Monday, February 27, 2012

7 things

Who's ready for a challenge? 

Last week at our small group on Tuesday, the husbands paired off and calculated a plan to start a men's only study during our fellowship group.  How dare they?!  They were tired of waiting on us chatty woman to get our act together.  After all, we are terribly busy with lots of babies, if you waited on us, you may never get results! 
I offered to help our women, and try to find a book for us to start together, but Shannon beat me to the punch.  She began reading 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess last week.  She was so enamored by the wit and humor and pure sadistic ways that she suggested we try this out for our small group study. 

Here is an excellent description of the book I copied from the Amazon website:

American life can be excessive, to say the least. That’s what Jen Hatmaker had to admit after taking in hurricane victims who commented on the extravagance of her family’s upper middle class home. She once considered herself unmotivated by the lure of prosperity, but upon being called “rich” by an undeniably poor child, evidence to the contrary mounted, and a social experiment turned spiritual was born.

7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.” So, what’s the payoff from living a deeply reduced life? It’s the discovery of a greatly increased God—a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence.

In the spirit of fasting, when Shannon brought up this challenge I was on board.  This type of fasting excites me.  It is honoring God with every part of our existence.  And it will be great practice and an awakening experiment for when  I leave for the mission field.  I am all in!

So last night I posted on my facebook wall an important question:

"If you could only eat 7 foods for one month, what would they be?"  

And here are some of the answers:

My mom said: yogurt, nuts, Pasta, Kashi cinnimon cereal, bananas and dried mangos and zucchini
Jen doesn't even need 7, her pick: Cereal, fruit and frozen yogurt
Abby chose: spinach, feta, tomatoes, sourdough bread, goat cheese, onions, salmon
Laura said: Yogurt. Granola. Chicken. Broccoli. Green beans. Mushrooms. Fat free chocolate pudding (so I don't go insane)
And Sara joked that a month ago it would be McDonalds and Starbucks but now these are her choices: bananas, yogurt, cheese, tomatoes, pasta, spinach, eggs

It appears that yogurt, cereal and pasta are pretty important to most people.  In the book, Jen chose spinach, chicken, eggs, sweet potatoes, apples, whole wheat bread and avocado.

And so now after careful consideration I have chosen my 7 foods as the first fast in a 7 month journey.  

Spinach, avocado, almonds, apples, tofu, sweet potatoes and oats.   

Starting March 1st, this will be my diet for one month.  (even though my birthday is smack at the beginning of this new challenge!) It seems extreme and crazy, yes.  But reality tells me that I will likely be forced into an even smaller diet once I'm a missionary.  It will be difficult, but this is where I will rely on God and be reminded to pray often with honesty, passion and submission.   

I wanted to share with you in advance in case you are also looking for ways to eliminate excess in your life and begin a fast.  You can start thinking about your 7 foods, pick up the book to read along with us, and participate in an online community.  

I am already thinking ahead to April where I must choose just 7 articles of clothing to wear the entire month!  Oh my!  

So please join in if you are willing!  I would love to use this blog as a two-way communication through this experiment.  Let me know if you are in! 

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