Think “Fast”

The sand was warm underfoot. The water flowed gently, the current making a gentle swishing sound. Puppy Justus was exploring, sniffing, digging and splashing. I was reading the first chapter of a book out loud to my husband.

It’s amazing how simple, serene moments can change your life so quickly.

My beloved and I were enjoying a sliver of time last Saturday, relaxing in our mushroom chairs on the pseudo “beach” area near a small river on Fort Benning. I had recently gotten a copy of Jen Hatmaker’s book 7: An Experimental Mutiny against Excess. The general premise of the book deals with the fact that we live in a society obsessed with stuff. The book documents Jen’s month-by-month experiment to eliminate the “junk” in life. Each month, the author chose a different area of her life to focus on.  Month #1? Food.

For 30 days, Jen ate only 7 different types of food. I was intrigued by this book right away, mainly because there has been quite a buzz in the writing community– plus we all already know how magnetic the number 7 has become to this ministry.

Wanna join the party? Click the image to get yourself a copy of this remarkable book!

As I finished reading the first chapter out loud to Brandon on the “beach,” he turned to me and said: “Ok, wife. I say chicken, eggs, bread…”

Wait. WHAT? I was floored. If I wasn’t sitting down, I certainly would have fallen over. My husband actually wanted to DO this?!? I mean, I had considered briefly and sort of pitched it to him a couple of weeks ago, but he looked at me like I was crazy.  I continued to pray about it, the whole idea weighing on my heart… But when he started naming and numbering foods indicating that he wanted to participate, I couldn’t help but be shocked. (The book was very convincing. Thanks, Jen.)

Oh. Plus he’s a man. An army man at that. Food is in his top 3 most important needs. Seriously.

So yes. My beloved and I started the first month of this “experiment” yesterday. It has already opened my eyes to just HOW MANY food choices we really do have and our fingertips and can easily afford. Honestly, its kind of blowing my mind. (If you want more info, get a copy of the book. It will change your life. Or at least your perspective.)

From June 4th to July 4th, my husband is only permitting himself to eat chicken, eggs, bread, beef, apples, peanut butter and potatoes. My menu choices are similar: chicken, eggs, bread, apples, sweet potatoes, avocado and spinach.

That’s it. We are only permitted to season with salt, pepper, olive oil and use cooking spray.

This is gonna get crazy, folks. I’ve barely started and am already seeking God more deeply than I could imagine. (Not to mention rejoicing at the free time of trying to decide what to cook for supper– chicken or… chicken?)

I am so excited (ok, and really nervous) at the potential spiritual growth that will result. Challenging but worth it. Oh, and let ‘s not forget how kind this will be to our time and budget. (I am anticipating some productive physical changes too.) I will be periodically keeping you all updated as we go.

Yes, there are a few things I already miss. Cheese. Diet Dr. Pepper. Chocolate. Salsa. My beloved protein bars. But I am so grateful that I still have PLENTY of food in my fridge, even if it is in “limited” varieties.

Brandon and I would appreciate your prayers as we work through this experience the next month or so. My sweet mother-in-love has joined us on this journey and if you feel so led, pick up a copy of Jen’s book and come with us as we seek the Lord.

Have you ever fasted before? What was it like? What do you think about our quest? Wanna join in? Leave a comment below!

To paraphrase Jen: “Jesus, may there be less of us and our junk and more of You and Your Kingdom.” 

It’s scary. It’s awesome. It’s hunger-inducing. But we are grateful for this opportunity to think “fast.”

Is-it-just-me-or-is-it-hungry-in-here,
SGK

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.” –Matthew 5:6 (MSG) 

Categories: adventure, attitude, challenge, changes, Christ, food, gratitude | Tags: , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “Think “Fast”

  1. Good morning. I’m here via OYHT. I was immediately fascinated by your title. This post is also interesting. I look forward to reading more!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Teresa. I appreciate it! We are excited to see where the Lord leads us. (Side note: This is probably in the top 5 most radical things we have done for Jesus yet. This could get interesting.)

  2. Although I can appreciate the premise of this book, limiting your food in this way will eventually lead to health issues. Especially given your husband’s calling as a soldier and your own athletic goals. What I am thinking is that it may speak to your faith to limit your food to locally grown, fair trade, and/or organic. Locally grown speaks to the community, fair trade speaks to social justice, and organic speaks to environmental issues , all provide valuable refelctions on Jesus’s social gospel. Just a thought Sharita.

    • I appreciate your suggestions s for long term life-style changes that demonstrate sincere concern for the body and the planet, but the suggestions here are for the short term and reflect careful and prayerful consideration and direction. God calls his people to fast, and while it may not make sense from the world’s perspective, to do anything less would be disobedience. I see this endeavor as one most worthy of our prayerful support.

