7 Ways to Shake up Your Life

Want to shake up your life (in a good way)?  Join us for the Summer of 7!  Be sure to check out the comments from Friday and add your own today and as we go along!

I told you last week about Jen Hatfied’s book and how it’s messed with me and how a group of us are experimenting with a radical reduction of excess in our lives this summer.  Like I said before, if you haven’t read it, go get it (or borrow it).  Now!

So the area where we’re currently reducing is clothing.  Trying to wear just 7 pieces of clothing for a week.  Jen did it for a month, but we’re clearly not spiritual or committed enough for that.  We just plan on being quick learners. 🙂

Sounds super easy, right?  Summer casual, right?  Live in your swimsuit at the lake, right?

Well, not so much.  Here’s the email I sent my partners in this kingdom mischief the other morning:

Ok Guys, (or Y’all as Theresa would say),

I went to sleep obsessing about which clothes I would choose for our clothing week, and I woke up obsessing.  John says I need to make a big color-coded chart or take a Vallium.

Normally I think this would be easy-peasy like we all said!  But between now and when we meet again there is no 7 day stretch without climate change (going to Montana) and/or weddings to factor in!

And even the 5 day stretch I can find includes golf, tennis (which necessitates two different types of skirts and two different pairs of shoes right there!), a lunch with the president of a seminary, an out of town guest, 2 grad parties, three meetings (one of which is in the home of a beautiful woman who owns a chain of clothing stores!), and church along with, you know…just LIFE! (note: I do not think this is a “normal” week)

Plus, I thought maybe I had it figured out, and then I remembered, NO JEWELRY!   And one of my choices is DEPENDENT on jewelry cuz it’s so boring-mega-plain and will just look darn weird without.

Don’t judge me – I’m gonna be sitting around in a sweaty black skort most of the time!

And, may I add that I’m gonna be with a lot of the same people Sunday, Monday, Tuesday???  As Cara would say, “CUE THE VIOLINS!”

AARRGHH!  See what I’ve noticed already??  I used the words “necessitates” and “dependent” in reference to CLOTHES, and I really meant it!!  How many people get to play golf or tennis regularly??  Anyone in a Third World country would think I was BONKERS!!

I know, I know, my problems are soooo real!!!

Anyway, I’m four days in and am thankful for Molly’s suggestion to keep this reminder in my closet…

What do the rest of you think?  Joining us virtually?  

Like I wrote above, take a look at the great comments from the rest of the gang and tell us what you think.  


9 thoughts on “7 Ways to Shake up Your Life

  1. As one who has to witness an adult (female) agonizing over which 7 clothes ‘make the cut’, let me TESTIFY to its emotional toll. And before I get (even more) self-righteous, it’s a LOT easier to critique from the sidelines someone’s attempts to follow Jesus than to pitch in (7 days without a remote… 7 days without a hamburger… the line between preaching and meddling has been crossed…) Charge on, Ladies!


  2. oh my how an exercise can expose us 😉

    i think i had a pretty decent revelation about my posture towards the clothes part of our adventure. i laughed (out loud) at myself friday morning as i got dressed because i wore the EXACT same outfit as i did thursday. i did a quick assessment of who i’d see during the day & realized i wouldn’t see any of the same people – SCORE! on my way to work, i thought, “wow – i can count yesterday as the start of the clothes part, and now i’m already 2 days along!” this really IS super EASY for me!

    then last (friday) night, God totally whispered into my heart – in the way that is so quiet it’s loud. i realized that this isn’t supposed to be easy. it’s supposed to be provoking & disturbing & stretching. i feel like He asked me…”what if you only had 7 things to choose from. what if you had work & life & a possible date with a guy you hoped would maybe ask you out & a travel day & working out – and you only had 7 things to wear?”

    He brought to mind a poor woman trying to go about a normal life with the bare necessities. i saw her getting herself ready in the morning, choosing from a few meager things hanging in her closet, knowing & hurting a bit that what she was putting on made her stand out from “normal” women, but knowing it was all she had. i saw her getting her kids ready & fed & off to school. i saw her on the bus, trying to blend in; nervously trying to hide the stain she just noticed on her shirt.

    i saw another woman looking into her closet trying to figure out what she could wear to an interview for a job she wanted desperately, knowing what she had to choose from certainly wouldn’t measure up. and then i heard, “honey, you have so much more than that, and you don’t have these same worries. but what if you spent this week praying for those that do?”

    needless to say, my posture changed immediately. the literal exercise of choosing 7 things will absolutely be relatively “easy” for me…but the state of my heart & spirit, which is obviously the purpose, has been exposed, and i am ready for this week in a much deeper, lasting way. interesting that the revelation came on the last day of my 7 days of our food fast, literally an hour and a half from its completion.


  3. With my food fast FINALLY over, and my attitude improving every day, I have moved on to the clothing portion of the experiment. May I just say that what started out strong (my food fast) ended with a big thud. My friends have joked that after their food fast was over they still found themselves reaching for the seven foods from the fast…yeah, NOT happening with me. I’m not sure I’ll EVER be able to eat another avocado or sweet potato again.

    I violated my clothing fast the first day. I had chosen my seven pieces of clothing and then travelled up to the cabin where it was much cooler than at home. I immediately needed a long sleeve shirt which was not one of my original 7…so I have 8. 🙂 (What I am learning is to extend myself the same amount of grace I give to others…that may sound like a joke, but it really is hard for me!)

    Through all of this I am feeling my heart really being stretched in wonderful and hard ways. Feeling incredibly blessed and grateful for God’s provisions AND convicted of the waste and excess in my life as well.


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