Right now I'm reading Jen Hatmaker's book, Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. I can't recommend the book enough. I rarely read books twice (unless it's a book I'm teaching or it's To Kill a Mockingbird), but I'm pretty sure I'll read this book twice...or three times, or maybe once a year to remind me not to be stupid. It's THAT good. It's so good that I decided to send Jen Hatmaker an email. I know she probably won't read it, but I'm hoping that whoever is in charge of fielding inquiries will pass this one on to her. I'll form a more coherent post about the book later, but until then--here's my letter to Jen (along with a meme I just made...don't worry, I didn't send it to her--I'm not THAT creepy):
Confession: I'm late to the Jen Hatmaker party. My friends have all been fans for years, but because I tend to be a staunch cynic in regards to Christian literature/Christian conferences/Christian music/etc., I held out. But I stumbled upon Seven a few months ago at my local used bookstore, and for $3, I couldn't resist. It was cheap and the book's topic appealed to my quest for simplicity in order to make more room for Jesus.
I am 15 pages away from finishing the book, and I'm dragging this process out as long as possible because this book...this book has gripped me. It's brought me to my knees and squeezed tears from my eyes in repentance. Before reading Seven, I felt a spiritual drought. Lots of hard things like parenting two kids with histories of trauma, difficult and somewhat unwanted job changes, a tough move, and just the general trashiness of our world today left me hopeless and hungry. I'm realizing that much of my hopelessness is self-inflicted and stems from my own selfishness and excessive consumption. I've made much of myself when I should've been making much of Jesus.
The book has gripped me. It's stirred my soul. It's exposed areas of excess. The book has invited conversation in my family (my husband and our two sweet 7 year-olds adopted from foster care) about ways we could live more simply so that others can live more comfortably. We've talked about how we could be more like Jesus to people in our community. We've got a basement full of stuff (some of which was difficult for us to part with) to donate to homeless folks in our town tomorrow. We lined up a monthly gig preparing meals and feeding these same homeless people, and we're recruiting our friends and strangers to help us. The book has convicted us to be more deliberate about how and where we spend our money. We are on our way to establishing a better, more Christ-honoring rhythm in our family's life.
Please pass on my sincere thank you to Jen Hatmaker for writing something so honest and so pure, for helping restore my relationship with Jesus, and for making an impact on the way my family operates.
Jen Hatmaker for president 2016.