Friday, April 4, 2014

To Change or Not to Change

She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
Proverbs 31:14

The first of the month is somewhat stressful for me.  We live on a super slim grocery budget and I strive to do the bulk of my shopping at the beginning of the month.  While it may seem to be more work to do it that way, it does take all of the burden off of the meal planning for the rest of the month.  I have a system that I use to plan my menu and grocery list.  This system includes a complete inventory of what I already have.  It usually works well.

This month, the first fell during our Spring Break.  We don't normally take kids along for our big shopping trip and Jerry and I typically do it together all in one day.  This time however, we have done the shopping in three different small trips.  Jerry did one, we took the kids for another, and I will complete the third by myself.  I also did inventory quickly and in between other activities.

The shopping itself was not bad today, especially since we only went to a couple of stores.  I was disappointed to see that many of the prices on items I buy regularly (like cheese) have gone up significantly.  I still have a third of my shopping to do and I have spent more than 2/3 of my budget.  I was also disappointed when I returned home to discover that I had missed some things in my inventory - which meant that I had bought several unnecessary items.

There is nothing I can do about the raised prices.  Grocery prices will continue to rise.  I also cannot change the amount of my grocery budget.  The only thing I can change is to be more organized.  Those of you that know me well can probably imagine that I am rolling my eyes right about now and letting out a huge sigh!  

Need to change - discouraged - overwhelmed!

All throughout my day, I have been noticing the places where I fall short.  House is a mess, body is out of shape, work needs to be complete, need to make more money, need to get organized, should be doing this, should be doing that, ugh!  How is that for transparency?

But here is the thing that really needs to change in my life - it's time to stop beating myself up and chasing my tail in the same old circle!  I know that I need to improve in a lot of areas - most of us probably feel that way.  I don't want to pick up a new habit, I want to change in ways that are significant and real.  The only way to really change my actions is to change my mind.  And the only way to change my mind is to renew it!

Romans 12:2 tells us, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."  This verse tells me exactly how to be changed or transformed - by renewing my mind.  But it also shows me that a key to that transformation is not conforming to the pattern of the world!  This verse follows another verse that talks about sacrifice and it reminds me of a speaker we heard at a recent youth rally.  He said that the difference between potential and actual is sacrifice!

So - I have the potential to be more organized, but if I want to actually be organized, I need to sacrifice something (time).  My house has the potential to be clean (long shot), but in order to actually be clean, I must sacrifice something (another activity).  I have the potential to get my body into better shape, but to actually get it into shape, I must sacrifice something (lemon pound cake).  I get the picture.  I know what I need to do.

Ugh!  So hard!  But, I am no longer discouraged.  There is hope.  We all have hope.  We can all change!  I just need to choose where to begin.  How about you?  Where will you begin?

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