Guess that means I can just stop the challenge now. I overcame every single challenge that could possibly present itself. Right?
Oh. Wrong. I'm not doing this challenge to prove something to myself or to overcome things. I'm doing this challenge to move a little bit closer to Jesus. Guess that means I'm not quite done.
It took me a little while to figure out what 7 foods I was going to eat. And by a little while I mean a few weeks.
Starting this challenge wasn't something I just decided to do on a whim. It's something I have considered ever since I first read Jen Hatmaker's book about 9 months ago. And even though I've had plenty of excess (hello buying a new house, new car, new MacBook, new iPhone, new iPad mini, and the list goes on), I've constantly thought about simplifying. I just have never really done anything about it. Until now.
Jen Hatmaker admits that she is an extremist. And I am too. God often has to hit me over the head with a 2x4 multiple times for me to get something. And even after I get it, I often forget it. Then the process starts over again.
I've been extreme with weight loss (hello South Beach and Herbalife) and seen traction in the way of weight loss. I've been extreme also with weight gain (hello Chik-Fil-A and Panera Bread every single day for a week). But I've never been extreme with simplifying. And I figured now is as good a time as any to use my extremeness for something good. I figured now is the best time to let God work through the extremeness.
These are the thoughts that have been in my head for months. I just quieted them with vanilla lattes, diet cokes, and macaroni and cheese. But at some point, thoughts like these simply can't be quieted. Also, oddly enough, at some point your hips get a bit too wide for all your pants.
I know this is the right time to do the challenge because I have prayed about it. God has orchestrated it all (including blessing me with other people who will be miserable right along with me). It doesn't mean that the timing is what I would have picked. But I'm not Jesus, so I don't know best.
Jesus knows best. And Jen Hatmaker knows best when it comes to which foods to eat for a whole month. I am following her lead and eating the same 7 foods but with a few exceptions.
Spinach. Apples. Eggs. Sweet potatoes. Tomatoes OR Bread (can have one or the other but can not consume at the same time).
This morning I ate three eggs. For lunch, I ate two avocados, a whole package of all natural chicken lunch meat, and a piece of fresh baked bread (from the grocery store not from my house). For dinner, we had spinach (which I BLANCHED!), sweet potatoes, and roasted chicken thighs. And then I ate an apple for dessert.
All of my food tasted like real food. I bought everything organic, and as much as I hate to admit this, there is a huge difference. Apples taste like apples. And the spinach was so good. The chicken... My husband said he would be okay with eating the chicken a lot which is good since it's going to be my only meat option for the next month.
I also have more energy. Amazing what lots of water (even if it does have flavor added to it) and real food will do, huh?
I started the day with quiet time, and I am going to end it the same way. Because ultimately I am making more room for Him. I'm making space so that He can work in me and speak to me. I'm cleaning out the cobwebs and turning from all the things I've used to block Him out.
"I won't box Him in or assume I know what He'll say. I'm not going to project my goals onto His movement. I have simply said: "Jesus, may there be less of me and my junk and more of You and Your kingdom." I will reduce, so He can increase." - Jen Hatmaker, 7