Faith’s third community act of generosity is to offer a sacrificial financial gift to The Cupboard, a food pantry that serves Lawrence Township.  We announced the special gift three weeks ago.  It’s to be received this Sunday, March 26.

I’ve had the advantage of knowing that we were making a sacrificial financial gift, even before we entered Lent.  So, I had a chance to think of what I would give up and cut out to make a generous contribution possible.

It’s a challenge.  Having a child in college – even with a lot of scholarship assistance – has put a crimp in our family budget.  But, I know where I end up spending more money  than I have to – on convenience.  My time often feels tighter than my money and I will spend on what seems to save me time.

If you promise not to judge me (too harshly), I’ll tell you that bottled water, coffee, and lunch on the run add up for me.  They were the obvious extraneous expenditures to target, so I did.

The water has been easier than I expected.  Cutting back on purchased coffee has been mainly a matter of being conscious of not making a pit stop.  I have split the difference sometimes to just buy plain, ole coffee, rather than anything doctored up.  That’s still a lot cheaper.

Lunch has been a lot harder.  Planning ahead, having items on hand, getting things packed up and put in the car are all more than I seem to manage most days.  Or weeks.  I do keep a stash of sardines and tuna in my office, that make a good protein boost.  For some reason, the rest of the staff, doesn’t really relish that solution.

When I remember that I am doing this so someone can eat what they need, what I want is put in perspective.  I don’t know that I’ll get those nutrionally balanced lunches packed often – if ever – but I think I can forgo the meal on the go more often.

I’ll be ready to make a financial gift this Sunday.  I can’t really call it a sacrifice, more a conscious, awkward cutback.

Then, I’m going to keep at it through Lent and let the change – and the giving – add up.