Adoption · Books · Organization · Religious · Reviews

7 by Jen Hatmaker {Book Review}

Description:
American life can be excessive, to say the least. That’s what Jen Hatmaker had to admit after taking in hurricane victims who commented on the extravagance of her family’s upper middle class home. She once considered herself unmotivated by the lure of prosperity, but upon being called “rich” by an undeniably poor child, evidence to the contrary mounted, and a social experiment turned spiritual was born.

7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.” So, what’s the payoff from living a deeply reduced life? It’s the discovery of a greatly increased God—a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence.

My Thoughts:
Simplifying is a thing these days. There are loads of books and magazine articles showing ways to cut down and live with less. Jen Hatmaker decides to take it one step further and live with SEVEN. Each month she and her family pick a theme {food, clothing, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress} which all revolve around the number “7“. 
Gathering some friends and her family, she embarks on a journey of fasts. “Seven will be an exercise in simplicity with one goal: to create space for God’s kingdom to break through.” (from Intro of ebook) After introducing her project and friends “the council”, you get a month to month diary account of her experiment. Her goal is to be changed and transformed to follow Jesus more authentically. It seems to work.
I liked Jen’s writing. She is funny, open, engaging, and you feel like you could be sitting at a coffee shop chatting with her when you read. You meander through her months learning about the topic but also about her upcoming adoption (which I certainly enjoyed), her daily life, and some of the pop culture things she enjoys. Her failures and reality are also present, she lets you know where she falls short and what she is doing to work on these issues. I don’t know about you but that inspires me. It feels like a conversation too in that I wondered if a few sentences of what she relates would have been better left unsaid.
I was reading the chapter on giving away stuff right before we had to go through all of our stateside storage and get rid of about half. Perfect timing as I felt prepared to be less sentimental and more brutal. 
The idea of 7 is catchy. It caused me to at least ponder the possibility of following in her footsteps and it has spurred on others like this blog which my friend, Janine, (who had not read 7 and did not know I was) shared with me. I think Jen Hatmaker may have caused a little revolution here. 
I enjoyed reading 7 and would recommend it.  Do keep in mind this is her, her life, and her revelations and not a “how to” guide to living with less. Your take away may be different then mine, but you will be challenged.
This book was given to me by NetGalley and B & H Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.
Advertisements

One thought on “7 by Jen Hatmaker {Book Review}

  1. Like I said in my post, I am so nervous to read this book. But I think it will be good for me. I struggle more in some areas than others, but evaluating my excess all over will be good. And hard. But good. Right? {so scared} 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s