In January I read this humorous and challenging book by Jen Hatmaker: 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. As I was reading about the excessiveness of our culture paired with her challenge to living out reduction my feet just happened to be walking on African soil. I was on a vision trip to Kenya and Tanzania with a Pastor friend of mine (female) literally laughing out loud over and over again. The book is absolutely hilarious, yet it also brings you to your knees with a humble burden to reduce yourself, reduce your stuff, and increase God in your life.
Fast forward a couple months and I find myself telling my Big Sister (not officially related - but she really should be) about this book. She reads it and guess what? She wants to form a group and start the challenge. Yep - and we aren't talking the 7 week bible study version that is available but the FULL meal deal. (Pun intended)
Our first challenge for our first month is reducing down to 7 food items for a month. SEVEN (7) items of food for an entire month. This includes any beverage outside of water you may want. 7.
We are starting May 1st - so I have 1 day left of food freedom. Then it is down to this: (maybe)
- Green Beans
What is totally cracking me up is how my list keeps changing. My family is doing this alongside me - so what I would have picked individually (tomato and avocado) have turned to beef and almonds. I am battling this inside - but feel there is a lesson in this itself. Probably something about teamwork, being submissive.... somehow I will be learning some valuable life lessons by giving up 2 of my 7 wants on my list. I imagine throughout the journey this give-up will rear it's ugly head on more then one occasion. Like when I am just dying for a big ole slice of gooey green avocado on my bowl of dry spinach. Although now one of my dear daughters is wanting to eliminate a green veggie for tea. It is totally why you think too - the caffeine. (Hey - she is 19 year old, not 10 okay?) So since we are switching it up for one maybe we each could have our own list? But then, that creates a NIGHTMARE for me in planning and cooking. I mean we have 5 of our immediate family living in the house multiply that by 7 food items - there is potential for me to have to juggle a total of 35 whopping ingredients / food items a day. ARE YOU KIDDING ME PEOPLE??? Who on earth could handle that kind of kitchen chaos?
Oh yeah, me...On any given night when I am preparing one meal for our family. Typically you will find me tossing around fresh herbs, lots o'veggies, spices, our protein which typically has some kind of homemade seasoning on it. Yep, one meal easily has 35 ingredients. In fact our salads alone usually have a minimum of 5 plus dressing from scratch with another 5 for a total of 10. So I guess I could handle each of us having different allowances. Yet when I am crank-o-muster over food and I am dishing up something I cannot put in my taste tester there is the extreme likelihood I will explode. Like, totally unleashed, back away from the table kind of fury. So back to the drawing board - the final, for sure selection will be decided by 11:59pm on the 30th of April and it will probably be something each member of our family is willing to ingest for 28 days.
So, check back in. It is bound to be a fun, humbling and exasperating ride. I am just waiting to have my ugly unveiled right before my eyes. I do believe God is going to peel back my eyelids so I see my yuck a little more realistically- of course the purpose of the reveal of it is to be FULLY embraced and accepted by the ONE who adores me. As I humbly or boldly, standing upright or crawling, singing or crying come to Him he will gently work with me to refine me into something more pleasing to him. (and hopefully more pleasing to my family and friends too)
I am SUPER excited to be treating this as a fast, expecting revelation and breakthrough. If you would like to jump in we would be happy to have you! You can comment along the way!