7 x 7 x 7

sevenLast year, I went to listen to Jen Hatmaker speak at a local church.  I’ve followed her blog and was very excited about the opportunity to hear her teach and speak.  While there, I purchased the book Seven:  An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.  For one month, Jen took an area of excess in her life and drastically simplified it.  She did this seven times:  food, clothes, shopping, media, possessions, stress, and waste.  In the first month, she limited herself to 7 foods (and only water to drink); the second, only 7 articles of clothing.

It’s been a year, and I still haven’t read the book.

Why?  Because I knew it would convict me.  I didn’t want to just read it like a novel and set it aside.  I wanted to experience it.  And so it sat on my bookshelf…until last week.


And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NRSV)

Six friends are embarking on this experiment with me.  We are reading and participating together over Lent.  Instead of taking each area for a month, we are doing one a week over the seven weeks of Lent.

Last week we began with food.  On Sunday we met – over water since our week begins on Sunday – to discuss our expectations for this experience and what are 7 foods are going to be.  As I deciding what to pick as my 7 foods, I realized I was trying to make it easy.  I really like my smoothie for breakfast and wanted to keep that.  While I simplified it to three ingredients (spinach, yogurt and bananas), this is almost 50% of my options for the week.  As I was thinking about the other four, I found myself trying to figure out how to get a treat in there.  Sweet potatoes may be it.

We are only doing each 7 for a week and I’ve already heard several times the comment, “I can do anything for a week.”  I’m wondering if that might be a problem.  I probably can do just about anything for a week.

Already, I feel like I have the wrong attitude going into this.  The goal was to simplify – not find foods that wouldn’t be a sacrifice.  Of course not being able to eat whatever I want whenever I want is going to be difficult.  The other attitude issue I’m having is whether I will lose weight over the next week.  It seems I would have to with no sugar and no alcohol.  This is a problem I have with fasting as well.  I would fast more often except for the weight loss that comes with it.  I don’t want this to be about my self-image.  Will I be happy with weight loss?  Yes, but this isn’t my purpose for this, and I don’t want it to be my focus or goal.

Here are my 7 foods:

  • Spinach
  • Vanilla Yogurt
  • Bananas
  • Chicken
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Eggs

 Let 7 commence!


If I participate with gratitude, why should I be blamed for food I thank God for?  So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, you should do it all for God’s glory. – 1 Corinthians 10:30-31 (CEB)

Chicken, Quinoa, Spinach, Bananas, Sweet Potatoes, Eggs and Vanilla Yogurt - my menu for the week
Chicken, Quinoa, Spinach, Bananas, Sweet Potatoes, Eggs and Vanilla Yogurt – my menu for the week

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