Since feeling the conviction to go to Africa and use my skills as a nurse to help those that live in poverty I've been pretty obsessed with learning about Africa. The first book I read was Kisses From Katie which I think I mentioned in my previous blog. Now really all I can think about is how we have so much more in the United States, more stuff, more opportunities, more health care, more money, more, more, more and you know what.....WERE STILL NOT SATISFIED!!! We want more and our wants have become our "needs". It really has become a huge conviction that I should be satisfied with what I have and that Jesus is more then enough for me. God has hugely blessed our family and we need to give back to those that don't have all the "Stuff" we have. So when Marissa asked me to join in on the 7 challenge I said sure.....not really knowing what I was getting myself into but heck why not?? :) Then as I started to read the book learn more about it Brandon joined on board first I pushed him on board with another one of my "crazy" ideas but now he's actually really excited. (Kind of like how he has now become a Cyclone fan :)!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and no that's not a joke its true).
So hear it is the 7 things that Jen Hatmaker lists as excess: Food, clothes, shopping, waste, possessions, media, and stress. The Challenge is to get rid of this excess for 1 month 1 thing at a time for 7 months. Then we get to go back to our normal comforts but hopefully will be forever changed and aware of excess be thankful for what we have and not obsess about wanting more.
To start the challenge off it is food. So for the next 4 weeks Brandon and I will only be eating 7 foods. The 7 foods has yet to be completely decided and we have until midnight tonight to decide.
Here's what were possibly looking at: Chicken, Whole wheat bread, eggs, apples, avocados, red bell peppers, and spinach. With the help of the book and my dietitian aka sister these are consider 7 healthy foods. The only other ingredients we can use, salt, pepper, and olive oil and water to drink. That's no pop, no coffee, no mayo, no ranch dressing, no cheese, nothing! I'm pretty sure this is going to be my hardest month as I love food, love cheese, love ranch ahhh yum love love love!!
Honestly it's going to be uncomfortable and that's the whole point and open up for the holy spirit in our lives and to be thankful for what God has given us. There are moments as I think about starting the challenge and I continue to read the book I'm just like "God I really just want to stay comfortable for a little bit longer, let me finish remodeling our house, pay for a few more clothes I really want, and spend money on myself get myself set up a little better financially then when I feel like I have excess then I give, and eliminate what I feel is excess." But then my thoughts of Africa how they live with very little clothes, very little food, and yet they are happy with what they have.
So before we start our challenge tomorrow we are having our "last supper" I'm sitting here writing this blog enjoying popcorn and M&M's, I may or may not have eaten a whole sleeve of thin mints, we went out to eat twice this weekend and enjoyed all the comfort foods that were going to say goodbye to for the next 4 weeks.
Don't worry the girls still get to eat normal food and will not be forced into this months challenge. But next month they will be joining in on giving up on excess of clothes.
For those of you that this has peeked your interest or you want to find out more visit http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2011/12/26/an-experimental-mutiny-against-excess She has more books then just 7 and she is a hilarious writer, can't wait to start reading more of her books!!