So we started this Mutiny experiment a few weeks back. 13 women and 9 kids gathered at our home and we talked about what we wanted to gain, what we want to lose, and how we feel about pursuing "less of my junk and more of God." Fears and excitement commingled together.
The first month we are tackling food.
a fridge full of food for 5 people.
Clearly, God had something to say about this issue for me. I will blog here about what we are up to each month and if you would like to join us or link up and share your own journey please let me know! I am recording my journey here because I am expectant.
And here is what I felt God was asking of me for month one: food.
And after returning from Africa (6 months ago now) we kinds gave ourselves permission to eat whatever since we felt (and were) much more restricted there and that was hard for me. Now I would not use the word "suffering" but if you know me and chips and salsa it was hard for me to not have access to many foods! I guess I realized what a place (and a hold) food had on me and my mood and how I use it when I was stressed or want to celebrate. It was really good for me to NOT have some of that there and the longer we were there the less it mattered (ok, except the lattes and aforementioned chips and salsa):) So all this to say it is time to take a hard look at my current habits. I want to detach food from control and see it as blessing, one that needs to be kept in a proper place but also appreciated as a gift to be shared and that we are entrusted with wealth (and food whenever we want) for the blessing and for His kingdom (not for our control and abuse- either in under or over emphasizing it)
Ok, so for this month...
-not weigh myself for the entire month
-give up coffee and coffee beverages (sniff...) for the month. Also, give up sweets "just because" unless it is offered at someone's home in hospitality (that is a must in Africa :) I can still have folks over for coffee and be hospitable but I will have something else (tea or water-bleh). I have been coping with my winter blues with latte drugs way too much lately and need to trust God He will give me the energy and help my mood without it....afternoon dance parties anyone?
-go grocery shopping twice during the month and THAT IS IT! Eat what we have and not "just run out for something else because we feel like something else." I want to eat what we have and focus on NOT allowing any food to go bad (If I am honest we have thrown out too much food since moving back state-side because of poor planning and that makes me sick as I know and love families that struggle to even feed their kids. Today. Right now. This area of excess is disgusting to me and I want to be a better steward). This requires more planning and thinking on my part and not just my usual last minute self and then we will as a family decide how we will donate the extra money (hopefully we will save some in not running out for extras and free money up). I want my girls to be involved in how we decide to use the money- could even be just buying another family we know a meal to donating it across oceans- excited to see what will happen!
-Not eat out (unless it is en route and a must- ie. a trip to Ohio we have a couple weeks) and then chose simple options. Free that money up and ask if there is someone I meet that God wants us to buy lunch, groceries, etc.
-focus on eating healthly, filling (but not gluttonous) meals and not eating junk because of my poor planning or being too busy (ummm, like eating while standing while talking on the phone or eating while driving- both of which I did last week) If I eat regular meals with my family I will not need to snack on junk at other times. And I will take more time to be grateful at the meal itself (see below)
-one day each week our family will eat what a family in a different majority world country would eat. So for Africa we will just eat 2 small meals of rice and beans and learn about that place and pray for the people there. It is really important for us not to do this out of rich white american guilt but in remembering the friends we miss dearly and others all over the world. I really want the girls to be involved (and Joy as well) so we can process and talk as a family and be reminded that having choice in what to eat (or even the choice to reduce) is not something most of the world has and in that we want to be grateful and reverent to God as to how He is providing and how He loves every people group and person on earth.
Opened up a photography book today to study works from Africa and read this:
"We know that Americans pity Africans," he told me. "But sometimes I think Africans pity Americans."
"How so?" I asked him.
"Americans seem to expect that everything will be provided for them. For us, " he explained, "this ear of corn is a gift from God. This evening's rain is a shower of mercy upon us. The healthy breath is life giving. And maybe tomorrow we will not have such things, but today our hearts are so full from God's provision."
I want to live more like this everyday.
It is going pretty well so far. I miss coffee. And I miss lattes and mochas. Today we are eating like many of our Tanzania friends; simple rice and beans for both meals and asking God to bless them and teach us. Oh, and I miss coffee. And I sorta already cheated because Jason started baking something for a guest and realized halfway in that he needed chocolate chips. Fail: he ran to the store for said chocolate chips. But because justification is one my gifts..... it was because I did not remember that Joy had used them the week before and told him they were in the pantry. But I swear we are back on track.
And I walked past my favorite coffee shop near our house today and; I swear, I felt actual pain. firstworldproblemiknow. Tonight we meet again, us Mutiny sistas to continue this journey together.
To less junk and more God,