Monday, March 5, 2012

Jen Hatmaker's 7. A Giveaway.

Several months ago I stumbled upon Jen Hatmaker's blog. I may or may not have fallen a little bit in love. Then I heard more about her most recent book, 7: An experimental mutiny against excess.

It sounded exactly like something I needed to read. NEEDED. So I did what any normal person would do and I sent her an invasive, stalkerish, pushy-broad kind of email in which I asked her if she would send me a free copy.

To: Jen Hatmaker
From: Shannan Martin

1. When I read your words it's freaky, because it feels like it's my mind thinking. Like I'm reading my own MIND.
2. #crazyalert
3. I'm hovering over the button to buy 7 because I cannot wait one more minute, except...
4. If your publisher offers copies for bloggers to do reviews, then I can wait. But just one more minute.
5. Do you offer copies for reviews? Am I even asking the right person?
6. Every word you write on this blog (I just discovered you a month or so ago) so clearly mirrors much of my life. It's spooky-cool. And you're a dang good writer and appear to be generally awesome in every visible way.
 -Shannan

Then I didn't hear back from her ever again. Amen.

Then I told my book club friends about my foolish attempt to score the book for free and it dawned on me that maybe it's not best to ask your secret girl-crush to send you her book for free. You know, the book she's trying to sell for real paper money so that she can buy coffee and keep milk in the fridge.

I didn't fault her for ignoring my email. Not even a tiny bit. I asked her to forgive me when I talked to her in my head and she said she would. We were all squared away.

Then, one day, she emailed me back saying that she has archaic email accounts that she fails to check for months at a time. And I fell even deeper in love, because as some of you have experienced first-hand, I might respond to a May email the following September. It has happened. Over and over. It's one of the most shameful corners of my life, and I'm not even playing.

Long story short, her people sent me a book. They sent me TWO.

I spent the next week or so buried under a fleece firehouse blanket with my pink gel pen in my claw. And bad hair.

Here's the gist: Jen took seven months and intentionally set out to reduce and simplify her life in 7 key areas (one per month): Food, Clothing, Possessions, Media, Waste, Spending, Stress.

People, this book rocked my socks off in so many ways, my toes are still cold.

There is something so appealing to me about consciously slowing down and letting go. I love the idea of further simplifying. I love this:

I approach this project in the spirit of a fast: an intentional reduction, a deliberate abstinence to summon God's movement in my life. A fast creates margin for God to move. Temporarily changing our routine of comfort jars us off high center. A fast is not necessarily something we offer God, but it assists us in offering ourselves. - 7 Jen Hatmaker

And this:

7 will be a tangible way to bow low and repent of greed, ungratefulness, ruined opportunities, and irresponsibility. It's time to admit I'm trapped in the machine, held by my own selfishness. It's time to face our spending and call it what it is: a travesty. I'm weary of justifying it. - 7 Jen Hatmaker



My eyes were glued to the page as I read about Jen eating only seven foods for the first month. The following month, she wore only seven articles of clothing. You get the point, but I'm more than willing to summarize anyway: Jen Hatmaker went mental for seven months straight and told the whole truth so very well that I followed her straight to the sanitarium.

I pondered the book for 3 additional weeks after I finished it. I re-read some chapters twice. I carted it off to book club to do a reading and I "shushed" the menfolk when it was obvious that they weren't really listening. 

I sent Jen pretend text messages in my mind as I drifted to sleep. "I had that Living Epistle t-shirt too! And the neon-colored volleyball one." "I ROCKED Via Delarosa with my hairbrush microphone!" I imagined myself as one of her council members. I was troubled when she chose sweet potatoes as one of her foods when it was obvious that it should have been raspberries. I condemned her for implying that spaghetti sauce didn't count as a single "whole" food, because if that's true, then what shall be said of salsa? It would totally be one of my 7. If I was insane enough to try it.

I thought for a few minutes that I might be insane enough to try it, but then I wigged the heck out on taco night when I thought we were out of sour cream. I swear to you, I saw a little bit of red. I thought the whole world was against me and my tacos supreme. I shut the fridge with more force than was necessary. "We are never out of sour cream. Ever. And there's no where to get any now that the Dollar General got shut down by the Health Department. Stupid termites. We should just forget it and eat cereal."

