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Have you ever read a book and when you were done you put it down and thought, wow, that totally just wrecked my life! Well that just happened to me! Recently my friend Michelle Clark wrote a post, One of those Christians, about her journey of reading and fasting through the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker. After hearing all that she learned from this book and how highly she talked about it I decided I should check it out. All that I have to say is WOW! I finished the book in a week and realized this was one of those life changing books! We all have our share of clutter, excess and stress. Boy does this book really make you take a look at these areas and realize that you can do something about it. I knew when I put the book down that there was no way I would be able to simply read this book and just walk away, l was inspired! I decided to take Jen’s book to heart and follow in her example. I am on a seven month journey to seek simplicity, growth and change. I call it Searching for Simplicity.

Jen’s book focused on seven areas of excess. She picked one area of focus a month and then fasted from seven things in that area. Her seven focuses were food, clothing, waste, media, possessions, spending and stress. So as of November 1st I started month one of the seven month-long fast. Which area did I pick to focus on first? Clothing. Why is it that I have a closet full of clothes and there are mornings where I will complain of nothing to wear? Why is it that I can pick out a shirt only to change saying that I wore it recently, assuming that people truly pay that much attention to my clothes. How often can I so easily walk by a shirt in a store and see that it is on sale for only $5 and think, oh, that’s a good price, and it’s cute! I can honestly say that sometimes I will walk away without buying and other times I find the deal just good enough to buy, as if I need anymore shirts. The sad thing is how many items of clothing I keep in my closet for the “just in case.” I’m sure you know what I am talking about, it’s that shirt that you wore only once or twice but maybe if you find the right pair of pants you’ll wear it again. Or, that pair of jeans that doesn’t really fit right anymore but you stash it away in case you find yourself able to wear them. The kicker are the shirts that I have and I know have been in my closest unworn for more than year, why am I still keeping these?! 

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My seven articles of clothing

Thus begins month one of seven. In doing this clothing fast this means that I can only pick seven articles of clothing to wear for the next four weeks, SEVEN! This was not easy! That means seven articles to wear for the next four weeks, whether I’m awake, asleep, out and about or at home… SEVEN, that’s it! I have picked my articles, and yes I have swapped and switched a couple of times until the final decision was made. So here it is people, my seven articles of clothing that you will see me wear time and time again this November:

  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of sweatpants
  • Green LifeChurch.tv Financial Operations t-shirt
  • Grey blouse
  • Orange t-shirt
  • Pink long sleeve shirt
  • Multi-color cardigan

Here is what I am not counting against my seven articles. Shoes, I have picked two pairs of shoes to wear during this month, a pair of Vans and a pair of winter boots. Also, undergarments are excluded from this number because that’s just an essential. The last and final item that I do not count is a coat. Jen did not wear a coat, however I am making this exception in regards to my Lupus. One of my struggles I have is my fingers turning white and numb when I am cold and the doctor told me it is important to keep my core warm to help with this issue. So, I tossed in a cardigan to wear for the chilly days but if it gets cold I will wear a coat while outside. I have approved this with the “council” which is my two friends who are like accountability partners during this journey, which Jen also had. I don’t think that a coat on a small occasion will keep me from growing, but also I will only be using the coat if I honestly need it.

So yes, you will be seeing me repeat my outfits on a pretty regular basis this month. And yes, I will probably be more aware of how often I wear a shirt than everybody else. But, I am excited to hear all that God has to teach me during these next seven months. Sometimes the greatest lessons happen during those moments when we are the most uncomfortable, and that is what I intend to do during my search for simplicity!

It’s Friday and what a wonderful Friday it has been. This was a busy week and I had to remind myself that I can’t let the busy moments of life keep me from spending time with God and worshiping Him. Those times when life seems to be flying by are the most important to stop and make sure our focus is centered on God. So today take a moment, recharge yourself and worship our God with these worship verses.

“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.” Psalm 96:1 (NIV)  

“Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.” Psalm 96:9 (NIV)

“Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy.” Psalm 99:5 (NIV) 

Photo Credit: Steve Snodgrass

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

With this year coming to an end and the new year right around the corner a lot of people are thinking about new year resolutions. I myself don’t have any this year. The reason for that is a few months ago I made a 30 before 30 list and a lot of the things that are on there would have been things that I would have used as a new year’s resolution. Instead I will just continue to work on my list and cross things off one by one. The item on my list that comes to mind for a new year’s resolution is reading the Bible all the way through. I have heard many resolutions to spend more time in the Bible and more time with God daily. I agree with those resolutions, in fact those are great ones for every Christian to have each year. I have been finishing up a devotional plan from Youversion and come January 1st I plan to open up to Genesis and start my journey reading through the Bible. I don’t know how long it will take me, I don’t have a certain timeline in place for when I want to be done. I plan to just enjoy God’s word and see what He has to show me as I read His word all the way through. I look forward to my “resolution.” Do you have one?

Photo Credit: Ian Bailey-Mortimer

Purpose: Having It All

October 26, 2011 — Leave a comment

We all want to be supermom. For some that might be staying home and for others it might be working out of the home. Either way we have lots to juggle to make sure that our day-to-day lives run smoothly. This video is of Christine Caine, founder and director of the A21 campaign, where she is talking about women wanting it all and how we do that successfully as Christian women.

 

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31a (NIV) 

While searching for a song for todays post my husband suggested this band. I hadn’t heard them before but really enjoyed them once I listened to a few songs. This song talks about the “beautiful things” God has made. I love in the chorus when it talks about God making beautiful things from the dust. It really is amazing to think about God being able to make us from dust! The chorus goes on to talk about the beautiful things He makes out of us. Our God is truly incredible, we will never completely comprehend His power. But, one thing we can do is look at all of the beauty in His creation and worship Him!

Beautiful Things by Gungor 

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new
You are making me new