And if you’re here for details on the Read-a-Long and a chance to meet your fellow Readers-a-Long, WELCOME! I’m thinking this post might get a little long, so if you’re in a hurry or averse to wordy, check out all the STUFF IN BOLD, and you’ll be good to go.
If you’ve been around these parts for long or we know each other personally, it’s going to take you about three minutes or less of reading 7 to figure out why I love this book so much. If you missed this post where I introduced our next read-a-long selection, we’re doing 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker.
The book in a nutshell: Jen picked 7 areas of excess in her life (food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, stress) and took some simple, but drastic, actions to fight back against the greed, materialism, and over-indulgence that was taking over her family’s life.
This chick is speaking my language, friends. I can’t count the times I wrote the word SAME in the margins of this book. And even if you didn’t spend big chunks of your childhood pretending to be Sandi Patti, belting out “Via Dolorosa,” like Jen and I did (see p. 23, 1st paragraph), she’s probably speaking your language too.
If you can get the book and read the Introduction by Tuesday, February 28, that would be stellar. And if you can’t, that’s fine too, because in spite of the gut-punching conviction you might maybe possibly feel as you turn page after page, this is a gentle read-a-long. And as Jen will tell you, she’s not here to bully you or guilt you into turning your life inside-out and upside-over. She’s just going to share her personal story, give little pep talk-nudges as God leads her, and pray that the Holy Spirit takes you from there.
And that’s what I aim to do too.
Here’s What You Need to Know
1. We’ll “meet” every Tuesday from February 28 through April 24 to discuss that week’s chapter (so you’ll want to have it read, if you can, before Tuesday).
March 6–Chapter 1 (Food)
March 13–Chapter 2 (Clothes)
March 20–Chapter 3 (Possessions)
March 27–Chapter 4 (Media)
April 3–Chapter 5 (Waste)
April 10–Chapter 6 (Spending)
April 17–Chapter 7 (Stress)
April 24–Conclusion and PARTY TIME!
2. Your options for involvement include, but are not limited to:
a. Write your own blog post with your thoughts from the chapter and link to it (there will be a special place to do that).
b. Answer one or more of the discussion questions (that I provide) in the comments section.
c. Reply (kindly) to one or more comments.
d. Read and reflect at your own leisure with or without commenting.
e. Start an IN REAL LIFE read-along group with people you already know or–gasp!–people you meet through this blog that live near you.
f. Anything else you feel like doing.
3. On Bonus Wednesdays, we’ll be discussing some action steps we could take/are taking as they pertain to that week’s chapter.
Again, you can be involved as you want to be. If you want to do week-long experiments where you fast from stuff, that would be awesome. But I’m not going to do a corporate challenge. And I’d like us to keep in mind the spirit of this read-along: we want to inspire and encourage each other, not to one-up and out-do each other. Feel free to comment, reply, link to posts whenever you feel like it. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are just the days I’ll be posting on the blog.
Basically, there aren’t a ton of rules. And we’ll probably tweak things as we go. If you absolutely love structure and order, this format might drive you a tiny bit nuts.
THE IMPORTANT PART:
Please take a minute or two to introduce yourself by answering the following question in the comments section of this post. YOU ARE NOT COMMITTING TO ANYTHING. Just saying hi.
1. Your Name & Location (be as vague or specific as you’d like)
2. Which chapter (area of excess) do you feel most smug about (because it’s not really a problem for you)?
3. Which chapter scares you the most?
4. (Optional) What do you hope to get out of this Read-a-Long?
Here are my answers to give you an idea:
1. Marla Taviano, Columbus OH
2. Clothing. I pretty much wear ratty jeans and gray/black t-shirts 7 days a week.
3. Media & Food. I loooooove the internet & I looooooooove junk food.
4. I want to make more space in my life for Jesus & I want to hear the Spirit clearly. I want to be a family that does justice, loves mercy, walks humbly with God.
See you back here on Tuesday, February 28, to discuss the Introduction to 7!