Saturday, September 7, 2013

On My Bookshelf: 7

With yesterday being National Read a Book Day I would be remiss not to tell you about the book on my bookshelf. It's getting under my skin and making me borderline neurotic. The book is 7

by Jen Hatmaker. I have long loved Jen Hatmaker's blog because she tells it like it is without pretense but this is the first book of hers that I've read. I heard it was "good" and came strongly recommended by many. My friends that told me this should have forewarned me that it'd make its readers down right nutty before I suggested it to my entire bible study. Now we have a whole group of women with constant conscience checks thanks to my suggestion. Sorry group, but I think we are better for it.

"I can't have authentic communion with Him while mired in the trappings He begged me to avoid." Hatmaker

* I suddenly find myself carefully calculating my meal plans so that less is thrown away and I'm more cognizant of how much I consume in a world where too many go without.

* I think about how much money is invested in the clothing sitting in my closet and consider what percent of it I really wear. 

* I feel guilty that I drop off clothes at the Goodwill merely to clear my conscience & it has a convenient 24 hour drop off when I could more purposefully give my used treasures to places with specific needs.

* I look at sale signs in the store windows with sadness for how it is widening the gap between those that can't afford and aiming to fuel the accumulation of what I don't need.

* I question if my style shows people the authentic me or if it hinders my approachability.

"His humility appeals to the unloveliness in us all.  We are drawn in by His simplicity, then transformed by His magnificence."  Hatmaker

* I realize that a home I call modest would seem a castle to many around the world and yet I dare call it small.

* Time sucks from the computer and TV and electronic overkill hinder my time in the Word and giving attention to my family.

"Don't be fooled by the luxuries of the world; they cripple our faith."  Hatmaker

* I find myself digging toothpaste and lipstick boxes out of the garbage because they are a couple among many things that could be recycled and I was too lazy to realize it.  This is now driving my husband a small form of crazy because I told him he shouldn't be throwing toilet paper rolls in the garbage and called him out a Little Debbie box.  He's never known me to be a tree hugger but if God calls the earth good I'm convicted to take more efforts to care for it.

*  I bought plastic sandwich and treat containers that I have to hand-freaking-wash to put school lunches in because I'm pretty sure my use of plastic sandwich bags is offensive.

* I'm trying to support more handmade businesses that make more use of my every dollar.

* I'm challenging myself to be more at peace with mama life that sometimes includes a few messes and still invite guests more warmly into my home because it invites friends into my real life and opens up communion with the authentic me.

* I'm looking at the money spent on our homes and church buildings and giving and personal lives and asking myself if the Lord would truly recognize me as Christian based on how that looks.

"Annual U.S. and European spending on perfume: $12 billion
 Clean water for all global citizens  $9 billion"    Hatmaker

* I sometimes build more into my day than I should and the result is self-driven stress.

* I'm aware that the sharing of an apple with someone in need could actually be the sign of God's presence & I'm wondering what I'm withholding from the expanding of the Kingdom.

And as if seeing my world in a whole new way isn't enough to do me in, heartfelt words about their adoption call actually made me cry at the gym.  Had my face not been red and drowned in sweat from the stationary bike people would've seen my tears.

I'm currently obsessed with The Rend Collective's "Build Your Kingdom Here" because of lyrics like this

We seek Your kingdom first
We hunger and we thirst
Refuse to waste our lives
For You're our joy and prize
To see the captive hearts released
The hurt, the sick, the poor at peace
We lay down our lives for heaven's cause
We are Your church
We pray revive
This earth

Lyrics that fit the mission of this book and make me a better version of myself.  I'm convinced that the implementation of Hatmaker's ideas could change the tide of our culture.

My bible study has met each week at the coffee shop (isn't this the perfect coffee cup for our read) and become a more thankful people with more mission focused hearts.  I thought I was doing it well, but blinders have come off and there is more room for intentional living than I even realized to be true. 

Add it to your reading lists, friends.  I'm convinced this is a book no one should miss.

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  1. I am just finishing 7. I cannot believe the way it has changed my life. I echo everything you've just said. We are SO much better for having read this.

  2. I loved 7, and I have to tell you - the picture you posted of the book is my very favorite part in the entire section. Such a beautiful picture of God's love for the orphans, and a wonderful look at Jen's heart.

  3. Visiting from Kelly's Korner. 7 has been on my "to read" list for about a year and I keep putting it off because I just KNOW it is going to change the way I do things.


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