      • Thank you Tina! My words exactly 🙂

        And Lori-Ann… Thanks for your comment and I appreciate your concerns– but as Tina said, your suggestions reflect more of a personal lifestyle change as opposed to limiting food choices for a very short season. I can assure you that my husband and I have approached this very prayerfully. We have been (and will continue) to take multivitamins to ensure we are getting ALL nutrients needed.

        We won’t be drastically reducing our caloric intake– My husband knows he still needs to have energy to do his job as a drill sergeant at a very high level and I plan to continue on working out/exercising. So this isn’t just a bread and water fast or juice only fast for 30 days… THAT would be dangerous.

        This limiting fast is more of a way to make us grateful for all of the choices we DO have. I don’t know about your household, but Brandon and I have caught ourselves saying more than once “Ug, there is NOTHING to eat” when in fact we have hundreds of choices waiting for us in the freezer/pantry. It’s been said that if you make $50,000 as a household per year or own two cars, you are in the top 1 percent of the most wealthy in the world. So many people in the world are limited to only a handful of food choices on a daily basis.

        So in short– we are excited to see how God works in our lives as we give up our luxuries that we so often take for granted. (AKA: hot wings, ranch, caffeine, Diet Dr. Pepper, chocolate, beer, etc.)

        Thanks for your input. Blessings.

      • Sharita, that’s good to hear. From your post I was understanding that this challenge was an exercise to become aware of excess, and was not thinking of it in terms of a fast. I re-read your post and although you mention the author breaking it down into month to month areas of focus, it wasn’t clear to me that these changes were meant to be temporary. Still a month will be a challenge. We do tend to under recognize the amount of choice we have. Some churches experiement with a similar theme by holding what would be a third world lunch. It consisits of rice basically. It is quite illuminating to realize that this type of meal would be accepted with great gratitude by a large pportion of earth’s inhabitants.Good luck in your endeavors.

  3. Intriguing proposition. Will prayerfully consider.

    • Thanks Tina. I was intrigued too… Very challenging, but it’s only day #2 and I have already had some rather interesting revelations. Hmmmm… 🙂

  4. What an interesting idea…we do have a plethora of choice and it can be overwhelming and overbearing for sure.

    • I love that the majority of the descriptions of this experiment include “Interesting” and “intriguing.” I agree. And I am not gonna lie, I was (and still am) kind of nervous as to how this will all shake down. (When we are challenged like this, we often see sides of our heart we didn’t know existed.)

      Thanks so much for stopping by– I appreciate it 🙂

  5. Brooke

    The choices in the grocery store these days are super overwhelming. I think this book is a really good thing to think about…I think about it especially in terms of clothing, even when I say, “But I have nothing to wear….” and my closet is full. I an praying for you and your hubby! Can’t wait to hear about the revelations God is giving you….. =)

    • Clothing is month #2! I am the same way… just Sunday I was hollering at my husband about how I had nothing to wear… Sigh. Gratitude fail. But it’s all part of the growth process…

      Now if you will excuse me– I gotta go eat an apple 😉

  6. Reading your post made me think; I wish I can do the same, but if I am to do it, my husband and our daughter must do it with me, or else I have to make different kinds of foods for everybody. But I wish both of you good luck! Dropping by from ” Tell me your story”

    • That is a great point, Ligaya. Jen had the same issue– her husband did it with her, but her 4 kids “sorta” did it with her– not quite to the extreme that she did, but they did kind of participate. Even now with my husband and I’s similar foods, we are still making separate meals since we have three of our food that differ from each other.

  7. 7 rocked my socks off. I’m still trying to wrap my brain all of it. Praying God uses this book in great ways through the church to bring change in us for others for His glory.

    • So glad it impacted you too! Excited to see where it takes you (and God’s kingdom) over time. Blessings to you, Angel!

  8. Pingback: Junk Food of Life « 7 Days Time

  9. Thank you for sharing your adventure at “Tell Me a Story.” This sounds like something that will work for health sake too.

    • You are very welcome, Hazel! I enjoy linking up with you. And yes, I have a feeling this is going to be great for the spirit AND the body 🙂

  10. This whole way of adjusting eating and living in general is something necessary in our life now… our cultural portion is so very full of STUFF!! Thanks for sharing insight.

    • Amen to that, Joanne. So many choices– we have really become spoiled (if not borderline ungrateful!) for all the incredible and tasty and diverse food available right at our fingertips.

  11. CJ

    Good Luck, this will challenge your creative cooking skills. You can do it.

    • Thanks, Mama… It is challenging my cooking skills for sure– and thanks for teaching me how to cook at all and be resourceful! Love you.

  12. Pingback: Think “Fast” (7 Experiment, Week 1) « 7 Days Time

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  14. Pingback: Think “Fast” (7 Experiment, Week 2 Update) « 7 Days Time

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