The Summer of 7 POST

Where you been, Katrina?

Blog much?

So, The Poorganic Life? Is that a blog, or just a Facebook page?

That writing thing. That’s . . . not gonna happen; is it?

No one has been asking these questions to me, but they have been reverberating in my head constantly as I’ve taken the last month  . . or so  . . . to re-run old posts and think.

I started this blog two years ago (as The Low Ryder), with a series I called “The 13 Weeks of Summer” wherein I bragged about how we lived off of my husband’s teacher’s salary during the summer months when he isn’t paid.  That turned into another year and a half of bragging blogging about how super frugal we are.  Last fall, I decided to up the brag-o-licious factor by bragging blogging about how we are super frugal on a teacher’s salary AND we eat real food!

BAHM!!  Aren’t you impressed? I mean, let’s face it, we Ryders are pretty freakin’ awesome.

Nodding off and clicking away . . .right?

I know. I’ve gotten pretty disgusted with floating my own boat. I can’t think of that many new ways to spin the whole “Check out this clever dinner I made and pinned and which you all made and pinned and which The Pioneer Woman debuted 14 lightyears ago, but which I am just now trying.”

One day during my sabbatical, I was looking at pictures of my Compassion child and feeling like, “Well, la-dee, freakin’ da. Who really cares about how to be sorry for your PRETEND- “poor” with all our lavish abundance?!”


Around the same time, a friend mentioned a book called 7 to me. And then another friend mentioned the book 7 to me. And then my sister bought it, read it, and shoved it in my hand because I am actually so cheap I don’t even buy books.  Meanwhile, my other friend started an online book club reading 7. (It’s going on NOW!)  SO with that undue pressure, I read it.

7 is written by Jen Hatmaker, who, was trying simplicity for the sake of  . . . others.

Simplicity for the sake of others.

Not for herself.

Not to pay off debt. Or pad the college fund. Or win the “Most Manic Couponer of the Year Award.”

She wasn’t even simplifying to write an awesome blog, although I think that happened.  She conducts “an experimental mutiny against excess” to draw her eye towards others.

I bet you know . . .she had me at “Hello.”

She took seven months and challenged herself to simplify and remove excess in seven areas: Food, Clothes, Possessions, Media, Waste, Spending, and Stress. She explains that she took on this challenge for two reasons:

1. To draw herself to repentance for “greed, ungratefulness, ruined opportunities, and irresponsibility.”

2. To prepare herself and her family for a new mindset regarding “Jesus’ version of rich, blessed, and generous.”

That is what I want. Those exact words are why I have been blogging for two years. Her concepts are the ones that I feel I have clung to, yet failed to articulate. This book has just MESSED ME UP ENTIRELY. I have nodded, cracked up, and shouted outloud, “I KNOW” numerous times. She is funny, honest, and painfully convicting.

And because I’m sick in the head, I thought that I should find some other crazy bloggers who I could mess up, and then together, we can mess you up. We should all try 7 together, shouldn’t we?

Won’t that be fun? Won’t it? Won’t IT? (My kids say NO. My husband says, “Why? Why? Why would you do this?)

Several other bloggers and I are each going to each take Jen’s challenges and try them for ONLY ONE WEEK. (Doing it for a month is for people with book deals. ;)) Then we’re going to blog about it and invite you to link up with us with your stories.

Can we eat ONLY seven foods for one whole week?

Can we wear ONLY seven pieces of clothing for one week?

Can we eliminate SEVEN forms of media from our lives for one week?

Can we WALK everywhere for a week?

Can we eat locally for a week?

Can we spend ZERO money for a week?

Can we give more than we consume?

Can we love others more than we love ourselves?

Can we break up with all the JUNK in our lives and begin to see beyond the end of our crap-piled Target cart?

MOSTLY, can we figure out how to turn a fast from a legalistic exercise into a truly constructive way to realign our hearts?

