Chapter 1 Challenge & Chapter 2 Invitation

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Jen Hatmaker, in her book, Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, identifies seven areas of over indulgence in her own life and over a seven month period, takes a challenging look at each one.  Each chapter represents another area of excess she chooses to address with a fast.  A fast is simply defined as an intentional reduction or a deliberate abstinence.  Fasting assists us in offering ourselves by taking our comforts, our routines, our selfish indulgences, in short, ourselves, off of high center.  As a result, fasting heightens our sensitivity, our awareness, and creates margins in our life, margins of time, resources, and emotional/spiritual thoughts and energy.

Hatmaker begins her mutiny against excess with food!  Month one, she allows herself only the option of eating 7 foods!  Uhhhh, talk about major reduction here!  Her candid and very honest writing style bring you face to face with her daily struggles, her intimate moments of conviction, her sweet victories, and her life changing realizations.

Over the next few months, we will be identifying our own areas of excess and along with our reading, we will be creating our own individual seven-day fasts that correspond with Hatmaker’s targeted areas.  During our first meeting, we discussed food, asked ourselves some challenging questions, and explored alternative fasting options in this category.  Much discussion centered around food and lifestyle and which influences the other.  For most of us, we realized that our lifestyle influences our food choice.  YIKES!

Some creative fasts we discussed included:

  • Cutting out seven ingredients (i.e. Caffeine, Sugar, White Flour, etc.)
  • Eating no fast food or processed food
  • Eating the same simple breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day
  • Eliminating seven go-to foods
  • Eating only what is currently in our pantry, fridge, and freezer
  • Fasting from one meal every day

For each 7 day challenge, we will ask ourselves the following questions:

  •  Overall, how do you feel about the fast?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • What did you notice about your habits?
  • What was difficult?
  • What was surprising?
  • Were there any breakthroughs?
  • Were there any disappointments?
  • What will you take away?

If you were not able to join us last time, or even if you will only be able to attend a few meetings, please mark your calendars to join us when you can!  In preparation for our next meeting, you will need to read Chapter 2, Month 2: Clothes.  If you are a note taker, take notes.  If you are a journalist, journal.  If you are an internal processor, process away.  If you are an artist, create.  And bring it all to share with the group next Monday!  We will discuss our first 7 day fast, what we have learned, what has challenged us, and what has inspired us.

Our next meeting will be Monday, September 23rd, at 6pm. We will be meeting at 6pm at 16300 Alba Street (Township Community Center just past the dog park).  Drinks and snacks will be provided!  Anyone is welcome!  Please feel free to invite family, friends, and neighbors!  If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact Ashley via Facebook, email or phone, 301.848.3209.

Can’t wait for next time!

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