Saturday, January 24, 2015

seven foods: halfway point.

this is not fun. seriously.

originally i thought maybe i would at least lose a little weight through this thing. not so. all i'm eating is peanut butter toast. eggs sometimes. apples a lot. more than one cup of black coffee a day for sure.

dry chicken is gross. dry spinach is grosser. potatoes take too long to cook. we definitely made some errors in choosing our foods. we decided to do chicken instead of turkey which was a major judgement fail. at least turkey deli meat would've made a palatable sandwich sans condiments. dry chicken on bread is like eating chalk. also spinach sounded like such a healthy, righteous choice. but it's boring and tasteless so i've barely even eaten any this whole time.

this was my attempt at lunch one day: spinach, apples, chicken, olive oil, salt and pepper. looks better than it tastes- take my word for it.

homemade baked potato chips. actually tasted good but burned most of them after spending forever making them. cue frustrated meltdown.

we are considering a midway swap: cheese for spinach. not sure how i feel about it- would that be cheating? jury's still out.

emotionally, i've got to be honest, this whole thing is bringing out a very unflattering side of me: the "i don't want to and you can't make me" side. i've felt rather convicted that i am completely resistant to the possibility that God could use this experiment to actually teach me something and change me for the better. instead i've dug my spiritual heels in and acted like a stubborn two year old (and believe me, i would know what that looks like; i've got quite the example of one of those at my house. not naming names or anything...). i'm going through the motions but refusing to let it mean anything.

this is exactly the opposite of what i am called to do as a Christian. Jesus, in luke 9:23-24, says, "'whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. for whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.'" when have i ever really denied myself? not often. and with a willing spirit at that? probably never. certainly not daily.

while God doesn't necessarily require me to eat only seven foods for a week, this exercise has most definitely revealed my unwillingness to deny myself as an act of obedience to God in many areas of my life. being abundantly blessed can apparently become a stumbling block to sacrificial obedience. and i think it has in my case. food for thought... (get it? ha ha)

three more days. 

Monday, January 19, 2015


for our small group we just started a new study. we are doing 7: an experimental mutiny against excess by jen hatmaker. the premise is to temporarily reduce the amount of excess we have in 7 areas of our lives: food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste, and stress. honestly, this is not a study i would've chosen on my own. it's not really my style. i can get on board with reducing my stress, but otherwise i want lots of food and clothes and i don't want to have to monitor my media time or spending or think about how much i waste in a given day, week, month or year. but i guess that's the beauty of a small group; everyone has a unique perspective, unique gifts, etc. and we are able to learn from one another. so, here goes 7.

jen hatmaker took one month to focus on each of the seven areas of excess. she challenges us to give each one a week. we just read chapter one, which is food. she chose seven foods and ate ONLY those seven foods (plus salt, pepper and moderate amounts of olive oil) for a whole month. her foods were apples, spinach, chicken, sweet potatoes, whole wheat bread, eggs and avocados. ok, i like those foods; this doesn't sound THAT bad. no spices, condiments, sauces, sweeteners. umm, ok bland, but still, it's only a week. no coffee. that's where i draw the line.

so, joe and i start tomorrow (tuesday, january 20th) with only 7 foods for one week. our foods are pretty much the same as jen hatmaker's, with a few minor modifications:

turkey (my idea is that we can have deli turkey, roasted turkey breast, and ground turkey)
whole wheat bread
peanut butter

also, for the safety of my family i have decided that i will have one cup of black coffee each morning. no lattes. no cream/sugar. so, basically, it sucks. but i fear for my children if i don't have it. so that's that.

since bennett literally lives on cheese, bread, peanut butter, popcorn, and applesauce, he is not doing 7. hunter will do 7 because the kid will eat anything we put in front of him and won't stop eating until we stop giving him food. a boy after my own heart.

joe is all "this won't even be hard" and "i think we should do this for longer than a week." i'm all "GIVE ME CHOCOLATE NOW!" and it hasn't even started yet.

my reluctance to do this experiment has definitely been convicting. as much as i joke about it, i like my comfortable life. i like that i can basically indulge any craving i have at any time. i never have to worry about where my next meal will come from. but the truth is, this isn't the case for the majority of the world. in the book, jen hatmaker talks about how if you make $35,000/year, you are in the top 4% of the wealthiest people in the world. if you make $50,000, you are in the top 1%. YIKES. i chronically take what i have for granted and focus so much energy on keeping up with the joneses. or, as dave ramsey puts it, spending money i don't have on things i don't need to impress people i don't like. yeah, that.

so, i'm praying that God uses this whole experiment to change my heart and help me to recognize my abundance and use the recognition as a catalyst to alter my perspective and behavior long-term. i need to get back to the true meaning of want versus need. the two have become practically synonymous.

but i will continue to maintain that coffee is a need. it just is.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 going on 2015.

2014 has been quite a year. i began my venture as a stay-at-home mom (and, in an effort to embrace SAHM-dom, started driving a minivan), we welcomed sweet hunter joseph into our family, joe achieved a huge milestone of becoming a million dollar rep for wright medical, we celebrated our fifth year of marriage, i lost 35 lbs since the end of june (and counting!), we potty trained bennett, i began a work-from-home job a few hours a week, and the list goes on.

it's also been a challenging year for us with trying to navigate the major life changes and manage the stress caused by long hours, sleepless nights, and a "spirited" two year old. though we undoubtedly argue and snap at one another far more often than i'd like to admit, we can be confident that we are both in it for the long haul. i'm thankful for a patient husband to both work through the difficulties and frustrations and celebrate the victories and joys with.

i'm definitely resolving to be a better wife this year, learning to hold my tongue 👅 and watch my tone 🙊

my other resolutions this year include using cash instead of credit, paying off debt, continuing to lose weight, keeping a cleaner house, and staying calmer with bennett. i know that's quite a laundry list of resolutions, but my goals are simply to be better this year than last. progress, not perfection.