Reading Review: Feel the Burn…of Conviction

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

In 7, Jen Hatmaker shares her personal experiment of eliminating excess in seven different areas of life. She and her family, set aside one month for each category and greatly reduced the excess in each area. For food month, they ate only seven things all month. That’s it…seven foods…for a month. And chocolate was not one of the foods. Yikes!

For clothing month they wore only seven pieces of clothing for the entire month. Sometimes I wear seven articles of clothing in two days. I take for granted my plethora of free t-shirts that I rotate through from day to day.

In more somber months, the Hatmakers focused on where they spent their money and where they spent their time and on the abundance of possessions they own in comparison to the great needs of those around them. We are commanded to care for those less fortunate than us – the widows, the orphans, the poor. Commanded. It’s not just a nice idea.

I was challenged to look at my own excess. Sure we tithe and sponsor a couple kids but there is still so much that we do for ourselves and our own comfort rather than seeking to meet the needs of those around us. I want to waste less and be more responsible for the world around me. I want to stop consuming. I want Mikayla to grow up outside the consumer mind set.

I don’t really know where to begin. Other than to take baby steps. Recycle. Plant a garden. Buy clothing second-hand or from fair trade organizations. Weigh purchases to determine if it’s truly a need or if that money could be better used to help someone else. Intentionally look for needs of those around me rather than remaining blind and deaf to their cries for help.

This was a fantastic book. I loved Jen’s humor and honesty throughout the whole process. And, while I don’t plan to fight excess as drastically as she did (no chocolate? hello) I’m truly challenged to take a look at the excess in my life.

What are you reading right now?


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