This entry was posted by KK on Tuesday, 2 April, 2013 at

If you don’t follow Jen Hatmaker’s blog or Facebook page or Instagram then, well, get your act together. You’re missing out. She and I should be friends, not because I think I am cool enough to be her friend, but just because I wanna be. She’s real. She’s funny. Just do it, ya hear?

My bestie recently began reading Jen’s book “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess”. She told me and another friend of ours she was reading it, loving it, and invited us to join her and then go to hear Jen speak at an upcoming event in Knoxville. We agreed and have all been reading and chatting about it. To say I am having fun is an understatement. The book is. just. incredible.

So if you haven’t read it, well, Google it because I am too tired to tell you about it. If you retained anything from grade school about context clues you can probably read the title and get an idea. Here’s a condensed description from her web site:

7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence. In the spirit of a fast, they pursued a deeply reduced life in order to find a greatly increased God.

The seven areas of excess that Jen explores are food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste and stress. She spent a month exploring each topic where she only ate seven foods and only wore seven articles of clothing, etc. I’ve only finished food and have just started clothing. Food was great, and hilarious, but I can’t say that I gained much from it except sore stomach muscles from laughing. If you know me then you know that I am insanely uptight about what my family eats and what food we buy and where we buy it and how I cook it. It’s just who I am. I’ve tried to change this occasionally and buy cheaper food and eat more processed/convenience foods but my kids hate me. I have spoiled them and my husband. It’s their fault our grocery bills are out the wahzoo. Not mine. However, that section did encourage me to begin making homemade bread again which I did for some time recently and just stopped for no reason. So perhaps I shall resume…

The clothes section is hitting me harder than I thought. Again, if you know me (warning: I may toss that phrase around a few times) then you know I mostly wear orphan t-shirts and jeans. Even my kids rag me about it. One day a while back I went out with River (7) and he wore an orphan t-shirt and jeans & I snapped a photo of him wearing my hippie tam. Lake said “River, you look like mom!” because he was wearing my hat with jeans & an orphan shirt.


So why is this section hitting me hard? Because I have so many clothes and especially because I have so much and wear the same thing all the time. In my defense I must say that I don’t buy anything full price and if I buy anything new at all then it is on big time clearance. (Big time clearance = $3 or sometimes less) I mostly buy second hand clothing because I love funky brands like Free People and, well, buying it at full price is just plain stupid. My favorite store is Planet Exchange in Knoxville and has been for years. I buy everything there. I have asked to sleep in their store room so I could be the first to see what might come in the next day. I love the idea of recycling clothing for the same reasons I recycle paper, plastic & glass. It just makes sense.

Another “in my defense” justification (I’m really good at justifying things) is that aside from when I was pregnant, breast feeding or the summer of 2004 when I swelled like a tick from taking back pain meds I have largely stayed the same size for many years only slightly fluctuating a few pounds more or less (please don’t send me hate mail) so I have been able to hang onto stuff just in case it “comes back” in style. It doesn’t. Ever.

So why keep it? Why have so much? Why have so many clothing articles hanging around or stuffed in drawers that rarely even see the light of day when so many people in this world have only the shirt on their backs if that? This, friends. Hard stuff.

On a whim I decided to play along with Jen during this section on clothes since yesterday was the start of a new month. I only decided to play along, however, late in the day after I jumped into my van that morning throwing on an outfit at the last minute to haul my sickly babes to the pediatrician. So, the orphan t-shirt (of course), skirt & leggings I wore to the doctor automatically became 3 of my 7 articles of clothing. I’m ok with it. I looked cute in a hippie-ish, ragamuffin kinda way. I added another orphan t-shirt, a thin, long sleeved sweater & a second pair of shoes (the “ugly” shoes I wore to the doc needed a quick, slip-on style counterpart to go with them & Jen allowed herself two pair of shoes for the month while only making ‘shoes’ themselves count as 1 of the 7 articles). Lastly, I threw in a pair of jeans. I could only choose between three pair of jeans in my closet because that’s all that currently fit me (no thanks to a new homemade banana pudding recipe I have made twice in the last week). The jeans I chose are the most comfortable jeans I own and if you hold them up to the light you can actually see through them in the crotch area. Like I said, I buy used jeans and those had been USED. REAL well. Ain’t no tellin’ what went on in them britches.

I should mention…underwear doesn’t count. It just doesn’t. That’s all I’mma say ‘bout that. Socks do not count either. And I purposely didn’t make one of my 7 things any type of sleeping attire so I guess I will be sleeping sans my typical fuzzy pants, fuzzy socks, thermal shirt and robe. My husband is going to be so flippin’ happy about this. I could sleep in my comfy jeans if this creates a problem.

So to recap…


  • Off-white, long-sleeved sweater
  • Green “Love Orphans” t-shirt
  • Red “Simply Love” t-shirt
  • Comfy Jeans
  • Hippie Skirt
  • Black leggings (I don’t shave October 15 – April 15)
  • Shoes: Birks & Ugly shoes (they have a name but it doesn’t fit the look)

So if you see me in the next month I will have on some assortment of the above. I may or may not smell fresh. Just being honest. I do laundry around the clock every. single. day. But I also have plenty of clothes and am not necessarily conditioned to make sure certain things get washed. We’ll see how it goes.

Meanwhile, I must challenge you to ask yourself what is excessive in your life right now? What are you willing to do about it? What if there is something so much greater planned for you that you cannot see because you are blinded by excess?

I’mma go lookin’…

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One Response to “7”

  1. olivia

    yay! so glad you are reading this! i’ve been curious about it. do you know when she is speaking? i would love to hear her! yay for blogging!

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