Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My first ever giveaway...7 by Jen Hatmaker

Last year I discovered Jen Hatmaker and now I tell everyone we are new best friends. It all started at my connect group when a friend mentioned her book Girl Talk for our book club. I listened to her describe the book, but honestly, it sounded too fun for me right now. I am in a season where I love reading books that hit me in the gut and cut deep, make me want to expose secrets and move to Africa! When I read about the book I thought it seemed nice and happy.

THE NEXT DAY I got a group email from my adoption board from another mother in the adoption community saying everyone who has adopted should read this blog post. So I did. I clicked on the link and read it right then. Every word. And I loved it and I loved the person who wrote it. I then googled everything about this girl. I wanted to read everything she had ever written! And then I realized...this was the same girl who wrote Girl Talk..the book that just hours before had not interested me.

Since that time I have read all Jen's blog posts and have followed her every move on Facebook and Twitter. And I was delighted to see that she had a new book coming out at the beginning of this year! I sent a nice email asking (begging) her to please include me in a group of women to review the book so I could get an advance copy. I was so delighted to get the email with the link to the preview copy but my email wouldn't work on my iPad or iPhone and Husband is always on the "real" computer "making a living!"

I ordered a copy off Amazon and waited patiently. Once it came I thought I'd devour it in a day, except I had shame and guilt on me from not reading my Francine Rivers novel that was our January book club choice! Now that my book club has met I am happy to say our February book choice is indeed Jen's latest book 7 and that I did indeed devour it in 24 hours!

Jen is like Francis Chan but prettier and FUNNY! She makes you feel you are her best friend (even though she has 4900 on Facebook currently). Her life has been Interrupted and it is beautiful!

7 is "an experimental mutiny against excess," as Jen puts it. She takes 7 areas of her life and focuses on each area for one month long while seeking God to reveal to her what excess lies in each and how to change it. Eating only seven foods for a month, wearing only seven articles of clothing, spending money in only seven businesses that get where I'm going.

The book is amazingly laugh out loud funny, yet treads in deep waters. Jen reveals her and her family's life and thoughts without pretending to be a perfect Christian. She clearly makes room for the Holy Spirit to move and change her life and her families. The focus is placed upon others.

One of my top 5 favorite books is Matthew Sleeth's Serve God Save the Planet. I bought about 10 copies a few Christmases ago and gave them to all my close friends and told them how much the book meant to me and how I couldn't wait for it to change their life the way it had changed mine!!!! Maybe three of them read it (and that's being optimistic). One friend was afraid they might have to start recycling! And then I found Francis Chan. Ah!!!! Another author who was challenging readers to think and live differently, in a way that seemed odd to normal America, but not to THE BIBLE! It seemed like everything in my life was being directly to this one area....I was tired of the "American Dream." I didn't want it...none of it. And what all these people were saying was confirming things in my heart.

And along comes Jen. The perfect Christian woman to relate to! She's got all the depth and sincerity and knowledge and theology that Chan and Sleeth and others have, yet she's FUNNY. I love a smart funny woman! It's the perfect woman! Women don't have to pretend to be stupid to be funny (which seems to be a trend in the last few years). Stupid isn't funny. Stupid is sad.

I am so ready for the Bride of Christ to BE pretty! We may have makeup on and our hair in a tousled up-do but our insides are anemic! I really feel like there is a whole bunch of people in the Body, Jen included, that are leading us into a better place. Jen writes about how her family is challenged to reach out to the poor and homeless more AND to be a better steward of the earth. It's not that hard to do what Jen is proposing to us. But it's SO FAR away from the typical middle class American Christian life. How did we get so far away from what the early church in Acts looked like?! People like Jen and her husband Brandon are trying to inch closer back to that place.

This book has lit a fire under me! I am excited to be part of the Body with people like this! It makes me proud to be a Christian! I want my life to be different from unbelievers. I want them to notice something amazingly, undeniably different about me and my family. I want them to say, "I want to serve YOUR GOD!" I want to raise my children the way Jen challenges us to do in 7! I want to move to Africa!!!!

But while I am here, my heart is to see the Body of Christ transformed. Transformed. Transformed! And this book has won a place in my heart forever, as it will serve as my Beginners Guide to Messing Up My Life Forever! (in a good, Kingdom kind-

of way, of course!)

Anyway, if you are still with me as I ramble, I have a brand new copy of Jen's book 7 and I am giving it away to someone who leaves a comment. And since I feel bad for getting my review posted later rather than sooner I would love it if you would post in your comment if you found out about this book already because of my facebook posting. Even if you have already read it and own the book, you can pass it along to someone if you win it! So leave a comment and I'll pick a winner randomly (as soon as I ask my friend who is the giveaway queen how to do that)in a few days!

If you are sick of buying $45 Easter dresses for your daughter, tired of eating pesticide laden food and spending too much money on processed food, feeling the call to adoption, struggling to find peace in your soul and in your home, addicted to buying clothes you never wear or feeling like you have to wear certain clothes, wanting to actually DO ministry instead of just hear about it, tired of the boxes and boxes of junk in your closets and attic that you may or may not care about one day, wanting your family to do something together that does not involve an on/off switch, or wanting to truly try to live like the Bible describes as the Christian way...this book will satisfy!

Here is a video trailer for the book.

my "best" friend Jen


Gayla said...

