Skip to main content

First Things First: September/October 2014 {and 7 for 31}

I've been posting a monthly Sabbath of sorts - reevaluating my goals and projects in light of building God's kingdom instead of my own. The idea was sparked by a few blogging friends who post goals periodically, and by Emily P Freeman over at Chatting at the Sky who hosts a "Let's Share What We Learned This Month" link up. This month I'll also be joining her sister, The Nester, in choosing a topic to write about for the entire month of October (one post each day).

Y'all know how much I love projects - photography, knitting, crafting, arting [?] - so when I read Jen Hatmaker's book 7: an experimental mutiny against excess in August I was immediately captivated and wanted to do my own version. I spent last month planning, researching, and doing some prep work.

Jen chose 7 areas of excess - clothes, spending, waste, food, possessions, media, and stress - and targeted each one for a month. Since I'm condensing all of them down into a single month, and because our lives and areas of excess look different than hers and her family's, I'm planning on tackling it thusly (links will be added as posts are written, so you can catch up on all of them here):

This one I'll spend the whole month on, since waste is something that tends to happen in small increments over time.
post 2: Ingratitude {giveaway!}
post 3: New...
post 4: Paper or Plastic?

I plan to spend a week exploring food, giving me a weekend and a full set of weekdays to address things like meal planning and eating out.
post 5: When Your Budget Bites Back
post 6: Do Not Read While Hungry
post 7: Water {giveaway!}
post 8: Assorted Thoughts
post 9: To Feed the Soul
post 10: Care...
post 11: Dessert

Like waste, spending often dribbles along in ways that don't seem like much at the time but add up at the end of the month. Since I want to have enough time to feel the weight of those dribbles but not so much that I feel guilty for abnormal expenses like mailing a package, I'm planning to focus on this one for a week.
post 12: Intention and Impulse
post 13: Well Spent
post 14: Internet and Introspection
post 15: Price, Cost, Value, Worth
post 16: Invested
post 17: Long...
post 18: Three Rs

While that's definitely a topic that I could spend seven years addressing, I felt like seven days would be fitting, and that ensures that it includes a Sabbath.
post 19: To Give Us Pause
post 20: Surrender, Pray, Listen
post 21: Do Unto Others
post 22: Priorities
post 23: Gifts {giveaway!}
post 24: Dare...
post 25: Unwinding

Mercy House highlight
post 26: Act Justly - Love Mercy - Walk Humbly {giveaway!}

Clothes and Possessions
Since this is pretty much the target of my End It Project, it's not really an area of excess in our lives - but I would like to go through and get a really accurate inventory to calculate our slavery footprint. I'll post the results for that on the 27th.
post 27: The End It Project: Slavery Footprint

Even though we don't have cable or satellite, only one of us has a smartphone and it's mostly used for work, and we don't own a gaming system or spend inordinate amounts of time online, there are definitely aspects of media consumption that have overarching effects on our lives, so I'll also spend a month on this one.
post 28: Disconnected
post 29: The No and the Yeses

In conclusion
post 30: A Cumulative Effect
post 31: Leave... {giveaway winners announced}

As a sort of encouragement/accountability measure, I'm planning on keeping track of any money saved as a result of this (every nickle saved by bringing my own grocery bags to Whole Foods, every dollar unspent on impulse purchases and Sonic stops...) and donating it to Mercy House at the end of the month. I'll write about Mercy House more in a later post. Until then, I hope you'll join me on this adventure (I have several giveaways planned for this month!), and perhaps consider a mutiny of your own!


Popular posts from this blog

World Changers

A couple of months ago, someone texted to ask if we had any "extra" books that we'd like to donate for the kids of a homeless family that our church was temporarily housing. We read all of our picture books regularly (sometimes multiple times a day) so I asked Brooklyn, who is almost five, if she wanted to go to the bookstore and buy some books, explaining who they were for (because I am in full support of kids having books, just perhaps not at the involuntary expense of my own kids - I have a thing against voluntelling them to do nice things).
She looked at me and said, "We should give them our books!" and began excitedly pulling books off the shelf while asking me questions about the kids who would be reading them. At her request, I got her a brown paper grocery bag - which she then proceeded to fill completely with her favorite books, talking the whole time about how much she loved them, her favorite things about them, and why she thought these kids would a…


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really…


A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of replacing the traditional list of resolutions with a single word. It appealed to me - I am not a big list person, but I love language and words and meanings and etymology and metaphor and... ahem. Ennyhoo. I liked the idea.
I've never chosen the word. It's always presented itself to me - and last year was no different. Pacific was very insistent, even though I tried to argue with it. Pacific? What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
But I accepted it, and I'm glad I did. I learned about depth and calm, about storm and nurture, about faith and adventure - and about the unstoppable ocean of God's grace, that overwhelms to fill and cleanse and bring blessings unasked.
So I'm bidding pacific a very fond farewell, and welcoming spark and whatever lessons it would like to bring. I invited it in with a copper wire punctuated with tiny lights and wrapped around my mood board, and I've got an empt…