(Then I found it way in the back behind the kalamatas.)

It was clear that I wasn't quite ready for the 7 foods thing.

But what I can say is this. I sit here typing in:

1. dark wash jeans that highlight my muffin top but don't give me baggy butt
2. red long sleeve henley
3. grey pill-ball sweater from the now-defunct Steve and Barry's

There's more in the rotation, but you'll have to come back tomorrow to meet 'em.

I have so much more to say about 7. I need you to read the book and help me process it. Think of all of the pretend text messages we can send each other! I'll be part of your council if you'll be part of mine. Do it with me, wouldja? Wouldja?

Leave a comment to win your own copy of 7. Tell me any ol' thing your heart desires.  I'll draw a winner on Wednesday.

252 comments:

  1. Right now this books sounds like it was written for me..Simplify and clarify please help''Thanks for sharing ."..xx

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  2. This book sounds great! We just finished the book Year of Plenty and it seems they have simliar starting points. Can't wait to read it!

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  3. Sounds like a magnificent book! Love her deliberate choice to fast in so many different areas of her life, to make room for His voice. Would love to read it.

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  4. OH wow. I just finished her book called "interrupted" and I don't know if I can handle more. :) Of course i can. I need this book. pick me!

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  5. I'm in, pick me!! I have SO been eyeballing this book for a while and even have it in my Amazon cart, but don't wanna pay for shipping.

    p.s. I'm not gonna lie Shannan, I rarely have more than a couple of nickels to rub together but it has never even once occurred to me to just drop the writer a line & ask for a free book. You, my friend, are BRILLIANT!

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  6. wait. no more steve and barry's?

    also, i must read this book. i got teary eyed over that second quote.
    not a sappy tear, a painful type.
    as in, this book is for us, and it is for NOW.
    thanks for sharing this!
    i love you, and am praying heaven down on ya. xo

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  7. I've heard about this book and just the entire concept is so intriguing. Especially during this season of lent. I would love to win a copy! cortnlove at gmail dot com

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  8. That book sounds awesome and freaks me out. Pick me, then I'll feel like I can't just call it a good idea but really have to do something. Which I want to do, and I don't. Because I am tired, and it's hard to believe less could be better, not just a hassle. But I really want to believe it.

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  9. Sounds like a great book. I will have to check it out. God has been leading me to give some things up:)

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  10. We are at a place in our lives where we have 7 foods in the fridge. I'm feeling like I can't WAIT till the unemployment check clears so that we can go shopping. Maybe I really have all I truly need? God is good, all the time.

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  11. i need this book. seems to me He's encouraging simplicity in my life....one arm instead of two? amen.

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  12. I've been checking her blog and reading *about* the book for a while now...I'm scared. Don't know if I'm ready, and I'm pretty sure my husband would think I was coocoo for cocoa puffs. Thanks for sharing, Shan.
    (Can I call you Shan? Cause I had a friend in college who spelled her name the same way and I called her Shan.)

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    1. Wow. For the last year now, I've been *slowly but surely* purging our house & my mind/heart of the things we/I don't really need. Although, this book sounds a little intimidating {let me be honest, it scares the pants off of me!} We all could stand to read it and the world *might* be a better place.

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  13. I am scared to read this. Which means I should. Amen.

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  14. I'll be 38 next month, and I still have my View-Masters, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, and Barbies. I still have cassette tapes, cds, and VHS tapes. I have so many books that they're piled up on the floor in front of my 6 book shelves. I have many items that were given to me not out of love (oh, no) but out of the giver's desire to know the item (s)he didn't want would be neither burnt nor compacted. I have approximately 18 large totes of baby and children's clothes because I'm not sure I'm done having children, and I feel paralyzed every time I try to decide which clothes to give away. I have approximately 50 gift bags. I could keep going, you know. You should pick me.

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    1. Oh my dear girl, you should bethe winnerof this book. If you do not win, I will send you one myself. If this isn't stopped, you will become a true hoarder. That isn't where you want to go. Hoarding is a miserable life. Keep the memories, ditch the items, please.

