Thursday, October 30, 2014

Leave... {7 for 31}

This month I'm writing a new post each day about my own version of Jen Hatmaker's 7 experiment. For more posts and an introduction, head here. Yesterday and today's posts are the conclusion of this series.
Also, it's Five Minute Friday! Each week, bloggers internet-wide gather to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then link up and share a little comment love. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in, head here!

As October and 31 Days come to an end, and November and Thanksgiving and December and Christmas and January and a new baby follow after (!!!), I read back through the journal I've kept this month and echo the prayer that I wrote on the first page:

Father, I ask for your blessing on this endeavor. Honor my intentions, and turn them toward you and your glory. I open my hands and offer this project to you - mold it, and me, into a vessel fit for your purpose. Convict my arrogant heart and wash away the dust that clouds the lens of my perspective, so that I may see myself and others as you see us: wretched yet beloved.

I trust that this idea came from you. I know that doesn't mean it will be easy or always enjoyable, but I ask for your guidance and strength to persevere. Help me not to take this lightly or flippantly and so open myself to failure and spiritual defeat. Please speak clear direction over this project, and give me the ears to listen and the heart to obey. Don't let this become a reason for personal pride, but let it be a source of renewed humility.

Draw me closer to you as I seek to distance myself from distractions and idols that have become an unthinking part of my life but have no place in your Life. Hold this challenge as you hold me, and let my measure of success be by a Kingdom ruler and not by an earthly one.

As I look back on this month and the changes you've worked in my life and my heart, I add one request - that I would not leave this month and its lessons behind as I move forward into a busy season, but that you would continue to remind me of my intention to be more intentional, to fill me with grace and gratitude for what you've given, to open my eyes to the rest that you so faithfully provide... even so, in Jesus' name, amen.

In my intro post for this month, I mentioned that we were going to donate any money left in our budget at the end of the month to Mercy House (I should state here that we've been consistently going over so staying under is kind of a big deal)... even after a string of unexpected extra expenses (like the battery in one of our vehicles dying and needing to be replaced), we're ending the month with $188 unspent over all budgeted categories, which is extremely exciting! This month has shown that with intentionality most of our guesstimated numbers should be totally doable (except gas - it was calculated based on Adam's car, which got better mpg than the truck he has now) and that's an encouraging discovery.

And finally, giveaway winners! If I don't already have your address, I'll be in touch soon to get it - and thanks to everyone to entered!
Market Bag --- Rebekah Ellis
Freaker cozy --- Trish King
Mercy House Shop item (chalkboard poster!) --- Shellie

I've deeply enjoyed writing this series, and hope that you've enjoyed reading it! 31 days isn't enough time to properly explore such a penetrating topic, so I'll be posting soon with my plans for turning this month into a lasting lifestyle.


Jen Daugherty said...

Good for you-kicking that budget in the bum!! :) And what a wonderful way to spend the extra bit!

Karrilee Aggett said...

Yay! Congrats to the winners and congrats to Mercy House! That is such an awesome accomplishment to come under budget like that! God is good... even more so it seems, when we are intentional! ;)

blestbutstrest said...

Congratulations on completing your write31days endeavor! And that's awesome about coming in under budget :).

Summer Floyd said...

Loved this idea. I loved Jen's book and bible study. I still keep the idea of the Matthew 6 and the evil greed drenched eye in my mind as well as I HAVE TO RECYCLE NOW> even when I hate it! What a blessing to go through it right?
Thanks for this idea and awesome about your extra $$$. (Hey i really liked the idea of wearing only 2 outfits a week, despite laundry it does make things so much more EASY)

Rebekah Ellis said...

Thank you Sarah Jo - I'm excited. Love that bag. And I've really enjoyed your series. Congratulations on getting through the 31 days with style and on conquering the budget wars! I want to go dig back in and read Seven again now :)

Traci Little said...

I need to read this book!

Visiting from FMF-