Friday, January 25, 2013

Book Club Friday: 7 by Jen Hatmaker

So I am on a roll.  I actually finished another book this week.  Woohoo.
I read:
 7:An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
Here is what says about it:
American life can be excessive, to say the least. That’s what Jen Hatmaker had to admit after taking in hurricane victims who commented on the extravagance of her family’s upper middle class home. She once considered herself unmotivated by the lure of prosperity, but upon being called “rich” by an undeniably poor child, evidence to the contrary mounted, and a social experiment turned spiritual was born.

7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.” So, what’s the payoff from living a deeply reduced life? It’s the discovery of a greatly increased God—a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence.
I first heard about Jen Hatmaker when I read something my SIL had liked from her Facebook page. It was sarcastic and funny and I immediately clicked on her page and started reading.  Jen and her husband started a church in Austin, TX a few years back. She has authored numerous books and does speaking engagements around the country.
I really enjoyed this book.  It is written mainly in diary form as Jen does each month of her experiment. 

I could really relate to a lot of the things brought up in this book.  During the food month where she only allowed herself 7 things (chicken, eggs, whole-wheat bread, sweet potatoes, spinach, avocados and apples) to eat all month, she talked about how her kids had thrown away a bunch of food because they didn't have ketchup to go with it and how upsetting this was (even more so because they were in the process of trying to adopt children from Ethiopia...children who probably get rice for all their meals).  
It is often that, with a full pantry and fridge, I'm like, "Oh, there's nothing to eat here."
I often put left-overs in the fridge and retrieve them weeks later to throw them away.
I'm happy to announce that this week we actually ate leftovers before they grew a thick layer of mold.
Yay us.

The media month definitely struck a chord with me too.  I never wanted an iPhone.  My husband had one a year before I ever got one.  He's actually the one that insisted I get one so I could play Words with Friends with him (I'm being totally serious).  Now, of course, I can't put this dang phone down.  When I wake up in the morning, I often check Facebook or see what's happening on Instagram before I even get out of bed.  I have sat for an hour (hours?!) playing Trivie, Bubble Galaxy and Dice with Buddies with my friend Dustin....while pinning stuff on Pinterest or reading blogs on my desktop computer.  I try not to get on my phone when we are at the kitchen table or out at a restaurant, but then my husband is on his phone checking Twitter or looking up sports scores.  The last time we got to eat together, with no kids, I took a picture of him (yes, yes with my iPhone) while he was looking down into his lap reading stuff on the phone as I just sat there looking around, bored.  This is a serious problem.  It's not just me and my husband...our kids want on the computer every waking hour or are glued to the xbox (or wii or nintendo DS).  We need to change our ways.  We need media free blocks.  Something.
 This book will definitely get you thinking about things.  I have agonized all week over wanting a certain nail polish (Essie's Master Plan).  I mean, I have a lot (25 bottles...which may not be that much) of nail polish, and most of the time my nails aren't even painted....why do I really need another one?  That answer is very simple:  I don't need it.  I want it.  Just like I want that cute dress I saw at Target a couple of weeks ago.

We don't need to go to Dunkin' Donuts every Sunday nor do we need to grab a coffee at McDonalds when we have our own coffeemaker.  I recently went through my bank statement and I swear one whole page was purchases at Taco Bell and McDonalds.  That's just gross.  And excessive.  

My short post here does not even begin to explore the ideas or things talked about in this book.  If you're looking for a book club or Bible Study book, I definitely would suggest this will give you sooo much to discuss and think about.

Jen Hatmaker, I will definitely stop to think more about the things my family and I are doing.  I will pray over the things I have read in this book and will try to pray more because of this book.  I enjoyed reading about your journey.  I loved how you are a real person.  You do not try to come across as this perfect person...and you definitely have a little naughty streak in you (me too!!!).  If I am ever in Austin, I want to come feed the homeless with you and your church on a Sunday and bear witness to the amazing things you and your family are doing.  I want to find ways to help in my community. I want to be a better Christian.  


Don't forget to link up here and here

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Random Wednesday # 1

Today I'm linking up with Shanna by way of Courtney

1.  Shanna, if you're reading this, I do not understand what I'm supposed to do with that html for your icon.  LOL.  This is why my blog is also incredibly simplistic.  Anything fancy on it was done by Tasha, who has had three other blogs since leaving this one...
2.  I keep seeing fancy straws all over Instagram.  They are incredibly cute but I will not be buying them.  If you would like to, though, here they are (I'm a complete enabler):
3.  New York Fashion Week starts soon (Feb 7, I believe) and I am ready to see all the fabulous outfits Olivia Palermo is going to be putting together.
Here she is yesterday in Switzerland:

4.  Every time I wash my hair, I am amazed at the amount of hair I lose.....Some day, I will take a picture of my non-flat-ironed hair so you can see how much I really have.  It is every hair dresser's worst nightmare.
5. Is it Thursday yet?? Is it Thursday yet??  I've been saying this since last Thursday at 11 pm ET when Scandal ended. Such a great show. 
6.  I have a confession to make:  up until a month ago, I had never watched How I Met Your Mother.  I am guessing it has always been on on Mondays which has historically been Dancing with the Stars or the Bachelor/Bachelorette time for me.  No more.  I only flip to ABC on commercials now.  I have watched all of Season 7 (thanks Hubs) and am ordering the rest from Amazon.  Had it not been for WGN, I would have never realized what I have been missing over the last 8.5 seasons. Such a great/funny show. 
7.  Currently obsessed with salads containing cucumber, tomato, pecans, goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Book Club Friday: House Rules

Happy Friday!!
It has been awhile since I've linked up for Book Club Friday... mainly because I haven't finished a book in forever!!  
I recently moved and was invited to join a book club by a mother of my daughter's friend.  We meet for the first time tonight and will be discussing this book: gives the following description of the book:
When your son can’t look you in the eye . . . does that mean he’s guilty?
Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger’s syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject—forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he’s always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he’s usually right.

But when Jacob’s small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob’s behaviors are hallmark Asperger’s, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob’s mother, Emma, it’s a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it’s another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob.

And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?

 I wasn't too sure about this book at first because I'd never read anything by the author...and it didn't really seem like something I would normally read.  Having said that, I actually really liked the book.  
It gives a good description of the main character, Jacob, but I couldn't help thinking he reminded me of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory so that is how I pictured Jacob throughout the book.  
I also enjoyed the forensics side of the book since I once was in law enforcement.
The book may be daunting for those who don't read a lot, because it is quite long...but I think once you get into it you will really learn to love the characters...especially Jacob.
Have a good one!