Now, it’s only half way through the month, and no-spend is more in effect than not in effect.
But overall, the first week and a half was a bust.
Nearly every day I had some reason to spend some amount on something. And while that something was always more worthwhile than junk food snacks at work, it still meant that on October 11 I had only not-spent on one or two of the past 11 days.
The thing about no spend month, about Lent, about quiet times is that they are more or less arbitrary constructs. These practices create space in our lives and hearts where God might more easy fill us. They are not the ways God reveals himself in the world, as if we could cause God to show up.
And isn’t that a relief? I would not wish that God would only show up in the middle of the things I do to try and find him. If he did, I’d be even more convinced than I’m already inclined to be that his presence depends on me, and not the other way around.
Instead, God shows in odd places. Like Oakland.
Part of what blew the month was deciding on a Sunday to drive to Oakland that Tuesday to see the A’s in the playoffs. My husband is quite loyal to the A’s. I can live with it; the Giants or Yankees would of course be a deal-breaker.
So we drove all day, got there just in time, and screamed our heads off along with everyone else as the A’s won that game.
The next morning, we went to San Francisco before driving home.
San Francisco has become something of ‘our place;’ the only city outside L.A. that we know fairly well, both in a car and by public transit; the only real vacations we’ve taken in our four years of marriage; the city we sometimes daydream of living in until we remember it is way too cool for us.
We finally tried a donut place that had been on our list for almost three years. It did not disappoint.
We visited a little park nearby with a lovely view, stopped at the Golden Gate park for just a bit, and then drove out along the ocean.
We knew this was likely our last trip to the city sans kiddo, and something about road tripping (I max out at about 2 hours), being spontaneous (my husband is not), and eating (always) was just perfect.