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  15. Hilarious. You say what I wanna say, but only way cooler and legit. When I say words like 'skillz' and my 'homies' I just feel akward and funny, even though those are the words I really want to use. Lame-o, I know. This book sounds amazing. The thought of having time left over in the day to read would be pure bliss. Glad you got to enjoy it, and for free, yo. See what I mean? I feel funny...

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  16. I just saw this book and really want to read it also! I'd love to get my hands on it. ;)
    Mindy

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  17. i started typing this with my fingers on the wrong keys. i actually thought about just going with it (and then posting translation for you) but figured that was just too much blubbering.

    like i twitter-eeted you, I totally had this book on my signing table at my last book signing, but I had to leave in a rush and the LINE WAS CRAZY LONG so I haven't gotten it yet.

    must. buy. this. book.

    :) or win it on your blog.

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  18. I have heard about this book, too and would love to read it. I also have to check out Jen's blog.

    XO,
    Jane

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  19. I need this book. I would say it 7 times but I don't want to sound too desperate.

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  20. Okay. Okay.

    So it was SEVEN articles of clothing and not nine.

    I am embarrassed to say that I already rotate the SAME dang outfits. Are there even seven pieces?

    1. Target comfy knit "pajama pants"
    2. Target Mossimo for you (gotcha!) blue tank top with built-in bra
    3. Make A Wish blue t-shirt (with holes- I have OverLoved it, I think)
    4. Lucky jeans (purchased from Goodwill for $8!)
    5. Gray bra (It gets washed regularly, but is my very favorite)
    6. Black and gray cashmere scarf (The gift from my sister about 4 years ago that keeps on giving)
    7. Super funky/cute boots from Zallez.com (You'll want to "go to there" as Tina Fey would say)

    I like that you sent her pretend text messages. I also enjoyed that you had the balls to just email her and ask for her book.

    In that same "spirit", I'll just say:

    Hey, Shiny~

    I'd like to read that book. We can email about it, discuss, I'll speak in broken spanish AND we can pretend text!

    How about it?

    xoxo~

    TT

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  21. It sounds a little terrifying, but I'm in.

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  22. The menfolk need a good "shushing" every now & again, it helps to keep their egos in check. :)
    Alison

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  23. Well. Several reasons I should own this book. I kinda almost live it now. You know how I eat. : -) and, I do declare I wear no more than seven articles of clothing in rotation, you know? And giving it away on Wednesday will be perfect, since I'll be there in person to get it. : -) I've been anxious to read this book - for reals. Can't wait to read it. It sounds so like us. xo

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  24. A certain one of those "menfolk" told me just the other day, "That 7 book sounds interesting" as he was perusing Amazon. ;) Missed you guys tonight. Let's make a pact to never miss book club again. We had to cook our own complete dinner for goodness sake. This should not be. Already looking forward to next Monday.

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  25. ooh, ooh, pick me, pick me. This sounds really interesting. Since our home and the possessions therein are slowly taking over, I am all about simplifying. HELP! I didn't think I was afraid of the 7 foods thing until you said the word WHOLE. Clothes? I might be able to survive that as long as I have my black jeans. I won't lie. Giving up media scares me.

    And last but not least... do they MAKE a pair of jeans that make a person's muffin top AND butt look good? Do they? Just curious.

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  26. What a wonderful post and I must get the book!

    best, Kelley

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  27. i'm pretty sure i could eat just seven things: coke, eggs, milk, bacon, bread, cheese and ham. does coke even count because if i could add chips that would be swell. narry a raspberry in sight.

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  28. I have been feeling the weight of letting go this week. I almost up and let go of something too soon. But 7 surely does sound good compared to 3,289 doesn't it?


    I'm praying for these boys of ours too Shan. Every. Single Day.

    Even the girls.

    I'll be back when I'm not sporting my man voice from the dang pear tree allergy.

    Law.

    xxoo

    P.S.- If I win the book I will make Tash read it too. That's like a double win. No pressure.

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  29. Sounds like a good book for me to read. Wonder if I'd be able to eat only 7 things for a whole month? I'm thinkin' not.

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  30. Ahhhhhh - I'm reading this book now! I haven't even finished and I've re-read a few pages several times :) I don't know how she did it but I can't wait to get through the book - it's going to take a while - trying to digest it all.

