I loved the line in 7, where Jen Hatmaker says that there is "liberation that only exists at the bottom, where I have nothing to defend, nothing to protect."
We spend our days trying to protect our evening TV/ fun time together; we put forth a good deal of effort trying to protect our prized possessions from damage, wear and tear, and even destruction by little hands; we spend our emotional and mental energy trying to protect our images or the ways that others may or may not perceive us. I guess this is where the Jones family is headed. Trying to get to a place where we are free-er, living more simply, and having less to defend and protect so that our energies (and money!) may be spent more on Kingdom activities and things that are near and dear to the heart of our Creator.
So here's the list:
- Remove: super-long get-ready times (limited to special occasions like our first date in 9 months!). Only 5-10 minutes per day (this really applies only to me- Eryn). So far I have been following this for several days now and no one really notices that my hair is not fixed. Wierd that everyone is not sitting around and critiquing my hair style :) Actually, I have found that I have wavy "hippie hair" as my husband says and I'm kind of diggin the no-hair-dryer look!
- Remove: all media except necessary internet from our lives. Last night David sent the TV on an all expense paid vacation to the basement. He's down there with all the DVDs and our recently broken DVD player (think the Lord was trying to tell us something :). The look on the kids face was shock then anxiety as they realized what was missing from our living room yesterday morning. Then they all immediately flocked toward our tiny Acer computer as if to say "well we at least have an 11" screen with which to watch random British cartoons on HULU with!" (as we don't have Netflix, etc.). This will be a trial of a week and then we will see how we want to go from there. But for now, a large Family Portrait sits where TV used to, and I love it!
what has replaced the TV and DVD player
- Remove: really long, ridiculously high maintenance foodie grocery lists! Since I currently have ___________ items in my pantry/ freezers/ refrigerator/ etc, we decided to start a 30 item a week grocery list. That's only 30 items a week! I thought I couldn't do it, but it's week two and I have successfully fed our family of 5 on 30 simple whole food items, Now, I actually plan out what we eat instead of wanting to have a small grocery store at hand in case I just want to make whatever. I find that I plan more simple meals, and in turn have more time to spend with my family. And I spend much less each week on food. And yet we still eat and are full- who knew! (this area was inspired by our only eat 7 things for 10 days which we did a couple weeks ago)
- Remove: excess spending. I'm going to try the wait 30 days and see if you still want/ need it rule for things I see at stores while out picking up things we actually do need, like diapers. Just today @ Target I went in for a baby shower present and floss and saw several other things I "needed" while I was there. No, I don't need that cute new dress for the beach. And no, we don't need 4 different kinds of sunscreen depending on the wetness level of our kids for goodness sake! But when you're there, those tricksy Target genies know how to play with your mind and make you think you really have to have some of those things or your life will somehow be less than. And we are rebelling against that. So today, I went in for 2 things and only came out with 3 (I forgot I really did need diapers for BeekBock :). And our recently broken DVD player (wanted to run right out and spend 50+ on a new HD one right away because I was in a panic!)- not being missed much right now.