I'm definitely a morning person. My sweet husband is the exact opposite. Don't get me wrong--I enjoy my sleep, but that usually means that I am in bed at the latest by 9. Lame, I know--you can ask my college roommates. There is just something about the early mornings that I love. The quiet stillness in the house, the glow of the clock on the stove, the sun starting to wake up, the smell of fresh coffee floating in the air, the dew glistening on the grass, the coolness outside. Since we have gotten our two pups earlier this year, they help me get up even earlier. Sometimes, they are super excited and make the mornings not as still and quiet, but other times they can either go back to sleep for a bit or actually play quietly as they are doing now. One of the things I like most about the mornings is easing into the day by having time with the Lord. Just us. This hasn't always been a priority, but I'm so thankful for it now.
Yesterday marked the last day of "7". Thanks to Kirby for reminding me, because I had remembered the wrong day! Total blonde moment. For the last four weeks* we have each consumed only seven foods, while having water to drink. This "experiment" has been one that I have thoroughly enjoyed. While I am a huge lover of all things food-related, taking the time to get back to the basics has proven to be very beneficial both physically, and most importantly, spiritually. Physically, we eliminated those processed foods that really shouldn't be considered foods, which is always a great choice for your body. We also minimized sugar intake to only what occurs naturally in the foods we chose. This combined with appropriate portions, proves to be helpful for a healthy eating lifestyle.
Note: I included the "*" after four weeks because we both have had our share of exemption meals. When we chose this timeline, we knew that different events such as weddings, work functions, family/friend get-togethers, anniversaries, etc., would be happening. We never wanted to come across as high-maintenance, selfish, or anything like that. So there were times that we put "7" to the side so that we would be focused on our time with our family or friends. The first time we discussed the exemption meals, we were both concerned about not being "fully committed" but I think that was one of the lessons God was teaching us. We were fully committed to 7. But we are also committed to the relationships we have with others and want to put them before ourselves. That said, we also had times that we "practiced" 7 while with others because we felt lead to do so.
Spiritually, this process has been a blessing. I prayed that God would use these four weeks to reveal things to us-- and boy has He! My quiet mornings with the Lord have become more dear to me than ever before. My appreciation for the little things is growing more and more. My reliance on scripture has grown stronger. Kirby shared a verse with me one day that was so perfect for this experiment: Paul wrote his second letter to the church in Corinth and in chapter 12 he was sharing about the thorn in his flesh. In verse 9 he wrote-- But he (Jesus) said to me, " My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. I'm not using this verse to complain about "7" or equate it to the trials/hardships that Paul and other Christians faced/face. However, it wasn't always easy to eat the same foods everyday. When we were having our weaker moments, we made sure to focus on the One who gives grace and power to the weak. We wanted this process to be about Him. Not us.
I say these things not to boast about our relationships with the Lord or what we have done, but to share with you a bit of how He has worked in our lives the past four weeks. Also, I again want to encourage you to try your own process of eliminating excess. I encourage you to have a "Council" whether that is one or more people for mutual accountability and encouragement! I've been so thankful for Kirby's tests, calls, photos, & prayers! If you haven't read Jen Hatmaker's book, I recommend it. There are six other chapters about the areas of her life that she eliminated excess. Maybe you would feel more comfortable with one of those, or maybe you want to go through the whole process. Maybe you feel like a month is too much. Try a week, or a few days. Or make up your own experiment of avoiding over-indulgence. Maybe you are not interested in 7 at all, and that's ok, too. Whatever you feel lead to do, pray that God will reveal what He would have you to do. I believe that when we pray for God to lead us and work in us, and then we constantly seek Him and His will, He will do just just that.
Have a blessed day!