Saturday, March 31, 2012

Love you some guinea pig!

Seabrook's famous Tookies on Hwy 146

Okay, I think I've got this 7 thing figured out . . . ya'll are wanting Ann and me to be the guinea pigs swine piglets ALRIGHT!--GUINEA PIGS (I just can't think of an cuter word replacement) on this thing.  If we survive, ya'll just might try it, right?  Yeah, I thought so.  Well, I, for one --can't speak for Ann today--am happy to be your guinea pig.  (Guinea piggy?--now, that's kinda cute, isn't it?)

Happy, but truth be told, a little scared, too.  Okay, a LOT scared. You know that Month 1 is the fast from excess food.  That may not have been the biggest deal for Jen Hatmaker (author of 7), but for moi, well, let's just say that there's a reason I was trying to come up with something cuter than pig.  (Although, now that I think about it, a pig does weigh less than a hog . . . yep, let's go with pig.  I can be happy with that.)

I am a voluptuous woman (try looking up the word zofitg), and I didn't get this way by eating healthy whole-grains, salads, and lean meats all my life.  No, I did the old fashioned way--I ate like a . . . well, you know.  

I've struggled with gluttony all of my life (even when I was thin--like a 100 years ago--so this is a rEEEEally  old  problem), and to say that the food thing is going to be a challenge is probably the understatement of the year.  (The decade.  Maybe the millenium. )  Yes, I do love me some groceries.  And restaurants.  And . . . well, yeah, I love it ALL.

I know I haven't posted on a regular basis so far this year (and, yes, I know, even much last year), but I do plan to use this blog as my 7 journal, so I can vent when I think I'm losing my mind share my spiritual insights with you as you check on my progress with this experimental "mutiny against excess" (good ol' Jen) throughout the next seven months.

Here's what I decided about my food choices.  (Jen chose seven foods, but, remember, she stresses that hers don't have to be ours--her book isn't meant to provide a legalistic template. I'm pretty much going the way of Bible Dude, who started his 7 project last month.)  My menu for the month will consist of the following:

       BREAKFAST:     Eggs and toast
     LUNCH:            Beans and brown rice, a small portion of fruit
     DINNER:              Small portion of plain meat and a vegetable

And since I start this project tomorrow, I'm off now to meet my just-returned-from-Senegal sister-friend for a hamburger and onion rings at Tookies.  (I shall refrain from calling it the Last Supper.)

Grins and fear excitement!

Friday, March 30, 2012


This post was supposed to show up here a couple of weeks ago, but somehow in one of my goofier, unfocused moments (shocked, aren't you), I posted it to my other blog (the place where I share my obsession with much less important topics like arranging my thrift-store plates to perfection on my foyer wall and finding the perfect leather recliner for cheap off Craigslist).  

So sorry for the delay! 

About two weeks ago I wrote:

Has anybody else out there ever looked around at all the activity and stuff that we crowd our lives with--including inside the church walls--and thought, "there's gotta be more to this following-Jesus life than just entertaining and blessing ourselves and working so hard to appear spiritual"?  Jen Hatmaker asked the same thing, came up with an experiment aimed at rebelling against, and repenting of, all of that excess, and then she wrote about it. The result is an incredible little book called 7: An experimental mutiny against excess

Here's a response from one real-live, regular-person reader and Amazon customer Christine Hoover: 

You must read this book! Here's what it's about: Jen (the author) did an experiment in which each month for 7 months, she and sometimes her entire family fasted in an area she felt they were excessive in: media, stress, possessions, shopping, food, clothes, and waste. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that sounds all preachy and super-spiritual and hard and you don't want to read it. Thankfully, it's the complete opposite. It is laugh-out-loud hilarious, totally real-life, 100% empowering, and 0% guilt-inducing.

You must go immediately to purchase this book and devour it whole. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Do not stop to brush your teeth or feed your children. While you're out, buy Depends to wear because you will pee yourself while reading from laughing so hard.

Some other suggestions of how to read this book:
1) Keep a handy while you're reading to write down notes and thoughts because ideas and action points will come to you like nobody's business.  2) Do not read this book right before you go to bed because you will not be able to sleep due to the millions of thoughts running around in your brain.

Read this book with your girlfriends!

Well, [this is Pamm back], that's exactly what Ann Hutchison and I are proposing--reading the book and then, with a group of friends, accepting the 7 Challenge. (We're calling ourselves "7-Sisters"--not seven, like the number--7 like the book title.)  No one has to do the project exactly the way Jen did it--she, herself, stresses that she didn't write the book to be used as a template but as more of a catalyst, "a fast: an intentional reduction, a deliberate abstinence to summon God's movement in my life" (Jen). 

The point is to do the challenge in some way that will ultimately result in a lifestyle that focuses on those things that Jesus taught that so many of us American Jesus-followers ignore in favor of maintaining our comfort zones--things like loving our neighbors as much as we love ourselves (and remember those Jesus pointed out as our neighbors? Not just those who look like us, smell like us, and vote like us. Ouch.) . . . things like taking care of orphans and widows (the ignored, the divorced, the disenfranchised), speaking for those who have no voice, seeking justice for the oppressed, feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, visiting those in prison . . . 

Ann and I have already read the book, and, yeah, it's hilarious in parts (reading Jen is, on some pages, like listening to your "funnest," oldest bff catch you up on her life over a cup of coffee with French vanilla creamer and chocolate bon-bons), but just when you're about to snort said coffee out your nostrils, she zings you.  With scripture, no less. It's not for the faint of heart, peeps. 

But it's what this heart needed to hear. And it's the kind of truth that I can't just hear and then walk away from. I have to respond in some way.  Ann felt the same way; she felt compelled to do something  (although she did say that when she finished the book, she didn't know whether to thank me or to hurt me for recommending it).

Precisely because it's not for the faint of heart, Ann and I decided to partner-up to do our own 7 project. We'll each tweek Jen's ideas to fit into our individual lives (as I said, something Jen encourages), but we WILL follow her pattern for the seven monthly focuses--Month 1, food; Month 2, clothing; etc.--until we've completed each of the seven monthly focuses.  

We plan on starting April 1 (no, it's not a joke), almost two weeks away--plenty of time for some of you brave souls out there to get the book, read it, and then pray about joining us on this adventure. (Ann devoured the book in two days.)  [EEKS!  In now-real time, the project for Ann and me starts in two DAYS--on this Sunday--not two WEEKS!  But if you decided to join us, jump in at ANY time 'cause no matter where you are, we'll be glad to encourage you and hear your thoughts.]

If you do read the book, we'd LOVE to hear from you, whether you feel led to join us in the project or to just cheer us on.  Regardless of what you chose to do, we welcome your comments, your insight, your questions. and suggestions. But at least read the book (and then, you, too, can thank me or fantacize about hurting me).  I don't believe you will ever think the same way again. About anything.  

Go on. Read it. I double-dog dare you.  And then share.  SHARE! (Seriously, I really do want to hear your thoughts.)



PS  Ann and I figured that if we start in April, we will complete the final month in October, just before the holiday season begins. Would you believe that the last month calls for a fast from             S-T-R-E-S-S? Yeah, I think that's pretty much what I would call ordained.