I've been doing a lot of things lately with the potential to throw me under the guilt bus. Writing a sermon this week on “The Gospel for the Weak.” Reading Jen Hatmaker's Interrupted. Re-reading her book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. Seeing Baltimore. Can't really write this sermon without walking through Baltimore. Mentally. Going through all my summer clothes and realizing how many I have. Just after posting on Facebook that I have no summer clothes that fit and no money to buy any more. Both lies.
Now before you lecture me on the finer points of why we should not feel guilty (or why we should), please note that I have finally developed a pretty good sense of when guilt is from Satan and when it's conviction from God. I know the former is about as necessary to my life as putting tapioca pudding in the gas tank would be necessary for my car.
|Yes, storms can be a little crazy.|
But holy conviction is good. It's painful as heck, but it's good. At first, you feel constricted and buffeted, like a tornado is approaching, and you can feel the vacuum created before the storm. But then, giving in to the wind, you get lifted on it and taken to new places. Good places you didn't imagine gong before and aren't sure you would have gone on your own. Holy conviction is emancipating.
And that's what I'm feeling.
All this to say, my middle daughter and I have decided to go through the book 7 again. We did it as a family a few years ago. The premise of the book is that our lives are too full. Packed full. Full of things we don't need that suck the life out of us, not to mention the compassion. So sometimes, we need to take stock of those things and jettison large portions of them, at least for a time. One hopes, it becomes a way of life.
The seven things we're going to, once again, narrow down in an attempt to focus our lives on . . . on what? Just having less? No, that would not be sustainable as a motivation. On feeling the “enoughness” of God. On growing closer to knowing His heart by cutting out the things that distract us from it. Things that we amass all around us that we don't realize are choking our spirits.
Because they feel so good.
I want to know, not just esoterically believe, that God is enough. [tweet this]. Then, I want to let that hurricane wind blow me wherever it will in its holy conviction about what I own, or what owns me. About how I spend my time and money, or how it spends me. Sometimes, I am tired of being spent. [tweet this].
Join me in going wherever the wind blows? I'm so ready.
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound.” (John 3.8)
This month, we're eating only seven things. That's correct. Seven things. For me, it's chicken, fish, eggs, tomatoes, bananas, rice, and strawberries. Limiting? Yes. But for a girl who hates cooking? Well, there are some perks there. We'll talk about it more.
Already, though, there is freedom. Shopping? A breeze. Cooking? No time at all. Focus on things other than how much food we have, how to use it up before it goes bad, what we “need” from the grocery store, and what to make that is at all interesting when I have about as much interest in cooking as I do in body piercing? None. No need to expend any energy on food. At. All. I love it. What are we learning? How are we changing? Stay tuned.
You can read about the experiment in more depth here.
You can even purchase the book 7 here. Then, let's keep each other on track with encouragement and talk about what we're learning. At least, this month, I'm learning to cook chicken and eggs. A lot. (And asking myself the question--are they really the same thing? So, should they only count as one thing? This is important wrestling, people.)