Monday, October 22, 2012

Clothes experiment
check out my personal blog for my progress.

I'm wondering how all of you girls are doing!?

Love and hugs.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

from food to clothes

Hi ladies living with less!

i'm so sorry it has taken me till now to contribute to this blog... i've really meant to chime in and share my journey in this as well.... 

intentions intentions....

so our food month is winding down and our living with 7 items of clothing is soon beginning!!!

i did a very very modified version of the food... 
started later than you all (probably) due to our disney trip, and probably only had 2 weeks of it eating 7 foods.

aaaaand i failed a lot.
started out good, but "cheated" here and there.
darn it, i really thought it was something i could do! 

i just love food!!!!! 

our disney trip kinda prepared me a bit for this month which i didn't expect to happen.
the quantities and portions of food in disney....gosh.
the amounts being wasted. 
the unhealthy foods that are consumed...
i kind of was disgusted at times.
it made me aware of how careless we are with food and how many starving people in other countries could would do anything for the food that was being thrown away.

one of my favorite days was when we hopped around to different countries in epcot and tried some samples of foods at the food and wine festival.
the portions were SMALL. 
but i savored them. i enjoyed the diversity. i enjoyed how different they were.
i don't know, it just made me think a bit with the food month that was about to come.

when i started, a couple days after returning, the days that i did it full out went well. 
i became sick of sweet potatoes, missed snacking somewhat (i'm not a huge snacker, but the salt and vinegar  sweet potato chips i found helped a ton!), and really really wanted some pork or roast in the crock pot. 
chicken soon was boring.

my foods were chicken, sweet potatoes, apples, spinach, butternut squash, bread/tortillas, and beans. i allowed myself coffee, wine (it probably should have been one of my seven items!) and small amounts cheese and dark chocolate.
however, i never counted condiments and dressings as one of my 7 things, so i was totally eating "jazzed" up chicken which again, helped.
maybe i knew myself too well - if i went all out with bland plain chicken, i'd probably have caved a lot more. i made pizza with chicken apple sausage/sweet potatoes, i made butternut squash/sweet potato soup, i made chicken/sweet potato/black bean burritos.... yummy stuff for awhile!

but i did miss other foods.
i had to make conscious decisions to grab that apple when i wanted a muffin for breakfast, eat a spinach salad when i wanted a piece of my kids' leftover pizza.... 
there was some checking of myself.
i realized how easily we don't think about grabbing whatever we want that it's our fridge and cabinets and how many choices we have. 
others in some places don't have these choices. they eat minimally and only a couple items. 
they take what they are given - plain as anything - and are THANKFUL for that food for survival.
while we can pick up a bag of chips or cookies without even thinking twice.

i did think about that, i did.
i tried not to be TOO hard on myself with the rules, since that wasn't the purpose - it was about the heart of the matter.

but i still wished i went all out a bit more so that i could really put myself in a simple simple place. what good is this book if we really don't experiment with simplicity? 
i have far to go.

moving on, we are about to venture into wearing 7 items of clothes for a month.


you may or may not know, but i LOVE clothes. 
i love them.
i love putting cool stuff together and expressing myself with what i'm wearing.
i love finding unique and cute things.
i love looking put together, i do.
(i love being "bummy" too).
it makes me feel good. it makes me feel confidant.
i don't necessarily care if others are "ooooh, look at her" type of thing - sure it's nice, but i'm not about the attention.
i just love clothes. it's fun.

fall is a fun time to dress. 
accessories, scarves, new boots....

why did the clothes chapter land in the fall season??!

being honest....
i just bought cute shoes.
the day before we're starting clothes.
i used a gift card, and have only bought 1 cardigan and 1 headband for the fall months so far but...
(stop justifying renee)
this is the time i like to buy clothes.

this is going to be hard for me. not sure yet if it will be harder for me than food, but we'll see.
it will be a very good experience. 
good for my wallet, good for my heart, good for simplifying.
good for finding my confidence & identity in Jesus and not through what i'm wearing.
people will see me in the same items. 
i'm okay with that.
am i? 
i mean, around you all, yes. 
but others? moms at the bus stop? picking up mia from school? 
people at church?

what are your 7 items of clothing?
here are mine:
2 tees
2 cardigans
1 long sleeve shirt
1 pair of jeans
1 pair of sweats/yoga pants
*i'm going to try not wearing a coat, i'll keep you posted.
*scarf and earrings??? really want to wear those. not sure whether to allow myself those or not (maybe the same scarf and earrings, not switching up?)

some specifics need to be worked out, but there you go.
enjoy your food this next month ladies. make some creative dishes to share with you family and say an extra thank you to Jesus for the choices we have.

here's to the next month.....i'm excited to hear how it goes with everyone.
enjoy having a little less laundry!!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

More thoughts

Hey ladies, thanks for checking in and the honesty and all the encouragement!

I'm sharing a brief post from Rachael and the start of her journey through Seven...

