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 special...like 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 month....you 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.