The Summer of 7: the Book, the Group, and Life

7 : An Experimental  Mutiny Against Excess

7 : An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

Let me just say. . . I love Jen Hatmaker!

I love her approach to parenting, to loving Jesus and to loving people. Her ministry with her husband Brandon in inner city Austin, Texas is far from common. It is a ministry that has grown out of their desire to meet needs…real needs. Physical, emotional, and spiritual…

They are renegades of sorts…loving the homeless, feeding the hungry, and serving the marginalized.  Gee…that sounds a great deal like the actions of my Jesus. Hmmm… What a unique approach for Christians…

Enter  the book  7, and the summer of 2014.

This summer I had an opportunity to join a  group of women who were marching through Jen Hatmaker’s  book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess  arm in arm. A tremendous sense of community grew within this book group of Jesus chicks. Much like Jen’s council, this amazing group of women provided a wellspring of  community resources, knowledge,  support and love.

Jen Hatmaker succeeded in stepping on my pedicured toes with her big ole Texas cowgirl boots and they are bruised…

and my heart is tender…

But more importantly, I am different because of this group of women with whom I shared the experience. We fleshed out our own mutiny against excess. Our group discussions were brutally honest. Laughter and tears were involved…Don’t forget, this is a group of gals,  and we have an overabundance of both.

It was personal for me.

For the past 7 months, my sweet Bear and I have been in the process of downsizing and simplifying our lives. This book was timely.  During this season, I have found myself searching for and following blogs of people who seek to live a simpler, less cluttered existence… people who consider themselves minimalists…people who desire to fill moments with life…and not stuff.

Books like Tsh Oxenreider‘s Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World  and Hatmaker’s 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess , validated my growing desire for simplicity and the reduction of my stuff.

As a result, I have realized that there is a growing population of people who  are seeking to live a profoundly  reduced life. In 7, Hatmaker and her council of wise, like-minded friends  tackled  issues and areas of excess in their lives in an  attempt to simplify and reconnect. Reconnect? Yes…A cleaner, greener, more organic, less consumer-driven way of life.

The greatest thing about this book is Hatmaker’s unapologetic desire to love like Jesus. She grounded everything in Scripture and continuously pointed readers to grace and servanthood. There were some weeks I was raw after my assigned reading, only to go to book group and find others equally exposed and tender.

Oddly enough, I did not journal through this book. I processed these pages in my everyday, living them and pondering how Jesus would have me change. A unique experience indeed…

This book and group of women marked my summer…and I am profoundly grateful.

Berta

 

The following are a couple of the blogs I follow regarding minimalism and simplicity:

Becoming Minimalist

The Minimalists

The Art of Simple

Zen Habits

Be More with Less

Going Uncomplicated

The Extraordinary Simple Life

 

If you follow others, please share them with me. I love to read blogs and these have left their fingerprints on my everyday…

 

 

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One thought on “The Summer of 7: the Book, the Group, and Life

  1. Dana July 23, 2014 at 3:00 pm Reply

    You are one of the precious gifts of my summer season, one that has been equally challenging and beautiful. I’m so glad you came…and are staying.

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