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With the recent holiday weekend and a long car ride on either side, I finally finished reading 7 by Jen Hatmaker (please be impressed that I stuck with this bit of pleasure reading throughout the spring semester). The book chronicles the author's seven month experiment: seven categories (food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress) stripped down to seven essentials for a month. Seven food items. Seven articles of clothing. Seven items to give away each day. Seven forms of media to do without. Seven ways to reduce waste and become more environmentally responsible. Seven places to spend money. Seven prayers a day to remind us to pause, give thanks, reflect, and focus on what matters.
My heart has been challenged by this "mutiny against excess" - our lives are so full, so busy and yet we strive for more. We live with more than we need and yet we buy more. We value our abundant wardrobes, earthly possessions, and excessive lifestyle spending habits. Consumerism and the need for more has become part of our societal identity. Whatever happened to that life of simplicity, abandon, and giving that Jesus talked about? It's easy to lose sight of what we really need in our lives versus the things we want.
Where are our priorities in life? What do we value? Do our spending habits reflect this? Are we responsible with the things we've been given? Do we freely give away what we don't need or do we feel the need to hold onto it? Have we ignored opportunities to help those in need?
If you're looking for a witty, easy-to-read book that will challenge you to live a more fulfilling life, I encourage you to read 7!
Have you read this book? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Read More: The Go-Giver