Thanks for stopping by. If this is your first time you're here, you'll notice that this blog is about a 40-day experiment that I did. The problem is, the posts start at Day 40, and this blog site won't let me reverse the order of the posts. So, if you're interested, go ahead and start at the beginning, in the July posts. It will make a lot more sense. I promise.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


My Pick Five experiment was over 2 years ago. It's amazing to me. It's been a thread throughout the last two years of my life. There are times when I feel like I have too much, I need to have it too much, or I think about it too much, whatever 'it' may be. And then I remember. I remember that God takes away the need and replaces it with a desire for more of Himself. If I'm listening. If I stop for the moment, He nudges and says, "Okay, Susana. Um... need? Did you really just say 'need'? You really need it? Nah uh." Not God's actual voice, by the way. That's just how I hear Him in my valley girl inner voice. And then I think about it. I stop my crazy frenzied busy life and just think. And it takes about two seconds to realize I'm being selfish, wasteful, excessive, etc etc. All the things I wanted not to be when I started Pick Five. And all the things God painstakingly and lovingly wrung from my being over 40 days.

Last year, I had another lesson in humility. I went in for a quick trim, wanting to punk up my hair a little with some shorter layers and long lengths. A little miscommunication and yada yada yada I walked out with a mullet. Let me repeat. I had a mullet. A real, genuine mullet. Like, the top half of my head of hair was 2" long. Uh huh. A mullet. I took it in stride, tried to rock it a few times unsuccessfully, and basically just wore my hair up for EIGHT MONTHS until my Jack and the Beanstalk magic growing hair grew out long enough to call it normal. I wore it down one day after the grieving period had passed and I was feeling confident again, and this woman stopped me at my kids' swim practice and said, "You have such beautiful hair." I completely lost it. The tears flowing, I explained that I hadn't heard that in eight months. Since 'the incident'. That poor woman was just trying to pay me a compliment, and I unloaded on how difficult and stressful the time had passed. In hindsight, I'm realizing that I may have a problem with hair vanity. Mmmmkay. Get a grip, Suz.

I've put on like 10 or 12 (or 20) pounds since then, with times that I wish I could see myself for all the ridiculous amounts of food I've eaten. I had to move up to my fat pants over October's annual resurgence of candy corn. Whatever. That stuff's insanely good. I started working again, stopped working out, and let some important life habits dwindle away. It's probably time for a little overhaul. I was flipping my hair the other day around the house. I had just done a number with the straightening iron and was looking like I'd just stepped out of a "Just stepped out of a salon" commercial. I was ACTUALLY thinking that God should have given my hair to someone with more humility because I couldn't get over JUST HOW BEAUTIFUL my own hair was. (Okay, I get it. Hair vanity.) It was just at this moment, as I'm swinging my hair and rocking my hips back and forth through my living room that I hear from the innocent 9-year old voice behind me, "Mom, your butt jiggles every time you walk. That's hilarious." Yeah. Good feeling's gone.

So, I think God's still working on me.

In exciting news, Pick Five had a baby! My friend Jen Hatmaker, whom I wrote about in a couple of the first posts from Pick Five, wrote a book whose first line is, get this,

"This is all Susana's fault."

That's how the book starts! You see, God had been working on Jen and her family, too. In many many ways. And her book Interrupted was one of the books that I had been reading before I started Pick Five. When I started Pick Five, she -in turn- had been reading some of my blog posts and people in our circles were talking about it. And over a six month period, she planned and began her own experiment in wringing out excess. And she wrote a book. "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess." She does SEVEN pick fives, except hers are pick sevens. Food, clothes, money, lots of good stuff that you're going to laugh and cry over. She's an amazing writer. And "7" is available for preorder on Amazon. Cool, right? And even though I haven't read it all yet, I can't wait to have it in my hands, because I know it's going to bring back some serious memories and revive the feelings that were born of those moments. (Jen did send me an advanced text copy, and I read a couple of pages before deciding to wait for the real book -- because I prefer real books any day of the week -- so I did a little word search for my name, because I'm a narcissist, and called it a day.) (22 times.) So, you should totally buy her book. It comes out in January. It's an extension of what I did here, and should be so so good.

God is good. And He's faithful when we say to Him, "I don't want to care about what the world around me cares about. Take away the excess. I want to care about what is close to your heart."

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