"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"7"

I started out the year reading two books.  I read "Kisses from Katie" by Katie Davis. Which is an AMAZING book and will change your perspective and rock your world.  One of her blog post back in 2009 was what made me finally say "YES" to adoption.  If you don't feel convicted to MOVE after you read this book, then I am not sure what will.  The next book I read is "7: An experimental Mutiny against excess." by Jen Hatmaker.  I LOVE Jen Hatmaker.  I had read several of her devotional books over the years and last year I realized she was adopting from Ethiopia through our same agency.  Made me Love her even more.  This book was hard to digest.  This is the summary I got from her website "7 is the true story of how Jen took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence."  After reading "Kisses from Katie" I was already struggling with where I needed to go and what I needed to do.  I felt God wanted more from me.  I felt he needed me to let go of more things.  Then God revealed this to me.  I struggle with envy.  I always want things I can't have.  I want a bigger and better house.  We work hard, we deserve one, right? I want better and nicer clothes. I want, I want, I want..me me me!!!  I accumulate stuff, more and more stuff.  I HATE this about me.  I Despise this sin that tries to devour me.  maybe I am being too RAW here, but it is what it is!  In reading "Kisses from Katie", my desires were to see things from a different perspective, see things from the eyes of our savior.  See things from an eternal perspective and not a worldly one.  I want to look at what I do have and not at what I don't have.

So, here we go with my first month of "7".  The place I struggle with the most is clothing.  I walk into my closet DAILY and grumble.  I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!!!!!!!!  We are not big spenders and live on a pretty tight budget so you won't find me overindulging in buying clothes.  We just can't do it.  The problem lies with being satisfied right where I am and recognizing that I am blessed and that A LOT of people in this world have NOTHING to wear (possibly even my daughter right now).  But, I look at others around me and see what they are wearing.  I can't keep up, I can't look as cute as her or have what she has.  So not what God wants me to see.  Soooo....here we go.  I had to choose 7 items of clothing to wear for the entire month and that is it.  That is including shoes.  It is March in Texas, so the weather is unpredictable.  It could be freezing cold or blazing hot.  You never know. So, I chose a long sleeve shirt, a 3/4 sleeve shirt and a short sleeved shirt (all orphan or africa tees). Then I chose a pair of jeans, a jean skirt and a black cotton dress.  Then the shoes, oh the shoes.  Such a hard decision.  Boots, flip flops, sandles, UGGS, tennis shoes???  I went with my tall brown boots.  Just the fact that I am having such a hard time deciding which shoes to wear shows you where my heart is and that I do live in excess.
The first week was cold and rainy and I was freezing cold in just my long-sleeve shirt.  I almost cheated and grabbed a coat.  God would want me to be warm, right??  But, I didn't.  I stuck to it.  I was thankful that at least I had a long-sleeve shirt.  Then, I had to go to a wedding shower for a previous youth of ours and I was going to see lots and lots of people that I hadn't see in years. They were all going to look nice and I was going to show up in my black cotton dress (that could also double as a swim suit cover up) and my brown boots.  LOVELY!!!  I guess I could've shown up in my orphan 't' attire.  This was WAY harder than I thought it would be.  WAY!!!  The 2nd week was warm and it was great.  I found it funny at times that I was wearing 5 of my 7 items at one time.  Week 3, Texas was getting HOT.  Abnormally HOT for this time of year.  It was spring break and we had lots of park playdates.  Basically, I could wear my short-sleeved shirt, my jean skirt, and my black dress.  Oh and let's not forget the boots.  I was beginning to despise my boots.  I was beginning to long for ALL of the wonderful things in my closet that were previously NOTHINGS.  Instead of "i have nothing to wear" i was thinking "i have so many things I could be wearing today"  (like flip-flops).  Wow, I guess it is working.  The hardest days were when I accidently washed all of my items at the same time or when I had the soap suds disaster and my boots were completely covered in soap suds.  Or when it was extremely windy and I had on the cotton black dress that kept blowing up in the wind and running around at the park with my 2 year old in my brown boots.  By week 4, I was done.  DONE!!  I wore the same shirt every single day because it was cooler than the rest.  I smelled like dirty clothes because they were dirty!  Only a few friends knew about this "fast" and so the rest of you probably thought I had gone nuts and forgot to wash my clothes.  My sister finally asked my why I was wearing boots in the heat of the spring.  She said it was too hot for boots.  Believe me....I know!!

That was so much harder than I thought it would be and it changed me.  I woke up today refreshed.  I recognize how blessed I truly am and that 7 items of clothing kept me warm and dry and my brown boots kept my feet warm and dry.  Why do I need more than that?  The point is that I don't.  Why have I not been satisfied with what I have and always wanting more?  Because my eyes were not focused on the eternal.  They were focused on things that are flammable.  I am now more focused on god's provision than focused on what I do not have.  I am blessed.  I have a beautiful home and although by American standards it is tiny,   by the rest of the world, it is a mansion.  I have shelter (period). I have clothes (period).  I have an excess of clothes.  I am blessed.  I have a wonderful husband and three wonderful boys and one little girl on the way.  I am blessed.  Now, the kicker here is that I am human, and I will stumble again and will have to refocus again.  I am so thankful that God's mercies are new every single morning.  His grace is sufficient. 

The sermon today was on John 12 and the verse that goes perfect here is vs 25 "The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."  I need to live the "risen life".  Live for eternity and not build up things on this Earth that mean NOTHING!!

1 Timothy 6:6-8 "But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Matthew 6:19

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a great post and I appreciate your honesty! Love what you are learning and teaching the next generation! love ya, sandi