So its the week of Thanksgiving, and what's the talk of the town? Black Friday deals and holiday shopping. I woke up to CNBC this morning (not my fault, I live with Banker McCorporate, aka my fantastic dad) and all the talking heads are predicting, analyzing, amending predictions, re-predicting the holiday spending forecasts. Will it be Gray Friday instead of Black? What about Cyber Monday? How will the weather matter ("they" predict warmer-than-average temps are good for jewelry and electronics sales, bad for coats and boots)? CNN announced Walmart's Black Friday specials as "breaking news" as soon as the store's specials has been leaked a few days ahead of their official release.
Whatever. One of the coolest things about leaving for Haiti is that we literally can't buy anything. There's no place for it to go! We're living with my parents in one bedroom, one tiny closet, and we're moving to Haiti on American Airlines with two checked bags each - there's no room for any more stuff. It's fantastic. It's FREEDOM. Freedom from holiday shopping, from buying, from advertisements. I feel a strange power when I window shop, when I see a commercial - I can't buy anything even if I wanted to. It's really cool.
Further, its not just that we don't have the space, its that our budget just got super tight as we have only a few paychecks left before we're on 100% support from friends and family. For instance:
We're discussed the idea of buying a Kindle. It makes sense in a way - like an Ipod for books, a Kindle lets you have dozens or hundreds of books digitally so you don't have to lug all that weight and suitcase-space to Haiti. However, in the end, its $259, and that's not exactly a necessity in our new fundraising-for-income lifestyle. I had qualms about spending somebody's support money on a Kindle, even if I really love reading and reading would encourage us and grow us spiritually. It's just not the higher priority for use of money while we're in Haiti, trying to serve the Lord and the Haitians.
But, isn't it always that way? Isn't it always somebody else's money- God's? If all our money is a gift from God, provision from God, for the sole purpose of honoring God and doing God's work, shouldn't every purchase fall under such scrutiny? I believe it should. But its only now that I see all my finances for what they are - God's provision - that I scrutinize the purpose, the purchases, the maximizing of what I've been given to honor God and God's beloved people. What lessons God is teaching me, even before we leave.