Over the summer, the following lovely ladies and I will be sharing our stories at our blogs as we each take on our own different versions of the challenges. You’ll hear from:

Kay from Kay’s Counseling Blog

Steph from Only Here, Only Now

Melissa from

Amy from Permission to Peruse

Alene from Positively Alene

Jamie from Six Brick High

Rachel from Occassional Boredom

ME from The Poorganic Life

Amy from Amy in Wanderland (At the end of the summer, Amy’s going to tackle giving up “Selfishness” so we can finish off by turning our hearts towards service.)

AND YOU!!! Where do you come in? First, read 7. Then consider whether this kind of fast might be for you. Each category page has a blog hop link- up where you can share your story from The Summer of 7. The link-ups on each page (Stress, Possessions, Clothing, Food, Spending, Media, Waste, and Self) will be active all summer, so you can try the challenges in ANY order you like. We (and you–wink, wink) can join with us as your summer, and children, and cook-out schedule permit. At the end, the most convicted person WINS!!

Just kidding.

I’m hoping that by the end of the summer, in at least some small way, I will have scraped some of the glut of cultural greed off of my life, so that we can give out of the abundance that we so often fail to see because we are drowning in it. I’m praying my “poorganic” life will be one that is about simplicity for the sake of others, growing deeply into my heart and life, rooted and grounded in love.

Will you join us? Share your schedule with us by filling in you info into the blog hop Linky Tool below. Or you can just leave a comment letting us know you plan to participate in The Summer of 7!! (And grab a button for your blog!)

Here’s a little ad for Jen’s book if you need MORE enticement. 🙂



15 thoughts on “The Summer of 7 POST

  1. First, I would like to encourage you to keep blogging. I really enjoy reading and I am blessed by what you have to write. I haven’t thought of you as boasting. So please don’t stop. And it is okay if you can’t blog everyday, at least I think so. 🙂

    Secondly, I am excited about getting my hands on this book. I hope to join in the with summer of 7. It seems like it will be a difficult but good, in many more ways, challenge.

    Blessings from God to you! 🙂

    1. I’m not going to quit blogging. (Did I say that?) 🙂 I am just hoping to do a little better at being and doing what I say I do. 🙂 K

      1. um, I could definitely also be a little better at being and doing what i say. 🙂 so you aren’t alone in that. 🙂
        I don’t think you said you were going to quit, i just sensed that you were discouraged or something when i read the first part of the post. glad you are keeping at it. i am sure it take s a lot of time to blog and i appreciate your efforts.

  2. I’ve just skimmed your recent “7” post – I’m hooked – count me in!!! Will check out book club too!
    THANKS! You always inspire me!!!
    Love you!
    Hope to see you soon!

  3. I will follow this with LOTS of interest! Glad I can exempt myself from the seven food items due to my doctor-imposed order to eat lots of various foods in EXCESS so my in-utero quints can grow good and fat. 😉 I kept wondering about that book on your table and wanting to skim through it yesterday.

    I can honestly say my pregnancy wardrobe is at about 7 items I regularly wear due to comfort factor, so at least I’ve got one area down! And there is NO WAY I am giving up media for the bedrest months ahead, but again, this really fascinates me and I will eagerly read each and every post.

    Great idea!

  4. Is it weird that my heart is racing a bit now…is it excitement..or fear? i think both! Since my 10 month old was born…things changed…my desire to stay home with my child has led me to these (what most people think are crazy) thoughts about living on much less. So – we’ve started small. I’m anxious to read more about your journey – because it’s like my eyes are opening to the excess and what God’s thoughts must really be about our lifestyle.

    So – all that to say – we’re in. I’m headed to amazon right now to order the book.


    1. Oh girl, I’m so excited for you and I know how you feel. I’m sure you will love this book, and if you poke around this blog a bit (like here) you will find that some of this stuff is already part of “The Poorganic Life.” I’m glad that you’re here!!

    1. I’m glad you’re joining us Leslie. You may want to link your post up to the “food” hop since you’ve started in on food. All the different hops are at tabs on my blog. ALSO, you can host the whole hop on your blog by grabbing the code (for the hop you want) and pasting it into your HTML. 🙂 Let me know if you have questions.

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