I have been immersed in Watchman Nee this week. I teach a 4th and 5th grade Sunday School class on Heroes of the Faith/Missionary stories. The next two Sundays my kids will be learning all things Watchman Nee, an amazing man from China, who was so focused on spreading the Good News among the people of Shanghai.
I came across this quote as I was studying Monday and have thought a lot about it since then. Because we have been given armor in Ephesians 6, we should not be at all surprised that a pretty constant battle rages. I believe all of our battles look different to a certain degree. Mine is food, eating, material tendencies…to name a few. What are yours? Never forget that the war is already won. We are entrusted only with battles along the way.
So every single day, get out of bed and immediately put on the armor:
the belt of truth
the breastplate of righteousness
shoes of peace
the helmet of salvation
And pick up the non-wearable:
the shield of faith
the sword of the spirit
The Bible says this is the only way to ward off evil. To me, food can look pretty evil, so each morning, I pray through this armor and my need to be protected from Satan’s fiery arrows!
This pic is my favorite rendition of the armor of God:
So how goes the eating? Raw eating is really working for me. I am feeling a little less pained. I am feeling like I have a little more energy. Still dealing with the vertigo, however. Not sure yet what that is.
Making a habit out of a face care regiment.
Oil pulling daily.
I am resisting every thought to get on the scale because I do not want the summer to be about the scale.
The Minimalist Game is over. But today I gifted three items to three people that I do not know because I am thinking God asked me to? In my garage cleaning, I stopped counting at 200 because I needed less than that to be done. The garage is boo-ti-ful. After I unloaded so- much-stuff-I-surprised-myself, I hosed it out and let it dry. And, because I did that, I knew of an item that was out there today when I needed something!
So, now that the de-junking is done, it is time to begin the Shopping Ban. I finished A Year of Less by Cait Flanders, and it was inspiring.
And something that came to my heart as I saw all the junk in the trash pile this morning- I do not like to make trash. I recycle, reuse, repurpose. I was saddened by the amount of stuff I was forced to toss. Trust me, I recycled 90% of the items that are no longer in my space, but that 10% is going to haunt me. And hopefully help me to be faithful to the Shopping Ban.
I am not putting an end date on the Ban because I want it to be a lifestyle not a challenge that ends. I think I am likely to do the same with the raw eating as well. Rawsome Summer will probably give way to Rawsome Autumn. Time will tell.
So the Ban. What is allowed/not allowed? Nothing new. Matching replacements if what bites the dust is really needed. I kept a mandolin because I really want to start using it in my rawness. I kept a spiralizer because I want to use it more. I invisibly marked almost half of the kitchen utensils, and if I do not use them in the next months, I will donate them. I can buy groceries to my hearts content within my budget.
Yes, I created a budget and plan to live by it.
Groceries include eating out; that’s a new rule. Actually raw eating has totally cut my eating out almost completely. So that is good. Farmer’s Market shopping in the summer and early fall months come from the grocery budget too. The grocery budget will be higher for the rest of the summer while Little Lovely is home from school; after that, it will go down significantly.
Paper products are at a minimum here already. I buy toilet paper. That’s it.
Cat products: food and litter. NO TOYS
As I continue to lose weight, I am going to have to buy clothes. My favorite place is the wonderful thrift store we have locally. But I am leaving it open in case I cannot find clothes there. I am not an expensive clothes buyer, so I am sure I will be thrifty.
No art supplies. There is no way I will run out for a long time.
Here is the hard one. NO BOOKS. I am hyperventilating as I type that. So until every book that I currently own is read, nothing new gets purchased. After that I commit to always checking the library first. After every book I own is read and either shelved as a keeper or re-gifted, I may establish a book budget.
And then there is gas, which I know have to consider since it is rapidly escalating. It is $3.20 a gallon! Oh my goodness!! It is 50 cents a gallon cheaper if I drive 10 miles to Ohio, but I am not sure that isn’t a waste of gas?
As I look toward the Me I want to be, I am enjoying creating a profile, and I confess how different it is from the Me I now am. But I think it is the Me that I began to bury about 40 years ago. I will let that story unfold over the summer months. God has to do some work in the past memories before I can honestly see with the right lenses.
Enjoy this evening of relaxation….