Monday, April 14, 2014

7: An experimental mutiny against excess.

So, I started reading 7 last month in March during our vacation, and I just finished it today. It took me awhile, but it was a great book and I would highly recommend it. It was written by Jen Hatmaker, who has written several other books. Her husband is a pastor, they founded Austin New Church in Texas, they have 5 kids (2 adopted from Ethiopia), she writes and travels speaking, and she even has a blog. I really like her.

She took seven months and focused on one area each month: food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress. Her purpose was to evaluate these areas of her life and learn to lessen and give more to God. She talks a lot about how we, as American Christians, tend to have so much and we need to do a better job of giving, serving, and sharing.

Food: She only ate 7 foods for the month- chicken, eggs, whole-wheat bread, sweet potatoes, spinach, avocados, and apples.

Clothes: She wore 7 articles of clothing for the month- 1 pair of jeans, 1 long sleeved shirt, 2 T-shirts, 1 pair drawstring capris, 1 dress shirt, and 2 pairs of shoes (which she counted as one item).

Possessions: Their family gave 7 things away each day of the month to charity, poor, or people who needed it.

Media: Their family shut down 7 screens for the month- TV, gaming, facebook/twitter, iphone apps, radio, texting, and internet (with exceptions to texting and internet for emergencies and absolutely necessary things).

Waste: They worked on 7 habits for a greener life for the month- gardening, composting, conserving energy and water, recycling, driving only one car, shopping thrift and second-hand, and buying only local.

Spending: They spent money in only 7 places for the month- Farmer's market, gas station, online bill pay, kid's schools, limited travel fund, emergency medical, and Target. (They tried to keep Target only for emergencies.)

Stress: She slowed down this month, added 7 daily pauses for prayer/reflection, and observed the Sabbath. Reading about her 7 pauses throughout the day for prayer were really interesting. They were The Night Watch (midnight), The Awakening Hour (dawn), The Blessing Hour (midmorning), The Hour of Illumination (noon), The Wisdom Hour (midafternoon), The Twilight Hour (early morning), and The Great Silence (bedtime).

Overall, this book was very thought provoking. The book is written in daily excerpts of her journaling throughout the process. She writes in a very honest, real, deep, and funny way. It really made me think about how we can apply these things too: eating healthier, giving away more, buying less, slowing down, etc.

I want to be intentional with my life, talents, and time. I want to use the blessings God has given my wisely and to serve His kingdom and others.


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