An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

I recently finished reading Jen Hatmaker’s 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. If you’ve spent any amount of time with me in the last few weeks, I will have mentioned it. I talked about it incessantly.

In a nutshell, the author – Jen – embarked on a 7-month project to examine and reduce seven areas of excess in her life. She started off with food, consuming only seven types of food the whole month. Then she moved on to clothes, wearing only seven items the whole month. And so this continued. During the very last month, she committed to praying seven times a day – each time with a different focus.

There were definitely moments in the book that challenged me to consider whether I would be willing to part with some of the excess that exists in my life. We live a very fortunate and blessed life, but what good is that if it isn’t shared with others? What does it mean to be the hands and feet of Jesus? How does a modern day Christ follower live out their life according to His purpose with His blessings? I definitely want to do a rendition of this project for myself, but I’m not yet sure what this will look like. For a little while, I thought maybe I could focus on a different global issue to learn about so that I might be able to pray more boldly and take specific action in that arena. However, I think part of what this book draws out is the need to take action against seemingly mundane choices that we make, and to be more conscious of the areas of excess in our own life.

In the mean time, I shall continue pondering the convictions that I have, but if you haven’t read this book, I highly suggest it. And if you’re in the KFPL service area, I’m returning my copy to the library on Monday.

 

Podcasts I love

I had never been one for podcasts or audiobooks, or AM radio. Perhaps it had something to do with my affinity for visual stimulation over auditory input. Friends kept raving about Serial and This American Life, but nothing really compelled me to give it podcasts a try.

However, that all changed when I stumbled upon Limetown earlier this year. I listened to the first episode and I was hooked.

From there, my love for podcasts has ballooned into something ridiculous. I share what I’ve been listening to constantly (probably to the dismay of many of my friends…) and every spare moment I get, I listen. The tedium of household chores – of folding laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, and washing dishes – becomes that much more bearable when I’ve got something interesting that I’m focusing on instead. I have podcasts playing whenever I’m in the car, and Andy and I have been going on some longer drives so that we can both enjoy more of the activities that we love (podcasts for me and nap time for him).

I’m still exploring the podcast world, but here are a few that I’ve been listening to regularly:

Limetown
The podcast that started it all. Something mysterious happened in Tennessee that involved the disappearance of a few hundred people. This podcast follows Lia Haddock as she uncovers the story of what happened.

The Lively Show
My favourite podcast. Jess Lively hosts this show which is all about “adding a little extra intention to your everyday”. She brings guests on to talk about values, life, business, and pretty much everything I love. I actually didn’t enjoy this show when I first started, but Jess has won me over! Plus I emailed her a little while ago and she is such a sweet person to correspond with.

On Being
For the intellectually and spiritually curious. I’ve had On Being on my RSS feed for a while but never listened to their podcasts until recently. Hosted by Krista Tippett, this is a podcast that looks at Big Picture topics and makes me think a little more about what life does and should look like.

TEDTalks (audio)
Ideas worth sharing. Because who doesn’t love TEDTalks? I like these shorter segments that range wildly in topic and that keep me current.

Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast
Continually challenging me to live a more gospel-centered life. We have had nothing but good experiences reading Tim Keller’s books and we make it a point to attend service at Redeemer whenever our visits to NYC fall on a Sunday.

The Simple Show
A glimpse into what life is like for some really awesome people. Most of these people are people I’ve never heard of, but I love the content and the spirit behind what it is Tsh is doing in her show.

Stuff Mom Never Told You
For women navigating the world. This is a hilarious but also informative podcast that dives into a plethora of things to do with living, loving, and learning as a woman. They touch on so many topics that resonate with me, with (not so) occasional tangents.

I also haven’t finished Serial yet, so I’m in the process of doing that.

I’m always looking for new podcasts that might be interesting, and I’m trying to broaden my horizons and learn about fields that I normally wouldn’t engage with much, so would love some recommendations!

35.

It’s been a weird week. Andy has been really inconsistent with his eating and sleeping tendencies, which makes for lots of unpredictability and more nighttime wake ups than I would expect. That leads to grumpiness on my part and just a general lack of unattentiveness. I had a mini meltdown yesterday where I started to silent cry while feeding him his lunch, most of which ended up on the floor. He was crying too. It wasn’t pretty. 

Despite these moments of weakness, Andy  continues to bring joy and smiles. And he continues to pull himself up on anything. 

   
Yesterday, we decided to go on a family walk around our neighbourhood. Andy fell asleep in the carrier before we even left the house. (Tangent – I wore him on my back yesterday in the carrier and it made vacuuming SO much easier)

 One of the interesting things about living in a still-expanding subdivision is that there are model homes to visit. Both homes were new to us and one in particular really amazed us! There is something to be said about smart layouts. Having a big home with lots of wasted space definitely is not better than a smaller home where everything is well-used. Speaking of homes, Kelvin introduced me to House Tweaking earlier this week. Their home is probably my dream home. 

Another thing he showed me – all the beautiful swaddles at modern burlap, which we would more likely use as a wall hanging because we don’t swaddle Andy anymore. Such truth in these quotes! 

On the reading front, I’ve got a few books on the go. Just finished Shani Mootoo’s Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab and will be starting Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. A friend ordered Teach Us to Want by Jen Michel Pollock for me and I am enjoying the author’s candidness so far in this. Also reading Rick Richardson’s Reimagining Evangelism, which is giving me a fresh perspective on what it means to share my faith with those around me. Highly recommended!