I read a book several months ago called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.
Doesn’t that sound like something you’re just dying to pick up and read???
No? Me neither.
I admittedly only read the book because:
#1 it is written by Jen Hatmaker. She is hilarious and I love reading her stuff. She’s a preacher’s kid, pastor’s wife and REAL.
#2 the ebook version was on sale for cheap.
I started reading and the more I read, the more God kept speaking to me, “Starr – this is you. This is where you are. You have to do something about your excess. It is out of control. I’m calling you to be different. Don’t settle for normal anymore. The American Dream is not the goal.”
That message has been marinating in my soul for several months now. I’ve made small changes, but nothing drastic.
Here’s a sample of what I read that is shaking the very depths of who I am:
How can I be socially responsible if unaware that I reside in the top percentage of wealth in the world? (You probably do too: Make $35,000 a year? Top 4 percent. $50,000? Top 1 percent.) Excess has impaired perspective in America; we are the richest people on earth, praying to get richer. We’re tangled in unmanageable debt while feeding the machine, because we feel entitled to more. What does it communicate when half of the global population lives on less than $2 a day, and we can’t manage a fulfilling life on twenty-five thousand times that amount?
It says we have too much, and it is ruining us.
(7 by Jen Hatmaker)
Yes. My stuff is ruining me.
I’m Starr and I love my stuff. It is time for that to change.
I have piles of clothes everywhere. I can’t keep up with the laundry, because there is too much. I clean it all up, and it comes right back. Excess. And it is suffocating me. It is suffocating my family.
This past July I went to a place far away to see what it is like to focus less on stuff. In Brazil, they didn’t care so much about the stuff. It was a different pace. It was a different way of living. It was a slower pace.
This lady was so proud to invite us into her home – with boards that you could see through as walls and floors. Yet, she was so happy.
And this entire village welcomed us as we brought shoes from Samaritan’s Feet to hand out 1 pair of shoes to each person.
And how many shoes did I pack on my trip to Brazil in my 3 suitcases? And how many shoes do I have in my custom closet with shoe holders at home?
On this very first #trashouttuesday I’m going to start with my closet.
I’m going down to 150 items of clothing and shoes (this is a start – I can’t even guess how many total items I have currently – it is well into the HUNDREDS – I throw NOTHING away y’all – clothes from college, yep!). I’m even asking Brian to help me count my starting point to know how much excess I have been living with for the past 33 years.
No matter how many times I tell Brian I’m cleaning the closet, it gets right back like this:
I need a simplified life. I need to make more room for God and less room for stuff.
Time to get real.
How about you?
I have until Thursday to pack it all up. I’ll update you on my progress.
Join me? What excess can you start chipping away at in your life?