Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Response to "7"

This past week I have been reading this.


If you haven't yet read this I strongly urge you to.  I promise it will challenge and change the way you think, or at least it has for me.  Below is the description from Amazon:

"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."


Even before I started reading "7" I had some convictions rise up.  You see we moved in Novemeber and seeing the sum total of our life packed up in what seemed like endless boxes that filled a mid sized moving van proved to be a bit overwhelming.

After unpacking my books (and if you know me well you know that is more than one box) I said to Aaron "I am not buying another book until after I read every single book I currently have whether it be in print or on my kindle."  And I'm pleased to report it's been six weeks and while tempted I have not bought a new book in that time.

But as I was reading through the book, particularly chapter 2 on clothes, this thought kept running through my head: "I have more than enough clothes to last a year without buying a single new item."  At first it just seemed a thought but as I dove into the book further and further it was as if Christ kept saying, "well what are you going to do about all this?"

So here it is, my response to "7" is this - from now until December 31, 2013 I will not purchase a new item of clothing for myself and shop only out of my own closet for one year.  Aaron thinks I'm partly crazy and he's also probably a little doubtful excited.  So why you ask?  What's the big deal about this?  It's simple really, shopping is my weakness, my area of over-indulgence.  And while typing this now I still feel a bit guilty about what I have, it is freeing knowing that I am saying "no" to more and learning to live with less.  Saying no to the time consuming wonder about what I'll wear to this event, or if that person will like my new outfit or the time spent shopping.  In it's most simple form I want to live with less so that I can experience Christ more fully.  I so desire to redirect my time and energy away from shopping and into something that will be fully be the hands and feet of Christ to our neighbors. 

Writing this in print makes it that much more real and there's no backing out now.  So you my friends, I pray and ask you hold me accountable as I'm excited to see what unfolds this next year as I embark on my living with less journey!

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