7, A Book Review

This is our first book review, and I’m sitting here wondering why I’ve never given one before. I read dozens, even hundreds of books a year, but this one was pretty darn worthy of being our first.

It’s called 7; An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker.

Funny. Honest, and refreshingly real. Too many of us think too hard about how and what we say may come across to those few…Jen says, ah who cares, and bares all. She has you thinking the entire time about your own life, your own accumulation of stuff, your own selfish hoarding of material things that will never last. She does all that without preaching at you.

The author takes 7 months, hence the title, and specifically deprives herself every month in one particular area. Food, possesions, media, stress, waste, shopping, and clothes. The first month is food, and with the help of her ‘counsel’, a number of close friends to help her stay accountable, she has only 7 foods with an inability to deviate from. At the writing of her book, she’s in the process of adoption. She thinks about her two children still in Ethiopia who are suffering from the disease of two little, and here she is with more than enough. There are people all over the world who would give anything to have even a fraction of what you and I have…
Here’s an excerpt.
“Which reminds me: I’m doing this for a reason. This is a fast, a major reduction of the endless possibilities that accompany my every meal. It is supposed to be uncomfortable and inconvenient. Not because I’m a narcissist but because the discomfort creates space for the Holy Spirit to move. This shake up of my routine commands my attention. I can no longer default to normal, usual, mindless, thoughtless. It’s like having an eyelash under my contact all day. What will the Spirit do with his new space? I don’t know. We’ll see. It’s His to engineer. I wont box Him in or assume I know what He’ll say. I’m not going to project my goals on to His movement. I have simply said, ‘Jesus, may there be less of me and my junk, and more of you and your kingdom.’ I will reduce, so he can increase.”

I’ve decided not to ruin the book by quoting every chapter, but chapter two allows her only 7 articles of clothing the entire month. This is hilarious considering she starts to smell something nasty, and some time later realizes it’s herself and the jeans she’s been wearing almost non-stop. This allows Jen to notice how many clothes she and her family really have, and to share with the less fortunate.

Take my word on it, and let me tell you how absolutely worth your time this great read is. I have already been to a local ‘homeless’ park to feed the people. She’s inspiring, and charming, witty and poignant.
Fun read, but with great depth.
I give it my two thumbs up! (For whatever that’s worth..)

Review by Audra

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