Today is a big day. Basically week 3 of our super intense budget, and I had my best grocery shopping trip yet. If there is one place I prefer to save a lot of money, it is on food. Kevin and I are both able and willing to eat very simply when necessary, which is a blessing. So tonight, after 2 hours of carefully comparing and cutting coupons in Kroger, (I actually picked up the paper in there before I started shopping), I bought all our groceries for...about $38!!! Booyah - as my husband might say. Better yet, I saved $28.76 between the Kroger "mega event" and the coupons I had! Love it!!! I keep telling Kevin I am loving the challenge and look forward to even better trips in the future. My goal is to stay around $40, although I am often told that seems a little unrealistic...which gives me even more motivation. My gracious husband was even willing to let me buy him a different kind of deoderant because with a coupon it cost 50 cents! Seriously, this was a true adrenaline rush for me at the checkout. One disclaimer...we have one package of chicken breasts left that wasn't used last week, as well as a half of a box of pasta and a jar of pasta sauce that we will be using this week. And we still have half a bag of brown rice. This budget will prepare these meals: oatmeal or fruit smoothies for breakfast, turkey sandwiches and peanut butter sandwiches with chips or crackers and fruit for lunch, a pasta night, a chicken, rice, and veggies night, a breakfast food night, a chicken quesadilla night, a frozen pizza night, a yummy brunch on Sat., whatever is left Sat. night, and a gift card lunch on Sunday!
Now this was not just any adrenaline rush for me. It is part of what I have come to know as "the adrenaline rush of trust." Although often difficult, I have grown to love trusting God and experiencing His overwhelming faithfulness. Is it easy? No. Painful at times? Absolutely. But the relationship I have with God has powerfully grown over the course of my lifetime largely through our give, trust, and provide relationship. I commit to giving generously, I trust that God will provide for all my needs in sometimes creative and unexpected ways, and He without fail provides, often blessing me with more than I ask for or ever deserve. It has not always been in my timing, but He has never failed me. When I was younger it became an adventure to me to figure out my tithe and round up to give even a little more, for the purpose of expressing my love for God and showing Him how grateful I am for the ways He blesses and provides. It's always seemed like a tangible way for me to communicate my trust to Him, even when I've felt like I needed every cent. I might not have the most admirable wardrobe or the most beautifully decorated apartment, but I am joyfully grateful. Or gratefully joyful. Either way, one thing I know for sure is that we cannot out give God. From my experience, and as evidenced in the BIble, He is the great multiplier. He is the only one that can make something out of what might seem like nothing. And He delights in doing so. Yet it requires us to have faith rather than often deciding we can't wait for Him to provide and taking a much less wiser path to get things on our own. Often when we work on the budget, on paper it always seems like it will never work out. Like it just doesn't make sense how there will be enough. Yet we are reminded that God never promised to make sense, He never assured us that we would be able to understand. Instead He calls us to trust Him with our lives....the very ones He created and allows us to live. So that is my encouragement to you. Spend wisely, give generously, trust ruthlessly. And be amazed at how God provides for you. In what area of your life do you need to trust God the most today?