So let me start by saying I’m in a book club…not because I like to read but because I love the people in the book club and I love the food they bring. Most months I don’t read the book or if I do I don’t finish it. This month was different…we chose to read the book 7 : An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker…this book was life changing or at least it should be.
The book is about an experiment she and her family did in seven different area’s of life…trying to eliminate excess…excess food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste and stress. She spent a month on each topic and it’s really challenged me. It’s a really easy read…she writes with emotions and heart. I really appreciate that she included all the times she failed (and she did each month!!). It’s really challenged me to think about all the excess in our lives.
Here is the trailer about the book…watch it so you understand 🙂
Each chapter challenged me but a few stood out the most.
Spending – This chapter hit close to home. She talked about how her family spent at 60 some places each month. For one month she would spend at only 7 places. I don’t know how many places we spend at but I’m sure it would be pretty close to 60. We are at a time in our budget where we don’t have a lot of extra money…in our society it’s hard to not spend money. It’s hard to only spend on what we TRULY need. It’s not “normal” to only pay your bills and not buy a lot of extras…but it’s OK. We are blessed…we can pay our bills and we can provide what our kids and family needs…we don’t need Starbucks or that new sweatshirt…I have 8 sweatshirts!!
In this chapter she talked about how she didn’t got anywhere for the first week because if she didn’t leave her house she wouldn’t be tempted to spend. She was so used to grabbing coffee with girlfriends or meeting a friend for lunch. But after the first week she realized she could have people over or hang out at friends houses instead of constantly out to eat.
This part of the book really challenged me:
Let me be honest for a minute…often I don’t have people over not because I don’t want to hang out with them but because it’s too much work. I am a clean freak so my house needs to be clean before people come over…then after they leave it’s dirty so I need to clean it again. Come on really!! It’s totally lame and this called me out…this really challenged me…my house isn’t spotless all the time and people are probably ok with that…relationships are WAY more important then how clean my house is! God provided us with this amazing house…I need to use it for his glory not keep it all to myself!
Media – we live in a world that is so connected…it’s amazing in ways and it benefits us but in other ways it hinders us. In our house we have 2 TV’s, an iPad, laptop, Toshiba Thrive (tablet), two iPhones, a DVR, xBox, Wii, Super Nintendo (yup!!) and a TiVo. To say we are always connected to something is an understatement.
I love that we have all this technology at our fingertips but this chapter really challenged me to be in the moment. When I’m playing with my daughter I should really be playing with her…not checking my Facebook every 30 seconds or checking Pinterest. There is a time and place for those things but I think at times it gets out of control.
15 years ago we didn’t have Facebook, Pinterest or Words With Friends and we all survived…I love all those things and will continue to use them…I’m just really going to strive for moderation.
To sum this book up…all I can say is read the book. It’s an easy read and so worth it! She is raw, funny, and a great writer. I totally enjoyed the book (which says a lot coming form someone that hates to read!!!). It will challenge you and make you think twice about so many areas of your life!