Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Our Family's 7 Experiment: Teaching Kids to Care About the WORLD

Welcome to our family's 7 Experiment : A Mutiny Against Excess

If you haven't read any of Jen Hatmaker's books it is time you started. She is hilarious and challenging-ly real. Her 7 book was a must read for me on a trip to Africa. (I shared about this briefly in a post in May when we did a mini 2 month experiment before heading to Africa again) Anywhoo - it so lined up with all I have been struggling with just-so over the last few years. The balance between loving the less fortunate and keeping up in our culture is enough to make people think they have gone bonkers. Myself included.

One thing has really confused & frustrated me over the last few years. The world appears to becoming smaller, we see more on TV, more people are going on mission trips, more charities are on the rise. We are acutely aware of the desperate need that the majority of the world faces, no doubt. In fact, it is hard to go anywhere without having a reminder of someone in need - from a homeless person, to starving children in Africa - we see it often. 

At the same time we are staring these tragic situations in the face we are also increasing what our "NEEDS" are. What used to be things only the very wealthy would do are now becoming the norm. For example... I have never been to a spa, I have never had a pedicure. WHAT???? You WOULD NOT believe how shocked people are by this. How could this be? EVERYONE needs deserves some pampering after all, right? 

With our children we are potentially creating a bit of a mess - on one side of our mouths we are sharing about caring for others, on the other we are teaching them to go all out for themselves. It seems to me we are talking A LOT about one thing and doing A LOT of another and I can't see how this is going to play out with authenticity. I am afraid our kids will have head knowledge to talk about caring and heart knowledge to think about themselves first and foremost. It seems to me this poses a bigger problem than just being uniformed. After all if you don't know, you don't know...but if you know and you remain unchanged...well?

SO... our family is taking steps to keep a strong focus on LOVE in ACTION for those in need for the next 8 months. We will be focusing on the EXCESS in which is so prevalent in our culture. Our hope is that the family discussion time & prayer paired with the different challenges from month to month will in turn be a lifetime of changed focus for all of us.

I also love that this is a type of fast that will last over 7 different months including clothes, waste, media & more. Over the years our family has fasted several times a year - but this is going to really allow us time to focus on a lot of areas and to see what God is asking us to have a heart for. LOVE it! 

Month 1: Food
This month our family has picked countries that will have a one week focus. We will eat the food they eat in each chosen country. We will also spend some time learning about how they struggle and what we can pray for throughout the week. We will be praying for those in leadership positions in those countries as well. We are placing a big focus on hearing from God about what we can do individually and as a family. 

Our first week of our food challenge month is Africa: Kenya & Tanzania (we couldn't pick just one when we love both). We will be eating a lot of rice and beans this week, bread and tea for breakfast, pilau (rice dish) for dinner. Following our first week we will be in the Philippines, India and one other country.  At the end of each week we will have a celebration where we serve guests a few added dishes - the kids will present what they have learned and we will eat together and pray. 

I am SO excited to share this journey with you. I know we are all eagerly anticipating hearing what God has to say to us and seeing where he moves us to in the journey of forever heart & do change. I hope you are too! So keep checking back! 

-Simply Sublime!

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