Sunday, January 29, 2012

a different kind of february

my friend amy has managed to rope me into something crazy.


maybe you'll want to join us...


before i explain exactly what it is that you would be getting yourself into i'd like to give you the 'nutshell' version of why i'm doing this {and there's actually no rope involved}.


our church is in the middle of a series called the me i want to be.  it is based on the book by john ortberg and we are incorporating an on-line discipleship tool called monvee into what we are learning over the next month.  all of our small groups are going through this thing together...pretty cool.  


when my couples group met to begin the study last week we started off with these 2 questions...


#1 :: when do i feel most fully alive?
#2 :: when do i feel less alive {and more drained}?


i won't bore you with the lengthy answers i had written out for both of these {you know how i can get going when it comes to self-analysis}.  i will tell you that i was surprised when i looked back and realized that my response to #2 mainly had to do with excess and waste.  wasted time.  wasted money.  wasted energy.  wasted space.


now...it's no secret that i can be a bit of an over-achieving workaholic who tries to squeeze 25 hours worth of 'doing' into a 24 hour day.  but as i responded to that question i realized that a lot of my 'doing' lately has started to involve things like - making pit stops in between meetings or errands to shop for cheap clothes {that we don't really need} because i heard about a big sale, perusing decorating and crafting ideas on pinterest even though my eyes are glazed over and desperate for rest, scouring the internet for deals on super cute toys {educational ones of course!} for my kids even though the ones they have now could outfit an entire preschool full of classrooms, digging through my closet jam-packed full of clothes to find the perfect outfit...and here's the big one {sorry...i may not make a lot of friends with this one} - facebook.  


i originally started using facebook as a tool to stay connected with people and share my blog, but recently i have started to become 'that person' that i once labeled as 'facebook obsessed'.  i kid you not...i literally woke up in the middle of the night last week with this thought - is facebook for real?  have i seriously been spending hours of my life getting all up in all my 1000+ friends' business and thinking of clever posts to make myself look good?  for a split-second i thought that maybe that whole facebook thing was just a bad dream and that it couldn't possibly be this universal time-waster that it has actually become.  in a moment of clarity i saw it for what it really is...and yet somehow i keep being drawn back to that darn news feed because 'everybody's doing it'.


sorry...this 'nutshell' is turning into a tangent.  conclusion coming...


i'm getting sick...physically sick...of wasting my time, money, energy, and more on things that don't matter.  please hear me say - this is NOT an attack on your lifestyle...it's completely about me.  when i gave up caffeine a few months ago it wasn't because i thought caffeine would be the ruin of mankind and everyone that drank it was a devil-worshipper.  i gave it up because it was bad for ME.  and now i'm finding that there may be a few more things that i could do without...


so that's why i'm doing it.  that and the fact that when i first mentioned it to my husband he was immediately interested...which never happens.  he usually needs at least a week to mull things over.


below i have posted an excerpt from jen hatmaker's blog.  you can visit her site if you want to check out the rest of it.  you'll also find a video below the excerpt that outlines the 7 experiment that she and her family took.  my friend amy is doing a modified version of 7 for the month of february.  she has set up a FB page for folks who are interested in joining in some form or fashion.  our family is doing our own modified modified version {yes...that's 2 modified's}.  as the month unfolds i will be blogging about the details but you can expect ours to definitely involve cutting our technology use and spending...as well as getting rid of some of the excess that we currently have {this was the part that my simple and neat husband jumped in on}.


oh - and by the way...speaking of excess...just for fun go to this website and calculate how wealthy you are compared to the rest of the world.


without further ado {geez...sorry for the long post y'all!}...here are jen's words that resonated with me...


Now I'm freaked out, because Jesus also said, listen, a bunch of people think they are following me, that they "get" the gospel, but they so don't and are actually extremely self-deceived because you cannot love God and money. I'm not even playing. You cannot. You cannot say you love me yet hate your brother. That makes you a liar, not a disciple. The way is narrow...few will find it, and the richer you are, sorry, but the harder it's going to be for you to actually give up everything you have and follow me, because you have so much to lose. 

This stuff makes me hyperventilate, not just because Jesus said it, but because I feel it.

So my little family said, God, if too much stuff is standing in the way of your kingdom coming in our lives, then help us break up with it. If it has stolen our allegience and hijacked our obedience, give us the courage to wage war against everything that is ruining us for your gospel, substituting comfort for bravery, aquiring for sharing, appearances for obedience, personal glory for worship.

Enter 7.