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  31. Reading the exerpts from the book made me feel squirmy. So obviously I need to read it. And I am happy to pretend text with you..although the couple times you have emailed me in the past in response to a comment, I have gone "tharn" (Watership Down ref) and shy as if hearing from a celeb. Hope I can handle a pretend text! :) If I don't stop gaining weight, I will be down to 7 pieces of clothing. Maybe only eating 7 foods would help...water, water...water....

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  32. I, too, have read about this book but it is definitely scary to really decide to go for it. It sounds like something I need to go ahead and just do. I have her devotional book Out Of The Spin Cycle which is so good. I get all red and flustered when I speak in front of people and apparently even read in front of others for much more than a few paragraphs. I have been bringing the book to my MOPS meetings and reading them for the group even though by the end, I'm all splotchy and can barely breathe. It's worth it for the others to hear it though.

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  33. I downloaded the sample iBooks would give me because I wasn't sure my heart could commit. But maybe this is a sign.

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  34. i would love to read this book! i've seen it all over the circle of blogs i read. i think you guys are all related or something! :) what if I promise to share the book when I'm done... will you pick me then? :)

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  35. I was cracking up at your choice of words to the point that Dakota had to hurry and read this too. I swear I am always sending pretend text messages and redoing conversations in my mind so I can say what I really meant to. You funny, girl! Have to read this book!

    P.S. Muffin top?? Puh-lee-zz!

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  36. We talked about this book in youth group and it sounds really good:)
    And Shannan, you crack me up so much:)

    Dakota Bitting:)

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  37. Well, I should get this book because my kids already will only eat 7 things! We're on our way:) Just kidding, the 7 things they will readily eat are not the ones that will keep them alive. We have 3 little boys and my husband and I regularly have conversations about how we can downsize and simplify our life. I would love this book!
    victoria76@triad.rr.com

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  38. This book sounds great! I have definitely been thinking of what it would be like to simplify. One would think that living in the most remote county in the lower 48 states, an hour from City Market and the smallest Walmart in the country would do it. But simplicity is a heart issue not easily solved! Would love to read this!

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  39. Oh that book sounds good!! Seven foods?? Does drink count as a food??Would LOVE to read that book!!!

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  41. I want it! It's been in my Amazon shopping cart for WEEKS! Pleasepleaseplease pick me! Okay, enough with the desperation. I love your thoughts on this. Even if I don't win, I will still read it because I need a good healthy dose of conviction in my life.

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  42. Sometimes the stuff takes over to the point where I can't enjoy what matters.
    Yeah,So need this!

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  43. I certainly need to simplify.

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  44. Thanks so much for sharing and also emailing for not only one but two copies of a free book.It sounds fabulous and I would love to read it and also have my three daughters read it.I think it would do us all some good~Cheers Kim

    P.S~ Or maybe I can't wait just one more minute and I may have to buy my own. Lol o.k for free I will wait.

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  45. So glad I'm not the only one with email issues. I just read the book Organized Simplicity: the Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living by Tsh Oxenreider. I loved it, and really wanted to read 7 as well. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it!

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  46. an entry please! and thank you. :)

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  47. This is such a great topic! I would love to read this book. I just finished reading Anna Quindlen's book, "A Short Guide to a Happy Life" - it's extremely short, but beautifully written and dealing with simplifying as well. On another note - I've sent freaky emails to bloggers I adore too - only to shrink in embarrassment every time I remember what I wrote. Psh. We've all done it, I guess!

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  48. Oh I want to read this. I have been trying to simplify the way I live. I have to a degree......but the other aspects I want to try.YOu are so funny. I like that picutre of you. You look so serious. Thanks for offering this book.

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  49. Great review, I would like to read it. Struggle all the time with this concept because I love flea marketing but how much do you really need. Sour cream note, only because you shared...just used expired sour cream and I won't even tell you the date for our chili tonight. Prayed that my fresh food fanatic 18 year old daughter would not pick it up and look at the expiration date...thanks for sharing this book with us.

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  50. I miss Steve & Barry's. And this sounds like a fantabulous book. I bet it would be one I would stay up past my bedtime for.

