I want to adopt a child. Or two. Or even three. (Yes, my husband knows and we are still happily married.)
This is what my heart ached when I finished Jen Hatmaker’s book “7″. The last chapter/month was an amazing account of the Hatmaker’s adoption story of two children from Ethiopia and the undeniable fingerprints of God all over it. This adoption ache is not a new theme for me. Before we mysteriously found out we were 10 weeks prego with baby #4, we were perusing websites with pictures of beautiful siblings looking for forever families. We were already a blended family so adding 2 more seemed to be the right way to complete our family crayon box of personalities. But baby #4 was a definitive sign to tell us “No”, or more accurately, “Not right now.”
I am still moved to tears by adoption stories. My hubby (inner city firefighter) comes home with tales of places he’s seen that make me want to steal babies in the middle of the night. And something in my heart still tells me we will one day be called Mom and Dad by a beautiful older Asian girl who was on the brink of being thrown to human trafficking.
Rinse and repeat this ache for bits and pieces of every chapter of “7″ and you know my heart. From the intro when I divulged my embarrassment of our McMansion Mistake to the first chapter on food with eating more raw and natural and eliminating caffeine and gluten, to the last chapter on stress and my desire to speak to God more frequently throughout my day.
But still I wrestled with this book, and my issues, and God. Whoever can discern which issue I was wrestling with at which moment, please tell me and I’ll knight you for prophetic wisdom! Don’t we all wish it were that easy?
If I sat and had coffee(s) with Jen, I have no doubt I’d want her to be my B-F-F-sister-n-law-neighbor-colleague all in one. What an awesome Sister! But I can only know her through her writing…..and this is the medium through which most people will know Jen Hatmaker. Although, my socks are knocked off right now knowing she *might* be reading this thanks to super-cool Marla Taviano, author and blogger-extraordinaire, who hooked up all us read-a-longers inviting Jen to write the last entry on this read-a-long and ASK OUR OPINIONS!!! Well, Jen Hatmaker, you asked, so here goes…..
I find it easy to get comfortable in a community of Christian women who are frugal, fun, gentle-spirited, chatty, healthy, pray-ers, desiring God’s will for their lives. When I was new Christian (life-long Catholic humanitarian who didn’t personally meet Jesus until my late twenties), this is the group of people whom I owe my life too. They taught me the bible and how to worship freely. Brought me meals when I was post-partum and up to my eye-balls in toddlers. Filled that space between diapers and feedings with cheerful emails and playdates at the park (I can NOT imagine what these years might have been like if there was texting and Facebook!)
But then, I started to feel a filled up on one hand, but an aching heart on the other. I did not want this to be some exclusive club I finally matured and graduated into. What about all those people out there who don’t personally know Jesus? Who are needing someone to speak into their life the right words when they finally realize the bible is the authority and living word of God? Who are messed up in the head because of some religious childhood upbringing? All these people who see me as “churchy” and holier than thou? To quote a friend, I don’t think we’re supposed to be running around the church saving each other (although I need some salvation face slaps from y’all every now and again!)
And this is where I think *my* issue with the “7″ book lies. In parts of it, I felt it was a little too insider churchy. I get that and love those moments with my friends (just like Jen and her 7 board). But there is way too much good stuff here that needs to be shared on a broader basis. I want those who are not into the churchy thing to connect with this too. Those who are not there yet might just write this off as “those crazy out-there churchy people” and miss some awesome tips and pointers for making this world a better place.
Maybe this is not the audience Jen is going for. Maybe she’s intentionally trying to address people who already “get” the gospel. If so, then I’m probably off base.
But Jen asked….what could be improved? Here’s a couple quick thoughts:
- Definitely allow/share/encourage more options, variations, in how to do your own 7 (like you mentioned in Marla’s post with the food – eliminate 7 ingredients, fast one meal a day, etc)
- Back up some of your harsher statements with scripture (I think one was that Jesus didn’t have anything good to say about wealthy people….I didn’t have time to go digging for that one.)
- Channel the rat race, both parents working, crazy family and give them some easy wins to feel good about and seven along with you
- Seven (as a verb) a weekly video along with each chapter. I think your style and character will be better received when people can see your smiling face and cheerful heart live. (No fear! I can imagine what you are thinking!)
- Talk to and interview more non-church, non-PK’s, non-church planters to see how you can reach outside that inner circle
Thank you Jen Hatmaker!!! For writing and sharing your talent, and WOW, for stopping by these blogs! (and again, please accept my apology for that week I was a little off the hook as a dissenter….I’m sure you never even read that but I felt a little sick when I read your blog post a few days later about how overwhelmed you were with some life stuff at that moment. Argh! Big virtual hugs to you! Forgive me?)
Now I am sad I LOVE Marla’s read-a-longs and this one is ending. DOUBLE THANK YOU MARLA!!! It’s such a great
way for a busy lady like me to get out and interact and meet new people in the crazy few minutes I have open. And this one in particular allowed me to be “sevening” with some neighbor ladies and give me an excuse for some face to face discussions.
Tell me what you want to hear more about. Gluten free eating? Working Mom-hood? Nerd-girl techie topics?
Expecting God to do some big works in my life in this area. Stay tuned for some upcoming nerd-girl projects I have in the works