From the day I picked this book up until the day I put it down (which I think was about 3 days later ūüôā I was “in.” ¬†I have always been too into crap and collecting it. ¬†I think if we are really honest we all are. ¬†That darned sinful nature. ¬†We have closets full of¬†clothes¬†we don’t wear and piles of junk we don’t use anymore but just had to have, and spend tons of time online managing our image and comparing ourselves to others. ¬† If you look at our lives it¬†would¬†seem to an outsider we worship comfort and our image. ¬†Ouch! ¬†

So Jen took seven months, and focused on eliminating excess from seven different categories: food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress (which is where the subtitle comes from: ‚ÄúAn Experimental Mutiny Against Excess). ¬†I personally recommend everyone should read this book (and not¬†because¬†I get a cut, although Jen, can we make¬†that¬†happen?). ¬†But 1.)¬†because¬†she is hilarious and really, in the daily life of¬†diaper¬†changing, working, cleaning crunched up crackers out of the carpet, cooking, cleaning, and the daily grind who can not use a good laugh? 2.) she is a¬†real¬†chick struggling to live out this whole “die to self” thing and is real about¬†how¬†messy it gets. ¬†She makes me realize¬†there¬†is hope for even me;¬†the¬†Mama who not only doesn’t have “it” together but does not even¬†know¬†what “it” is most days. ¬†She¬†is my kinfolk. ¬†My tribe.¬†

I read somewhere that America is the land of “lifeless toil and useless consumption.” ¬†While I¬†realize¬†that¬†is not true for everyone it hit home. ¬†But how much is enough? What responsibility do we have when we know how many people in the world suffer and struggle to provide basic needs for their families? I think we are often¬†afraid¬†to ask¬†these¬†questions¬†because¬†the answers require action not just talk. ¬†I have a new found appreciation for these questions after living in¬†the¬†developing world. ¬†I totally agreed with her assessment of¬†American¬†or Western culture being excessive in so many ways that are actually¬†damaging¬†the people we become and the children we raise. ¬†But I am not interested in just complaining about¬†America. ¬†Believe me I also have a new appreciation for the options and choices bestowed upon me just¬†because¬†I was born here. ¬†But I am interested in questioning they “why.” ¬†And not just questioning it but doing something about it. ¬†In community. As I¬†eluded¬†to¬†earlier¬†I have been wanting to get together with other women trying to figure this out.¬†Not¬†because¬†we all have to agree or to make one more thing to check off a list or a rule to follow but¬†because¬†we want to listen to the Lord and struggle with what we hear together. Recently I watched this documentary¬†and a brave woman; who herself escaped a brothel and now fights for other young girls trapped in this horrible, dark place in Cambodia said something that stuck with me.¬†¬†She said “so many times you say I cannot do everything so I will do nothing.” May that never be said of me.¬†

The community part is also because¬†I¬†know¬†I am a cheater whose pants may be on fire if I do not have some accountability up in here. ¬†And¬†because¬†I have found most things of life are worth doing with others. ¬†Relationally. I am still trying to figure out and pray about how we should do this thang. ¬†I have talked with some of you ladies and am open to ideas. ¬†I am thinking a combo of meeting together at my place (for Chicago folks), prayer walks, a facebook group, a bi-weekly blog topic discussion…hmmmmm. What else?

So, who is in?  Email me, call me, leave a comment and we shall embark to lay down more in order to live more abundantly. 

Who wants to join the mutiny?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh, girl, you know I am in. Ever since reading about this book on Money Saving Mom I wanted to read it. Now to see if the library has a copy I can borrow.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The CPL system has 4 copies, all of which are currently unavailable. Put it on hold and will hopefully have it soon.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am SO IN! Remotely, of course. I'll even re-read the book. It rocked my world, but then I pretty quickly fell back into the normal grind. Skype-chats? Blog-swapping?When I read the book the first time, I was the least convicted about the food chapter, which is hilarious because when I dug a little deeper I realized that we are spending an UNGODLY amount of money on food and an ungodly amount of time thinking about it. So now I'm trying to figure out how to really cultivate a penitent, grateful, thoughtful simple diet. It is hard. But good!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh, how I wish I could be in the Chi to do this with you! I want to be a part of it however I can from here. I loved the book! Let me know! Maybe I can put together a group of girls here?!?!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I'm so interested in reading this book! I could really use some accountability with this.

  6. Anonymous says:

    My library doesn't have it but I'm going to see if my fav librarian can't hook me up. I'm interested to see what's going on!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I'm in. I've done a lot of paring down in the last few years. Im interested to see what this gal has to say. I cannot watch the documentary – you mentioned, again, it haunts me. I can't spend all day being mad!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Would love to join in…excess is something I happen to be good at and wish I weren't!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I'm up for reading and discussing this, but from afar like others as i live in California.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am in, obviously from afar but hopefully I can get a copy ASAP! ūüôā