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  51. Sign me up! After getting all the leftovers of an in-law move and a dear husband that can't say no to freebies, I'm in purge mood. And I need to get control of my excesses (Sweet N Salty breakfast bars, you slay me). And since I can't figure out any way to publish a comment other than anonymous, it's me - Amy Colvin, or Iddings, or whatever people want to holler at me.

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  52. Oh my lands alive, I want to win this book so badly. I want this book so badly. My local library doesn't have it. It's been on my wishlist for so long.

    Wearing the same 7 clothes? Probably not.
    Eating the same 7 foods? Hard as you-know-what but... I'm in. I'm in the for the hard stuff.

    I need this. Just tonight as we're considering buying a house that is nearly twice the size of our current house - and I did truly think I wanted that - but now I'm starting to feel a super huge anxiety attack and hives coming on. Yes, I have 4 children but the cleaning, the cleaning, the CLEAN-ING!!

    Pick me! I will text you with voracity. I will holler about sour cream with you (or at you, because you didn't pick that food *wink*).

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  53. Doing my own sorts of 7 around here. Mini-me style. But if I read the book I might just be insane enough to try it!

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  54. Sounds great - would love to read this!!

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  55. I read a book similar to this one for my summer reading requirement as a freshman at Bowling Green State University.. it was called "No Impact Man". A man, his wife, and there toddler tried to live a full year without impacting the environment in any way. They slowly started the process as well, with paper waste, then clothing, then water, etc.. It was very inspirational. I recommend the book. :)

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  56. Oh my....I sure could use such a book. R.Miller emt136@myway.com

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  57. Oh my goodness you have me in stitches. I think we all need to read this book. Im constantly purging my life of excess STUFF and it all came to a head when we had a fire this January. I realized that the junk I had lying around in cupboards and armoires and plastic bins was going to have to be gone through, piece by piece to be purged from the smoke damage. And I started purging like never before.
    I think STUFF can become a god so easily. It makes us feel good to bring something new home, we look good in a new top, and before we know it, we're drowning in it.
    Id love to get my hands on a copy of this book. And yes, Free is always a blessing:)

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  58. I can't even imagine myself doing the "30 for 30" clothing fast, so 7 blows my mind. I think I need this book.

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  59. I read Jen's first book (or earlier, I don't know how many awesome books she has out there), Interrupted. She's completely awesome, and no one can fault you for your mildly-stalker-ish activities. Her books require slow reading, re-reading. I might re-read her old one if I don't win the new one. Might do it anyhow, 'cause that's how I roll.

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  60. The subject of letting go and reducing the unnecessary in my life is a top priority to me. The "stuff" we hold on for unclear reasons is suffocating. If I read no other line in her book, I am moved by these words . . . "an intentional reduction, a deliberate abstinence to summon God's movement in my life."
    I've been desperately trying to reduce all the excess in my life from material things to old grudges but I would LOVE to hear her take on this.

    xo Sarah

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  61. It sounds like a good, scary read. I'd love to give it a try.
    P.S. The clothing part is what I do now, so no problem there.

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  62. I read her blog as well and have read one book. I agree with all you have said about her and how she writes. So real, so vulnerable. I have been wanting to get this new book but I think I'm a little bit afraid, which really means I NEED to get the book. So if i win it on your blog....awesome! If not, I will just have to go buy it myself. BTW, I love your blog too, just found it through a friend of mine and now I check it daily.

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  63. Holy crap. I don't even know how I would begin to choose 7 foods to eat for an entire month. And I'm not even all that adventurous in the kitchen! Sounds like an awesome book, though. With a big side of scary. I'm interested.

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  64. 7 foods... 2 would need to be Samoas and Tagalongs... Maybe milk too... :)

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  65. Shush up, girl, this book has been in my amazon cart since last week! But I haven't bought it yet since we're on a spending fast. I tried justifying the purchase to the hubs and he wasn't having it. But I'll take that extra copy! I NEED to read it. It's callin' my name. And pass the salsa.

    And that e-mail you sent? Cracking me right up. Shannan lesson #679 - invasive, stalkerish, pushy-broad kind of emails will get you places in life. ;)

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  66. Sounds great and I would love to win the book! Blessings - Holly

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  67. oh that sounds good. and hard. but mostly good. unless i have to do it. then probably mostly hard for awhile. amen.

