It's that time of year when it gets a little crazy over here in the PaperDoll house! I usually approach this season with a little dread but I'm feeling kind of excited about it this year! I'm determined to make the most of my work time, do my very best to have excellent service and put out a great product and take joy in the fact that I get to be creative for a living. Let's do this thing!!
Last week, a sweet friend dropped a thank you gift on my porch. I had helped her with some signs and in return, she destroyed my heart!
I'm just kidding...sort of.
Along with the most fabulous popcorn, she left me the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker. I know this book has been out for a while and it may be old news in the blogging community but I am so grateful for this gift. I love God's divine interventions. He KNEW I needed to read this and so He sent it to me through my dear friend.
I was so excited about the book but I didn't open it right away. It had a pretty bow on it and it looked so cute. I decided to sit it on my desk until I had time to really spend some time looking it over.
Now let me tell you why this book rocked my world by page 3 of the book Introduction. My oldest is going on a class trip to Washington, D.C. this spring. I've stressed myself out over this trip for many reasons. It's not cheap, he'll be far away without me, but most importantly....he'll be flying there. He'll be flying for the first time. Without me. I've been sick about it. SICK. The reason he's never been on a plane is because trips aren't our thing. School and clothes and food are our thing. Our budget just doesn't really allow for plane tickets for a party of 5. While thinking this over recently, I came to the conclusion that we were the worst parents ever because our children have never flown. No plane rides to Florida, or Hawaii or even Dallas. What kind of people are we? I settled with the fact that we must be poor. That's the only explanation for this crazy no plane ride thing. Over the last few days, I became so distraught with the idea of my baby boarding a plane without me for the first time because I was too poor to fly him somewhere exciting last summer, that I couldn't even sleep. My unsuspecting husband was forced to wake up at 2:30 in the morning to listen to me SOB about our situation. I needed him to also know that he was a terrible parent and must be poor because he was equally responsible for our children's lack of travel via the skies. I cried and cried and felt so sorry for my kids who had missed out on something that most of their friends have done several times.
The day after this crazy crying fest, my kids had dentist appointments so I grabbed the book to keep me busy while I waited. (Don't worry...it's not lost on me that our kids regularly go to the dentist, yet I've declared us poor.) On page 3 of the intro, the author is telling the story of what brought her to write a book about the excess that we live in. A young boy had just seen her home for the first time and declared them RICH! Here was her response.
"We are. For years I didn't realize this because so many others had more. We were surrounded by extreme affluence, which tricks you into thinking you're in the middle of the pack. I mean sure, we have twenty-four hundred square feet for only five humans to live in, but our kids have never been on an airplane, so how could we be rich?"
Jen Hatmaker, 7:An Experimental Muting Against Excess
I read that line over and over. How crazy is it that I would read this line the day after I cried my eyes out over this exact thing? Not crazy at all. God is so freaking cool. She goes on to say amazing, fabulous, profound things about the excess we live in and our ungratefulness and all the THINGS that are distracting us from our relationship with God. That night I decided to read the intro to my family. My husband had to take over when I got to the airplane line because I started crying again. This time I wasn't crying a "poor me, my kids have never flown" cry. I was crying a "forgive me for being so self-centered" cry. I've been living in excess my entire life and have been so blind to it. Of course, I know we are blessed and fortunate and I say it all the time...as I'm looking over the fence wishing my grass was as green as the neighbors. In this world of MUCH it seems nearly impossible to live a "less of me, more of Him" life but in my heart of hearts, that is what I desire.
The into of the book is really all I've read but I'm already deep into it. I'm not sure that I'll do the whole experiment but either way, I've been seriously convicted to change my thoughts at the very least.
Have you read this book? Have you taken the challenge? I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to know!!