Friday, September 28, 2012

7.1.3 Put a Sock in It

7 Experiment
1st Month
3rd Post
So long socks.  Those who know me well understand that this was harder for me than the clothes.  But half had to leave.  It's not an offering if it's not a sacrifice.

I sorted.  I thought.  I prayed.  Seriously, people.  This is sad.  I've had some of these socks since high school.  But I have finally done it.

If some of you are wondering at the sudden volume of posts, you'll have to forgive me.  Our computer was sick in the computer hospital for many moons.  I've had these posts in my head just waiting to be released into cyberland.

It seems this blog may have just turned into my journal.  Interesting.  I wonder what juicy confessions I'll be pouring out by the end of all this.

7.1.2 A Tale of Hangers

7 Experiment
1st Month
2nd Post


This is just some of the driving force behind my own 7 Experiment.  I have not researched the above quote from her book, but I am sure that is  true for most Americans.

How do I keep on spending money on clothes knowing this?  How do I not see the eyes of desperate mothers?  The empty bellies of starving children?

They haunt me when I think selfish thoughts like, "Oh, that's so cute.  You really deserve a new shirt."  I deserve it?  People deserve food.  I do not deserve enough shirts to clothe an army.

I got rid of half of my clothes.  Big deal.  I could go out and buy clothes to replace those anytime I feel like it.  Ugh.  Have I accomplished anything?

To battle this, I have set a governor, of sorts, for myself.  I got rid of all of my extra hangers.  And I will not be bringing new ones to my house.  When I buy any new clothes item, I have to give one away in it's place.

I am hoping this will work for me, because I really like all the clothes I have left.  Even the ones with holes in them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

7.1.1 Clothes

Previous 7 Post

7 Experiment
1st month
1st post

Recognizing clothing as an area of excess in my life: Rage against the hanger.

This verse hits me right between the eyes every time I read it.  Giving is easy for me.  Fun, even.  I get oddly disproportionate joy from giving anything away, much to the horror of my hoarder mother.

This is why I made clothing my first month.  I am a chicken who wanted to start out easy.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that for this to truly be a sacrifice, I would have to give deeply.

I began with counting all of my clothing.  162.  Before I counted, I was so proud about how little I felt clothing was a struggle of excess for me.  But 162?  I was shocked.  So for this first week of clothing, I decided to cut my clothing in half.

81 items of clothing to get rid of.  Easy peasy.  Right?   Well, the first 50ish were.
  • Bridesmaid's dresses - Why was I even keeping these?
  • Paint clothes - I never paint.
  • Clothes that don't fit - Why does anyone keep these?
  • Old costumes - Flapper girl, glow worm, train engineer
  • Out of style clothing - Um...more than I thought.
  • Clothes I can't remember the last time I wore - Tons.
  • Anything with holes - Even the shorts from Junior High.
  • One item with the price tag on it.  Wow.  Is that not the epitome of excess?
Then I got to the sacrifice part.  The uncomfortable part.  This is when I really started to give.  Before it was cleansing/cleaning.  After that, each item became increasingly difficult.  But this is a battle I willingly wage with myself.

And it is finally accomplished.  But to what end?  Where do I send these clothes?  How do I keep from ending up in this disturbing place of excess once again?  More to come.  Pray for me, people.

Next Post 7.1.2

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mutiny Against Excess

I have twenty-two books by my bed on the "waiting to be read" shelf.  So when a wise woman told me she was sending me this book in the mail, I had to force myself to be polite and not sigh.

Normally, I would just add it to the shelf (book death row).  I almost did.  But something, let's just call it the Holy Spirit, pushed me to read it.

This book is incredible.  Thank you, wise Kristel.

I wanted to try the 7 month experiment before I even finished reading the introduction.  My nights were spent elbowing my husband, "Patrick, listen to this."  "Oh, and listen to this."  The greatest part about being married is sleeping in the same bed as your best friend.  After this, perhaps my counter-part would not agree.

I was bubbly, people.  If you have been around me at all for the past two weeks, you have heard about this book.  I have read you quotes.  Attempted arm twisting to get you to buy it.  I even carried it around with me in my purse.