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  68. Wow. I think I need this book.
    I am at the point where I just want to clean out my entire apartment, and give myself a fresh start. Bring back only the necessities and the things that make me happy. And then get rid of everything else!

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  69. I had a bad day and I just want it, which proves that I need it, if what I want on a bad day is more stuff. An endless circle am I.

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  70. 7 always has been my favorite number. I am sure this signifies I will love Jen's book.

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  71. i find myself going through my kid's clothes right this very minute. getting ready to pass them on to little cousins and friends. i am in the getting rid of mode. bring it!

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  72. I don't really want, but NEED this book!

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  73. My life needs that kind of book :)

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  74. i stalk also. i was downtown Chicago (at jury duty - I got to each lunch outside in January) the day you were at the Shedd. (only I found out later). i am on your way to Rockford. (mostly). i mixed up a batch of white wine vinegar/olive oil dressing yesterday because of you. and i've been trying to win a copy of 7 from all over the place. please disregard the stalker in me. you and Jen are both amazing writers of reality and crack me up while calling me (and the rest of us stalkers) to live it. thanks.

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  75. So interested in this book! And, I send pretend text messages to you, too! Still waiting on an answer!;)

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  76. This is EXACTLY the book I need to read. I have been fighting against my inner yearnings to simplify. To unclutter. To give to others so much of what I hoard but don't really need. This really struck home. Love to read your blog and all about your precious family. WMoss

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  77. So interesting. I've just recently started reading the blog "Becoming Minimalist." It is so appealing. I've started to completely clear out everything. It feels right and good. This book sounds a bit wacko with the whole seven food thing. But if it cooked your oatmeal then I'm willing to give it a try.
    Dana

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  78. My mind and soul need this book. How great for an opportunity to win it, thank you!

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  79. Thank you for forgiving me for being the worst emailer in the history of time. I have no idea how I have any friends or manage a career or children. It's a true mystery. Looks like you have the makings of a little bloggy read-a-long here, sister. MUCH LOVE.

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    1. I'm with Jen. You should totally do a bloggy read-a-long. I started one on my blog last week with 100+ of my closest friends and strangers. Just posted the latest installment. So much fun.

      http://marlataviano.com

      Love,
      A fellow Sandi Patti wanna-be (my fave was Shine Down)

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  80. Confession: I blog-stalk you. Glad to know that I'm not the only creeper out there... I actually stayed up until past midnight last night on a rabbit trail starting on your blog and ending on Jen Hatmakers. Then, I put 7 in my shopping cart, but haven't pulled the trigger yet b/c the hubs and I are pretty hesitant to spend any money. Maybe that's a sign that I'm gonna win! layton@clas.net

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  81. did you borrow my jeans? xoxo

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  82. i the queen of excess needs this book holy moly:)

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  83. SO would love this freebie! I've been itching to read this book too!

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  84. Pick me. I need a good read. i like a kick in the pants too. but, i will always pick a sweet potato over salsa. don't hate...blame the Cooper.

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  85. oohhh. this is the second mention of this book i've heard recently and i would love to be moved and bothered from my comfort seat!

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  86. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  87. This book has been on my list ever since you first mentioned it several weeks ago.

    p.s. i send you pretend texts all the time.

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  88. Sounds like a book I have to read. But only eating 7 foods doesn't sound to appealing or healthy but I'm sure I wouldn't die. Thank you for sharing about this book.

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  89. sign me up. since i'm figuring i only own about seven pieces of clothing, i've already got a head start, right?
    is that cheating? :-)
    steph

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  90. I can't wait to read this book! After reading Radical a few months ago...this is my next lose-myself-in-the-pages book.

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  91. This book scares me but I need to simplify my life. Sounds like this is exactly what I need. My feet are already feeling a little chilly. Thanks for sharing with us.

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  92. Well, I guess you already know how I feel about the book....wrecked me good! So very hard to read and apply, but I am ready....making changes slowly but surely. Wishing you all the best!
    Blessings!

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  93. Me Please!
    God knows my life could use a major overhaul ...
    Worst part.... It's all self inflicted!
    besides, I have the seven articles of clothing down to a science ..
    Tisha

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  94. Oh my gosh. I just watched the book trailer over on her site, and the book scares the heck out of me. But then, that is a good thing. It would likely be a good challenge to do all of those things!

