Thursday, March 22, 2012


We're up to discussion chapter 3 of Jen Hatmaker's book, 7.Check out our discussions with Marla on Chapter 3: Possessions.

This was probably on of my favorite chapters....I loved it...I hated it. You see, this particular topic is something God has been doing some corrective love in my heart about for a few years. Years! (I am comforted at times that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years)

To be totally honest, in our past, my husband and I were really too busy and mostly too lazy to keep up with our stuff the way we should have. We were both working two jobs, we never saw each other and we didn't enjoy much of life. So, what does this have to do with possessions? Our home became last place. We didn't put much effort, time or care into it. Then God started to do stuff.

God did some big stuff. He showed up in ways that are undeniable. The result: we had to really grow up. We made some tough decisions. We had to pack up all our stuff in about 24 hours. It was at this point we were faced with what we had been doing (or...ahem..not doing) in our home. I was overwhelmed with the volume of things that we had collected and the layer of dust and cat hair that had settled upon it. God worked in us and showed us as we sorted and cleaned. We recognized that our lifestyle was keeping us from living out our calling. We saw that by not taking care of what we had we couldn't open our home to others or be available to to be used by Him in the ways we knew he had called us.

So as quickly as we could we purged and sorted. We donated, pitched and gifted. We moved across the country and God gave us an amazing gift. We restarted. His mercies are new and we had a chance to do things differently.

As I've mentioned before, we are on our way to adoption. A new opportunity from God to clear out the unnecessary to make way for His blessing. We have dug deeper through the boxes that remained unpacked for a few years. All the boxes are gone! The stuff that was in the way of people is mostly gone...(we are still in debate over a box or two of VHS tapes...I mean really, we don't even OWN a VCR!!).

This chapter about possessions tied in deeply with much of what happens in chapter 7 Stress. We were too busy to enjoy/take care of what we had. We were too busy because we had to be in order to keep the stuff we had. Crazy, right??

We have been blessed beyond measure since our heart change. We have been able to live out our dream of having people in our home to meet to live out Jesus. We can have college kids come do their laundry with out quarters....and a maybe a meal that doesn't involve ramen.

This heart change has flamed great conversations about how we would like to train up our child(ren) in regard to possessions.

The pain we inflected on ourselves because of our disobedience, our mistrust, our hard-hearted-ness.
God's transforming has been more than worth it.

Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for new mercies and second chances!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


     I wasn't sure how this chapter would impact me. The general challenge of this chapter was to examine the excess clothing that soaks up so much of our resources. Jen limited herself to 7 articles of clothing (not including undergarments) for an entire month.
      I'm in no way a "fashionista." I appreciate those who can pull together an outfit that represents their personalities. I'm not really one of those people. I also know that being "plus size" limits my ability to find clothes that are affordable AND fashionable....and addressing the "plus size" is part of what God has worked on in me over the last year or so. But, THAT is another story....I'm sure more of that will come up later.
     Despite not being driven by clothing options I did get some worth while things from this chapter. I still have far more clothing options then I need and certainly have clothes that I don't/can't/won't wear. My pledge is to do the purge!

     Jen writes: “As I gaze upon their hopelessness [the families of her Ethiopian children], I imagine them calculating what I’ve spent on clothing alone, realizing that same amount would’ve kept their family fed and healthy for thirty years.” I've been thinking about this a lot. I recognize that I am blessed so that I may in turn bless others. How horrifying it is to me that it my unnecessarily extravagant living could be used to help others live. I believe that God does immeasurably more in our lives...and the purpose of that is to bring Him glory by blessing others.
     I can choose to adjust my budget so that I can provide relief to someone else. I can choose to be responsible in my clothing choices so that those involved in the process are being treated with dignity.

My goals in this area:
-purge the closets
-buy from socially responsible suppliers
-use what we have before buying new (I see a trend....)

Friday, March 9, 2012


I am a little late on the discussion this week. We've had some big happenings going on at our house. I'm sure I'll blog more about the process soon but we're officially finishing up our home study for domestic adoption.

This was a great chapter to kick things off. I have been, over the last two years, been trying to work on this area of my life. We believe that it is best for us (nutritionally, financially) and our community to buy locally. We like the idea of knowing where are food is grown/raised and the name of people doing the work. We bought our beef directly and we bought into a CSA (community supported agriculture). I highly recommend it! Our CSA is open for us to be part of the fun. There are lots of varieties of CSA arrangements.

So, we addressed the buy local area that we felt God was calling us to. I've felt that there was more. There is the obvious to those who know me in real life that I'm overweight so I know that there is a food issue. I've been working with my doctor to get healthier....and all my numbers in every indicator of health are really improving! I'm trying to keep up the work. Make wise choices. Stop being lazy...which is hard because eating out is so much more fun and easy.

My new goals:
-Use what we have first.
-Shop every 2 weeks.
-Stick to the meal plan.

I've been praying:
O, God,
      We've wasted
             We've complained
                   We've grumbled
      We've misused our resources
      We've confused
              our needs
                    with our wants.
For these sins,
      Father forgive us.
Help us
      reset our priorities
            according to Your will.


-Norma Johnson (Lobatse, Botswana) 
(I found this in the More-With-Less Cookbook by Doris Janzin Longacre)