I never considered myself as materialistic.  And I was a rather smug bug about it.  This book was the kick in my privileged pants God saw I so desperately needed.

Sore bottomed, I had to make myself read the whole thing before I jumped in Hannah-style: head-first, all in, minimal forethought.  Now finished, I am trying this mutiny against excess. 

I rearranged the months because, well, I wanted to.  The things I do/give up are going to look a little different, but I think this is the point.  To make it personal.  To make it meaningful.  Here she blows:

September - Clothing
October - Waste
November - Possessions
December - Spending
January - Stress
February - Media
March - Food 

While looking at this I realized that Easter is on March 31st...the last day of my 7 experiment.  Seems fitting, if not intentional on God's part.  That God.  Always working for the good of those who love Him.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Youcef is free!

Oh my good gravy.  I am so excited I can hardly think what to type.  He is free.

So many prayers have been uttered.  Some of you have joined with us in daily prayers for Youcef.  And oh, God has answered.

Youcef did not recant!

In 2010, Iranian Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani was found guilty of apostasy.  Upon refusing to deny Christ, he was sentenced to death.  His past three years have been filled with appeals, trials, and threats.  Even his Iranian lawyer was arrested for the apparent crime of defending his client.

Due to prayers of the saints, Youcef was released on Saturday.  His charges were downgraded from apostasy to evangelizing Muslims.  His sentence: the three years of time already served.

Here he is being reunited with his sons.  My heart soars.  I can't stop looking at this picture.

His sons just wanting to be near him.  My momma heart breaks.

This Sunday he will spend with his church.  Oh what a worship service they will be having.

And someday.  Someday, we will meet in Heaven.  And I will be able to thank him.

To thank him for persevering.  For showing the world that this thing called Christ is worth dying for.

To thank him for waking this safe American girl up.  Persecution is not a thing of the past.  It is happening now more than ever.

My job is to pray.

Without ceasing.

For our brothers and sisters around the world to have a faith so strong and so real that they would be willing to do what Youcef has done.

And for myself.  That my faith would be this big.  Even now, oh Lord.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Back to Sunrise School

Well, our new year at Sunrise School is off and running.  We talk about our old friends quite often.  Tori, Ashlyn, Savanna, and Jaycee, we hope you are loving kindergarten.
The Lord has brought us new friends this year and they are precious.  Tori became an honorary cousin last year.  Laney has already started asking if she is a cousin, too.

Princesses and fairies often frequent Sunrise School.  But don't let the smiles and sparkles fool you.  These ladies are tough.  They can capture the meanest bad guys and slam their behinds in jail.  I wouldn't steal one of their dolls for all the glitter in Hobby Lobby.

Snappin green beans with my Sunrise peeps for lunch proves entertaining and useful.  I have found that if they help make it, they are much more inclined to partake in it.  But we do still have a few staunch meatatarians who cannot be swayed.  I must admire the strength of their will in the face of intense peer pressure.
Each day a new leader is chosen by the previous leader.  People, this is more nail-biting than the Oscars.  The children sit on the edge of their little criss-cross-applesauce seats in anticipation...some even praying that they will be chosen.

And who wouldn't?  The leader gets to pray at lunch, be first in line, put the new number up on the calendar.  Oh, the responsibilities are dizzying.

Perhaps the most coveted duty is that of sitting in the teacher chair and sharing with us the daily news.  It is so much fun to hear what little kids deem as newsworthy.

The first weeks of school I forced the kids to only say things that were true.  For some of us tall-tale-tellers, this was a near impossible feat.  Josiah sat in the leader chair and thought.  And thought.
"I pet a baby dragon!"
"No, Josiah.  It has to be something that really happened."
"I catched a baby sharp tooth!"
"Did that really happen?"
"Ummm....I caught a little perch?"
"Yes.  That is something that really happened.  Good job."
But now I feel like the Grinch who stole creativity!  He was so excited about his first two tries.  I will be that teacher no more.  NO MORE, I say.  The next blog will include uncensored news.  Things are about to get fun.