I have attempted multiple times to sit down and write a reflection from the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker. I have drafts written and even planned on covering the book over a week's worth of posts. But what I learned from the challenge of this process is that I process by writing. And I had already processed the book. I didn't need to write in order to process. I already started living it out.
I shared a bit of my journey on Facebook and Instagram so many of you may have already been familiar with this. But a friend of mine recently asked me how things were going months after reading the book. Was I still keeping up some of the disciplines and challenges I took on? THAT I could process which brings you to today's post.
7 changed me. It will go down as one of my top life influential books. I gained new insight to so many areas of my life and the excess around me. As someone who strives for a simple lifestyle, this book challenged me in whole new ways. When something changes you this much it is often hard to put it into words what that change was and still do it justice. I think that is why I have been so hesitant to share my thoughts. I never felt like the words that I wrote were good enough to give a complete look at how it changed my life.
So, three months later, what am I still practicing from 7?
My wardrobe. For a week I wore only seven articles of clothing. And though this was not the rule, I included pajamas and workout clothes because that is what I wear.
During our purge week, my women's group collectively went through our wardrobes and donated a large amount of clothes and household items. I challenged myself to get rid of 100 articles of clothing. Living with less clothes not only brought freedom to having a wardrobe I actually loved but curbed my shopping problem. Since 7, I have only brought a few items into my closet and refrained from impulse purchases. Now I only buy items I need (which is not much).
The second area of 7 that I have continued to focus on is living greener. I purchased a recycle bin (that would match my white house!) and have been more thoughtful about what goes into the garbage. Everything gets recycled and I even rip out the plastic clear see through part of envelopes to be thrown in the trash while the rest gets recycled. If you are curious what is recyclable, check out this list (specifically applicable to Sacramento County but still a helpful resource).
Our curbside recycle bin now overflows instead of our trash can.
Along with recycling I have also started composting and expanding our vegetable and fruit garden.
On the side of our house, we recently cleared out some items we were storing providing for an empty spot for an in ground garden. I cleaned the area out and cut back the tree...all by myself...by the way.
And started laying out our existing plants that were previously in containers.
I am still in the works of filling in my center walkway with rocks. I added one of our outdoor table and chairs for a place to place things and occasionally sit at.
As you can see, this little spot is nice and tucked away from the rest of our yard.
To give a bit more perspective, the garden is to the left of the house.
These photos were taken back in November when our yard was still alive! Looking forward to Spring and getting back to gardening again!
As for composting, I have started to leave a bowl out in the kitchen to hold food scraps that later gets taken out to a garbage can in the garden. It has yet to get full and super composty but I am slowly adding to it and it is all starting to turn black and promising!
There is nothing glamorous about composting but my mind and heart feel settled that it is a small part I can make in caring about the earth.
My life is pretty simple and wrapped around simple things. I spend my days at home, with people, and my blog buddies. Even still, reading 7 reminded me that there is a bigger world surrounded around me and a greater God that can grasp the entirety of it all. Though I may not be able to wrap my head around all of these things, I was inspired to look at life from a larger worldview. For that I am grateful. And because of this new knowledge I have to be responsible.
For further reading, some resources I found helpful at cutting out the excess:
Trash Can Compost Bin Tutorial
How Much Energy Does Recycling Save?
What Can I Compost?
81 Things You Can Compost
And for an ongoing list of resources, my Green Living Pinterest Board.