But let me tell you. The blue patterned paper I chose to stick to the back of my cabinet last night is much prettier than before. Despite all the junk sitting in the middle of the bathroom floor.
|All of this...|
|Needs to go back in here. Hence the challenge.|
It's a bad habit I have. (Do not tell my husband that I have openly admitted this bad habit.) I will spend more time than is necessary making something pretty (say, a cabinet or my weekly chalkboard calendar), and then I will complain about not having time to do other things. Like laundry.
This happened on Sunday, when I spent several minutes looking up chalk lettering on Pinterest, then copying the numbers to the aforementioned chalkboard. Which turned out exactly as I hoped, with cute numbers and everything. (See how I have "chicken" listed for dinner every night of the week? This is all thanks to Jen Hatmaker and her little Seven study. Chicken every night. The kids have staged their own kind of mutiny, called "we are throwing your book away, mom".) This left me with less time than I hoped to do what really needed to be done, which was meal planning and grocery listing. Bummer. Why can't life be all fun and no chores, anyway?
Seven items to eat. Seven items of clothing to wear. Giving away seven things a day.
Seven will not leave me alone.
Even though this weeks challenge focuses on food, I've been a little more sensitive to other areas of my live where I've been living in excess and didn't really recognize it as such.
Two bottles of baby powder, a full bottle of Aveeno face wash, several jewelry cleaning clothes, the case to a small travel clock (now just decoration--it refuses to work, despite my attempts at new batteries and banging it on the counter), half-empty bottles of body wash (coconut vanilla, a flavor that B&BW doesn't even make anymore, so this tells you how long it's been sitting there), nose spray that expired in 2009 (yes, you read that correctly--obviously it's been hiding from me, as I have cleaned out since then), and an old flat iron (bought in 2007) box (kept just in case I needed it for the warranty, which expired a year after the purchase date). Y'all, this is just the tip of the closet iceberg. I haven't gone through each box to determine if I need to keep or toss all my stuff. These were just a few extraneous items I found, shoved behind and between other things.
We live in the land of plenty. Meaning, when I get tired of something (coconut vanilla, anybody?), I can go buy something else to replace it. Contributing not only to the excess I've become so accustomed to, but also to the waste crisis (yes, I said crisis, because it is one, can we all just agree that waste is a problem? and that everyone should be recycling--oops, sorry, my opinion only) we are dealing with.
I don't like it? I get something different. And it doesn't even seem like that big of a deal.
We have so many choices.
Jen Hatmaker suggests that one go through her kitchen and count the items in the pantry, fridge and freezer. Mine was about the same as hers. 240. And I still need to go to the grocery store.
Because the two bottles of syrup (one blueberry, one blackberry--topics for an entirely different post, so no time for that right now) aren't want we want to eat in the morning. We want plain maple syrup. So I continue to buy plain maple syrup, even though two glass containers are waiting to be consumed.
And I have a problem with waste, especially when it comes to food, and I don't just toss them, because one day, one day we will finish those bottles of blueberry and blackberry syrup.
I didn't count the number of Christmas bags I had stored in my basement, and I didn't count them when I sent them out the door to be recycled. I was a bit embarrassed at the possibility of being labeled Hoarder of Christmas Bags Lady.
My perspective is beginning to change a bit, and I'm beginning to see a part of the point of Seven. It's not meant to make me feel bad, but to open my eyes to that fact that I have a lot of stuff, yet I still want more, and it's putting blinders on my eyes when it comes to seeing God's Kingdom.
Temporarily disengaging from the excess so that my eyes (and my heart) can be more focused on Him.
Jen Hatmaker, you may just be on to something.
And maybe, just maybe, this won't be an open-and-shut bible study, where I forget what I read after I've moved on to the next, but a lifestyle change. A permanent mutiny against the excess that seems to permeate my inbox, my mailbox, billboards, malls, the grocery store, and Wal*Mart.
No, I won't be eating chicken every single night of the week (which, by the way, makes meal planning a heck of a lot easier), but on some level, being aware that three bottles of syrup isn't necessary. Or good for you. (Sugar, glycemic index--sigh.)
Next week is clothing.
P.S. Every time I navigate to a different website, the sponsored ads are all about boots and how amazon and zappos have them, just click here and have instant happiness. Sigh. Why, dictionary.com must you tempt me with your sidebar ads, WHY??