Thank you, friends, for your fabulous participation on Day 1 of our Read-a-Long. There was so much good stuff to take in, I could barely get to it all. And man alive, was there some raw, ouchy honesty going on. Whew. It’s never too late to chime in, link to your own post, or reply to other’s comments.
As promised, we’re taking Wednesdays to explore what it might look like to live that week’s chapter (in this case, the introduction) in the flesh. If you didn’t see Jen’s comment on the blog yesterday, she spoke perfectly to what I most certainly DON’T want us to do: turn this into a competition where we focus horizontally on each other and leave Jesus out of the picture.
Here’s part of what she said:
Welcome, readers! I just read all your comments and I am super, over-the-top thrilled about what the next few weeks hold! …
Remember: This is not a formula. Please resist the urge to compare. Our stories are different. The end. Let God have His way with you, in the way He wants to have it. It may look totally different from mine or Marla’s or anyone else’s here. Fine, good, wonderful, grand.
Last point: This is way more about your heart than your stuff. The stuff gets in the way, but the heart is what Jesus is after. So try not to get too bogged down in the mechanics or the reductions without also offering Jesus space, time, communion, your love. Don’t leave Him out of the story…
Amen. (One of these days Jen Hatmaker is going to say something I don’t emphatically agree with. And when she does, believe me, I’ll let you know.)
I’ll be honest with you. I don’t have any great big plans for giving things up for huge chunks of time right now. With what my hubby is going through, I know I’ve got to put his health–and our family’s well-being–before any wild experimenting.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t embrace an attitude of fasting, of making more space in my heart and my day for Jesus (goodness knows, I need that!!). So I’m going to pray about little things I can do. I’ve already thought of one.
I have this really bad habit of not planning ahead when it comes to grocery shopping/meal planning/dinner making. Holy cow, I’m awful. And what it often translates to is way too many trips to way too many stores a week, wasted food, crappy meals, and a bad attitude about cooking (okay, warming up leftovers) for my family.
I decided last Friday that I wasn’t spending one single penny on food until I completely cleaned out all the stuff that’s been sitting in my cupboards/fridge/freezer for an embarrassingly long time. I’m not a big food hoarder (no pantry, no 2nd freezer) but I’m all about buying new, fun food while there’s meat and veggies lounging in the freezer and beans/rice/tuna sitting lonely in the cupboards.
I’m thrilled to report, five days in, that 1.) my freezer is almost empty. 2.) the girls and I have been preparing meals together and 3.) God has miraculously worked it all out so there’s “just enough” butter and “just enough” corn and “just enough” chicken to feed everyone. I love just enough.
I’ve started a big grocery list of lots of staple foods, and I’m going to try to go longer between visits, use up what we have, and buy less packaged stuff and more rice, beans, potatoes, fruit, and veggies. And with Gabe needing to take time off work and getting a partial paycheck right now, I feel like this is just one of God’s sweet provisions to us: a reduced grocery bill + less gas running to the store.
I’d love to hear some of your ideas. What has God been laying on your heart as it relates to practice application of this 7 stuff?