Thursday, September 27, 2012

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

Tuesday a close friend of mine brought this book to conversation.  Immediately I was interested and after only minutes of discussing the contents of the book I. Was. In.

In case you haven't read '7' or maybe you haven't even heard of it, ill give you a brief summery... (Not that I have read the whole book in its entirety but I have began to read it and I did a little researching on it before I bought the book.)

Photo taken from Google Photo

Seven is a true story wrote by Jen Hatmaker and is a personal journey of hers that takes place over a seven month time period. After Jen relized how excessive her lifestyle and Americans lifestyles in general have become she felt the need to live a life with less. 

Jen hits seven different areas of over abundances in a seven month time period. Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. Jen took the number seven to a whole new level. With the first month, Food, Jen only allowed herself seven foods, Chicken breast, spinach, apples, sweet potatoes, eggs, whole-wheat bread and avocados. So for one month, this was all she ate and water was all she drank. 

Month two of Jens journey goes on to the clothing category where again she uses the number seven to limit her garments. She had one pair of jean, one long sleeved shirt, one short sleeved shirt, one t-shirt, one pair of capri pants, one dress, a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of boots. For one whole month this is all she allowed herself to wear, with the exception of bra's panties and socks! Insane  right? Yeh, I kind of thought so myself but when I began to think about it and as I read further into this book I began to believe that this woman was a sheer genius and I might just give this a go, after I have finished my three other obligatons...

Anyone want to join me?


Here's what others are saying about Jen Hatmakers book 7. (I took these comments from Amazons page.)
You must read this book! Here's what it's about: Jen (the author) did an experiment in which each month for 7 months, she and sometimes her entire family fasted in an area she felt they were excessive in: media, stress, possessions, shopping, food, clothes, and waste. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that sounds all preachy and super-spiritual and hard and you don't want to read it. Thankfully, it's the complete opposite. It is laugh-out-loud hilarious, totally real-life, 100% empowering, and 0% guilt-inducing.

You must go immediately to purchase this book and devour it whole. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Do not stop to brush your teeth or feed your children. While you're out, buy Depends to wear because you will pee yourself while reading from laughing so hard.

Some other suggestions of how to read this book:
Keep a notepad handy while you're reading to write down notes and thoughts because ideas and action points will come to you like nobody's business.
Do not read this book right before you go to bed because you will not be able to sleep due to the millions of thoughts running around in your brain.
Read this book with your girlfriends.

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
Jen Hatmaker's "7" is like a voice screaming in the midst of chaos that is the American lifestyle. The message delivery of "7" is atypical of most Christian-based "self-help" or "as Christians we really should be doing X" type books. First of all, the author approaches each topic within 7 from an attitude of repentance and humility that comes across as completely genuine. I don't know that I'd be willing to admit some of the things Jen does. Successes, struggles and failures are laid bare for the world to see, which is very refreshing. There is no condemnation or lofty attitudes from the author that she is better or superior to any average reader.

One of the key words I've seen after someone has read the book is "wrecked". This is a great one-word summary of how deeply these topics should impact each reader. If you're not spurred to some kind of deep self-reflection or action after reading this book, I believe there are only two reasons why - you live an extremely minimalist lifestyle or you live in extreme poverty. Jen humbly points out how these various areas of life have distracted the church from its purpose. We've stopped distinguishing ourselves, we've stopped being all we can and should be as God's hands and feet on this planet.

The truths from God's word and examples from Jen's life are revealed in simple, humorous and refreshing ways. You'll laugh, you'll sob, your heart will break, you'll repent and most importantly you'll be ready to say "I'm in!".

The main concern I had before reading this book was that it would be a book only for women. While there certainly were portions of the book I could not identify with as a male and even found myself rolling my eyes a few times, men NEED to read this book. There are far too many Christian men living life on the sidelines, and the message in this book will light a fire that's been a slowly dwindling ember in so many!

1 comment:

April Vernon said...

I LOVE THIS IDEA! How interesting! I will have to read that book! Thanks so much for sharing! Sounds like something EVERYONE should do!