Oh - a 7 update has been on my mind. Finally - I'm updating! :)
I recently finished the book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.
Seriously, read the book.
We're committing September through March to "doing" 7 - our way.
For the month of September, our family focused on Chapter 1 - Food.
How we "did" Food:
:: We gave up eating out, drive thru, etc.
:: I shared lots of food with friends, neighbors and other random people.
:: I spent the entire month buried in harvesting, preserving and cooking from our garden.
:: I revisited our food budget, withdrew cash and was on a strict food budget for the month.
Things that surprised me:
:: Not eating out was a lot harder than I expected. It really felt like a fast, sacrifice and a true luxury we take for granted.
:: The kids were totally aware and on board with the fast.
:: We slipped a few times. We all shared 1 whole wheat hot pretzel at a fair. Towards the end of September, we went out to breakfast (After camping in 37 degrees! Somehow, I felt that we deserved it.) On September 28, I ate a burrito from Moe's the night before I ran a 4 mile race - again, somehow I felt that I deserved it. :) And, it was my celebratory weekend - October 1 was on Monday!
:: There were several occasions when I had an abundance of food, and I spontaneously shared it with others - in need. I know that was not an accident.
:: I prayed for God to show me and lead me to who needed food. I felt that He did that.
:: We gave food to the homeless (on street corners) which we don't ever do.
:: I LOVE using cash for our food budget!
I'm not going to lie - We went out to dinner on October 1st - 1/2 price pizza night at Black Dog Pub! :)
I have committed October to Chapter 2 - Clothing.
Our plan for Clothing:
:: Count the number of clothing items we own.
:: Declutter everyone's clothes.
:: Pray for who to give the excess.
I feel that we do a pretty good job with decluttering our clothing and getting it down into storage ready to sell at our next garage sale. But, you know - it's going to be different this time around. They will be GIVEN away to others who need them. The girls' clothes are going to a family that has been referred to me. My clothes are going to a local women's shelter. Josh and Ian's clothes are still up for grabs. We'll be praying about that!
I love committing a month to focus on specific areas. It's allowed me to simplify even more - and simplify for the good of others, not just for my family and ME.
There's only 7 days left in October. Would you spend the next 7 days praying for me? Pray that our clothes are given away to those who need them. Bring these people and places to our minds. Help us all to part with our excess. May we only want what we truly need. Our children are incredible when it comes to giving - may they continue to embrace the process.