I’ve completed the book from which I’ve been tweeting all of my #Simplify quotes! 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess is a selection of author Jen Hatmaker’s blog/journal posts over the course of 7 months, each of which she fasted from and gave away something different. I appreciate that she is a pretty average American just trying to figure out how to simply follow Jesus in our modern, complex world. She’s not an unrelatable radical calling us to deeper discipleship from the other side, but rather walking alongside the average reader to figure it out together. In order to convey this, Jen spends a lot of the book complaining and telling tangential stories from her day. I would have preferred a distilled version – less tangential information and more about the issues and organizations that she learned about. (That distilled book is Everyday Justice, which I highly recommend.) Nonetheless, I learned a lot and was inspired to simplify my own life. I ordered a sample basket from the Friends & Farms CSA as Natalie and I seek to spend more of our money locally and eat in a just and sustainable way. (I never thought I’d be excited to receive a basket of vegetables, haha!) We will also be simplifying our closets over the next few weeks in solidarity with most of the world who only have 1 or 2 sets of clothes, and in order to give away some of our clothes to others who need them more.
I read this book in preparation for and anticipation of an exciting LARGE Group series that we’re doing in the Hopkins InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (HCF) at the beginning of this semester: Simplify. Simple Living and Radical Giving in a Culture of Excess. In this series we’ll be challenging Hopkins students to put their stuff in its place so that they can better relate to and connect with God, as well as notice and love those in need around us. I’ll be writing more about my thoughts and experiences from this series soon! You can follow #SimplifyHopkins on Instagram and Twitter for day-to-day updates!