Thursday, January 23, 2014

Why I'm typing by candlelight.


So our 30 Days to 30 Hours kicked off today. If you’re not familiar with 30x30, it is essentially a prep tool for the 30 Hour Famine, an event where our youth group (along with thousands of other youth groups in the country) will spend a weekend fasting to raise money awareness for World Vision, an organization that helps end the cycle of poverty by providing food, education, medicine, and small business start-ups in developing countries. Leading up to our fast, each day we will be giving up a different item to raise our personal awareness of what others deal with on an everyday basis.

So now I am at approximately hour 23.5 of day 1, and the task? Fast from electricity. No biggie, right? I’m a camper. I’m own a flashlight and a headlamp and a couple candles. And of course I get to cheat while I’m at work. The first 10 hours were GREAT. Ok...I was sound asleep. But when that alarm clock went off (battery powered) my brain was wired to send my body straight to the Keurig. Shoot. Ok, instant hot chocolate in the microwave? Still electric. Hmm...boil water on the stove, then make hot chocolate. Dang, that’s electric too! What if I built a fire outside quick and warmed my water on that? True pioneer woman status. Ok, who am I kidding. That’s ridiculous. Starbucks it is. (I’m real impoverished, right?)

Thankful for my large windows and abundant Florida sunshine, I made it though my morning routine without needing to turn on any lights...winning! No shower meant no need to blow dry or straighten either. This isn’t half bad, and I’m ready in five minutes! 

Let’s be real. The day didn’t really get much most difficult from there. It was dark when I got home so I spend the evening by the campfire and when it was time to go inside, lit some candles. I really didn’t have to sacrifice much today. But what is so awesome is that God still had some teachable moments in there.

  1. The things I NEED really aren’t NECESSITIES. The instant morning coffee, the straight hair, the obsessive desire for background music...I don’t need it! The 25% of the world without electricity doesn’t even know such luxuries exist. Yet I take all these things for granted. Each and every day I take for granted the ability to sleep with a fan on, make food hot in thirty seconds, or see the stairs I’m walking up. It’s the little things.
  2. Going without leaves room for creativity. WOW. This one is HUGE! Normal evening routine? Locked inside my room, tv, Pinterest, puzzle, Facebook, link Facebook led me to, Netflix, laundry, more Facebook, and about 17,000 more links Facebook led me to. No reading. No writing. Nothing outdoors (which is most ridiculous of all, because I LOVE being outside and THIS WEATHER IS AMAZING!!!). But tonight? Instead of iTunes radio, I played the piano. Instead of Gossip Girl, I enjoyed the simplicity of reading a book fireside. Instead of Facebook chat, I invited some friends over and relished in conversations of futures to come and memories shared. It felt peaceful, unrushed...simple.

I want more of that in my life - the creativity, the simplicity, the awareness of luxury in what I take for granted. Life problems are mended and my soul is still when I stare at the flames of a fire. I have room to breathe when I sit in my candle-lit quiet bedroom. The stars outside shine brighter than the computer screen that always seems to be in front of me.

So with that being said...for the last 12 minutes of my day...it’s time for the computer going away. Also I only have 8% battery and certainly can’t charge it till the clock strikes 12! I want to relish in this still night. I’m thankful for this day. The quiet, the change from the norm...it’s cool how God gets us thinking. Poverty is inconvenient. I’ll gladly accept the inconvenience just for a taste. I’m excited for the next 29 days! Who’s with me?!

P.S. Tomorrow night, we sleep on the floor. Get excited!! 

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