All right, I am going to come out and say this. I LOVED THIS BOOK. A friend told me about it and I thought it sounded like a cool book, and when she came to visit in February she brought it with her and let me read it. Oh my gosh, it was more than a cool concept. It’s now on my “favorites” bookshelf over on Goodreads because homegirl strikes hearts with her faith and her preaching of the truth.
In short: Jen Hatmaker is sick of stuff. You know, the junk that clutters our lives and our homes. She she decides that she is going to wage a war on stuffism, eliminating items for seven months. Each month deals with a new item (as you can see on the cover): Clothes. Shopping. Waste. Food. Possessions. Media. Stress. And she documents her journey along the way, consulting her Council of trusted friends with questions. She involves her children (three of them at the time; she and her husband were in the process of adopting two children from Ethiopia). And it became something bigger than just some words on a page.
This book is still something that resounds within me. Since the beginning of the year, I have been uncomfortable with how much stuff I have. Seriously, I have crap oozing out of my hair follicle at this point. And I have a job that allows me to just go buy more crap. So this book moved me with its reliance on simplicity, even when simplicity is hard to come by. Jen never paints a rosy picture — she admits that a lot of what she is giving up is hard. But she reminds readers of the greater glory in living with less. When we live with less, we find that we’re living more for His kingdom than our world!
My favorite chapter is the last one, on giving up stress. Jen sets her alarm and prays and specific times each day for specific things. At one point, she discusses in great detail the adoption process of her kids Ben and Remy. I cry every. single. time I read this part, and I feel like God is using this to pave the path to my own someday adoptions. Jen writes:
I want you to know their names.
Our Beniam is seven, and we’ll call him Ben, the son we fought for. Our daughter’s name is Matawi, which means “Remembrance.” We will call her Remy because she was never forgotten — not ber her Creator, not by her Savior, and not by us. God walked with our children through every sorrow; their plight was ever before Him. Though family and village and country and government and even the whole world turned from their distress, abdicating responsibility and ignoring their cries, God never forgot, never slept, never stopped working until His children were restored.
He remembered them.
Seriously. The tears are pouring down my face right now. Read. This. Book. It will rock your world, at least I hope it will, because it’s certainly rocked mine. And then go friend Jen Hatmaker on facebook and/or twitter and be prepared to laugh your brains out.