I have started two new books and, you guys, they're simply amazing. I cannot rave enough of about them.
Seven by: Jen Hatmaker
An Economy of Love by: Shane Claiborne
An economy of love is more of a daily devotional and it could not go more PERFECTLY with Seven.
I have really been able to take a step back and take a real glimpse at the way I am living my life. The way I am CHOOSING to. And ya'll, it's sad. These reads are very challenging. The lives we choose to live to achieve the "American dream" are so apparent, and that hurts. I literally cringe when I think about the way I am living. CRINGE. It's so gross.
"In the economy of enough, personal enrichment takes a backseat to the needs of the community. We believe that relationship is essential to God's provision and is the ideal that must be held high in order not to slip toward the slow death of goodness under the cloak of charity." - Economy of love
I love that. Personal enrichment takes a backseat. WELL, let me tell ya, mine has def been taking a front seat, and cruisin' quite comfortably, enjoying the finer things in life. (Maybe not "finer" to some, but to the majority of the world, they would be considered finer)
Here are just a few of my favorite chunks of Seven so far. They are uber hard to read, because it hits so close to home.
"Love your neighbor. Serve your city."
"We won't spend more on ourselves than our poor neighbor."
"We were big fat consumer christians." (GUILTY)
" 'Dad, this white dude is RICH!' For years I didn't realize it because so many others had more. We were surrounded by extreme affluence, which tricks you into thinking you're in the middle of the pack. "
"But it gets fuzzy once you spend time with people below your rung. I started seeing my stuff with fresh eyes, realizing we had everything. I mean EVERYTHING."
There is a lot more, but I'll take a chill pill. We need to join the poor, not just "give" to them. An economy of love is about relational community. This was the very reason we originally moved to East Austin. To join the poor. I'll admit though, this isn't the hood of Philly, or Brooklyn...it's Austin. Which means, along with joining the poor, you're also living in really cool modern homes, in a hip neighborhood, by really rich people, walking distance to amazing coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and a bike lane on every street (like I said, this isn't Philly). That's when it gets fuzzy. I think that is what we have gotten lost in. The "hipness" of it all (totally just made that word up).
However, what also comes along with living in our hood, is humility. It is SO FUNNY how people whom I used to judge or be "scared" of, are some of the nicest people ever. It is like a slap in the face really. I am so thankful for that. It literally hurts my heart when people are so quick to judge, which I totally did way back when I lived in the burbs of Dallas. I am just as guilty. We all are.
I am totally thankful for my hubs, Brendan. He has a heart of love. He really does. I love seeing it unfold. He has been inside our neighbors house, who play poker nightly (looks sketch, ya'll...or did, not to me anymore). Was he terrified to go in? Nope. Most people would be, I'm sure of it. He went in and hung out with one of the guys who was recently in a bad motorcycle accident. Now they talk all the time when they are outside. I asked him what it looked like inside (I was so sure there were drugs everywhere, strippers, etc) He said nope, just a normal guys house, and it was actually pretty clean for all dudes. SLAP IN THE FACE TO ME (again, womp womp).
So thankful for our hood and I never want to leave. I want our kids to grow up in a neighborhood like this (if we have them). I don't want them to be blinded by the burbs, nice houses EVERYWHERE, and really nice things (which is not wrong at all, I grew up in the burbs and loved life, this is simply what I feel called to). I crave culture, love, relationships.
I am really excited to read these books. You should totally pick them up if you haven't read them.
Thank you Jesus for opening my eyes. Thank you for the humility. I am not my own.
I want their to be less of me, less of my stuff, and more of Jesus. That's all.