“Usually the things we think we need become the very things we need a break from.”
None of us are perfect, and while many of us wish there were things in our lives that we were better at, not many of us make a concerted effort to do anything about those things. Jen Hatmaker lays it all on the line one year and focuses on seven areas of her life that she knows she wants to be better at due to excess – Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. She spends a month on each category and tries to apply Biblical principles to that area of her life.
For one month, she only wears seven items of clothes. For another, she only eats seven food items. Spending is limited to seven categories. Media is limited to a need-to-do only basis. She tries to give away seven items a day. Her entire family focuses on their waste output for a month. To wrap things up, the last month is spent trying to enforce the idea of a Sabbath rest each week.
Her writing style is very journal/blog-like. She writes how I am sure she talks. It’s a very easy read. Each chapter is written like a diary as she goes through the process so you are hearing her daily struggles and not just a looking back over the experience.
I’m reading Jen Hatmaker’s books backwards and I’m not thinking that might be a good thing. I am feeling more convicted with each book and I think it will only get “worse.” I started with For the Love and have just finished reading 7: And Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. It was very timely to read during Lent.
While Hatmaker tackles these issues from a Christian perspective, they are issues all Americans struggle with in being good citizens and caretakers of the Earth.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but only if you are okay with being convicted in at least one of these areas in your life. Do you waste food? Do you have too many items of clothing? Is your house full of stuff you don’t need? Are you always plugged in? Do you live a high-stress life? I know there are areas of my life I will focus on more after reading this book.
My next Hatmaker book will be Interrupted where she explains the most convicting time in her life. I know it will be an experience based on her other books.