Last night I learned a hard lesson in budget execution. I had decided at my last pay period that because eating better was a little more expensive, but important to me, I would reserve some of my “fun money” for the end of the pay period in case my grocery money wasn’t enough for the full two weeks.

I did great until this weekend, when I splurged and ate out at least 3 different times. It was all good food that was on my eating plan, but eating out just plain costs more than cooking at home. Fast forward to last night. I was at the cash register buying some more fresh produce and I realized that I may not have enough money with me to pay for everything I needed. You can’t weigh your produce at Target, so my total was up in the air. I was looking at the food I had put on the belt and started trying to decide what I would put back if I had to. I don’t have credit cards anymore or any back up cash in my purse (cause I’ll spend it) so I was stuck. I was angry, at first. It wasn’t like I was buying frivolous things, or trying to decide between these cute shoes or that cute shirt. I was buying nutritious food that will save my life.

But I was, in fact, frivolous. Just not last night. I was willy-nilly with my spending all weekend, and the fall out was happening right before my eyes.

I was in the position that I was in because of the choices I made. This interaction showed me how uncomfortable money issues make me, and in turn how that affected my emotions. Anger, sadness, feelings of neglect all swarmed me and there wasn’t anything I could do about it right then and there to placate myself. I just had to be uncomfortable. Growing hurts. Being stretched stinks. Coming out a better person- so worth it.

I had pennies within what I needed, so I guess for me it’s also a good lesson that God will provide.

Good to know I’m still teachable…


Some Nights

This morning I took off for my run and the first song to randomly appear in my queue was “Some Nights” by Fun.
It was kind of ironic that the very same song was the special at church today. Not only did it get me off to a fast pace, but it then helped tie in a great message.
So, in an effort to make today a wonderful trinity of the same song, I’m going to reflect on some of the lyrics…
Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck
Some nights, I call it a draw

There are days that go great for me. I make awesome choices, I feel great, life is good. But, then there are some days where I just want to take my ball and go home. I make one poor choice after another. Come on, Robin! Get your head in the game! I feel like sometimes I pay so much unnecessary stupid tax. I don’t need to be a victim to my choices though. In my case it’s not really bad luck; there’s no luck in the situation at all. But I’m not shooting to break even either… I’m looking to succeed.

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for oh
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don’t know anymore…

If I step back and take a good hard look at the choices I’ve made, good and bad, knowing that they were MY doing and not just the hand of fate, can I tell what I stand for? It’s easy for someone to proclaim that they believe XY and Z, but actions speak louder than words. Are my choices showing what is leading my life? Same days, yes. Other days, I’m not so sure…
Days when I react out of fear are scary. The choices I make on those days don’t accurately reflect Who I follow and what I believe. If you were to passively observe my life on those days, you may say “she has no hope- no trust.” I can tell you all day long that it’s not true, but to continue to react out of fear would tell you otherwise. There’s no changing that.

I try twice as hard and I’m half as liked, but here they come again to jack my style.
Other times that my actions speak loud is when I act just FOR someone else. I may never be good enough for the approval of others, but that has to be ok. If I remember the only one who I have to really please (God) then my efforts will never go unnoticed. How encouraging is it to know that the one person I have to please, is already impressed, just that I come to Him. No pressure, no stress, just the will and desire to act according to His wishes. That’s it. Easy.

Well, Some nights, I wish that this all would end
Cause I could use some friends for a change
And some nights, I’m scared you’ll forget me again
Some nights, I always win, I always win…

I heard a speaker say once that to have beneficial, good people in your life you should run hard after God’s will and after a while, look around and see who’s running with you. About two and a half years ago, I did that. I took off in an all out sprint to figure out who I am and Who defines me. I found out in a big way. The people who run with me now are headed the same direction and encouraging me to continue, and those who weren’t have ended up somewhere else, facing a different direction. There are times when my mind wanders to “what if I’m a fraud? What if they realize how broken I am?” Oddly enough the answer comes back that I need to just run faster, in the right direction. Keep going. It’s ok to run alone, because you’re never really alone. And they will still be there, as long as they keep running the right way, too. There’s comfort in that.

Well, this is it guys, that is all – five minutes in and I’m bored again
Ten years of this, I’m not sure if anybody understands
This one is not for the folks at home; Sorry to leave, mom, I had to go
Who the fuck wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun?

Finding my way hasn’t always been easy. One of the hardest things I’ve done is let go of relationships that I relied on for a very long time. In the end, no one here on earth knows the struggles in my head and heart. I grieve for those who are stuck in the desert, but I can’t stay there with them. I’ve found the source of water- the One who quenches thirst, and in doing so I’m finding purpose and a reason to go on. I can’t pull them out of the sand dunes and out of the scorching sunlight. I can only shout from the ocean for them to leave that behind, and assure them that the water is nice. We can’t force anyone to choose water, we can’t make them not fear drowning. But, I would rather take my chances with the waves than with the desert.

The other night, you wouldn’t believe the dream I just had about you and me
I called you up, but we’d both agree
It’s for the best you didn’t listen
It’s for the best we get our distance… oh…

I know how I get my distance. How do you get yours?