Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I want...

Today I went to Costco to get a few groceries. While there I saw something that I want. It was Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking which is $40 everywhere else, but only $24.99 there. I am a home cook, not a fancy cook. However, I have a tendency to buy cookbooks that are either visually pleasing, with great pictures, or desciptive and fun to read. I have been known to read cookbooks in bed, like some people read novels. Very rarely do I actually cook by recipes however. Aside from baking, which requires following amounts and directions pretty carefully, I tend to take ideas and tweak them into my own home style versions. However, I loved watching Julia Child back in the day when her show was on T.V., and I loved the movie Julie and Julia, (I didn't love the book.). Anyway, when I saw that big cookbook at the low warehouse price, my pulse actually quickened. "What a good deal!", I thought to myself. And even though I knew that the only recipe I would actually try was the one for Boeuf Bourginon, and I knew, because I had already looked it up, that I could find that same recipe online, I still picked up that cookbook and wrestled with the temptation to buy something that, 1)I didn't need 2)Was impractical since I wouldn't really be cooking from it most likely. But what tempted me was the emotion that I associated with that book...the memories of Julia Child on T.V., the visual pleasure of the movie about Julie cooking through Julia's book, and the emotions of my own happy times in my kitchen. I could visualize myself, just like Julie in the movie, on a cool fall day, cookbook open on the counter, Le Crueset pot simmering away on the stove. I began to feel like buying that cookbook would make me happy.

In the past, when just having grocery money was a challenge, the temptation to spend based on emotion was a luxury I couldn't afford. But in these later years, though we are not in any way rolling in the dough, (after all, I just quit my job, which gave me my extra spending money!), we do have some discretionary funds. In those early years, I literally prayed before any shopping trips, depending on God to lead me to sales and bargains. He did just that, stretching our money in miraculous ways. Today, on day two of 21 days of prayer and fasting, in Costco, I remembered the part of Isaiah 58 that talks about the kind of fast that pleases God is not following after your own pleasure but caring for the needs of others....and I didn't buy the cookbook. I bet there's someone I know who could use $24.99.

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