The 7 Challenge - Day Six {Food}

On Saturday morning, we attended an equipping. In attendance were other community group leaders and individuals who serve our church (and the other two {soon to be three} congregations). Shelley Giglio spoke, alongside two other women who attend and serve at Passion City Church in Atlanta.

Going into the meeting/equipping, I had no idea who Shelley Giglio was. I knew of the Passion movement but knew nothing about the people behind it. I'd heard of Passion Church but again knew nothing about the behind-the-scenes. I also considered not attending. I thought of reasons not to go. But there was something (and someone.. {ahem, Justin}) who reminded me that I should go.

I was so blessed on Saturday morning. I was also greatly convicted. And I left with a sense of continued desire - a desire to do more and be more than I have been. It's the same desire God has been stirring up in me for the past several months. It's the same desire that has pushed my heart and my life into the throws of foster care and adoption.

Listening to Shelley and the others speak awakened a love for people. I've always loved people, but I've also been hardened through my time in social work. It's so easy to just see the bad, to only expect the worst, and to feel like you know exactly what will happen.

Justin and I left Saturday knowing we didn't want to play it safe any longer but that we weren't quite sure what that meant. It's something we will be wrestling with all week. How do we make sure that we aren't taking on too much? Is there a point where it's okay to say "no" and what is that point?

When I went to bed last night, I did so praying. I wanted to hear from the Lord. I wanted clarity as to what we were to do, and I wanted it in an obviously large way.

I didn't get that clarity. At least not in a way of a booming voice telling me exactly which path to follow. Instead, I received a sense of thankfulness when I woke up this morning and sat down to breakfast - eggs with tomatoes and chicken breakfast sausage (and coffee).

So many weeks have been spent rushing around and rushing through a drive thru. Our normal Sunday mornings involve rolling out of bed 30 minutes before we have to be out the door for church, stopping at Panera Bread, and eating a bagel smeared with cream cheese (the smearing done while sitting in the parking lot). We call it a tradition. I'm not sure it's quite that, though.

Panera Bread was, in the not so distant past, one of the six or seven times we would eat out on weekends. We ate out a total of three times this weekend. A little gluttonous while participating in The 7 Challenge? Perhaps. (PS: I did stick to the 7 friendly foods. My own "council" and I decided fried sweet potatoes counted so I consumed a lo of those and a few chicken sandwiches.) And the eating out from this weekend? It was really the first of any eating out for the (short) life of this challenge. There was a time when we would eat out nearly every day of the week. For me, that included breakfast and lunch, too.

We got into a rut. Or a routine. However you want to view it. That rut and routine (and an expensive one at that) involved questions like "What do you want to do for dinner?" and "Should we eat what we have or go out?" More often than not, we'd choose a dinner out even though our fridge had food in it, our pantry was stocked, and the freezer was overflowing. Maybe it was the convenience of it all. Or maybe (most likely) it was the need to somehow find worth, meaning, and identity in the act of leaving the house and going to a restaurant.

I liked getting up over an hour before church today. I had a chance to wash dishes, wipe down the countertops, cooks my breakfast, and sit in silence. I enjoyed my food and enjoyed my coffee and enjoyed what God is doing and teaching me through this time.

I also liked eating dinner at home Saturday night and tonight. I loved that we sat down at the dining room table and enjoyed our food. I love that we're breaking the rut of rushing through a drive thru and eating fried food while sitting on the couch. I love that I have to be intentional about what I eat and cook - that my first instinct is now to go to the refrigerator versus the question of "What do you want to do for dinner?"

We've found a love for sweet potatoes, chicken and spinach. Strange to say it, but when you spend so many meals wondering what to eat and always wanting something "different", it's hard to imagine liking simple foods. But we do. We're just hoping we don't completely dislike these simple foods come November. (The dogs are also enjoying the scraps of sweet potatoes someone {not me} is feeding them under the table and right before the dishes are rinsed and dropped into the dishwasher.)

Today is only day six. There are twenty-five more days. And then there's the next month. If God has already refreshed me and taught me so much, I am at a loss for what the next days and months will hold.

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