Skip to main content

Three Rs {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 hereToday's 7 topic is spending.

The end of spending... or, at least, of Spending week. Consumerism is a near-inextricable part of Western culture, and while I know there are self-sustaining people out there who grow their food and make their clothes and only set foot in a store every few weeks, that's not really a possibility for a Southern city dweller.

That said, this project has gone extremely well so far - events have conspired together (or maybe that's God...) to have sales on things we need and would have to buy anyway, a drop in gas prices, a busy work schedule that reduced eating out opportunities, a visit from Fayetteville (instead of us driving up), and even almost silly things like having a free ticket to the State Fair and not having to pay for parking either, or a jeweler Adam got me a Christmas gift from a year or two ago sending a "free pearl earring" postcard in the mail for our anniversary (I took them up on it - I love pearls!)

I've still had to be intentional - slowly retraining myself - and I've discovered that wise spending (at least for us) can be encapsulated in three Rs:

Reduce... Just buy less (I know, I know, just buying less isn't that easy) - examine need vs. want, and if we're feeling deprived, we should compare ourselves to someone who has less than us (they do exist) instead of more. Make things out of what we have instead of buying them, or just make do.

Rethink... When we have to buy, consider the source. Choose fairtrade, second hand, or exchanges with friends whenever possible as alternatives to big box bargains. Check the book out from a library instead of buying it (especially if you've never read it, or tend to collect unread books). Just because they make it (and put it in an engaging package with a temptingly low price somewhere near the check-out) doesn't mean we have to buy it. And a little preliminary research will reveal all kinds of specials and promotions that allow us to attend events and attractions for less than the general admission.

Restore... balance and community. Every time we reduce and rethink, it's a blow to consumerism. And if we mindfully pass on the things that are still usable (imagine being well enough acquainted with the needs of those around us to be able to bless them with needed items!) and recycle (hey, another R!) the things that aren't, we're doing our part to help out our global community and respecting God's Creation - both the resources He's provided and our fellow souls.

Tomorrow I'll be starting a new focus and I hope you'll join me - and thanks for sticking with my journey so far!
[Join the conversation on Facebook!]


Popular posts from this blog

31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really…


A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of replacing the traditional list of resolutions with a single word. It appealed to me - I am not a big list person, but I love language and words and meanings and etymology and metaphor and... ahem. Ennyhoo. I liked the idea.
I've never chosen the word. It's always presented itself to me - and last year was no different. Pacific was very insistent, even though I tried to argue with it. Pacific? What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
But I accepted it, and I'm glad I did. I learned about depth and calm, about storm and nurture, about faith and adventure - and about the unstoppable ocean of God's grace, that overwhelms to fill and cleanse and bring blessings unasked.
So I'm bidding pacific a very fond farewell, and welcoming spark and whatever lessons it would like to bring. I invited it in with a copper wire punctuated with tiny lights and wrapped around my mood board, and I've got an empt…