On Vanity, Spending, and The Hunger Games

Photo credit: DrMark from morguefile.com

Three things, somewhat unconnected, but nonetheless sloshing around this week’s brain-stew are as follows:

If you read the “I’m so vain” post, but did not read the comments, you may want to go do that so what I am about to write will make sense.

In my post, I made the mistake of providing no segue way between saying that make-up-lessness provided me a chance to see the blackness of my heart AND asking you all to be better at accountability.

I think my post  kind of gave the impression that make-up-lessness was the problem. Of course, in your gentle way, you wanted to soothe me.  Quite a few of you wrote about self-esteem and body image and comparing yourself to others, but that I feel like was not exactly what I wanted to communicate. The REAL problem is sin not body image.

Being vain or proud is a sin.

Being judgmental is a sin.

Having an imperfect body, large pores, thinning hair, an overlarge forehead, chubby thighs, ugly knees, and/or adult acne are not sins.

Being self-conscious to the point of self-absorption seems also to be a sin.

And when we have sin and we confess it to friends, let’s not say the spiritual equivalent of “Girlfriend, skinny jeans are for everyone!”

If you want to be encouraging, pile it on with purple dye-jobs, over tight jeans, or puff paint sweaters. But when it comes time to say the hard things about drinking too much, wearing tight shirts, gossiping, or talking bad about our husbands, I want to figure out a way to say, Girl, it’s time to let that mess go.

More on this in upcoming post.


This is my no spending week.

We have one trash bag left, so I’m already getting a practice on no waste week. Since I can’t even walk to buy food, I’m getting a rehash of food week. Other than this, I don’t have much to say about no spending except:

MY KIDS ARE DRIVING ME ABSOLUTELY CRAZY AND NOTHING IS FREE! (Don’t say the library or I’ll stab you. My library is the size of an iPad.)

That is all.

PS: Homeschoolers should be sainted.

PPS: Praise God for public schools who accept my children and employ my husband.


Do not read The Hunger Games series when you are doing The Summer of 7.

Even though I think this book is classified as adolescent dystopian fiction, it is straight up satire. Satire, for those of you lacking a dusty BA in English, is a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.

People, squirm much. We are the Capitol; it is wretched. I might as well dye my skin pink. I am not sure if Katniss or Jen Hatmaker has made me think more about my priorities, but one thing is for sure, I am starting to realize that THIS, this very Summer of 7 exercise is  . . . .a game to me in many ways.

I’m doing all this to see if I can SURVIVE it, and to watch you and see if you can too. Can we play “pretend” poor? Can we? (Triple clap.) Won’t that be fun?

While we are talking pop-fiction, I also library-rented that Justin Timberlake movie, In Time, which is another dystopian satire where the rich people distance themselves from the poor, rolling around in the dollar bins at Target in an orgiastic ritual.

Not really, but that is what it felt like the whole time.

I have to slap myself every third day and say to myself, THIS IS NOT A GAME. This is a fast. If I do this out of idle curiously, amusement, or boredom, it is arbitrary and useless . . . because I will just return to my old habits and mind-sets lickety-split.

Instead I need to say, GOD, please have mercy on me. Move into this space I’ve managed to empty for 7 days; please do it quick before I refill it with some new anti-boredom Ap-o-fun. Show me the poor. Take me to them. Move ME.

Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O Man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you. But to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

I’m adding this to the Summer of 7 Spending Blog HOP. If you want to read some delightful and cohesive writing on this subject to clear your brain of the jumble I just dumped in there, please read one of these posts. Additionally, if you want to join the Summer of 7 Conversation, check out this Facebook Group. 🙂


14 thoughts on “On Vanity, Spending, and The Hunger Games

  1. Wait until you get to book 3 of the Hunger Games. It goes from satire to out-and-out depressing. Especially given the mirror the author holds up in books 1 and 2. Oi. Am going to blog about that some time…
    Leanne recently posted…Inner Excavation: Week 3My Profile

  2. Oh, you are so right! This is not a game, and it is my hope and prayer that I don’t take this experience lightly. That I keep applying what I’ve learned at the end of each week and carry it through. That this summer is a springboard into a new season, one in which God knew of before this whole “experience” began.
    And for that I’m eternally thankful for this Summer of 7 experience!

