I could have read the book, 7 in one sitting, but my husband and children were getting concerned with the look of fanaticism in my eyes. Dad, mom’s reading one of those books again, make her stop please! my eleven-year-old implored of his father.
7, an experimental mutiny against excess, is the true story of how author, Jen Hatmaker, took seven months and identified seven areas of excess in her life. These areas included: clothes, shopping, waste, food, possessions, media and stress. She then made seven simple choices to fight back against what she calls, the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.
Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch and so on, this is the sound of all ten of the reader’s toes being stepped on.
Hatmaker and her family took 30 days on each topic, incorporating the number seven. One month she ate only seven foods; another month she wore only seven articles of clothing (you’ll be happy to know undergarments didn’t count); the entire family eliminated the use of seven types of media for a month (she admits there were moments of boredom they are human); they adopted seven green habits, which included planting a garden and composting; they gave away seven things each day for one month; spent money in only seven places (thank goodness for Target); and observed seven sacred pauses everyday.
Hatmaker, who is also the author of Interrupted and A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study, has a wonderful way of poking fun at herself that any of us can relate to. The book, written as a daily journal, is not meant to invoke guilt in the reader (although it did), but open your eyes to a simpler way of living a more reduced life, which then allows the reader to have more room in life for the things of Christ such as generosity and prayer.
Honestly, I sent almost everyone in my contact list a text while I was still in the first chapter of this book begging them to read it. If I could I would buy everyone I know a copy and insist they begin it today.
As Hatmaker says in an excerpt from her book, Excess has impaired perspective in America; we are the richest people on earth, praying to get richer. We’re tangled in unmanageable debt while feeding the machine, because we feel entitled to more. What does it communicate when half the global population lives on less than $2 a day, and we can’t manage a fulfilling life on twenty-five thousand times that amount?
I highly recommend 7, you will laugh out loud, you will relate, you will cringe, you might even cry, and hopefully when you are through, you will look a little more like Jesus.
Hatmaker’s book dedication reads: For Jesus, who lived so lightly on this earth, He didn’t even have a place to lay His head. I want so deeply to be like You.”
(Dana serves on the Keepers Team as Assistant Website Editor. Her hobbies are reading, scrapbooking and taking long nature walks with her husband and three children.)
Click on the fifth button above to get a printer friendly version of this post.