Yep. You read that right… How to fail the “7” Experiment. As you read last week (here), I decided to give the “7” experiment a go. So last week I spent many hours looking at healthy foods and which 7 foods I would only eat for a month that could give me all of my necessary nutrients. I was scared but I thought why not?! Jen Hatmaker did it, so why can’t I? After all, it’s only for 1 month… Then today came and as I prayed my way through the day God reminded me: I just had a baby, who is dealing with GERD (gastroesophogeal reflux disease), who doesn’t sleep, who has a big sister who hasn’t been sleeping and is experiencing the terrible 2’s in the most horrific way I could have imagined. So. Yeah. That’s why I can’t and shouldn’t do it.
That being said I really want to do the “7” experiment at some point. Now is just not the time. God has me learning to fully rely on Him in the little things right now, and let’s face it, that experiment is not a little thing. That’s why I feel like it is only fitting to write about how to fail the “7” experiment.
1.) Decide to do this after having a baby. Yes, I know we already covered this… however, it is only fair to say that my whole brain is filled up with dirty diapers, bottles, crying, sleepless nights, GERD, sleepwalking, projectile vomit, laundry and did I mention crying?? Either way those things are hard enough to get through when that’s the only thing on your plate but when you are a mom of more than 1 that’s not the only thing on your plate. So that being said: if you have just had a baby DO NOT TRY THE EXPERIMENT. It will only lead you to a day filled with more tears than you can imagine and the desire to try your baby’s formula just to see if it tastes any better than the food you regrettably decided to choose for your first month of fasting. (Don’t worry, I didn’t try the formula, I just considered it… seriously considered it.)
2.) Decide to do this if you have a toddler. Okay, so it’s safe to say that most of the time my 2 year old eats pretty darn healthy, I have even heard her ask for salad for dinner! Don’t worry, that’s not the norm… typically she wants cheese for every meal. However, when you have a toddler, there is no way that you can choose to have them eat just 7 types of food for a month. That said toddler would starve! So, sadly, you are stuck serving them their ham and cheese sandwich on yummy seed bread and strawberries on the side while you hungrily sit by and watch them eat. Because those said 7 foods are all whole foods which need to be washed, cut, and cooked/put together in order to eat them… and let’s face it, shortly after this toddlers lunch is nap time so you will not be able to eat until they have gone through all 200 little things that they do before any time that they sleep. (Some people call this a routine, but when I am hungry I call this insanity.) So don’t do it. Not to mention, if that said toddler is potty training there are a lot of fruit snacks and m&m’s being handed out for positive reinforcement. Yeah. That’s fun.
3.) You are trying to lose all the baby weight you gained by starting a new workout routine. Enough said. Starting 2 big new habits at the same time is bad under the easiest of lifestyles but again, this is not my life at the moment.
4.) You always seem to bite off more than you can chew. Seriously, I am always taking on bigger tasks than I can handle and I tend to do them all at once. This means that 9 time out of 10 I will fail. Not because I can’t do it but because I am trying to do too many tasks/challenges/experiments all at once.
5.) You didn’t consult God with the timing of when to do this experiment. Any time you try to do something without God’s go ahead, you will end up failing. Okay maybe not completely failing and sometimes you may actually succeed, however, if it isn’t in God’s timing and without His leading it will never be as good as He desires it to be.
So there you have it folks, that’s how you fail the “7” experiment. I still will do it at some point, now is just not the time. And I will say, if you haven’t read the book you should. And if you want to try the experiment – do so! It really is incredible what God can do when we simplify our lives and we look to him more than our “stuff”.
Instead of doing the experiment, I have 5 things that I will be doing that are ways for me to improve my life right now. These are things that I need to do for my sanity, health, and relationship with God and I fully believe that regardless of what you have going on in your life, you should always try to have attainable goals that challenge you and push you to be more than you already are.
1.) Workout 6 days a week by doing my Piyo workouts with my beachbody accountability group. This is a little thing. These workouts last anywhere from 20-45 minutes. When I do this I feel better, I function better, I have more energy and I treat others with more respect because I’m treating myself with more respect. As a mom, my days could be horrible and as long as I workout, I feel better about everything that has gone on that day.
2.) Turn off social media sites more often and focus on spending time in the here and now. Am I against social media sites?? No way! In fact, I love that I can connect to people I haven’t seen or talked to for a long time. I also love that I can share pictures with family and friends who live farther away than I can drive on a regular basis. But for me Facebook and Instagram have become quite the addiction. Anytime I am alone or bored or have nothing to say, I fill those spaces with a social media site of my choice. This isn’t a bad option for once or twice a day to find out what is going on in the lives of those around me, however, when it becomes a mindless action for me, I do myself and the world around me an injustice by not being involved.
3.) Nap. You heard me. I am going to work on napping more often. Mommy is happier with sleep in her body. And when Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!
4.) Spend time on my own, away from my kids and my husband. This is a big one. Most mom’s don’t take time for themselves and when they don’t, more often than not, they aren’t getting the rest and rejuvenation that they need to best take care of their family. This is something that I hope more of you do more often, take time for yourself! You would be amazed at what kind of human being you are when you have been filled up.
And the most important:
5.) Spend time regularly worshipping God. My goal with the experiment was to free up more of me so that God could work more in my life without things holding me back. But if I’m not spending consistent, quality time alone with God, I am not giving Him much space to work in my life anyway. Now I would be lying if I said that getting up first thing in the morning is what was best for me to spend time with God. In fact, if I said that I would just be setting myself up for failure. But I do know that when I first wake up, if I spend 2 minutes saying “God, this is Your day – not mine – and I give you everything so that I can submit to you. Help me to listen to You first and to give you my best. I cannot do this without you.” I then set myself up for a better start to the day. I can tell you though that spending time in God’s Word at some point through out the day is vital for my relationship with Him. If I am not spending time with someone and thinking about them consistently, how can I have any sort of intimate relationship with them??
I know that sometimes I think I can handle more than I can actually handle. And sometimes I catch myself right before I drown in the midst of these massive commitments… but I also know that God has been calling me to simplify my life, not just materially, but mentally as well. So by seeing that I would fail the “7” Experiment, I am making more time and energy available to what God has for me in the here and now. And simplifying in that way may be more fulfilling and honoring of what God has called me to anyway. When I simplify my life I free up more space for me to be able to ask God what He has for me each day and in turn, for Him to give me specific ways that I can serve him that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to do.