31 January 2016

Sometimes I Still Read

I read a number of good books around the holidays (as compared to the many, many books I read in early pregnancy that I'm embarrassed to mention but which made my tired self totally satisfied), but the one I'm still thinking about is 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker.  Hatmaker and her husband run a Christian ministry in Texas.  In 7 she records her seven month experiment to bridle her overconsumption in seven areas--food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress.  I read a lot of these experimental living books in which the authors try to adhere strictly to the Bible or an eating code or a waste-free life for a set period of time.  I actually really enjoy them but sometimes I'm frustrated by their gimmickyness or their insincere approach or for the obvious fallacies in the whole premise of their experiments.  The thing I most appreciated about 7 was that Hatmaker honestly wanted to change and improve herself through this experiment.  She states at the beginning of the book that it's partly a form of repentance for her and although the experiment was obviously never intended to continue as a permanent lifestyle, identifying areas of excess in her life and permanently altering some of her thoughts and practices was very much the point.

The book is written in a real-time blog style, chronicling the events of each month and then summarizing lessons learned, which I found easy to read and engaging.  We're very frugal in our house and we do a lot of home production and other things that eliminate waste, so I felt pretty good about myself while reading chapters where Hatmaker was tackling those issues, and then in other parts of the book, I felt totally inferior to the orphan-adopting, homeless-feeding author, despite her down-to-earth confessional style.  It was an honestly thought-provoking and inspiring read that I highly recommend.

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