I am over the moon excited! This weekend I get to go to a women’s workshop with Jen Hatmaker as the speaker.
Why am I so super excited?
Well, because Steve and I have been reading Brandon Hatmaker’s book Barefoot Church, and are inspired by the ideas we’re learning for building a church. Also because I’ve read snatches of 7 an Experimental Mutiny Against Excess which has me really excited.
I’ve not read more than a few pages. However the concept of giving up STUFF to clear space to more fully know God and to become more in touch with the needs of our brothers and sisters around the world is powerful. It stirs me to action even before I read the details. We’re running out of hangers. Does that mean I should add them to my shopping list, or does it actually mean we should get rid of some clothing?
In 7, Jen talks about her experiment (spiritual discipline) in which she and her family took seven months to focus on seven areas of excess such as clothing, food, and media. During each of these seven months she limited their selection of the area of focus to seven items. When food was the area of excess they chose chicken, eggs, sweet potatoes, whole wheat bread, spinach, avocado, and apples as their only foods to eat that month.
It doesn’t take much thinking to see how impactful a choice like this would be. There would be time saved deciding what to cook or posting on Facebook asking others what you should cook (joke!). Grocery shopping would be short. Hunger would drive you to think carefully about the choices you make…well about a lot of things. The empty spaces that were once consumed by excess are open to a new opportunity. Fasting always brings sharper focus.
That’s only my outside perspective rambling. I’m really excited to read the book and get the real scoop.
The Second Reason
I am excited is because I have missed ka-doodles of events that I’ve wanted to attend. Lots because I didn’t find out about them until after the event. Each year that we’ve been here we’ve wanted to attend a choral Christmas program, a carol sing-along,or a performance of the Messiah (free or low cost, of course). In a city this size there must be a LOT of events. Yet, the first year I managed to find all of one (at which we arrived as people were leaving). The second year I was too sick to go anywhere. This past year we found a carol sing-along. Three nights before the program we found out there was a mandatory activity at the mission happening the same evening. (sad.)
As for workshops and retreats…again, there must be tons of them at allllllll the churches around here. Yet, my inferior google skills keep me from finding many. Then there are the few events I find but they aren’t feasible because whither I go my children go.
- This is us.
Not always appropriate.
There was a marriage workshop. Then we missed another evening event–Jesus as President–presented by Shane Clairborne (also author of The irresistable Revolution; our copy is heavily underlined) and free tickets to Passion where influential speakers such as Francis Chan and Louie Giglio were teaching.
One day I was excitedly telling my friend about 7. She asked me if I had ever read Jen’s blog which I hadn’t. When I visited her website I found out she would be speaking an hour from here, and…drum roll, please…childcare was provided!
So here we are…I get to meet someone who has affected my life, I found out about the event before it happened, there were no schedule conflicts, and childcare is provided. Off I go! Hopefully I’ll be back with notes from the seminar later.