend-time, more trip planning, and lots of baking! Tiny Shannon helped me (which means she mixed everything and iced everything) make home made carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. After eating lots of icing and several cupcakes, I can say that they were well worth the patience.
All in all, I miss Target a ton, I want a new outfit for a bachelorette party this weekend, and I REALLY want a bike…. but contentment is also pretty rad. I am thankful for an amazing first month of this challenge and I look forward to what the next two months will hold.