Monday, March 26, 2012

What It Looks Like.

I finally finished reading the book "7: the experimental mutiny against excess."  After reading the book, I have taken some time to absorb what I've read to determine how I want to respond.  You see this book can be taken in several ways and my mind was having trouble deciding how it should go...

I had the same issues when reading "Crazy Love"  and "Radical."  What do you do with this enormous amount of information that defies your typical way of thinking, goes against all of society, and is ultra-challenging to your spiritual walk? 

These things I know...
1.  We adopted this little man.  Which for us was Radical. A child with special needs?  Age 2?  Living in Ukraine?  Costs approximately $25,000 to adopt him? 

Metcha Day-Oct. 19, 2011--My first chance to hold him.
2. It took a Crazy Love for Christ to abandon our comforts and make this move to add another baby to our family.  It took Crazy trust.  And somedays, I think it takes just plain CRAZY to do what we are doing!! :) 

3. But that's what is so amazing about this transformation that is taking place in our lives.  It is Radical. It is Crazy.  And it is revealing to us the "excess" in our lives, that all the sudden just doesn't seem so important.

Now back to my original point...reading about all the things that Jen Hatmaker removed from her life can lead one to want to do the same.  Live off of 7 foods for a month?  Sure.  Wear the same 7 articles of clothing for a month?  Sure.  Give 7 things away a day for a month?  Sure.

Rules.  Easy to follow.  What most people want.  But these rules can become very legalistic if we allow them too.  I wanted to decipher how I could apply what she learned and shared in the book about this mini experiment.  How she was changed.  But most importantly, how does this change play out in everyday life?

I am wrestling with acting impulsively to go and 'save the world' because of the energy I got from reading this book and the excitement I had in eliminating 'excess.'  I felt like a Junior High kid just home from church camp that carries his/her Bible to school everyday!  That kind of fire and excitement!  But I didn't want to be impulsive.  I didn't want to follow a bunch of rules, mindlessly. 

I wanted my transformations to be purposeful and Spirit-lead.  I decided to hit the Books to learn from the Master as to how it looks to live radically, with little, and to act in crazy love.  The Gospels.  I know it sounds cliche' but I wanted to know "What Would Jesus Do?"  How did He live?    

I realized a few things so far...and I have a lot to learn. 

But I have noticed that Mark observes and wrote that Jesus acted with compassion on people. It says He had compassion on them and as a result healed them. 
   My goal: Listen to the Holy Spirit's leading in making my heart have compassion for people or situations. 

I noticed that Jesus surrounded Himself with a close-knit group of men who encouraged Him, prayed with Him (when they weren't sleeping), and walked with Him.  Disciples. 
   My goal:  Be that type of "man" for my friends.  Encourage.  Pray.  Walk.

I noticed that Jesus was never tied to anything temporary, fleeting, or materialistic.  He was always available and sensitive to His Father's leading.  Ready and willing.
   My goal:  Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading.  Hear the still, small voice in everything.  This requires me to give up some things.  Facebook time.  Workout time.  Texting time.  Any 'excessive' fluff that pulls my heart away from time with God.  I'm also learning to pray constantly.  Intercession.  I want a child to be adopted because God put this little child on my heart and I was faithful to pray for his/her family.  I want a village to receive fresh water because I was burdened to pray based on a radio advertisement. I want my neighbors to know Jesus and if it means I pray for them daily. I will.  I want to move mountains in prayer!

I noticed that Christ prayed and thought over His actions.
   My goal:  Be more aware of how I spend my time and money.  Not make impulse purchases or buy things just because they are on sale.  No justifying things.  My question and prayer now is: Do I really need this?  As we have been home-ridden with Blake, the past 4 months, allowing him to adjust and overcome anxiety...we have saved so much money.  Unknowingly!  I had no idea until reading this book and experiencing this society-fast, how much we nickel and dime away on purchases while we are out and about.  Unneeded ones, I believe.  Obviously, we have gotten by just fine the past few months without those buys.

So that's my conclusion so far...I need to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading through living in a less 'noisy' world around me; by being ready and willing to serve, lead, and go; and by being prayerful in everything.  As to what this leads me to to what I become the legs of...I'll keep you informed.

So has consisted of us setting up a recycling area for our home.  :)  Small steps, small steps...


  1. I am half way through 7 and have also read the other two books.
    I hear you on so many levels. Still processing much of it. I loved reading what you're thinking about.

  2. Thank you thank you for writing this. I read so much about following God and listening to his voice. I can THINK and pray about it but I need to know what it looks like in action. How to live it in this world. It's hard to get folks to talk about that everyday living it. Thank you for doing this post.

  3. I have been inspired by 7 and enjoyed your post. It has led my family to start really CLEANING OUT our house and giving away things we do not use or need. Last weekend I needed to buy some new clothes for my baby and toddler. I took my older son along who is 9. As we were driving home I was thinking about a little boy on Reeces Rainbow who my mind always drifts back to -- he is "older" (5 years old) so he continues to wait for a family. I thought, "Why shouldn't X have nice things like my children, like my 9 year old gets? Who is buying him a new outfit for Easter (i.e., nobody)." My shopping isn't mindless now --- I'm more conscious and thinking about the RR kids and sharing our overabundance. I went home and decided I'm going to "adopt" X mentally. When my kids get something, he gets a donation. So, I mailed off a large check to his account. We are selling our house and moving to a nicer one. I want to get the courage to donate all the proceeds from this house to charity. We could do it. We really could. We could start over and it wouldn't really even be a burden. But are we brave enough to make that leap? And am I brave enough to suggest it to my husband? Time will tell.
    Keep your posts coming. I love them.