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  95. I fell in love with Jen Hatmaker's blog after reading her "After the Airport" post... And just finished reading "Radical" after seeing it on your blog - would LOVE to read "7" soon!

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  96. I struggle with excess. I blame it on His extravagant love for me. And then I look around at all this clutter and know...this can't be Him...it's really just me.

    Off to blogstalk. ;)

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  97. Thank you for introducing me to Jen Hatmaker and her blog and book. Good stuff!!

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  98. I heard about this book a while back and have wanted to read it. I would LOVE to win a copy. I don't know if I could do the whole 7 thing but would like to read it and see what it's all about.
    Laura

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  99. What a fantastic challenge and personal growth opportunity Jen has done. I love that simplicity is really started to be on peoples minds. Thank you to you Shannon for all your inspiring words. You have such an integrity with words that is just beautiful and inspiring.

    Cami

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  100. Yes, please. Enter me. A "margin for God to move"... this is resonating with my heart. I need to make space.

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  101. This book is right up my alley! Please pick me! :)

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  102. Sounds like something I need in my life right now! I also love the way you write, so humorously honest! :)

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  103. This is seriously scary stuff!

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  104. This is something I would love to try. I'd love to win! I'll even text you in my mind.
    xo

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  105. Shannan, your writing is so vivid - I love reading your posts. And it sounds like I'd love reading Jen's book too!

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  106. This book sounds terrifying! Stay with me here. I have been having a lot of guilt lately about all of the 'stuff' we have in our house and our lives that we NEVER use. Yet I cannot bring myself to purge it from my life. '7' sounds like the kind of challenge I need to seriously consider~ for my sanity and my family's. We have a new baby on the way (8 weeks to go!) and I so badly want to have my house and life in order so I don't constantly feel frantic about the mess surrounding me. It would make me so happy to enjoy being in my house and my life again!

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  107. I just recently found your blog and I love it. The way you write is so funny and real at the same time. This book sounds interesting and I would enjoy reading along with you. Pick me!!

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  108. My husband & I just found out we are expecting our 3rd child and we know we need to simplify, simplify, simplify, or things will nor be pretty come September! This book would be an awesome way to get is truly focused! Thanks for the opportunity! melamom@juno.com

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  109. Oh wow.... The last book I read that you recommended (Radical) really messed with my head. So that probably means I need to read this one too. And I'm sure I'll send you pretend text messages! Thanks, Shannan :)

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  110. I need this book! Keeping my fingers crossed!

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  111. Need this and want this! It sounds scary and hard, but that probably means I need to read it!

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  112. I love books! It sounds like a good one.

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  113. Wahoo sounds like an awesome book! Looking forward to simplifying to 7...

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  114. I both want and don't want this book.... I guess that kind of means I need to read it ;)

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  115. This book is exactly what we need right now. We are new out of college, learning to live with little to pay off school debt, and just learning how to really build a household together. Thank you!

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  116. i WANT this book! I started reading Jen Hatmaker the other day when you had posted about wearing your gray pilly sweater. Her words SPOKE to me and I would so love to dive into it deeper! How she describes herself in her "about" section sounded so familiar. I was at work when I first discovered her and I had to keep trying to somehow pretend that i was actually working:) Pretty please with a raspberry on top - i want it!

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  117. Sounds like something I really need to read. I need to simplify my life. Big Time!!! Trying to get rid of the stuff I don't need or use. And it is so hard. I teach pre-k as well & am notorious for saving things because "you can always turn it into a craft".

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  118. I would love this book. We have cut out a lot of excess over the past few years and are shocked at what we don't really miss. Then a missionary came to our worship gathering and spoke of going to a hostile, unreached area with his young family, and I thought, surely there is a way for me to find more to give. I'd love some help/encouragement/conviction on what I can do to live even more simply.

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  119. I would love this book! My husband and I are in a state of trying to simplify and I think this would really speak to us. What a great giveaway!

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  120. As I was watching TV at 2am.....my first 7 to give up!!!!! This women was purging her closet to "downsize" and she had 1200 items hanging on racks. The organizer she was working with said she had enough stuff to not wear the same thing twice for 4 years!!!!!!!! I immediately thought of you and this post and the book!!!!

