a book review: 7

oh, books. you are wonderful.

my favorite goal this month is reading & finishing one book. it seems so small, but for my lifestyle, it can be a bit challenging. i love books, but finishing a book is really my problem. i go from one issue/topic/title to another & never read that final page. "have you read such & such?" "yes, the first fifty pages of (insert really great book here)!

a lot of folks in this space & instagram have asked what book i picked up. i haven't finished yet (hey! i still have 8 days left!), but i thought it might be of some interest to you to know. this month i chose 7: an experimental mutiny against excess by jen hatmaker

i love this book & it has radically changed my life & perspective in a really quiet way. let me explain. this book is ultimately about fasting from excess to allow more room for God to move. jen & her family "took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day disease of greed, materialism & overindulgence."

 i am very intentional about not sharing my spiritual life in a way that you as a reader might find uncomfortable. of course, if you read between the lines i hope you find that i do have that inner peace that is found in a higher being. above all, my choice to live an intentional life is rooted in God. my husband and i believe that we are to care for the earth, protect our resources & use them wisely, grow food & care for our neighbors because in the beginning, we were called as humans to do so. 

all of that being said, this book has quietly, yet radically, changed my life because instead of choosing to strip myself of all of my possesions & live in a cardboard box, i am asking myself at the store, "do i really need that?" i haven't quit my job to serve in a small village overseas, but my perspective on how i can meet others needs here with my unearned privileges & overabundance of resources has radically shifted. in my own quiet way, i am finding ways to give rather than purchase, make rather than consume, resist rather than give in.

& i believe that's the whole point of 7. how do we share community, live fuller lives, raise families & work where we are without giving it all up because of guilt or frustration for what we have & others don't? i think it's through our daily, intentional choices & challenging ourselves to fight the excess- to really investigate where our possessions are made & our food is grown, to find ways to meet the needs of our neighbors & love them, to use our time effectively so we can live lives that bear good fruit.

i am excited about reading the final pages of this book. i hope you'll pick it up, too.



Jenna Tanner said...

Hi Natalie,

I'm located in Austin now, which is where Jen Hatmaker lives, and she is a friend of my boss at the fair trade company I work at. I haven't read 7 yet but it's gotten a ton of buzz around here. Reading your review made me want to pick it up!


Erin Van Genderen said...

Really lovely words, Natalie. And, as always, lovely photographs to go along with the wisdom and simplicity you're sharing. I'm interested in this book and I'll check it out now, thanks to you!

Jess said...

I definitely want to read this - thanks for bringing it to my awareness! I have found myself lately thinking we need to practice scaling back, and stretching things out a bit more. We already do, but I think it could be pushed a bit farther and we could still be pretty comfortable.

natalie said...

Great review! So inspiring. I'm going to have to read it...I could use a good dose of simplicity. Oh & by the way...I totally get ya when you say you have a hard time finishing a book. I do too. I read 2 or 3 at a time & start moving on before I complete either. Working on it though. Keep shining, girl!

Claire said...

I love this sentence "i am finding ways to give rather than purchase, make rather than consume, resist rather than give in." It might have to be my new motto!

Gaby said...

Sounds really interesting, though, do you think a non-christian would enjoy it? Maybe I'll pick it up and find out :)

Danielle said...

This books is on my list to read this year, so I appreciate this review!

natalie said...

Gaby, I'm not sure! I would love to hear your perspective, though, if you do decide to pick it up :)!

crystal said...

I will read this book ~thanks for sharing about it. Did you make the chicken potholder ~too cute :)?

Anonymous said...

I found your blog when you shared this post on Jen's Facebook...and I love it!
"7" also changed my life, in similar ways: http://mrsgoresdiary.com/2012/01/06/mrs-gore-is-in-seven-heaven/

I'm so glad I read it! Have you read "Interrupted" yet? It is also riveting and life-changing.

Glad I found your blog. I look forward to visiting again!

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