    On a side note, I too have a BA in English….which is why I work as a nurse!
    kim recently posted…An Ode to Johnny PaycheckMy Profile

  3. Oh my land, yes. We are the Capitol … and by the time you hit book three, you’ll be wanting to buy a case of these books and start passing them out to anyone still hanging around in the streets doing Occupy Whereverthisis. Sheesh. And the parallel between our Summer of 7 and the games? “Lets watch each other try and make it?” Sigh. It’s true, I suppose; like so many other things, it’s all in our heart attitudes, and making light is probably one of the enemy’s best methods of distraction. Who will rescue us? Thank the Lord for Jesus! Great thoughts.
    Misty Krasawski recently posted…Summer of 7: Wrapping up Media WeekMy Profile

  4. I saw a guy on TV talk about a ‘fast’ he was doing where he only ate rice, beans, chicken and salad at lunch time every day. I am being totally judgmental when I say ‘Get over yourself, that is luxury to most of the world’. I do often see these things are totally arbitrary and useless… but God can bring down idols in our lives through this on an individual level and give us perspective… I guess.

  5. I was very uncomfortable watching the Hunger Games movie for this very reason. I even blogged about it but I’m too lazy right now to go find the link. Anyway, YES. We are the Capitol and it makes me all sorts of sick to my stomach.
    I admit I’ve struggled with the public aspect of our fasting. The Bible specifically says to not let anyone know you are fasting. And I took that to mean that I don’t go walking around in a store saying, “Woe is me, I can’t buy anything because I’m doing Summer of 7!” or I never had a label on me during clothes week saying, “Sorry I look like crap, I’m fasting.” Although I did add a disclaimer that I would be doing it. Wrong? I really don’t know. I do think it’s easy to let this be legalistic/game-ish.
    Amy recently posted…Be the ChangeMy Profile

    1. I think when the Bible talks about fasting in secret, it means that we are not to draw attention to OURSELVES and our own competency or power. In Jesus time, this was a big deal with the Pharisees. Now, we can do the same things when we have the wrong focus. The point, I guess, is that any fast should draw OUR eyes to HIM, and presumably, our fast should draw the eyes of others to him as well. I guess when the “fast” becomes irrelevant and/or part of a legalistic form that doesn’t reflect the Lord, that is when it seems like a game. I’ve even wondered about certain types of fasts like Lent or Mennonite wardrobes, and wondered whether or not those choices are effective at drawing people to the Lord. The other aspect rolling around in my head is how my desire to come closer to the poor is achieved by all this. Is Summer of 7 working? Maybe that will be a post that each of us will have to prayerfully write. But I know that a little of my heart is less scabby.

  6. I have to tell you – your comments in my email box this morning – get out of my head! Quite reading my mind! lol! I am NOT going to do the “summer of 7” with you, but we’re on our own mission, primarily to get out of debt which means spending nothing, making everything our selves whenever possible – did you know you can skip the toilet paper and use fabric and wash like you do cloth diapers? I haven’t gone there yet, but if I don’t soon, I’ll be spending another $16 at Costco to flush down the toilet. Making our own bread, walking everywhere. (stinks, with 5 kids and two babies.) We hang clothes out on the line, and we’re questioning all our values and their connection to our society – because SO MUCH of our debt and purchases are tied into these values. I am raising two 11 year old girls, a 10 year old boy, and at least two of that set are EXTREMELY conscious of all things fashionable and “now.” It’s been a lot of work. We do have lots of free things around our city, so I realize we’re lucky that way – free concert series, free movie series, and our library does programs for the youth. We are very lucky, and I’m very sorry you are not in a better place to be able to have your city setting up such events. PLEASE keep up this blog. You are right – I have thought so many times – am I just having fun with this? I need a challenge? Is it another version of “look at me, look at what I’m doing?” Because I could certainly jump in my very, very fancy SUV and drive wherever I want and buy whatever I want. So, is it just a game? (No, I know we have to get out of debt, and I’ll eventually sell the SUV and buy a cheaper car, if possible – that fits 7. It’ll be a bit of work.) But your comments today really struck a chord. Thanks for writing.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing! I agree with all that you’ve said except the part about washing TP. 🙂 No, just kidding. WE ALL have to seek the Lord to find what is the obedient balance for us between simplicity and legalism, between a challenge and a game, between “playing” poor and identifying with the poor. The balance is Christ. If I can JUST focus on him . . . .

  7. I am moved beyond words. You have this amazing way of ripping down every facade and, through your own transparency, revealing the blackness of my soul. My father is a minister…I’ve been a preacher’s kid all my life. I can’t think of a time that I didn’t believe I was serving God. Or a time that I have not been hands-on serving others. Yet you make me see that much of the time I have ACTUALLY been serving self…my motives, my agenda, my ego. I thank you again. Now, I need a time of repentance. Much love to you.

  8. I wish you did a post everyday. You have wonderful, thought-provoking insight to scripture and yourself. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you. That is very kind. I wish I did a post everyday too, but unfortunately, the inspiration and the time never seem to line up quite correctly. 🙂

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