So tonight ended a saga. The food/chores saga. I’m beaming that it’s figured out for the most part. But it took a lot longer than I had expected.

So part of Discipleship Year means that I live with six other people for the year. Each month, we each put in a certain amount of money to the community fund for food and other needed household items. It sounds easy. Well, at least it sounded easy to me. Before I moved into the community, I envisioned the food conversation taking up maybe a few hours and then poof, it’d be finished. We’d just shop each week and we would all have nourishment. But I was wrong.

There was so much I overlooked at first. Where we shop is huge and after the discussion happened, it made so much sense to me. We have people coming from all different backgrounds. Some have been living on their own for a while and have used a community supported agriculture to get their food (a CSA is where you get a certain amount of produce delivered to you from an area farm each week). Others have just gotten out of college, so a meal plan is probably more familiar to them. Some are more comfortable in co-ops and farmers markets and others prefer the supermarket. And at first glance, this seems crazy. Judgement is liable to happen. People may feel their needs are not met or are overlooked.

So the second food talk we had, we began the discussion with everyone sharing their personal stories i.e. why they came to DC, where they are on their journey and what and why they care about certain things. Through this, the food differences began to make sense. Preferences often came from a deep place, a place of passion. And when I think about it now, it makes sense. I mean it’s food. Food is so crucial so of course people have their ways and concerns.

But to balance that out, we also came to the understanding that living in community means you don’t always get exactly what you want. If you want things to be about you, then don’t live in community. At the beginning, people were using the phrase “my money.” We came to the realization that that’s not healthy for community. Once each person puts their monthly amount in, it’s no longer theirs. And it can be a hard thing to let go, but that’s where faith in your community comes in. Of course, if there are specific things that certain people must have, that’s one thing. But the shopping list is a community thing, not something decided solely by one member. I really like what one of my community members said. We need to go from thinking “my money to our money to eventually God’s money.” To get into the idea we need to be a good steward of said community money.

Tonight we had our final meeting to iron out the process. We came to a compromise on the whole local/grocery store food issue. And I have the job of list master! Each week people are to get their requests to me for the next week. I will then distribute said list to shopper and he or she will have a budget. I will detail why each food is on the list, that way the shopper can make judgement calls if the list ends up going over budget.

So for the most part, things have been ironed out. I’m sure we’ll learn a lot more as we shop and see how the process works. It’s sort of like the constitution and amendments. We have a process but there’s always room to change it if needed.

Oh and the cleaning talk was way shorter in comparison to food. We just wrote down chores and divided them up. Sigh. That was a relief.

I’m glad the food talk happened as it did. While it was painful at times, I felt it helped us to grow as a community. And now I know.. food isn’t super simple.

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