It has been an interesting season of life for Husband and I. Things are starting to feel uncomfortable…or…maybe too comfortable. Our middle class, suburban skin is starting to feel too small and too much at the same time. The things to take care of, the bills to pay, the errands to run…I admit, it is starting to feel like I’m spending more of my time managing my life than living it. I long to spend more time on relationships that keeping up with my stuff. I ache for my family members to live in peace, rather than discontent and discord.
Today, I told Husband that my life, my very own skin, is starting to feel itchy. It is starting to feel too small and like it is being stretched for something more.
an experimental mutiny against excess (yes!!)
Yesterday, I devoured [easyazon-link asin="1433672960" locale="us"]7[/easyazon-link] a new book by Jen Hatmaker (who is DARLING!). It was inspiring and nod-in-agreement inducing. It was scary and counter-cultural and more than anything, it sounded much like the voice in my head and heart. Surely, we aren’t supposed to live in such excess while others have so little. It can’t really be okay for us to just tithe and close our eyes to the plight of the rest of the world. Justice is of God, so how can we walk around and ignore that we pray that God’s kingdom would come…on earth as it is in Heaven, yet do nothing to usher it in?
[easyazon-link asin="1433672960" locale="us"]7[/easyazon-link] is challenging, laugh out loud funny, kind of extreme in an awesome way, very “project based” which totally appeals to my ENFP self, and not at all judgy. Trust me, if I sense a bit of judginess or “you ought to” or smugness or condescension in a book, I shut it faster than I opened it. Jen is so self-deprecating and honest that it is hard not to be in her corner. She is honest about the fact that she is far from where she wants to be in a lot of areas of simplicity and giving, etc. And, please hear me say, I am firmly planted in the midst of excess. I love Starbucks and Netflix, I love MacBooks and Amazon.com, I love getting take-out and ordering pizza. I live excessively. I am with you, I am like you…unless you are living simply so that others may simply live…then you’re awesome and I’m just not quite there yet. There in spirit, but not in deed. ;)
I loved the pictures she sketched with her words, the stories she wove as the book wore on. Tales of shoes being given off wealthy feet and put on bare and needy feet. In her world, there is less of a physical gap between the haves and the have nots. Her children are in relationship with homeless men and women on the Austin streets, learning in the flesh that God’s great grace covers them all. She and her husband have adopted (are in the process while [easyazon-link asin="1433672960" locale="us"]7[/easyazon-link] is going on) two Ethiopian orphans, older children that had very low chances of ever getting placed in a family. They are doing real, hard, awesome relational work with the least of these.
I am ruminating and I am pondering. I am honestly trying very hard to resist soothing the discontent that is in my soul…I don’t want to drown it out with our American conveniences, our suburban luxuries, or any blasted excuse. I want to sit in this discomfort and see how it all settles. It will be interesting to see what God has done with our hearts when the dust finally falls, when the road is more clear, and when our direction is more certain.
But, I do know this, [easyazon-link asin="1433672960" locale="us"]7[/easyazon-link] came along at a time when God has been working out my heart anyway. Husband gets nervous in times like these…when his wife (me!) gets another big idea or pet passion. However, God has been so generous and good to us in this season (there have been times lately when I didn’t feel so much like that) that He has brought us both to the same place. Husband and wife, on the same page…waiting to see what story God is going to write next.
Y’all. Do yourself a big favor and get [easyazon-link asin="1433672960" locale="us"]7[/easyazon-link]. I am going to give away the copy I just read (gently used, but much loved) to a reader today! Just leave a comment below if you’d like to be entered to win the book. I’ll cut off the giveaway at midnight Monday, February 13th.