Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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!

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