Where did our journey to a sustainable and a regenerative lifestyle begin? Did it start when we moved into our house? Did it start when we started our journey together? Did it start a long time before or somewhere in between?
The answer to our question is yes, three times over. This journey take time people, don’t be discouraged. I won’t get into all the details and moments, but our path is reflected in who we are over time. I will let you know where we are at today and our plan going through the course of the next year. Today, we formally introduce our “Fast for a Year (Steward for Eternity).” This is our journey, our goal during 2019 to reduce our spending, reduce our waste, live more ethically, and make firm our commitments to a local food lifestyle.
About four months ago I began to see an increase in the number of friends who suffer from various types of food allergies. About that same time Jenn decided to reread (listen to) 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker for a second time. These two occurrences, while seemingly unrelated, caused us to take a step back and start thinking about how we do many small things differently in our home. We began to process what it would look like to share our thoughts with the world and how we could take the next steps in furthering our regenerative lifestyle. So, with the beginning of the fall/winter season, our ideas took shape and here we are…
Simple World Stewards the blog has been around for 3 years now with minimal posts from time to time. Yes, we are probably considered minimalists, but this is just sad. The busyness of life and my (Adam) lack of excitement for writing has not allowed the blog to flourish. But Instagram is so simple and short, I can handle this, besides I’m a visual person anyway so pictures are great! In an attempt to share more of what we do, @simpleworldstewards on Instagram has become a reality, so check us out.
Fast for a Year (Steward for Eternity) started out as an idea about four months ago as I listened to bits and pieces of 7. So, Jenn and I read the book together. The more we read, the more ideas began to flow, numerous difficult discussions occurred, and our synthesis become a plan and goal for the year of 2019. Ask Jenn and she will tell you this was my idea, and at first she was quite resistant to this idea of fasting for a year. This lifestyle takes time, commitment, dedication, and sacrifice, but is so rewarding along the way. And I can’t take all the credit; 7 has been a huge motivation and guide for the year ahead. We will take the same 7 categories and explore how we too can reduce our impact in these areas of life. But we will expand our journey over the course of a year and take a little less extreme approach. This is our attempt to slow down and continue to examine our lives and the impact we have on the world (both people and ecological) around us. The categories we will examine are as follows and will be discussed further over the course of the year.
Food – Incorporate a new “NO” food/idea each month for the first six months
Waste – Incorporate the 4 bin system with ultimate goal to produce zero waste
Clothing – only buy 2nd hand or ethically sourced goods
Possessions – sort through 1 area of the home each month for the first four months
Media – One hour time limit for social media each day
Spending – No purchases other than food, bills, and routine maintenance (AKA our budget)
Sabbath – This is a must, sundown Saturday to sundown Sunday
Several of these categories will be overall yearlong application, while others we will break down and focus on in different ways for the first half of the year. Most of these areas we already do to some degree, but this year we will make a firm commitment to follow through and not compromise. The whole point of a fast is to sacrifice and create a space of reflection about life, and we look forward (Jenn with slight apprehension) to this. We hope to draw nearer to God and have less of an impact on the world He created. It’s less about what we’re giving up, and more about how our using less resources means other people can have something at all. Every decision we make has an impact on someone else; the question is whether it is a positive impact or a negative one.
Jenn’s heart in all of this continues to return to Isaiah 58: 6 & 7
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?”
We see the luxury we live in, the crazy richness that surrounds us, that we often don’t see because we’re too busy looking at someone who has more. It’s time that we stop looking at our neighbors with more and start looking at our neighbors who have less. Every action we take affects someone else, because we’re all on planet earth together. Everything is interconnected. It’s time for us to fast from our American indulgences.
We hope that you will join us on our journey. We hope that you feel inspired to change something in your daily life. And we hope to make a positive impact on this earth and begin to help make at least our own little homestead new.