Just wanted to update you all on my journey through Jen Hatmaker's book, Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.
I began my journey in February, with Food and used only seven foods for the entire month and survived! I actually quite enjoyed it but to be honest, I avoided all seven foods for the first couple weeks in March! My takeaway from food month was that we really do use a LOT of food and it is amazing how much one can do with just a few foods.
In March, I worked through Clothes month, and used the same seven pieces of clothing for the whole month. Now, living in Canada in March, our weather is not anywhere near what Jen Hatmaker experiences in Austin, Texas. So ultimately, I needed to modify my experiment a bit. I did not exclude my winter gear (parka, mitts, boots, etc) because these things are absolutely necessary here:) Otherwise, I followed the month pretty good. I have never had excessive amounts of clothes, but it was interesting to see one result that came out of this month was how much my children had. As a result, I purged their clothing right down (for April, the month of Possessions) and its been a great experience.
For April, I focused on Possessions. Giving away seven items per day for the entire month was a little overwhelming when I first thought about it, however, I was astonished with how EASY it ended up being. Which was an eye-opener to how much STUFF our family had collected. My greatest giveaway was books by far! As a book review blogger, I get a TON of books each month and I love paying them forward when I am done with them! One way I do this is to donate the books to the Women's Retreat that my local church has each year. We set up a table and set out all the books I bring and each lady can go home with at least two books! I love that I can bless others with books that I have loved, yet don't need to hang on to. This year at the retreat I paid forward over 200 books! Also, during this month of Possessions, I gave away 10 large bags of stuff (clothes, toys, books, kitchen stuff, etc) to our local Value Village and I am still going through my house for stuff that I don't need anymore yet I know will bless the socks off others.
I also did something similar to what Hatmaker did, and though intentionally about giving to specific people's needs I knew of. I gave away girls' clothes to friends, toys to other home day care providers, and some kitchen wear to a local women's emergency shelter. It felt not only good to purge my home, and simplify but also realize that I was meeting the needs of others in my community and personal social circle. This month was actually my favorite thus far because it was a great way to have a lot of teachable moments with my children, who are five and seven years old. To teach them about giving and also to teach them about stuff, and how they can steer our hearts away from God and what He wants to teach us: to be filled with His love, to be warm, caring and have a home that reflects that (Jen Hatmaker says this in the accompanying DVD study for the book) Eye-opening to be sure.
Now we are in May, and I am at the half way point of the Seven experiment. This month I am working through Waste. Coming up with seven ways to a greener life was a fairly easy thing to do since my family and I already do a lot to care for our Earth and be good stewards. I will do a separate blog post to explain how I am meeting my goals for this month of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess!
I hope you have enjoyed this update and I cannot wait to share more thoughts about my journey through this life-changing book again in a few weeks!
QUESTION: What book has impacted you greatly this year? Let me know in the comments below!