86 days, twelve weeks, almost three months, I have gone without. I have lived without Starbucks coffee, I have made it through without purchasing new clothing, I have survived on only necessary things.
While it may seem like the contentment challenge has been limiting, causing me to sacrifice my habit of shopping or finding community through going out to eat, it has rather been an extremely eye opening and time of growth in my life. As I close the page on this last full week of the contentment challenge and look toward the epilogue, May, I begin to truly see how much this spending fast has changed me.
So instead of picking apart week #12, criticizing myself for how worldly I am, how much I may complain or compare, I am going to use this last post of my weekly contentment challenge to list the great things that the Lord has done in my life this past week.
12 blessings week 12 brought:
- Lots of time at work. I work two part time jobs and since I am a personal assistant, when my job for the day is complete, it it finished. So each day brings something new. This past week was especially busy and full and I’m thankful for a larger workload for me to earn more (and save more money!)
- Clean eating! My sweet tooth is always beckoning me to indulge in dessert first. While this doesn’t normally bother me, I have been working out almost everyday for the past two and a half weeks and with that, I have been trying to clean up my eating as well. Besides the little bit of dark chocolate, my eating habits have shifted substantially and I feel myself having more energy and a bigger desire to be up and moving
- Major spring cleaning. Although I have been getting rid of things (clothing, sweets, accessories) through this whole challenge, this past week I pulled every article of clothing I own out of my closet and drawers and got rid of about four bags full. I was holding on to many items I thought were bringing me joy or that I might need in the future. By getting rid of those items, my closet and drawers are lighter and have more space and it will be much easier to move to Louisville in a few months with less items.
- Friend time. It has been difficult to see friends since I have graduated from college. Since most of my friends are still in school, our schedules are often conflicting and I do not get to see them as frequently as I did prior to graduation. This past week I was able to go on a long walk with Ann Lundy, spend a few days at the gym with Shannon, have a movie night at Annie and Liz’s, and meet Caitlin and Isabelle for dinner in Owensboro.
- Unexpected time with Cole. Being in a long distance relationship is tough, thankfully I have a guy that makes every mile worth it. Cole and I had not intended to see each other this weekend. He had to coach a tennis tournament and take a test for his teaching license, so we figured we would go a weekend without seeing each other. On a whim I decided to meet him in Owensboro and then later drive to Evansville to hangout with him for about 24 hours. Thankful we got to see each other.
- The most glorious weather. Temperature reaching up to 83 degrees in April, that is crazy. This past week has been beautiful and warm and the flowers are blooming like crazy. I’m thankful to have been able to wear three dresses and some shorts this past week, allowing my legs to get a little less pasty.
- A good read. I know, I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned books up until now either! This week has been busy, so I only got to read one book, but I highly recommend it. I read Gary Chapman’s (author of The Five Love Languages) book, Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married. This book was definitely interesting for me as a interpersonal communication person and future marriage counselor. It allowed me to be able to learn several important skills for my own relationship maintainence as well as how to counsel others on this topic.
- Long walks. Normally given my schedule I walk or run indoors on a treadmill. This weekend, however, I was able to go on a 2 mile walk around Henderson, KY while Cole was playing in a tennis tournament. Yes, I did watch him play for a little bit before and after my walk. It was so nice to enjoy the beautiful weather and take in the view of the river. I enjoyed finding cool, old houses and plenty of unique places to walk around. It was a nice way to get in exercise and have a good time doing it.
- Birthday cake martini. So if you know me, you know I’m not a big drinker. I mostly like sweet wines, wheat beers, and the occasional cocktail. Well, this weekend I was reunited with some sorority sisters and we each got a unique martini at a classy bar in downtown Owensboro, KY. We tried each other’s drinks and felt like actual adults discussing post grad life and being in the company of young professionals.
- San Francisco Dreaming. For years I have imagined going to the West coast, seeing beautiful cliffs and mountains, and crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. This summer that trip is finally becoming a reality and I am SO EXCITED. My boss has approved the dates and I have saved enough money for a plane ticket and then some. All that’s left is to wait.
- A relaxing morning routine. I touched a little on this in my previous post about my morning devotional, but I am NOT a morning person. I never have been and I never will be. However this past week consisted of earlier mornings, time for the gym, quiet time, my coffee, and even a little Netflix. I have truly enjoyed my mornings and will forever hate getting up early, but perhaps if I continue to make getting up a habit, it will become less difficult.
- The light at the end of the challenge. Lastly, this twelfth week has shown me the reality of how far I have come in this challenge. I have less than five days left. While this I exciting, I am also saddened to think about who I was before and how I do not want to return to being that girl. So for these final days of the challenge, may the ideals and patterns of my behavior over these past three months continue well beyond the confines of this challenge.
Thank you all so much for supporting me and encouraging me. Here’s to the last FIVE DAYS!