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A Give Up Giveaway

Have you ever seen (or had or been) that kid who, after being dragged along a crazy journey from the bank to the post office to the shoe store to the dry cleaners, finally sits down in the middle of the grocery store aisle and refuses to take another step?
Yeah. That’s me.
I’m tired. In addition to needing silence, I need (or want) a break from life. I hesitate to say that out loud because I know that many of you are battling giants much bigger than mine, and you deserve a break far more than I do. But that’s where I am. Sitting myself down between the cereal and the syrup, my lower lip jutting out, my arms crossed. No. I’m not getting up. You can’t make me. I want to go home and watch cartoons. Or CNN. Whatever.
Being sick for the past ten days certainly doesn’t help my attitude. My poor body has been wracked with something that resembles the flu, minus the fever and body aches. I’m finally functional now, though this nagging cough refuses to go back home. While staying in my pajamas all day would normally sound heavenly, after a week it lands somewhere south of that.
Sitting in the aisle, I want to quit everything. Tutoring, serving the homeless, volunteering — what’s the point? And I am dangerously close to turning in my pen and walking away from writing. Not that I haven’t already given up, evidenced by the lack of blog posts lately, but if I say it out loud and make it official, then I could release myself from the guilt of not writing.
But I’m not there yet. I’m still hanging on. My heavenly Mother stands over me, sitting there in the aisle, and says, “I know you’re tired. You have been such a trooper. But we need to get going. There’s much more to see and do — good things I think you’ll enjoy. Come on. Get up.”
Okay. Fine. Stomp-stomp-stomp.
So I’m attempting to carve out some space for silence, for rest, for courage to keep going. I mentioned a while ago that Caroline and I are diving into The 7 Experiment, a study and application of the book 7, both of which are all about creating space. She suggested to me last year that we “do 7.” I thought she meant we would simply read the book again and talk about it. No. She wants to do 7.
And we’d love for you to join us. Strength in numbers and all that.

Our beloved Hat insists you don’t have to have it all together. That this experiment is grace-filled and encouraging, not at all condemning or judgy. That all we are doing is letting go of something each week in order to create a space for God to breathe life into us and show us something new. Each week offers not a plug & play formula, but an open arena of many options and ideas. You customize your own fast from excess and explore your own ideas of freedom. You don’t have to read the book before doing the study.

The 7 Experiment is not about guilt or condemnation or creating some template to fit us all or pointing a finger. This is about liberation. Trust me, with me as your guide, there is not possibly room for sanctimonious posturing. You’ve got yourself a good old-fashioned anomaly on your hands with me as someone who chose to speak from the middle of the pack — undeveloped, unfinished, undone myself. I find this material as challenging as you do…There is a bigger story to live, and God is drawing us into it. It is thrilling and good and radical; the gospel life has no equal.

Here’s the deal. I have five workbooks to give away. If you want to jump in with us and do this study, I would love to give you the material to get started. But there are conditions.
  1. You have to do the experiment. No wimping out and just reading it, which is what I’d prefer but Caroline won’t let me.
  2. When I write a post on that week’s experiment, please comment and share what you discovered from your experiment. It doesn’t have to be profound or lengthy — but I’d love to hear your observations.
  3. If you live near me and want to join our group, we’re meeting at my house every other Thursday (one lesson every two weeks, nine lessons in all) from 7:30-9, beginning March 7. We’ll watch a short video (usually 15-20 minutes) and discuss the week. If you’re doing the study/experiment by yourself or with your own group, you can download the videos online. I’ll post a link each week.
That’s all. Easy-peasy. Sort of. 
I’d like to tell you I’m excited about the study and experiment, that I’m a little nervous but looking forward to it. But then I’d be A BIG FAT LIAR. Here’s the truth: I’m in total denial, and that works well for me. I’m hardly thinking about how challenging it will be. Which is the only reason I’ve agreed to dive in.
Ready? Let’s do this. 
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment telling me why you’d like to do the experiment. If you don’t have a Google account or Open ID, then please include your email address. I’ll either take the first five or the best five, depending on how many enter.

7 thoughts on “A Give Up Giveaway

  1. Jen, i love your posts. They make me miss you & evenings spent hanging out. I would love to join you in this. This is kind of where The Lord already has begun to take me. Being unemployed for so long has really allowed me to evaluate where I spend my time, energy, money…hopes, heart, etc. As I move again, things get downsized more. Things I loathed to let go of go on to hopefully help someone else out & the tug at my heart forces me to ask why I have such a hard time letting go. I'd love to look deeper…alongside people would be even better & help me feel less alone.

  2. I'm so glad you were honest about not being super excited about practical application of this AND that you're in total denial about what this will truly entail. Since I've not read the book yet, I'm both ignorant and in denial! But, with some trepidation, I'd like to join you…Deb Weaverthewordweaver.com

  3. I’m scared. This will be extremely difficult for me. I tried to get my small group to start this book last month, but I was out-voted. (I think we were all just too afraid of the logistics of implementation.) I still want to do it. I’m off-track and need to be pushed (shoved?) back on-track. Count me in. Yikes.

  4. I’m reading 7 currently. Feeling about the same way you are. I want to be all in, but then again, do I really WANT to? Ugh! Your Thursday night group is intriguing me. Life is a little up in the air right now, but I’m praying about crashing the party and joining you on Thursdays. I’ll let you know as it gets closer.

    • Yay! I hope you will. I think you’d have some great insight to share. You can join me on my denial boat – I have plenty of room and it’s nice and comfy 😉

  5. Ok, the book is beside my bed. Do I just read it all at once or take a piece at a time? Not sure how it will go, but I’m always willing to try. Wish I could come over on Thursday nights…and Tuesdays and Mondays and Saturdays…the good ol’ days! 😦

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