Hey guys, Brittany here!
As promised I wanted to give you some more details on this exciting (and sure to be challenging) fast that is kicking off THIS Sunday! If you listened to Episode 2 of the Shared Stories Podcast, you heard me talk about the 7's challenge that Kevin and I have decided to do leading up until our wedding; which is coming so soon by the way! I think the count is in the 90-something mark now? Crazy! Although the excitement and to-do list is running at an all time high, we are both very aware of the attacks that are coming against us as well.
Life is hard.
I don't think anyone would argue that; but when two people who are sold out for Jesus and for seeing people come to know his love decide to build a life together, it really pisses off the enemy. Why? Because satan is a whole heck of a lot happier if we were to stay exactly where we are, in a comfortable American-Christianity, than take one step forward in advancing God's Kingdom. People who dream with God and then actually do something about it? Those are the people that satan fears rising up.
Because people who rise up in faith can change the world.
So, why would we do a fast if we want to change the world? And what the heck is 7? Well, as I talked about in the podcast (which you should just go listen to if you still haven't done that) a fast is simply this: Relearning the essentials of faith through the disciplines of simplicity with one goal and focus in mind: to create space for God’s Kingdom to break through. A refresh for the heart, mind, body, and spirit. Sometimes in order to join with God in God's mission, you first have to recognize that there are a lot of distractions keeping you from going all in.
That is why we want to do this fast, project, challenge, whatever you want to call it. We chose to walk through Jen Hatmaker's book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess for a few reasons.
- She is my favorite author and speaker and I admire the work she is doing for the Kingdom.
- Through her own journey of realizing how the "American Dream" was crushing her ability to be like Jesus, she challenged me to look at my life and ask myself a similar question. When is enough, enough?
- Her 7 focuses seem to be the areas that all Westerners seem to struggle with the most, so why reinvent the wheel?
"7 will be an exercise in simplicity with one goal: to create space for God's kingdom to break through. I approach this project in the spirit of a fast: an intentional reduction, a deliberate abstinence to summon God's movement in my life. A fast creates margin for God to move."
Can you relate to that? Are you in a season where you feel like you've lost focus or feel off-centered? Do you need a move of God in your life? Maybe you need to feel God move for the first time in your life. I would challenge you to step into this season of 7 with us. We will be here to encourage you, walk with you, and support you. I am personally signing up to pray with you and meet with you when you need someone to listen. (If you're not local we can meet virtually through texts, emails, or facetime. God bless the internet.)
We kick off Sunday, April 15 with the first focus of clothing. We will go for 20 days. The same 7 pieces of clothing. No jewelry, accessories, belts, jackets, hats, coats, etc. unless you choose them to be one of your 7 items. It's time we simplify our wardrobes to see just how much we really have, and how little we need. It is time we recognize that we are not defined by the label stitched inside the tag of our clothes. And yes, work clothes count as your choices unless you have to wear a uniform to work! Here are the items that Kevin and I have chosen!
*Underwear does not count. Don't be gross, change your underwear.*
Brittany: I chose the pieces that had some color and detail yet could still mix and match. Giving up my big chunky earrings, layering necklaces, and all my rings (not my wedding ring) will be really hard so I needed some items with visual interest.
- One black pair of high-waisted skinny jeans
- One long grey cardigan for layering
- One tank top for the warmer spring days
- One grey tee-shirt that says, "C'est Si Bon"
- One bright blue shirt that says, "Salut" (I like my foreign word shirts y'all)
- One pair of black leather boots. It may be spring but it's Michigan.
- One long black cardigan that is a bit warmer than the grey.
Kevin: I picked my favorite things, and I like them all because they are things Brittany got me. It's spring so it made sense to pick my rain coat too. (Kevin tried to sneak in one extra item with his hat so I made him get rid of something. His response? "I can't just have one shirt...I don't want to smell.")
- One pair of black jeans
- One button down
- One long sleeve white shirt
- One long sleeve grey shirt
- One black Patagonia hat
- Black pull over rain jacket
- Nike black and white tennis shoes
We will be posting on our Instagram @shocktheworld.life, @brittanyannmiller, and @kevinsmigielski so be sure to follow along, use #STW7 and tag us so we can follow your journey too! Updates and instructions will come when we are about to start the next focus with a new Jesus segment on the podcast and a blog post. Be sure to let us know what God is speaking to you too! I'm excited you guys and I hope you are too! I'll close out with Jen's final thoughts from her introduction:
"I'm anxious about turning the soil, but I'm so eager for liberation that I'm still willing to become weird and eccentric. It's the means to the harvest. Jesus, may there be less of me and my junk and more of You and Your kingdom. Here we go."
All My Best,
If you'd like to connect during this time to chat, meet, or pray here's how you can reach me! firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-762-0459. If you want to get Jen's book to go through all 7 focuses in the 7 months, you can find that here: