Tomorrow is October 1st. It is the first day of my (scary) entrance into the world of The 7 Challenge.
What is The 7 Challenge? It's this crazy idea Jen Hatmaker created. An experimental mutiny against excess. And because Jen Hatmaker is destined to be my best friend (even though my attempts to "stalk" her in March failed), I decided it was time for me to take the plunge and stage my own mutiny against excess.
What are the 7 things? Here's a quick breakdown (thanks Barnes and Noble!). Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.”
I'm starting with food. One - because that's what Jen did. Two - because then I can enjoy Thanksgiving when November rolls around. And third - because I need to stop eating Chik-Fil-A.
I've always struggled with my relationship with food. And I'm realizing how much I struggle with my relationships with other things too. I want to break the struggle. Not just because I want to lose weight. I hope that happens (I kind of need it to happen) but that's not the main point.
The point is to stop looking to over things for fulfillment. The point is to truly simplify (and not just talk about simplifying). The point is to let go and then let God.
I've done a lot of crying over the past few weeks. Because of grad school, because of work, because of changes in our family situation. And I've done a lot of trying to fill up the emptiness with things. I've prayed some, but I haven't really prayed. I've just depended on my Chik-Fil-A to get me through.
And my diet coke, too. (I am not getting rid of coffee. That would be cruel and unusual punishment to everyone who ever interacts with me. I am, though, going to limit it to coffee at home instead of coffee from Panera Bread, Starbucks, Wild Hero, and the list goes on...)
But I can't keep doing that.
You know that saying about how insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results every time. This smart guy named Albert Einstein said those words. And y'all?
I'm insane because I kept expecting different results. I keep thinking I can just want to simplify or want to be healthy or just kind of try but not really give anything up.
I don't want to be Albert Einstein's definition of insane. And I don't want to just kind of try. I want to die to myself and live a life that is unabandoned. I want to reflect Jesus in every stinking thing. So I'm taking the challenge.
I'm excited to (mimick/copy/stalk/pretend to be) Jen Hatmaker as I take on this adventure. I'm excited to blog about how hard it is to give up Chik-Fil-A, how much I dislike spinach, how much I miss diet coke, how much I want cheese, how I don't know how to tell if an avocado is ripe, and eventually how much I miss the plethora of cardigans just hanging in my closet.
I don't promise to be perfect. With blogging or with adhering to the challenge. But I am going to try. Not only that I am going to depend on Jesus as I embark on this fast and I'm going to give him my life in a way I never have.
“If a fast doesn't include any sacrifices, then it's not a fast. The discomfort is where the magic happens. Life zips along, unchecked and automatic. We default to our lifestyles, enjoying our privileges tra la la, but a fast interrupts that rote trajectory. Jesus gets a fresh platform in the empty space where indulgence resided.” - Jen Hatmaker