I'm in!!! Enter my name in your drawing!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Not sure if I'm ready to move to Africa - maybe I need to read the book.... :) Kerri Ophus

Anonymous said...

I love it so excited to read this book!!! -Niesha

Wendy said...

I love you SO much. I think you could write a book like Jen!!! You're pretty and funny and a great blog writer and a great researcher. I already have this book (because I'm in your book club) and Im gonna start on it soon. Maybe this book is what I need to make me get rid of the hoarded baby clothes in my attic!!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting. Always ready to declutter and make way for more Jesus in everything.Rachel

Michele Jones said...

The way you describe Jen also describes YOU!! You are extreme...and I LOVE it!! You are all in with God and always want to do more for Him and are open to anything, anytime!! This is a fantastic review, it makes me super excited to read the book!! I already bought it, I'm going to start it today. I feel its going to change me...we live a life of excess, our lives and children are indulged and I know thats not pleasing to God. I can't wait to see what this book does to me and its other readers!!

Alissa said...

I LOVE it Renee! I am halfway done and it does put so many things into perspective!! If you can get Michele to read a book, then we know you have found a winner;) Wendy and Michele are so right though....Can I get in line now for an advanced copy of your book??!!!!!! Love you sweet friend!!

Letha said...

I too would like a copy of your new book...signed please! I made a comment that I had started this book only to put it down only after reading half of the first chapter. Why you ask....cause this book is scary and I know it. I can tell already it's one of those books that is going to make you reach deep down inside yourself and realize changes need to be made...change of the heart, change in my motivation, change in my level of comfort, and change how I serve my Lord. So even though I am scared, I have made a promise to my fellow book club members to read this book. I hope they are all as scared as I am, cause this book could change all our lives...if we let it!!!

Anonymous said...

Your review has definitely piqued my interest and I will be ordering the book in the near future! Thanks for the link to Facebook, otherwise I would not have known about this author. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blogs and believe you should consider writing a book as are that smart, funny, down-to-earth woman that many would enjoy reading! Missy McCathran

Susan Newman said...

Love it and all her blogs! Can't wait to read the book!

Lori said...

Your review really made me curious about this book. Well done! I love to read but these days (being in graduate school) I only have time to read items that pertain to school and research. However, I've decided to spend the time and read it. I downloaded it to my iPad to read. Looking forward to getting started!! Thanks. Lori Kelly

JackieO said...

I am super excited to read the book after reading this blog about it! I haven't gotten a copy yet so I need to do that soon (maybe I will win one!) but I am excited about how this book will challenge me to grow and stretch and mold my life into something that better reflects the Kingdom of God, which fits perfectly with what my quest has been for many months now!! I, too, don't want to simply "fit in" with the world, I want to be noticeably different ... I want to be sooooooooo into God that the Spirit within me changes the atmosphere around me wherever I go and commands acknowlegement of the King!!! I want people to have what I have!!! Jackie

Amanda Green said...

Your review is great, and spot on! I have read the book, and it is everything you say and more. Now I have to go read some of Jen's other books as well as some of the other authors she references. I have also been Profoundly impacted by Ann Voskamp's blog and book, again thanks to you. Thank you for your passion and love you much!

Adri said...

Renee... I would camp out for days, send you emails and buy hundreds of YOUR books to give to others. I love that you are passionate about your love for Jesus and bold enough to share it! Thank you for such an exciting & articulate review of 7. Jen would be blessed beyond measure to have a friend like you. If you're going to Africa, sign me up! I hope to devour this book just so I can share in conversation and live out the challenges set before me. I still want to be like you when I "grow up" and am so grateful for your daily example. Love u!

Kimberly said...

Your first giveaway--fun! That means you are an official blogger now =). This book is on my reading list!

Anonymous said...

Great review! I will be reading. Trying to get book club to read it but a fashion forward member grew wide eyed at the thought of just 7 articles of clothing. I need a council!

You and Jen would get along famously. Cut from the same cloth. I am inspired by both of you.

Are family members eligible to win??

Love you! Tina

Anonymous said...

Well...I have read reviews before but never quite like makes me want to read this book:)
Actually, I might go search it out today,,,I feel like I am missing out on something.
I will do this with some trepidation....only wear 7 articles of clothing for a month? WOW.
I can probably shop only at 7 stores and eat only 7 foods..but only 7 pieces of clothing??
Does this make me sound vain?? Ha.
Seriously though, great review!!

Anonymous said...

! I agree, you are a great writer too! Thank you for staying up til the midnight hour (on a regular basis) searching out this great book and many others, and for fearlessly leading us down the road less traveled. I'm ready to jump in the crazy deep waters with you!!!!!!

Rachel said...

Totally want to read this book after your great review - although I too love me some Hatmaker - we just finished one of her books in our gals mentoring group - love the way she writes, so real as if you are sitting there with her having a coffee. So much of what she says is what I want for my life and my family - when are we going to Africa :)??

Anonymous said...

Renee- You NEED to write a book! When I read your post, I feel like I'm sitting right across from you in a room. I can see your sweet face and gentle spirit. You inspire me! Your love for God is contagious! I can't wait to read the book!
You have a way about you the draws people in. It is very inviting. God is so proud of you and I'm very honored to be called your friend! Love you!


Amy Reneé said...

And the winner is....Kerri O!! Thank you all for the comments!