Day 4 of 7: You Tell That Time Where to Go! Plus Our Lenten Menu

Day 4 of 7…


…and I’m not getting tired of blogging.  Oh, no.  No-no-no-no-no-no-no.

If you know anything about Dave Ramsey, then you’re familiar with the idea of a “zero-based budget.” A zero-based budget is the act of accounting for each and every penny that comes in and out of your hands, every single month or pay cycle.  No “leftover” money.

Why?  Leftover money, left to itself—or left to us—will disappear.  Gone.  Buh-bye.

A zero-based budget insists that we assign a value or use to all money, even the money we don’t necessarily need for our basic living expenses.  That money goes to savings, or debt, or a sinking fund for large purchases, or the vacation fund, or to getting something on that long list of things to get, or going-out-for-breakfast money, or…or… or…  it doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that we never, ever, ever to leave money “unassigned.”

Ramsey calls this “telling our money where to go,” instead of money flying aimlessly about of its own accord.  Not letting money lead us around by the nose, but us telling our money what we need it to do.

I was thinking about this and realized that time worked in the same way. Time is also an asset, one of those “talents” that God entrusts us with.  And time, like money, tends to flow in and our of our hands without us giving as much purpose to it as we’d like.

“Tell my money where to go?” thought I last night.  “I need to tell my TIME where to go, too!”

What if, at the start of every day, I accounted for every half-hour block of time (with the given caveat that having kids requires flexibility)?  How might that radically change our home life and my working life?


My friend Kimberly asked me to share this year’s Lenten menu.  We’re still working on it, but I’m happy to share the rough draft:

On our own, generally.  Jared – eggs, homemade bread, or perhaps oatmeal.  Me – thin steak or other breakfast meat with avocado or banana, or perhaps oatmeal.  Black beans with salsa and tortilla (think huevos rancheros minus the huevos) for Fridays.

If I don’t have a hearty, protein-heavy breakfast, I start shaking by 10 a.m.  Not sure why.  It’s all a part of my Mary Musgrove act.

Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions (again…)
Beans and Greens (I throw a can of beans in the skillet with a handful of greens)
Simple Stir-fry?
Rhonda – Smoothie with veggies and coconut milk yogurt (not every day—that’d get expensive!)

Black Bean Soup
Red Beans and Rice
Red Lentil Soup (our simple recipe—I’ll have to share it sometime)
Potato and Mushroom Soup
Sides of homemade bread (Jared) or ???? (Rhonda), with simple spinach salad or carrot salad on the side.

I’m wondering: Can I go vegan?  It’s a real question.  I’m already dairy- and egg-free; what more would it be to add meat to the mix?  From the menu above, you can see that I’ve limited meat to breakfast only.

I’m allergic to nuts and soy, and without meat, beans would be my one-and-only protein source.  Seems a bit limited, don’t you think?

Speaking of telling time what to do, time to get off—and with minimal copy-editing.  Be kind.


  1. says

    Update: I found some information about protein and vegan possibilities.

    According to Grandma Google, a pregnant or breastfeeding woman needs 71 g. of protein a day. A 1/2 c. of cooked beans has about 7 g. protein. If I eat Huevos-sin-Huevos Rancheros or any of the bean dishes above, I’ll eat about a cup and a half of cooked beans. That makes 21 g. of protein.

    21 x 3 = 63 g.

    The question then becomes, where else can I sneak in protein? More beans? (My, oh my…) Sunflower seed butter? (Can’t seem to find any from a nut-free, soy-free facility.) Seeds I think would be the next place to go, but I need to cough up the chump change for the nut-free facility seeds.

    Another possibility besides going vegan is to eat fish in the morning. Kind of sounds gross, but I like salty, savory foods and fish would be healthier than beef or breakfast meats. And, compared to beef, much cheaper.

  2. franciscanmom says

    We only abstain from meat on Fridays around here, but I haven’t required my diabetic kid to give up breakfast meat. And he doesn’t eat beans. Not sure how this will roll when lent comes around.

