7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
As Americans, we live in excess and above our means. Author Jen Hatmaker realized this more than ever after taking in hurricane refugees. She set out on a journey of self-discovery to take a closer look into how she lives and to rid her life of some of the excess.
The book is set up much like a journal of her 7-month experiment. Each month, she tackles a different aspect of her life: clothes, shopping, waste, food, possession, media and stress. She journals about her experiences, the good and the bad throughout these 7 months.
First of all, I don’t think I have the self-control to do the full experiment that Jen Hatmaker does. In the first month, she only eats 7 different foods all month long. The media month? I might die! No Facebook, internet, blogs, etc!
I’m usually not a fan of nonfiction. I joke that I don’t like to think while I read. This book definitely made me think…A LOT, but not in a hard way. Jen’s writing style is easy to read. In fact, I’m sure we are destined to be best friends. I found myself laughing out loud at her commentary.
I have taken a closer look at my life after having read 7. Although I will not be participating in my own version, I have taken a look at different aspects of my life, and my husband and I have re-evaluated. We are consciously going to be on screens less. Our kids need less screen time and, too often, we spend out time with our kids looking at our phones. We have pledged to not be on our phones (unless they ring or an emergency) from 5:00-8:00 each evening in order to focus more on our family. We are going to be more aware of our spending. We will give more and take less.
More than anything, this book makes you think. Maybe you don’t decide to adopt orphans from Ethiopia, but if it makes us all look at our lives and think about how we can do them better, that’s a good thing.