So during this season of Lent I am doing a Bible/book study on Jen Hatmaker's book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. I read the book last spring, absolutely loved it, tried a few fasts, possessions and spending (no Target for a month!) and jumped at the opportunity to really experience the lessons in the book with others. What was I thinking?????
So the first week was introduction. This week is food. The ideal would be only eating 7 items for a week, but I have young kids, a limited budget and little time and would not be able to make 2 separate dinners each night, so I decided to eliminate 7 items from my diet for a week. I chose 7 items that I love/ eat regularly and even though I am only 2 meals and 1 snack in, I am hating this.
The 7 items I have eliminated:
- eating out, no restaurant food (not too hard usually)
- chocolate (there goes my chocolate/almond morning granola bar)
- dessert (oh how I crave something sweet)
- bread (my favorite, I love bread, the challenging one)
- sweet breakfast/bakery items (muffins and pancakes)
- french fries (do tater tots count?)
- anything to drink other than water (i.e. the occasional soda that I can crave when I cut out chocolate)
So I am 2 meals down, 19 more meals to go. I am already grumpy and craving all the things that are on my list. I am regretting my meal planning because the meals I planned before I knew I was going to fast includes all my favorites. Not only am I regretting the food choices, I haven't made a real shopping trip in over a week so our food stash is low and the options are sparse especially when you get rid of the regulars i.e. bread. No rolls, no bread for sandwiches, no bun for hot dogs or turkey burgers, no fun.
So here I am whining and complaining and missing certain foods. Wow! What a small little world I live in. I am cutting out these foods for 1 week. 1 week! That is 1.92% of a year. Say if I live to be 80 years old (4,160 weeks), my fasting from my favorites would only be 0.02% of my life, that isn't even half a point! What a spoiled brat I am.
There are some people who never get to eat fresh out-of-the-oven homemade chocolate chip cookies or a loaf of french bread. I have a tendency to compare myself to others, well actually to the haves, not the have- nots, and so my life seems lacking, yet it really isn't. Even with my elimination, I will have plenty of food to eat and next week I can go back to my chocolate and bread, but some people in the world's poorest countries would take my simplest, 7 free foods any week.
I also have to admit that I am amazed at how I went from eating when hungry to obsessed about food overnight. I didn't think I would be. I am not a foodie. I am not constantly thinking about food, when I am hungry, I eat, usually what sounds good and don't really give it much thought. Yes, I am someone who can forget to eat, food is not usually a weakness for me, or so I thought. Maybe food is a bigger deal and I just didn't realize it because I always had what I wanted. I have never been without food. I don't know what it is like to go hungry, yes we have struggled to pay bills, but we have never gone hungry and even with my eliminated food choices, I will not go hungry.
So today I have realized that I am rich, not necessarily by American standards, but compared to most of the world, I got it good.
Just some food for thought.