30 Days– day one

It’s September.  30 Days of Nothing starts today. If you’ve read my blog since the beginning, you’ve read my past posts wrestling with the issues of money, possessions, and the less fortunate.

I hope people won’t misunderstand my heart. As I write this month, I will be doing so not to ‘guilt’ or impress or legislate anyone, or even to earn brownie points in heaven (if such a thing were even possible!), but rather to clarify the thoughts rattling around in my own head. 

I hope that at the end of this month our family will gain:

–a new, if tiny, understanding of the challenges others face

— a renewed appreciation for our blessings  

–a zeal for helping in the world

— a few hundred extra bucks we can put towards some small project that makes a difference for a person or two in this world. 

Here’s our plan this month.

-Avoid shopping as much as possible, and then only for essentials. 

-Drive only when we have to.

–Sort through our excess unused stuff and find some things that might bless others. 

-Do a few thought-provoking activities during the month: 

Have a family sleepover on the living room floor, in honor of the families all over the world with one room homes.

Eat rice every meal for one day.  

Cook outside for a meal or two. 

Maybe take a walk with a water jug.

I haven’t quite been able to wrap my mind around the idea of living without electricity even for a day (ain’t I pitiful?) But we’ll see. 

Yesterday I bought $230 worth of groceries that, along with the food in our pantry and garden, I am going to try to make last all month.  (No children will be starved during this experiment, though I suspect one or two may grumble over beans!)

I already realized, however, that I forgot to buy toilet paper AND scouring powder.   So unless we want to strip all the giant mullien plants on our property of their Charmin-soft leaves or descend to a new level of filth, I will be going to the store to buy those items.   And probably a few other ‘essentials’ throughout the month as they are missed.

But as much as possible, I will do my darndest to “Make do, do without, use it up, wear it out!”

 Unless we run out of ice cream.  Then all bets are off.

I’ll keep ya posted.  For more thoughts on this topic, visit:  HeyJules’ List and Avery’s 30 days

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  1. I think you may have meant to use this track back

    but thanks for listing me on your blog.

    also, you definatly need to post a link to the starter of the entire thing http://intent.squarespace.com/

  2. That is a brilliant and lovely thought. Power to you and your family.

  3. This is a great idea! I think I will talk to my family about doing it for a week.
    It's a good thing I went to Costco yesterday!

  4. Mary, My list is shaping up to look a lot like yours. (Yes, I started it, and I'm still deciding on parameters on day 1. *grin*)

    I've decided to cut my grocery shopping in half. I'm still going to go as frequently as I normally do, but I will only have half the cash in hand. I have no idea if this will work. I'll tweak it if I have to (meaning I'll go less often so I won't spend as much).

    I don't really know how the "no electricity" thing will work either. I'm not unplugging the fridge and the septic system, if you know what I mean. But I'm going to turn off the lights, no unnecessary appliances (so cooking outdoor, etc.), no computer, no music or TV, no washing machine. I'm sure I'll find a million things I use electricity for that I'm not imaging right now.

    I am very interested to read your thoughts as you go through the process. I am already discovering that my flesh is very comfy, indeed.

    God bless.

  5. Don't forget the joy! As someone who lived for many months as part of a large extended family in the "third world" who lived on about $4 a day (yes, for the whole 13 member family, not just me) and who shared a bed and showered just once a week, I want to remind you (I think that you already know this) that folks who are able to live just slightly above the most desparate levels of global poverty are often full of good humor and yes, even joy. So be generous with one another and with neighbors, tell lots of stories, tell lots of jokes, sing songs, tickle the children, hold them on your lap, eat on the floor from big plates with only individual spoons. Snuggle together at night, look at the stars. Take your joy from one another not from material objects, toys, media, etc. That will bring you closer to life as it is lived in much of world too.

  6. You go !I'm doing a Beth Moore study on Daniel right now. You talk about convicting. She is talking about how we live a Babylon, a culture that is obsessed with the outside, getting more, etc. "I am, and there is no other besides me" – Jer.
    Excellent study. Have you done it?

  7. This and your comments are very inspiring–we're having to pare down for budget's sake, but I think that this would benefit us, anyway. It's amazing how much stuff we can do without, and still be just as fulfilled, isn't it? (That said, diet Coke IS a necessity, right??) 🙂

  8. This is my first comment, but have read your blog religiously for many months-I love it! I am so excited to read about your 30 day journey-my 40 day simplicity journey (last Lent) was eye opening and life changing. One BIG FAT change-we went to mostly cloth toilet paper (we use old baby washcloths)…which would solve your TP problem (okay…we only have 4 people in our house-so this may be a little more difficult for you….) I also discovered the joy of homemade cleaners, and baking soda is a great scouring powder. I can't wait to read more!

  9. This is AWESOME! you've already inspired me. This will be something we do in our family.

  10. Upon reading about this a week or so ago when you first put it up I sort of thought we we doing this already since hubby's not working and I only shop every other week now on way more of a budget. He sold his motorcycle and other paraphanalia is currently up on ebay or going up soon.

    When I really stop to think however, I am SO wrong. While we might not have it, we still "want" what we don't have. Plus I found room in our budget for $30 of "necessary" parenting tools from Amazon as well as a fun birthday party for our son, plus we are planning on seeing a movie tonight. Bagels and juice drinks and ice cream everyonce in awhile – We are still living SOOOOOOO much more comfortably than countless others on our small planet. I think we are still planning on our "night out" tonight abut I think we may use it as an opportunity to discuss this a bit more and become more aware of the large part consumer America plays in our lives.
    Thanks for making us think!!!

  11. I am participating too. But I already blew it. I had to buy "hormonally necessary" chocolate. It truly was for the sake of world peace…..but I bought enough to last me all month.

    Seriously, I am doing this Challenge, too. I am starting a nwe Bible study at the same time, so that my "sacrifice" will bring me closer to God and his will within me.


  12. “Make do, do without, use it up, wear it out!”

    That is our motto for the month too! If anything, I am hoping that I change some thoughts and habits this month regarding money and spending. I would like to feel less drawn towards stuff!

    Blessings to you and your family this month!

  13. great idea- i love your ways of practicing on a grassroots level the change of thought and change you want to see in the world! thats how it happens- one person can and does make a difference