This past year I have more or less participated in A Year of Abundance, sponsored by A Gracious Home. The basic premise was to enjoy the abundance that God has already bestowed upon us, instead of seeking more and more things. The Depression era motto "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without" were words I strove to live by this past year, although not always successfully.
I hoped to spend less money on things such as new clothing, craft supplies, gifts, and the like and use or wear out what I already owned. I also hoped to spend less money on things such as eating out and food. I started with good intentions like always, and I think I did fairly well with cutting back on my desires for things in the former group. I found several creative ways to use up items instead of purchasing new. My favorite was the quilt I made a friend who was expecting a baby. Towards the end of the year, I did spend money for new projects instead of concentrating on the old, and so I do still have many crafts to work on.
Budgeting for food and eating out was way more difficult than I had originally thought. It was very hard to try to give it up, and I don't think it worked out very successfully. It is something that my husband and I both really enjoy, so it just didn't happen this year.
For me, the Year of Abundance was not just cutting back on things in a legalistic way, just to see how little I could spend. It wasn't about depriving myself, but about learning that I don't need things in order to be content and developing a mindset wherein I am more aware of the blessings that I do have and the Lord who has given me all these things. I was surprised by just how easy it was for me to let go of some things, like new clothes, but not others, like dinner out. I'm hoping that the knowledge that I have gained will become a way of life for me in the years to come. This next year I am hoping to direct my focus more outwards by concentrating less on my own needs and more on the other people around me. I plan on leaving up the Year of Abundance tag on the sidebar to remind me of this in 2008, even if it is officially over.
Labels: A Year of Abundance