      • franciscanmom says

        I’m checking with our pastor on that one, but I’m guessing he’ll say the kid is excused. There will definitely not be fasting. And I was relieved when he said he was giving up bubble gum, because I really didn’t want to have to deal with a food sacrifice this year.

  3. says

    I don’t know what it was but this was one of my favorite posts of yours. Sometimes the way you put words together and explain things makes me feel like there is more order in the universe and that things aren’t so bad after all. Thanks.

  4. says

    I love this post too. I have always admired your lenten disciplines, they hit home!

    Be careful with the veganism thing, especially during child bearing/nursing years. The book I told you about,, outlines why very well. Your body needs a lot of nutrients plus protein and you simply cannot get that with a vegan diet.

    I’m not knocking vegan for lent though, and neither does the author above (she can’t she’s orthodox :-) ). I also want to say that I admire veganism as a spiritual discipline that many of the saints have done. I just don’t personally think that it is right for mamas.

    We have to keep lent simple around here so we’re giving up rasins as a family in addition to the friday abstinence. This may sound risible but I think the kids are going to have a hard time with it. My husband is going to stick a sack of raisins under our picture of the sacred heart for all of lent to drive the point home. Then we’re going to let the kids eat a lot of them on Easter.

    We are going to give alms to the local Carmel and do a song and the weekly collect every night at dinner with a purple or pink candle. I’m also doing the crown of thorns/good deed thing and making a lenten calendar to add crosses to every day. I pray that we keep up with it all!

    • says

      Well, how about only doing fish, then? Would fish provide enough good stuff for a mama? I’m curious. Beef is expensive, I can’t do chicken, and pork seems so… not Lenten. :-)

      • says

        Fish is awesome :-). Even canned fish and some farmed fish can be good for you. I eat sardienes canned in olive oil (I know, gross, but I love them and they are packed with nutrients), oysters canned in olive oil, wild alaskan canned salmon from Trader Joe’s and any fresh or frozen fish that I can afford. Roe is packed with nutrients too. Walmart sells whitefish roe here for a great price. I have to mix it with something strong to hide the flavor though.

        I hear you about beef. We only eat a few pounds once a month. I try to buy it at the farmer’s market and then make chili or something with it to stretch it for 3-4 days.

        Remember that Jesus said pork was okay :-). Farm fresh pork or even high quality supermarket pork can be awesome. You can stretch it in tacos, sausages, and stews. I just made a roast in my french oven with a bunch of cabbage and it was a hit!

        All that said, chicken broth made from the carcasses is a big staple in my diet. Bone broth is apparently really important and aids to making the bean dishes more nutrient rich. You could make stock with other kinds of bones. The meat vendor at your local farmer’s market might have some.

        If you aren’t eating a lot of meat, make sure that you get good fats (lard, tallow, coconut oil, etc) in you and tons of veggies.

        Oh and I just figured out that sprouting lentils makes them easier to digest. We eat a lot of those too. You just stick them in water for 24 hours.

        Do I sound like I’m trying to be your mom yet? Enough with the long comments!

      • says

        Heather, you can be my mom. My *other* mom, because my mom probably doesn’t want to lose her title. :-D

        I forgot about canned sardines — I think you mentioned that once before. And I’m all over canned salmon. Canned tuna has soy in it (why?!?), but salmon does not. I’ll be sure to stock up on it next grocery trip.

        And roe at WALMART??!?!?!?!? That stuff really *is* good for us—but isn’t it from shellfish? I tested sensitive to lobster and shrimp, so the allergist has me off shellfish as well. (I HATE this diet. Anyway.)

        We use coconut oil here, and I eat avocados on a regular basis. Coconut milk also has those good fats in them, though I’m not fond of the taste and, when I have it, mix it with rice milk.

        This is super helpful. Comment on diet stuff anytime, Heather!


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