Sacrificing to bless others

Angie over at Many Little Blessings posted last month on her Lenten plans. We are not Catholic so we don’t observe Lent.  The past couple of years, we have done the water challenge as a family during Lent.  That was because the Blood: Water Mission was running it at that time. It was purely coincidental for us.

I love reading what others are giving up for Lent though.  For friends, I like to support them in their endeavors.  For others, I like to gather ideas for our family.  Often times, the Holy Spirit will speak to me in these posts.  I can see my frailties as well. The painful truth is revealed.

Angie’s post was revealing for me.  The first part of her plan, while commendable didn’t really pertain to my family.  I already severely limit my children’s access to tv, computers and video games.  Too severely in many people’s opinion. But our rules work for our family. The children are much better off because of their limited access. 

The second part is what spoke to me tremendously.  Angie’s family is giving up most of their food budget for 40 days. She is going to shop for the basics like milk, eggs, produce etc.  The other things are going to come from their pantry. Then they are donating the excess money or $100  whichever is greater, to her local food pantry.  Neat idea, right?

We can do this! Our pantry and freezer are overflowing.  God has really blessed my couponing far more than I could ever have imagined. We are now able to not only feed us and Logan , with his many food allergies, but others as well.  We regularly get things for super cheap that we put in our Viste boxes or donate to the food pantry.  You would think that would be good enough.  I hear that still small voice telling me to do more.  God is calling me to lead by example here.
For April, we will eat entirely from the pantry and freezer.  I am going one step further than Angie in that I will not shop at Publix for the entire month for anything.  No milk ( we have some in the freezer), no eggs ( if I beg Carmen then maybe her chickens will lay some for me) and no produce ( we have a garden as does my mother in law).  If we run out then we will have to suffer without it until May 1st. That’s part of the sacrifice although we currently have a 3 month stockpile. I don’t anticipate running out of anything.  A menu plan will be a necessity as we don’t have much in the way of prepackaged convenience food. 
Our entire April  food budget of $150 will go to items for our church food pantry and our Viste boxes. I must also confess that our dining out budget is part of our food budget. This means that there will be no dining out as well.   I am excited to scan the ads with the children to see how much we can get for our $150.  It will be an awesome opportunity to let the children be in charge of the money.  They will see firsthand how their sacrifice helped others.  Above all, God will be glorified. What else can we ask for?