I mentioned before that I read the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker. I loved it. I love her. My husband calls me "the Jen Hatmaker of North Carolina." I don't know if he realizes how giant of a compliment that is for me. Someone once put two links up on their blog: one was to Jen Hatmaker's blog and one was to mine. I almost fell out of my chair at the thought of being linked next to her. I might have a problem. :)
For me, her book wasn't groundbreaking new ideas about faith and the church. It was confirmation of some things I've been struggling with for a long time. And, after much prayer and consideration, I've decided to do a similar 7 month fast!
Before you freak out and think I'm not eating for 7 months, let me explain:
Her book is about examining the excess in our lives, specifically how much excess she personally has in her life and whether, as a Christian, it is okay to live that way. She fasted from seven different areas of excess over seven months (one per month): food, clothing, media, possessions, waste, shopping, stress. And her book is like a journal, written in real-time as she goes through the fast.
A long time ago in my Sunday School class, we briefly visited the idea "is it a sin to have nice things?" Most of the consensus of the class was that it is not. Owning nice things, having nice houses is not a sin. I think I agree, but I also struggle with this. So much. I know we are supposed to enjoy this life; God doesn't call us to a life of misery. But I also know that we are to find our joy in the things that really matter; that we are supposed to care for those who have less. Is it a sin to have two nice coats in my closet? I don't know. But I know that there are people freezing to death while I have two nice coats in my closet. I know there are people starving while I throw away food that has gone bad in my fridge because we never got around to eating it. I know children go to bed every night with no parents to tuck them in while I still have an extra room in my house.
And that is not okay with me.
So for the next seven months, I'm going to fast from those same seven things, one per month. My life is full of a lot of junk and I am really excited about what God will do when I get rid of that junk and let him fill me up instead. And I have a "Council" of a few friends alongside me to keep me sane. Some of them are fasting along with me and I have their permission to share some of their experiences with y'all as well.
Our start date is May 20th. And we're starting with food. For one month, I'm only going to eat seven foods. Then we'll take a two week break for reflection/preparation for the next month and continue on to the next fast.
Coffee's not on my list of 7 foods... good gracious -what am I doing!?!?