Sunday, April 21, 2013

Making room- Part Two

I am now more than halfway through my "7" fast.
I have done food, clothing, possessions and today I am finishing up media.

(If you haven't read my first post on "7" you can read it by clicking here)

I can honestly say that God is wrecking me. It's hard to put into words but I want to document what He is doing in my heart, so I'm going to try and write out what's been going on. Here goes....


Let's start with the clothing. For two weeks I gave myself 7 articles of clothing to choose from.
2 pairs of jeans.
3 t-shirts.
2 sweaters.
(undergarments and winter wear weren't included, in case you were thinking "what the what"!? Ha!)

As I predicted this particular fast wasn't that difficult for me. In fact I was a little disappointed that it wasn't harder- especially coming off the food fast where I needed to rely daily (sometimes hourly) on God. It's just not an area I struggle in (but trust me- we'll get to the area I MAJORLY struggle with

I decided to start the fast without letting Chris know what I was doing... it took him almost a week and a half to notice that I was wearing the same few shirts every day. Hmmm. This either speaks to how much I value clothing and looking presentable to the world, or how much he really looks at me. Ha!

What I did discover is that even for someone who doesn't struggle with clothing I STILL had a closet full of clothes I don't necessarily need. I managed to pick out 3 large garbage bags packed full to give away.


This was the fast I was most excited about when I read the book. See, I love to purge. I mean I reeeeeeaally LOVE to purge. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than seeing a messy disorganized space and imagining what I can do to clean it up!

I am really not attached to "things" and can happily move them along to another home.
Plus, Chris and I have been really trying to break the spirit of entitlement in our home. Why do we feel like we are so entitled to have all that we have. And our kids? Well, we want better for them. We want them to feel joy and thankfulness in what they do have, rather than be overwhelmed with SO.MUCH.STUFF!

So we did an experiment. We had the kids bring every single toy they own up to our family room and we dumped them in one large heap. Then I instructed the kids to sit quietly for 5 minutes and look at all their stuff. We sat. We looked. We grieved.

Finally Abby spoke up "This is too much for one family, Mommy"
Yes, my sweet love. It is. Too much for one family indeed.

So we organized it all and then we allowed the kids to pick a few items to keep and we got rid of the rest.
Since doing this, I have noticed their imaginations come to life. I hear them making up elaborate games. Even our two year old now crawls around the house pretending to be her big sisters pet doggie.
Gone are the days of "Mom I'm boooooored" followed by "How can you be bored? You have so many things to play with!"
Gone are the days of taking out every single toy and not knowing what to play with.
Gone are the days of confused children standing among the disaster of a mess of toys overwhelmed with where to even start cleaning up.

Who knew that having less would serve them even more!!

This week wasn't just about the kids. I went through the kitchen, the bathrooms, the basement... and said goodbye to many an item.
What did I learn? Even though these two weeks were fun for me, they also grieved my heart. How did we ever allow so much stuff? How did I not notice it before? I honestly purge my home at least a couple of times a year and yet, we still had so many things that we could give away. Sigh. My way of thinking has changed. I pray that as we move forward He will continue to quicken my heart when it comes to what we allow into our home.

Which brings me to the area in which I most struggle...


Media. Sigh.
My heart is so grieved after these two weeks. I find it hard to even put into words. How do I explain my heart when it is still so very raw....

I have always struggled with balance. Finding time for God, time for myself, time to be a good wife, time for my children, time for my business, time for friends...ect. And for a long time I have felt so out of balance. This fast has really been a big piece of finding an answer to that puzzle.

I have always been aware that I spent way too many hours online. It was an easy escape. A way to somehow feel connected. Inspired. Encouraged. And yet I also discovered after these two weeks that it was a way in which I compared myself. Where I found worth. Where I found a false sense of identity.

For these past two weeks I have stepped away from Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Blogs. I texted only when necessary. I shut down my computer- only checking email once a day (a necessary thing when running a business and corresponding with the kids school.) Basically I unplugged.

And man oh man. My heart is torn in a million peices. How on earth did I allow myself to go so far down the rabbit hole? It wasn't until I complete removed these things from my everyday that I realized how much worth I truly do find in them. And really, how much worth is stolen from me at the same time.

Specifically when it comes to my business. This is when I most often feel like I am not enough. Isn't that just like the enemy? To whisper these cheap lies into our hearts?  It's almost like I've become addicted to feeling bad about myself. For me, it's the enemy's playground- stomping all over my insecurities, making me feel like I completely and wholly suck as an artist, as a person.

It's like I'm an alcoholic. I have become addicted to beating myself up and comparing myself to everyone else. So, like any addict, I need to remove myself from the temptation. It grieves me because I want to be happy for my friends and fellow photographers. I want to be inspired and encouraged by their talent, and yet it's an area in which I can't control (at this point anyways). When I see someone else's work I am jealous and ugly. I start to tell myself how much I suck. How far I have to go. How I'll never measure up.

It took stepping away from this for two weeks to discover that I was doing it on a daily bases. How refreshing these past two weeks have been- to not feel like I am not enough. It's been like a breath of fresh air.

So... where do I go from here?

To be honest, I don't really know. It's going to be a work in progress. I have to continue to remove myself from the temptation of comparing. I am not strong enough yet to jump right back into where I was two weeks ago. So, I am going to continue to limit my exposure. I am going to dive more into his word. I am going to focus in on my own art rather than looking at everyone else. And maybe, eventually, I can open up my heart and not feel like I am not enough.

I read this last week and it really does sum up what I'm learning...

"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you. Take your everyday, ordinary life- your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life- and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God has done for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of maturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."

Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)

May it be so.



  1. Beautiful, my friend. Thank you for sharing your heart and what you are learning. God is certainly teaching you, and through you, me. You have a fantastic heart and I know that where He's leading you and how He's shaping you in this journey will enable you to better serve Him and fulfill His purposes for your life!

  2. "it was a way in which I compared myself. Where I found worth. Where I found a false sense of identity." uuuuh huh!

    media and clothing would be the worst for me.
    i stepped away from facebook for lent (i didn't tell people this, and i'm not usually a lenter). it was good. i was also sick, and couldn't get to the computer much, so blogging and everything really took a back seat. i realized i can live without, now i NEED to be faithful to that change in my heart.

    blogging has been an area that has been really hard for me. i miss the purity of it when we all started 7 yrs ago. so many bloggers are in it for reasons i am not... but i still enjoy blogging, and need to find balance. i realized a few weeks ago that i am a "logger" and not a "blogger." i want to continue to "log" the moments, stories, and such of my life, but blogging for WORTH cannot be me. so...

    i miss you.
    and i love your sweet spirit.

    want to come to cali for maycation? :-) had to ask.

  3. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Sara. I am inspired to read about how you are simplifying. I love the effect it has had on your children... to hear their inventive stories and games. We do become overwhelmed with too much in our lives.

    I am glad that you are you, and that you are the unique creation that God has made. May you continue to be freed from comparison and discontent, so that you may find joy in all that He has made you to be and to become, reflecting His glorious image in you.

    Hugs to you, friend! :)

  4. Hi Sara! Insightful post! My name is Heather and I was hoping you could answer a question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1(at) :-)


Thanks so much for leaving your comments. I absolutely love hearing from you :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails