Our verse for last week's challenge is from Romans chapter 5. It says, "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Although our temporary experience of mild hunger fails in comparison to what much of the world experiences as suffering, we prayed throughout the week that the Lord would use our experience this week to produce in us endurance, Godly character, and hope.
Energy levels ran low all week and irritability ran high across the board in the Carroll family.
We struggled to remember to ration certain items, especially milk. Lily got close to the bottom of her soy milk after 3 and half days which is when I realized I needed to be giving her more water to make the soy milk last the whole week. Somehow it still didn't connect that I should be doing the same with the cow's milk that the rest of us drink and I had to start cutting back on the use of that after 4 days. We did make it through the week without running out of any particular item. In fact we had a few items that we didn't even touch from our shopping trip! Our adjusted total for the week came to $45.31. We ate oatmeal or eggs for breakfast, grilled cheese and apple slices for lunch, and soup for dinner that was made of chicken, rice, and some frozen veggies. We gave up snacks and desserts (which in our house is usually some kind of fruit) and stuck to smaller portions sizes so that we would have enough. On our last day we got to eat pasta and tomato sauce which was a nice change of pace after eating the same things all week.
So much of the weekly ministry that we do has some kind of food component. Sean had lunch with our pastor one day. There was food at our small group bible study and Friday night youth group. We do breakfast with an elderly women who has become family to us each week. We also usually have a big family dinner with extended family members weekly. I was impressed that on a normal week all the extra bits of food is just part of the routine and normally goes unnoticed. I'm still not entirely sure to make of it. Shouldn't we be more conscience to not waste things that are such precious comedies in other places? What can we really do to help people who don't get three meals a day, let alone snacks and dessert? These are just a few of the questions that are getting bounced around here at the Carroll house after accepting this $33 grocery bill challenge.
We do want to praise the Lord for working in us. We did see our kids grow in endurance this week. It was a very difficult challenge for them but we are still confident that God will use it to teach us more and more!
Please also check back with our friends the Straleys and here what they learned through their week long challenge experience.