Hating Waste: A Review of Jen Hatmaker’s Seven

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You know what I hate? Wasting stuff. I hate wasting time, but I just sat here mindlessly reading my Twitter feed, as if knowing one more person loves Downton Abbey (which I haven’t seen) is going to help me start this blog post. Plus, now I have one more show that I must find time for.

I hate wasting money, yet there is a hot purple cropped jacket with gold threads in it hanging in my closet. At what point I thought I’d be wearing that thing out, I’m not sure. I was possessed at the store, and spent ninety seconds daydreaming about some other life where that purple cropped jacket would have been absolutely necessary. I have never worn it.

I hate wasting food, but I regularly scrape enough food into the trash to feed the entire village in Burkina Faso (where my Compassion kids live). Oh, and by the way, my scraped food flies into the trash and makes its home on top of numerous recyclables, because although I hate killing the earth, apparently I’m too busy checking my twitter feed to actually recycle. And for the record, stuffed peppers are gross. I probably wouldn’t feed them to my Burkina Faso children anyway.

Even the Apostle Paul can relate:

“I do not understand why I insist on spending decades of my life on Facebook or checking my phone like someone’s heart will stop beating if I DO NOT CHECK MY EMAIL before bed. I do not understand why I have twenty-two handbags or a pantry full of food that no one eats or enough trash to create my hole in the ozone. For what I want to do (be peaceful, be present, be loving, be kind) I do not do, but what I hate to do–I DO.” Romans 7:15, Nicole version.

If you think I’m crazy, don’t read Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. But if you can relate, hold onto your recyclable trash, ladies. We are going on a journey that just might change your life.

Seven, by Jen Hatmaker (who might be the funniest Christian on the planet), after struggling with her own love/hate relationship with our consumer culture, decided to do something about it. Seven chronicles her own journey with tackling seven wasteful areas in her own life:

Food. Clothes. Spending. Waste. Stress. Possessions. Media.

Over the course of seven months, Jen committed herself (and sometimes, her family) to reducing or eliminating one area of waste in her valiant-but-not-perfect attempt at tackling rampant consumerism. If you’ve ever felt like living in our culture is a soul-sucking vacuum that you can’t seem to escape, you must read this book. And if you are likely to read the book, think it sounds like a great idea, and then promptly forget about it, then do this: read the book with me.

Beginning next week, a small group of friends and myself will be journeying through Seven, and we want YOU to join us. We’ll take one area of excess and tackle it for one week. So hurry up! Buy the book here. We will start with the first area Jen tackles: food. We’ll all adjust the “plan” to suit our own conviction, as Jen’s own friends, nicknamed “the counsel” did. More on this to come. But if you are looking for a book that doesn’t just entertain or inspire you, but actually sparks a change–then read Seven with us. You’ll find support (and much complaining, I’m sure) here! Even better: I’ll pick two people who commit to our group to win the book for free. If you are “in”, leave a comment telling us what area of life you are most interested in changing. I’ll pick a winner by Wednesday (so the rest of you people can hurry up and buy the book). 

For more on Jen Hatmaker, visit her webpage or find her on Twitter. You’ll be glad you did.

 

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  1. S97hendricks

    January 24th, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    I am in. I too hate waste, yet we seem to do it over and over!

  2. Nicole

    January 25th, 2012 at 6:38 AM

    Awesome suzy. 🙂

  3. Susanelizabeth Turner

    January 24th, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    I just finished the book and am still in the “mind boggled” stage. I have already begun mkg changes in my life. Baby steps as she says at the end of her book. I am on day 22 of a fast so have been praying about what God wants to do after I am done(done, meaning when God says it’s time.). I like the idea of a wk for each thing. As Jen says, “this isn’t a how to book” so I think it’s important we pray and see how we might implement it. If you don’t live in Richmond(I am in Lynchburg) will you be doing this online for those out of your area? I am interested and praying…. Your idea sounds great!

  4. Nicole

    January 25th, 2012 at 6:37 AM

    Yes, I’ll be tracking our progress online…we are going to do one area a week instead of per month…it’s like a Seven sampler. 🙂

  5. SarahK

    January 24th, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    I am amazed. I just wrote a blog about how “I Like to Pretend I’m Not Going to Die” – meaning, I like to pretend that it doesn’t matter that I waste time on Facebook, blogs, obsessively checking email and watching TV series. That time is an unlimited resource.
    Apparently God wanted to make sure I was getting the message – so I’m definitely in and looking forward to our conversation.

  6. Nicole

    January 25th, 2012 at 6:36 AM

    awesome Sarah. I’ll come over and check out your blog…sounds like my life. 🙂

  7. Loxlia @ Lovelycrumbs.com

    January 26th, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    I’ve been so heartbroken over the extreme waste in our lives and the desperate need around the world. Even though it’s something I’ve been aware and active about for a long time there is so much more I can do in my own life. It’s so refreshing to see this trend of peeling back our lives to reveal the truly Essential! I’m in!

  8. Loxlia @ Lovelycrumbs.com

    January 26th, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    I’ve been so heartbroken over the extreme waste in our lives and the desperate need around the world. Even though it’s something I’ve been aware and active about for a long time there is so much more I can do in my own life. It’s so refreshing to see this trend of peeling back our lives to reveal the truly Essential! I’m in!

  9. Nicole Unice

    February 8th, 2012 at 7:18 AM

    Awesome! Get ready for some food changes next week! yikes…

  10. “One More Thing” & Experimental Mutinies « Whispers on the Journey

    February 8th, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    […] it and read it on a whim, nearly all in one weekend. I heard about it from Nicole Unice who’s starting a discussion of it over on her blog (which you should follow when it […]

  11. Nicole Unice

    February 8th, 2012 at 7:18 AM

    thanks for the shout out!