SPENDING and STRESS: Chapters 6 & 7 of “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess”
I have a confession to make. “7″ remains on my bedside table. I have not finished the last two chapters. I feel some guilt about this, like I am letting you down.
I keep reminding myself that Jen Hatmaker’s mutiny against excess took place over a period of seven months, not seven weeks.
I can’t possibly accomplish all the organizing, reducing, reprioritizing that “7″ is calling me to in seven weeks. But, I am on my way.
Everyday I see areas in my life, in my family’s life that need reduction. Stuff we could do without; food that gets thrown away only partially eaten; toys forgotten that would make another child smile; clothes hung in my closet waiting for the day when “I just might need them”.
This practice against excess is a lifestyle that requires deliberate, thoughtful steps, similar to healthy eating and regular exercise. If my habits are to change, it will require me to slow down, to be intentional and consistent. All the while, giving myself grace on those days when I seem to lose my way.
I choose to practice being a faithful steward of not only my body but of the world around me. Through this mindfulness, I believe I will learn to accomplish more and will find freedom in having less.
These past two weekends, my husband and I prioritized cleaning out the basement and garage of the excess.
We saw our extra bedroom furniture go to a single mother and her five children who had fled an unsafe situation. Our stroller, pack and play, toddler bedrail, and carseat blessed a family expecting a new arrival. My boys’ warm, fleece pjs found a new home with a neighbor boy. And, the hanging shelves less than a year old, but which didn’t make sense to move year after year, became a gift for a friend setting up a new business.
The major take-away for me from this book is that I am right to feel burdened by my stuff. The time it takes to care for the stuff in my life is time that is taken away from communing with my LORD. I want more time to pray, to journal, to listen to His Still Small Voice, to worship, to read His Word, and like Jen Hatmaker, I am realizing that having less makes more space for Christ.
I plan to have this be my last post on “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess”. There are several reasons for that.
The Bloom bookclub is wrapping it up this week.
I am ready to move onto other thoughts here at jana’s three dresses.
This will be a journey that takes place over a lifetime, not 7 weeks. I want to step back, pause, reflect, and reorder my steps.
I will continue to reflect on what I have read and experienced through 7. I will pick the book back up at some point and finish out those last two chapters. But, I want to take myself out from under the pressure to “keep on schedule”.
I wonder if you can hear my heart. Do you also find that this lifestyle change can’t possibly be wrapped up into a neat “7-week bow”?