Saturday, August 25, 2012

Seven by Jen Hatmaker

This, my friends, is a book review. Or more like, my responses to a book.

The book, Seven, takes the reader through a season of life with Jen as she challenged herself to change seven things about her world.

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress

Here are my responses to seven, in random order...  Literally taken from an email so this is my real voice, folks, not my fancy writing voice.

Firstly I will get rid of the excess stuff I've got - I don't need most of it! It causes me heart palpitations and I have to find places to put it; lets all store things just in case someday we turn into people who decorate for holidays/fix our cars/go skiing/garden... I am looking for places to take my things that will be beneficial to those in true need. Sorry Goodwill. I'm thinking of other avenues here...

Secondly I want to go to her church. I am 800% weary of church here, and she describes the tension that I feel about the american church in such a plain, non aggressive way. As she describes their church that is Exactly What I've Been Talking About. Too bad Texas is a couple (hundred) miles away from Oregon. lol. I dunno. Prayerful as God continues to reveal reasons to be hopeful for the american church.

Thirdly, food. I really need to start cooking more at home again, for both the budget and our health. I don't know if I can bring myself to buy organic (much) as financially it is NOT feasible, but I have been buying some things that way. I have been THE LAZIEST COOK for the past several months. I've even figured out ways to eat what I want ultra cheap and then just serve the girls top ramen or cereal. great parenting, eh? 

Fourth, stress. I've been on that band wagon for months. its been nice, when it works - it works very well :)

Media, ditto. I barely do anything media-centric but I married a gamer tv-aholic. Easy for me and impossible for the family. Carry on.

Waste is the easiest one for our family. I had to strongly convince the garbage company that a tiny trash can would be sufficient for our family. Living in Oregon, we recycle (alot of stuff) and since I haven't been cooking much, there isn't much packaging for the trash. But when I do cook, I tend to cook whole, fresh foods and they too have very little packaging. win-win.

Spending. ouch. OUCH. We have been talking dave ramsey, considering doing dave ramsey, and even started a budget for the first time ever. Which has failed for the month of August. Things were going well, until three things. One, the reality that my rebellion against the envelope system means that tracking spending (on food) is impossible, two, twelve cavities that needed fillings... in the mouth of just ONE daughter... and three, two emergency visits to the vet for our basset hound. Yep. The budget this month, my dear friends, was utterly blown. It isn't even the end of the month yet. It comes as no surprise to me that the first month we tried to follow a budget would include over $300 in veterinarian bills, even though in all of our years of dog ownership we have been incident free. Asia is 8 - this is a lot of years we are talking about here!

There is a ray of hope here! I have learned hard-core valuable lessons. Envelopes are required.
I am on a spending freeze, with the exception of budgeted groceries and household items (from a list!) we have need of nothing between now and Christmas. Rachel has a birthday in October and her gift is a visit to the DMV for her driving permit and a haircut. Sarah now has all of her required fillings so we are clear for another season as I hand out flossers and flouride.

There is my assessment. world = rocked.

1 comment:

  1. First: I want to borrow that book! Second: I've always wanted to be part of a book club and I think the two of us should start one...I'm dreaming here but thinking of a different book once a month (each person taking turns to pick) and a once a month get together at someone's house to make good food and discuss. Even if it's just us it would be fun! Ok, I'm calling you now to see if you are as excited about this idea as I am!