I just thought I'd post an update on my challenges for this month, a list that has now grown to five!
1. Under Budget: Not good. I'm down to $143 left for my share of the monthly food budget and it's only December 6. There's a potluck on Sabbath so that will save some (but I still have to come up with something for Saturday night since we won't have leftovers). Babs picked up some groceries for me tonight so our budgets got mixed, so I'm not sure how much I spent. I can't fairly charge it all to her budget. This is just a tough month. But I'm going to keep trying.
2. Read. Haven't gotten my book yet, but truthfully I'm not really planning to start reading until we go on break.
3. Rest. This past Sabbath was my first electronic-free Sabbath. It wasn't too bad. I definitely felt a little withdrawal on Friday night when the sun set. I was surprised by how much I'd come to rely on "checking my phone" every few minutes. But overall I acclimatized quickly. After all, this is a habit that I've only had for literally five years, since I got my first Galaxy SII. I found that being off my devices made me more attentive to my family. Babs definitely noticed and appreciated how "present" I was. I went to bed a lot earlier than I would normally have on Friday night (though I didn't get up any earlier--I guess I was wiped out from the week). I also found that I did spend more time in spiritual contemplation. It's not like I was in deep Bible study or anything like that. But often on Sabbath afternoons I'll plan to read AFM's Frontiers magazine. So I'll lie down on the couch, with my phone and my magazine. I'll start scrolling through Facebook and either fall asleep, or not, but either way never get around to reading the magazine. This time I was able to read some great articles--the stories of Adventist Frontier Mission's frontline missionaries always feed my soul.
Finally when the sun set Sabbath evening, to my surprise, I didn't feel the need to immediately jump on my phone. The challenge will continue next Sabbath.
4. Write Now. I have written every day since December 1st. I wrote in my journal Friday night, worked on my book entry for my blog Saturday night, worked on my gun entry Sunday night, and worked on the Point of Impact reboot last night. That last one is coming along nicely. I've sketched out the action on the first two acts of the play. I'll do the other two next Monday and then I'll be ready to start writing dialogue!
5. Mission 22. My friend Pamela added this to my challenge list when she asked me to do 22 push-ups for 22 days to raise awareness for veteran suicide. I'm enjoying the challenge though it's not yet easy for me. And I'm proud to do my small part to draw attention to the plight of so many of our vets who pay the highest price in the service of our country--even when they make it back home. Each day I remember these men and women and pray for them. But as one website points out awareness is only valuable if it leads to meaningful action. I hope that this challenge will actually encourage people to seek ways to help our soldiers, through educating themselves and supporting organizations such as this one that help our veterans. That's what I'm trying to do along with my daily 22. Several of my former classmates and former students have served or are currently serving in the armed forces. I'm proud of them, and I want to do what I can to support them and their comrades in arms that have sacrificed so much.