Tuesday, October 8, 2013

7: Waste

My friend Sammy and I are undertaking Jen Hatmaker's 7 Experiment, a seven week fast from excess.  Our first week, we fasted by only eating seven foods.  Our second week, we only wore seven articles of clothing.  Our third week, we gave away possessions.  Last week, we fasted from seven forms of media (the hardest week by far!).

This week is a fast from waste. 

I struggled with whether or not I wanted to share anything at all about this week's fast.  I have been completely honest and open about the last four weeks, so I'm going to be transparent about this one as well, even though it may bring on a bunch of negative responses.

I'm not enthusiastic about this fast.  In fact, I'm a few days in and I'm still not sure how it's going to work.

Jen Hatmaker chose to fast by being proactively eco-friendly, such as only driving one car for a week, composting, buying locally, shopping thrift, and etc.  These things just don't work for a college student!  I only have one car already.  I have to take a test thirty minutes away in another town this week, so I can't give up my car.  Composting is unrealistic for my life.  I make very little money as a college student and have the schedule of a crazy person, so buying local/organic won't work well.  And finally, I just gave away half my clothes, so there is no need for me to shop from a thrift store!  Basically, this week is going to be complicated. 

Sammy and I chose to give up things that could harm the environment.  I am giving up paper towels, disposable plastic bottles, soda cans, plastic grocery bags, styrofoam cups, and sandwich baggies.  Sammy is replacing the last item on that list with washing all of her dishes by hand.  And our seventh thing will be to plant a garden together in Sam's backyard.

The thing is, we are Texas girls and college students.  We survive on fast food and efficiency.  While we love the earth God gave us and love the idea of having a garden and eating organically, going green isn't always an option for our lifestyles right now. 

This last weekend, we went to a Rice Festival that was a celebration of cajun food.  We'd been planning this trip for over a month, so we decided to shorten our fast to the week days, because there was no way to avoid styrofoam and paper towels at this festival if we were going to eat anything.

We're trying to stay motivated this week, but as another round of exams and all-nighters tumbles into our laps, we're already tending to cheat a little by choosing paper cups over styrofoam (because hey, they technically aren't bottle, styrofoam, or can, okay?) and napkins instead of paper towels.  My mom is out of the state for the next several days, so she is taking a break from the 7 Experiment altogether and will be re-joining next week.

I'm being honest here.  This is how we're skimping this week.  This fast simply hasn't convicted my heart yet like the others have.

Perhaps we haven't gone into this with the right mindset, and I'm reading 7 and its workbook and trying my best to understand the points Jen is making, but I just haven't gotten it so far.  While I hate the idea of oil spills and littering, I don't have a problem with using paper towels and sandwich bags.  I'm sorry, eco-friendly people.  I'm sorry.

So I'm asking the Lord to teach me something over the next four days, to break my heart for what breaks His, to change the aspects of my lifestyle that do not glorify Him, despite my lack of motivation and conviction.  His grace extends much further than my fickle emotions.

So we'll see.

If you have any ideas of how we could approach this fast differently, you are very welcome to discuss in the comments.  Be sure to remain respectful and kind in regards to the beliefs of others, green or not.

One year ago: A Taste of Encouragement
Two years ago: Creepiest Puppy Ever
Three years ago: Leave an encouraging Bible verse


  1. It's really encouraging to hear your struggles too- it's helpful to realise everyone is human, and it makes it easier to connect to you as a blogger because it's realistic :)