Tricky Tuesday is the day i share money saving ideas (when i have them). Today's suggestion is very specific, but also general. ^_^ What is the suggestion? FAST.
What do i mean by FAST? Well, for me (and this is the specific part) i'm thinking in terms of the very extended 'fast' i have done for the last two years and five months. That is how long it's been since i've had chocolate.
There are lots of folks that joke about being addicted to chocolate and being a chocoholic - or whatever. But i'm among those for whom this problem was and is not a joke. Guys, i still dream about, crave, and REALLY want to have some chocolate. Sometimes more than others. That's RIDICULOUS. It's been almost two and a half YEARS since i had any! Okay, so there were two times when i realized something someone else made had chocolate in it... once it was pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips (i honestly thought they were raisins). i scraped my tongue with a napkin when i realized it was chocolate in my mouth. Same reaction when i realized it was crumbled oreo cookies in a jello-fluff dessert served at a social. Both of those experiences were withing the first six months or so of my FAST. Oh, i was so frustrated both times, but i really truly did NOT eat the chocolate and certainly did not have it in my mouth intentionally! I've been MUCH more careful and cautious about food consumed at socials and items i have not personally prepared!
Fasting from something you desire is and can be good for us in WAY more ways than the benefit to the pocketbook. Sometimes, though, the pocketbook is easier to conceive of and focus on than the metaphysical and/or spiritual benefits. For me, NOT having ANY chocolate has saved me and my family as little as $620 (and that's on JUST chocolate, not milk and/or anything else i would "need" to accompany my chocolate fix) and as much as two or three times that much. That's pretty significant, don't you think?
This suggestion, as i mentioned before, is also general in that anyone can choose ANYthing from which to fast. If you think giving something up for two years is too much, try a day, a week or a month. If it's something you use FREQUENTLY (like soda for energy and/or sugar), giving it up for 1 week can save a few bucks... every little bit helps, right! If you think it's just too difficult or impossible for you to do it, please consider that i thought the same thing about/for me. Seriously. And if you don't actually know me, you cannot know how utterly and completely true this statement is for/about me. If you don't believe it, i can put you in touch with someone who DOES know me, so you can learn from them how unlikely they would've considered me NOT having chocolate for more than 2 years before i started.
God can do anything. He makes weak things strong. Truly, He has made this change in me. If i was doing it for just me... well, it wouldn't have been long before i was using again. It's only because i know Heavenly Father directed this FAST that i'm able to continue in it.
FASTing from chocolate has made other changes in me possible. I've been able to become more consistent, in general. The changes have been slow... very slow and gradual, but they are a big deal to me and in my life. I started and have been able to consistently continue to meditate daily. It's been almost a year of meditating now! Meditating has increased the speed of changes possible in me (mentally, emotionally, and spiritually). My emotions are MUCH steadier. My heart is at peace MUCH more often - even when/though things around me are not good or peaceful. My mind is significantly calmer. My Spirit is stronger. And almost 7 weeks ago i started walking 6 days each week. At first i walked 2 hours each day, but had to reduce down to 1 hour almost 2 weeks ago because of the physical problems the extended walks were causing in my very preggie body.
It's been a long time that i've believed that strengthening my Spirit would make physical changes "easier" and i am definitely experiencing the manifestation of this truth in my life! Praise the Lord for His leading and Love!
Truly, there are some ways that saving money can also benefit our Spirit! ^_^