Several months ago, my mom told me about a book that she was reading. She told me not to read it because I would take up the reigns and do everything in it to a T and then tell her she better join me. (This is Emmie speaking by the way.) In this same conversation, she was telling me about the author, Jen Hatmaker, who came into town and my mom drove her to the airport and they had a wonderful talk regarding Hatmaker’s adoption of her Ethiopian children. Well yeah, tell me not to read something and then tell me the author adopted….well, I grabbed the book from my mother while visiting for Christmas 🙂
And I have been hit in the face. Jen Hatmaker….she speaks my language! But she is braver than I am. I mean…I have only made it about 23 pages in, and had to put it down because it is well past my bedtime, and I need a moment to keep myself from crying while reading it. It is that good…it pulls on my heart strings that much.
I’m posting about it here because this blog isn’t just about our adoption journey to bring our Lesotho child home. It is also about God’s adoption of us, and our desire for you to see Him in us. And He is never done changing us. Whoa, have I been hit in the face about that. Just to give you a brief summary of the book…and I’m probably not close to doing it justice…it is about fighting excess in our lives. 7 different categories, 7 months, each month fights a different theme: food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste, stress. This month: food. She chooses 7 foods (her food choices are chicken, eggs, whole-wheat bread, sweet potatoes, spinach, avocados, and apples) and that is ALL that she can have for a full 4 weeks. That is it. This book fights over-indulgence, greed, and materialism, encouraging a deeply reduced life that allows the discovery of a greatly increased God, or as Hatmaker puts it: a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends a social experiment to become a radically better existence.
Now, I’m a nursing Momma, so I’m not doing this month exactly the way Jen Hatmaker did. I’ve gotta get my carbs and my snacks! But, what I am doing is: not eating out. The little trips to McDonalds for their White Chocolate coffee, not happening. (Hey, that is an extra $2 for our adoption fund for every cup of coffee I would’ve purchased from them…) We have food in our pantry, our refrigerator, our freezer inside, and chest freezer in our garage. I can eat what we have here. We will eat left overs. We will not let food go to waste. We won’t eat when we aren’t hungry. We won’t over-indulge. (This has been hard…the last 2 nights when my daughter woke up and nursed, I usually grab a snack…it is habit! But I’ve realized it is habit and if I don’t *need* it, if my tummy isn’t growling, then I can just crawl right back into bed.) If we run out of bread, milk, or eggs, of course we can run to the store for those things. But we aren’t going to the store and seeing that this is on sale so we *need* that, or this would go well with tonight’s dinner, or we haven’t had that in a while, or we are just craving fill-in-the-blank. Who knows if our child, or the children in his/her orphanage, get a full meal…even once a day, let alone snacks! How can we over-indulge and not think anything of it? So to my mom: see, I’m not doing this to a T. I changed the first month 🙂
I’ll leave you with this and would love for you to join me in this fight against excess! Email or comment if you have questions (the book is ‘7: an experimental mutiny against excess’ by Jen Hatmaker). I will post updates every now and then on what God is teaching us through this.
“How can we extract our children from this filthy engine where indulgence and ignorance and ungratefulness and waste are standard protocol? Where they know they can throw perfectly good food away because there is always more in the pantry?
I wept for all my children tonight, my Ethiopian children orphaned by disease or hunger or poverty who will go to bed with no mother tonight and my biological children who will battle American complacency and overindulgence for the rest of their lives.
I don’t know who I feel worse for.”