Monday, July 15, 2013

7, a mutiny against excess

This isn't a book review, I am not that cool. This is a review on something that is making a crazy impact in my life and I've only just begun reading it.

This summer...well this year really, I've been struggling with discontentment, jealousy, envy...blah blah blah. Nasty things really. I'm not proud of it at all, but yet...stuck.

So, the most amazing things have come across my path. First of all I have awesome community and friends around me who have encouraged and challenged me to get out of this funk and given me great avenues to do so. 

1. I read and went through Stuck, by Jennie Allen. It reminds me a lot of recovery ministries because it basically has you identify your idols and what draws you AWAY from God instead of stirring your affections for God. So awesome and I did this solo. I think it would be even more beneficial to do with a friend or group but I didn't get to do this this time around.

2. The sermon series going on at Watermark right now is INCREDIBLE. Its Power of God and has been on Grace and Prayer and rocked my socks off in a way that keeps me thinking about it all week. I love those.

3. I joined a book club. My first ever. This was exciting stuff to me as I have been wanting to do this since I graduated college 4.5 years ago. So I said yes to this book club and had NO idea what the book was....and it was 7, the mutiny against excess. I laughed out loud when I learned what this book was and also wanted to cry about the way God was loving me in the most kind and gracious way in this nasty season of my life. It actually amazed me when I stopped and felt what all was going on. When I wrote it in a list form. Man God loves me.

So I am reading this book and because of the book nerd I am, I will probably be finished with it by the end of this week and then re-read each chapter before book club. I love reading and once I start its really hard for me to stop. 

I am participating in some way with my book club each week. Jen Hatmaker, the author, made drastic changes in the categories of food, clothes, waste, spending, possessions, media and stress for 7 months, My book club is doing it in week chunks. I am on food week. This one isn't super huge for me because Officer and I take part in many extreme food fasting because we are both all or nothing people, which means we struggle with self control with food, which means we live most of the time with strict food perimeters. Otherwise we would choose to live off of donuts, ice cream, hot tamales and queso....really we would. That pretty much sums up our first year of marriage and my pregnancy with Fox...

But mostly this book is changing my thinking and I like it. When I threw out the half loaf of molded bread, or looked at my full closet or glanced at the homeless guy soliciting off the tollway, it yanked on my heart in each of these places in ways it never had before.

It also is showing me ways to have deep gratitude. I had dinner last night with my bestie from college. She was my roommate, dorm neighbor, bible study co-leader, and first accountability partner. I suddenly was again in sweet thankfulness for God's providence on my life. He put her across the hall from me (at random right?) and from their we sharpened each other through college. She went into full time ministry with her husband and we love hearing about the work they are doing. But it's incredible how God works. I wouldn't be where I am with out her and many other girls for that matter, but having dinner with her last night made me hear God's voice. "Dana, I've got this. I am working in ways you can't see. Won't you let me?"...seriously.

Yet...I am annoyed at what I don't have? Wow. I am praying right now God continually works on me as I read this book and shepherd my little fox. I have a life time of grace he has given me and how quickly I forget. 

Officer life wears on me more than I really like to admit. I get so entitled due to how hard we work, but this feeling. This list of God's goodness. WOW. It is causing me to be speechless. Its causing me to listen. Its moving me. 

All that to say, this probably is not the last you will hear of 7!

-an officer and a mrs.