I started 7 last night (10-9). I feel as though God isn't calling me to go full out on fasting but instead take one meal out of my day to have a reduce simplified meal so I can pray for spiritual growth and guidance and for others whom are less fortunate than me. My heart is burdened for those in the United States. Some may think that's silly but the statistics showing how many millions of Americans are food insecure (different than poverty) is outstanding! I would love to be able to get involved locally with some organization to help others out. This is one thing ill be praying for when my tummy growls throughout the day!  Another thing that God has placed on my heart was to clean out my pantry and to donate all the food that I haven't used (still within expiration date of course). This is definitely one thing that I would like to continue once this month is over! So, to kick things off Last night I ate a bland romaine salad with boiled egg and bland chicken and home made croutons (minus all the fixings). Maya enjoyed the croutons...ha! But boy would I like some flavor. My tummy was a rumbling last night for some more food!! Praying for us all as we go through this journey together!! 

I am loving the idea of donating food from our pantry.  How about each of us bring...wait for it...SEVEN items from our pantry to put in Valley View's food drive bins?!  And...try and pick some of the good stuff, not the stuff that's been sitting there because you don't even want to eat it - or is that just me and my pantry talking!? :)

How is this week going so far?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How's it going

So it seems like most of us are starting doing something within the area of food.  I really like all the different variations and the way everyone is making it their own.  I think the last thing Jen Hatmaker wants is for us to follow her rules just because she says to.  Again, it's about heart change, not adding more rules to our life!  I'm praying that I create more space for the Spirit to move in my life and that when I think about food I would take a second to remember WHY I am doing this. 

(But honestly, sometimes I just think about how much I want something sweet and chocolate-y and that's it!) 

(Also, my hormones are definitely in the PMS phase which means I really could go for some chocolate.  And a some salty pretzels.  Ok, who I am kidding, a big bowl of chips...)

(Did I mention that I officially moved from cleaning out the fridge, to eating my version of seven foods TWO days ago? All those thoughts in just two days!)

I have my version of seven (more like eight) and all of you have yours.  My question is how is it going?  For some of you you're a week in, some are just starting, some may still be figuring it out.  

It's kind of hard to write this but I gotta be honest and say that I love food.  I love God more than food, but self denial is a struggle for me, especially with food.  I think if I thought about God as much as I did about food - wow - or even spent even 1/2 the amount of time I spend figuring out meals and food stuff as I did with God - I think it would be life changing.  

I really do want to be more aware of how and where God is leading me.  I stumble along blindly and then realize, OK, wow, you were totally at work there - wouldn't it be nice to be attuned to the Spirit and feel like just for a moment we See what God wants from us (I mean this in simplest of ways, like going out of your way to be kind, offering comfort or encouragement when you see a frazzled mom with kids, letting someone go in front of you in line b/c you have more and they have two things - simple ways to show God's love)

That's a lot of rambling from me - I want to hear from you!!!

If you have longer thoughts and want to have a full post, write it up and I'll post it for you!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Food For Thought....

I couldn't not use that title - it was too easy!

Anyway, I assume most of you have read the first chapter 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess - which will from here on out be referred to just as 7. :)

So chapter one - what did you think? Have you thought about how to push yourself out of your comfort zone this month? Are you challenged to reduce your food choices/options in some way?

I have to say I have had a swirl of thoughts and emotions.  At first I was set that I would go all out for two weeks - sounds manageable right?  I mean I'm not getting paid to write a book and I also want to not feel so overwhelmed that I don't even bother.  BUT....I look at my fridge and pantry full of food and I wonder if it lines up with the core message of this book to go out and buy more food in order to cut back my choices.  

So where I'm at now, this morning, is thinking I need to first clean out what I do have, not go get more.  

This quote from the book sums up what I want this "experiment" to be for me 

I'm doing this for a reason.  This is a fast, a major reduction of the endless possibilities that accompany my every meal.  It is supposed to be uncomfortable and inconvenient.  Not because I'm a narcissist but because the discomfort creates space for the Holy Spirit to move.  This shake up of my routine commands my attention.  What will the Spirit do with the new space? I don't know.  We'll see.  It's his to engineer.  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.

I don't want this to feel like a diet, because I will admit that it came to mind right away "wow, I'll probably lose weight if I eat like that for a two weeks".  I've already started to create exceptions, like I will only do this during the week and eat normal on the weekends, and I already thought "hmmm, maybe one week is enough!"

So to start out I need to clean out (fridge, pantry) and while I'm doing this ask God how I can enter into this fast the way He wants me to.  It may look very different from what I thought, but I don't want it to be based on my own pride and selfish desires.  

I want to hear from you.  You can comment, or if you want to enter a post, just type it up and send it to me and I'll post it.  Please come here to interact and discuss and encourage.  One requirement - be honest.  Don't whitewash how you're feeling.  Don't feel bad to admit that you aren't "doing" anything but were still challenged to make overall changes in how you approach food.  Don't feel bad to admit you didn't get much out of the chapter!  It's all about us being real and sharing how God is working in our lives.  

Here is a link to (in)courage book club that has additional thoughts from Jen Hatmaker.  

Jen Martin shared a great post off of Jen Hatmaker's blog that should help us get through this book - as usual, she'll make you laugh and think!