Thursday, June 28, 2012

Simplify and some "7"

Some of you sweet souls know that some girlfriends and I embarked on a journey together, June 1st, based on the book "7" by Jen Hatmaker. If you don't know anything about the book, I hope you will check it out. It is full of funny and conviction all at the same time. The Lord has been working specifically on my prideful self the last 3 years and apparently the Lord knew accountability and some friends would be necessary for me to finally lay it down and deal with some stuff in order for this simpler lifestyle to succeed. I'm so thankful He knows all things and orchestrates these details so perfectly, aren't you? Whew. My eyes are wide open with great expectation as to where we are headed.

But....two things I know thus far...... 

After eating the same 7 foods for the month of June....(and yes we wrapped it up early because we really were just done with it and I was leaving town Saturday and we had to get together and discuss it all. Plus...we ended with some fabulous junk food to celebrate our success)....and no, we aren't crazy to be doing this. It really is a God thing. How can we not walk down a path He had been working on behind the scenes in all of our lives and then brought us together oh so perfectly to take this journey together?  Count me in Lord. I might be scared, but I'm game. It's just time. You know.

Ok, where was I? This is what I know about 7 simple foods:

*No sugar is FABULOUS!!!  I will try desperately to not put that back in my life at the levels I had been doing. Bye-bye soft drinks and gross junk. We are done. You really aren't that good. It is amazing how much better you feel when you are eating healthy and simply. Who knew? What a concept. #sarcasm

*I'm just as happy with simple foods as I am with the endless possibilities and more food choices that stared at me from the grocery, restaurant menu, or pantry than one human needs. However...I will say that I never experienced that true full feeling after I ate. Probably why I lost 8 pounds. Probably a good thing to not eat until you feel sick and explosive. That's another new concept, huh? #sarcasmagain

*Food is fabulous and wonderful and who doesn't love the to die for dessert or pasta or steak? Heck, we all do. But...my goal from this point on is healthier eating. Done with the quick convenient junk that is processed and gross and my insides are probably experiencing a slow death. Heck...why not become vegetarian? ;)  I'm going fresh and healthy. I think my body will thank me in more ways than one. 

*We really are spoiled and don't NEED all that we indulge in. This now becomes the bigger picture of 7. Needs vs wants and we say it all the time, but do we really want to sacrifice and become uncomfortable in a culture that screams MORE MORE MORE!!! And, what on earth am I teaching my children about excess?  I think I have been teaching them more about what culture says instead of what God says. BIG FAT OUCH!!  Goodness...this is why it takes time to tackle and make real life adjustments. We already know these things, but for some reason I can't just come out of a one time sermon or teaching and make the adjustment. You have to actually do it. Who knew?  I have been convicted 100 times on things in regards to money and living after a sermon, but didn't really make the adjustment that was needed. These are hard adjustments.This is a journey and requires much patience. This requires patience, time, and great commitment. After all...God is the King of patience and He knows we won't make these massive adjustments without time....and accountability. Don't do this alone. I would have quit 9 hours into it.

The book has lead us through month one with food. We are moving onto month two of clothing. I'm not going into that just yet, but do want to share how God has been speaking to our family about excess... 

So....in this beautiful weaving of details, God has been showing my husband and myself that we don't NEED this house we live in. Ok....it's big and nice and really...too big. There is something that defines us in regards to where and how we live. True? We make assumptions about people and where they live. If their house is big and new and nice then we assume they have money. If their house is the opposite of that then we think they don't. Plain and simple. We all do it. We have no idea though how stressed out they are about that house and know good and well they hate that house payment every month because, well, its just too much.  My husband and I are going against the culture and following God and saying, "Nope...we don't need that or honestly, want it."  Yep...we can afford it. However....I will not simply do and have because we can. I'm praying that God will show us the way to be financially free and not be overwhelmed and anxious through these teenage years, that are already full of stress and anxiety as parents, but show us how to live a simpler life and be very responsible with the money He has provided. I want to be free to give and go and spend and do without the stress of no margin.

Does that make a lick of sense?  We have private school, cars for 3 boys upon us, insurance, gas, living, vacations, dogs, healthcare, college, clothing, food, etc etc etc. I WILL NOT go into these years anxious over a stupid house. If God chooses another route that doesn't involve selling our home, then we will be listening and ready. We are simply hoping to be faithful in the big and small. 

God calls us to be wise. He never, ever says go get more and have more and have have have. He was the simplest man to ever live and my greatest desire is to be more like Him. For all of us, this journey of becoming more like Him will look different. My prayer is that we take time to examine our hearts, our motives, our deepest desires for our families....and GO WITH GOD!!!!

May we be more and more like Him in all we say and do. Follow Him. He won't lead us anywhere alone.

Eyes open and feet ready! Let's go!



4 comments:

Shelly E said...

I love every little thing you said, Fran. Every little thing. I am so on awe of your commitment to "7". I wish I lived closer so I could join your "council". :) I can't stress to you enough how I SO get the whole house thing. We love our house but I'd be ecstatic to downsize and just over-all have less. My husband and I have discussed this very thing. It's not in the cards for us to sell at this time but we'll see where God leads. I'll be praying for you as you chase after God on this journey. Love you, friend!

Mary R Snyder said...

Fran -- it makes sense! I know just what you mean about living with less - and that includes less stress. We struggled with upgrading to a larger house. I was ALL for it when the girls were teens, but my man didn't want to. He was all about keeping us out of more debt. I'm so glad we did it his way. It lowered the stress... and you're right less stress is SO wonderful!!

SHANNON BLANKEN said...

Truly love this! I think our culture today is all about buying more and keeping up with what everyone else is buying... Do I have a big enough house, an expensive enough car, a pool or all the other extras, the latest phones, computers, etc? It becomes overwhelming! We already live pretty simple because my wise husband insists upon it. If he didn't, I would have it ALL! But he keeps me in check and I am so thankful for that because otherwise we would be fighting about money because of the stress all of the time. We live in a house much less than we could get a loan for and do without on a lot of things and you know what? It's going to be OK! Sometimes I get jealous (bad and I am working on this) when I see what others have but I know that I need to stay lined up with my husband and we need to do what God is leading us to do with our money. Big isn't always better... more to clean, more space for your family to separate into their separate areas, etc... I am finding the older I get, the more content I am.. with LESS! :) Love you!

BARBIE said...

I just started reading "7", and am praying about committing to this challenge in a month or two. I know that God really wants to work on my heart. We don't have a lot of excess. We lack in so many areas, but even so, I know God still has work to do!

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

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