Inspiration · Life Changes · Month 1 · Seven Experiment

This is for me. But I hope you’ll join in too.

This January I’m revisiting an adventure I first embarked on 3 years ago; essentially following in Jen Hatmaker’s footsteps, which she outlines in her book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. She explains it best:

I started praying about what God wanted; what would move me closer to His agenda and further from mine? How could this be meaningful, not just narcissistic and futile? What areas needed the most renovation? How am I blind and why? Where have I substituted The American Dream for God’s kingdom? What in my life, in the lives of most westerners, is just too stinking much?

  • Food
  • Clothes
  • Possessions
  • Media
  • Waste
  • Spending
  • Stress

Seven Months, seven areas, reduced to seven simple choices. I’m embarking on a journey of less. It’s time to purge the junk and pare down to what is necessary, what is noble. 7 will be an exercise in simplicity with one goal: to create space for God’s kingdom to break through. I approached this project in the spirit of a fast: an intentional reduction, a deliberate abstinence to summon God’s movement in my life. A fast creates margin for God to move.  {Taken from 7’s introduction}

Three years ago I adopted Jen’s approach and did my own little 7 experiment, tackling each area of excess for one month. You can read all about the start of it HERE, the first days of Month 1 {purging possessions} HERE, and follow along with subsequent posts from January – December 2014 if you want to see how things went for me.

You guys. Creating space is life changing. Space in your home, space in your closet, space in your finances, space in your calendar…. it changes you, because it essentially creates space {physically, mentally, emotionally} for God to move and bring you in the direction of his greater purpose for your life. It’s a purposeful choice, though, to change directions and focus rather than continue barreling through the days and weeks on our own agenda, completing our own tasks to move us towards our self-appointed goals in life.

Three years ago, after completing only the first month of experiments {possessions}, I felt PHYSICALLY lighter. Like a weight had been lifted off of me, simply by getting rid of STUFF. I can’t wait to do it again. So far, my intention this year is to tackle only possessions, but I may end up fasting from media again as well. Cutting back on Facebook is never a bad thing.

Want to join me? Starting January 1st, get rid of 7 items each day. Honestly, the first weeks are probably going to be ridiculously easy for most of us. Three years ago, in my initial adventure with purging possessions, I made it through a month of purging 7 items each day without breaking a sweat. But I understood the purpose of this experiment, so I extended the length of time I was focused on possessions to two months. And just a word of warning; don’t cheat yourself out of this experience by phoning it in. Be diligent. Be consistent. Be thorough. Be hard on yourself. Make tough decisions. If you read my blog posts from three years ago, you’ll see that I didn’t allow myself to coast through this by counting each article of clothing individually {which would have resulted in the first month of purging being focused solely on clothing, I’m sure} or by keeping items simply because I had the space to store them. Nobody needs two cake stands. I’m not the Pillsbury dough boy. I don’t even really bake. When it comes to possessions, allowing yourself to gloss over a hoard of stuff just because ‘you’ve always had it’ or ‘it’s not taking up much space’ is really defeating the purpose of this experiment.

The purpose isn’t just to get rid of stuff. It is to GIVE UP stuff. Stuff you may even love. To create space for something GOD loves and has in store for you.

john-3-30

I like starting with possessions, rather than one of the other 6 areas of excess noted in Jen’s book, because freeing up our hold on our earthly possessions is more about our mental and emotional priorities than it is about actual items in our homes. It’s about our focus, about our heart’s focus…. and I think it’s the hardest one for us to be truly honest with ourselves about, because everything in our home is ours. It’s for us. To make life easy or so we can feel good, feel like we’re enough when compared to our neighbor. I’m ready to kick comparison out of my life. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I’m so excited for you to join me on this adventure this month.

Less of me, more of him.

XOXO,

Ashley

 

 

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