an amazing book
a couple of weeks ago, i talked about a book that i had just started reading...7: an experimental mutiny against excess by Jen Hatmaker. i just finished it a couple of days ago and l.o.v.e.d. it! watch the little trailer to find out what is about.
for me, i could identify with Jen a lot. when we lived in PNG, we kind of experience what it was like to not live in excess. Jen cut out different things of excess for 7 months, but for us it was all at once.
we went from living in the land of plenty to living in a third world country. that's why it's called culture shock. we had it.
food...we went without fast food and having every kind of food of our choice. meat was very expensive to buy, but we had all the fresh produce we could buy. hardly any processed food.
clothes & possessions...we only had what we brought or on a rare occasion would travel into a little town that had a trade store and a second hand store to shop at. all the store smelled bad and were blazing hot. i guess that's what you get when you live in the tropics.
waste...we didn't have much because we didn't buy much. we didn't have a car. we bought locally and shared a lot with the community we lived in.
media...no tv, no gaming system, surfing the web was very limited, no cell phone, no texting, no Facebook...pretty much i used my computer for emails, instant messaging, and watching movies that we brought with us or borrow from friends.
spending...there was really no where to spend money. i had severe withdrawals. i would dream about being in Target...walking around in a building with air conditioning, that smelled good and looking at all the pretty things. you don't realize how much we shop or overindulge, until there is no shopping to be found.
stress...i think this is the only one that remains the same wherever you are. stress and busyness can fill your life, no matter where you are. it was different, most of my time was spent cooking and cleaning. everything took longer because i didn't have the luxury of all the conveniences that we have in the good ol' USA. i made food from scratch. one load of laundry took over an hour to wash and then i had to hang it up to dry before the rain would come. if you forgot to buy something at the market, you were out of luck over weekend, because nothing was open.
it amazes me how my time in PNG has shaped me. there were times when it was down right hard and painful to live there. but as i read this book, i realized just how much removing some of the excess had changed me and how God had molded me into the person i am today. by no means do i have it all together now, i'm still a work in progress. but it has cause me to be a changed person...to view things differently...to really not give into all that the world says we must have...to really think about what we treasure really reveals what we love.
i can't agree more with what Jen says..."we need to practice fasting- from food, greed, selfishness, luxuries... it isn't just the experience; it's the discipline. it changes us."
to be continued... i will be share more in the coming weeks.