    Thanks for your blog, I love it and your sense of humor!!!

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  121. Oh my -- I have the same girl crush on Jen Hatmaker, the same freaky weird feeling when I read her that she's somehow channeling my thoughts and I may have to start wearing tinfoil on my head to block her. I've wondered about 7, but am afraid to read it. I already know we have too much in this country, and yet the consumer-beast keeps howling for more. It feels right, to step away from culture in a conscious way, to find a way to strip off the excess, to live lighter. I look forward to hearing more about what you think about it.

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  122. Shannan, I just recently started reading your blog and I really enjoy it. You make me stop and think about things in different ways than I have before. And, I need that! This book definitely sounds interesting and maybe can be the beginning of something new in my life. Thanks for your inspiration.

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  123. Oh my gosh...you are just awesome. I have never heard of this book, but in my current Lenten state of mind, I think I need it stat. And since I never win a ding dang thing I'd be much obliged if you picked me. I am off to check out Jen's blog. Oh, and I would pay money to see you shush the menfolk.

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  124. That takes some serious self-control!! My mind is spinning...

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  125. No one...no one doesn't need this. Worried about the concept of seven though...does that apply to kids and projects?

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  126. I am in dire need of minimizing. It was actually my NY resolution... Sort of.. So in my usual fashion, I have done very poorly at it. Granted I've cleaned out a closet or two, and hauled multiple bags to Goodwill, but I need some motivation.. Something to remind me WHY I'm doing this.

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  127. I loooove this, and would love to have a copy. I'm having my husband read our library copy because there's so much I want to change having read it. Having our own copy to reference and re-read and highlight would be great. So much here to do and remember long term.

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  128. I wigged out about the food too and threw up raw spinach. That was the end of that. But I am doing month two and I LOVED the book! It shook me up in the best kind of way! Expectant as to how he will increase as my junk decreases. "While my life is marked by ambition, accumulation and percieved success, then no matter how much I squawk about Jesus, I am a sounding gong, a clanging symbol;I am nothing" Jen Hatmaker 7.

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  129. Okay, I remember you telling me that you e-mailed her and heard nothing. Only a couple of weeks before someone left a comment on my blog asking me if I'd heard of the book. I looked it up and, like you, was totally riveted by the concept. So, YAY! She wrote you back. And YAY! You're giving her books away. It's a win-win (win) situation.

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  130. Shannan, wonderful of you to give away a copy of 7. Email your address and I'll contribute a couple more for you to offer. You are a wonder, Sweet Girl. hedyj2@yahoo.com

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  131. Wow this sounds like a really cool book, like you not, sure I'm ready for it myself. I love when you find someone who writes just what you are thinking!

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  132. Sounds interesting. Sign me up. ;)

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  133. As one who represents the "menfolk" and is "shushed" on a frequent basis, I too was steered towards Jen (and Brandon) Hatmaker through your leading. Thanks to you, and Jen my life has been "Interrupted." I am ready for 7. I am excited to hear how your journey of 9 is going.

    Keep journeying my friend.

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  134. Hey! I just found YOUR blog, and I love it! I would love to win the book, but if I don't i'm going to buy it anyway. Thanks for sharing!

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  135. I won't try to "enter" the giveaway since I won the last FPFG giveaway (it arrived Friday by the way...can't wait to start it). But I will be ordering it through my library, and/or encouraging my library to purchase it. :) I can't wait to read it.

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  136. sign me up, times 7!!

    hahah...

    seriously, it sounds like a needed read.

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  137. i am completely intrigued and scared to death to touch this book!! - karen boone

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  138. Shush the menfolk, and sign me up! My hubby and I are working on our new year's resolution--getting rid of 50 major things in our lives this year. Think this fits quite well with that theme, and love the concept! ~Tressa E.

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  139. It scares me too but if I win to book I will take it as a sign. I never win anything. ;)

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  140. Count me in as scared but willing. I'm sure I've got more to learn... Thanks for sharing.

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  141. We are never out of sour cream either!

    I am disgusted by my want of more THINGS and trying to break away from this mentality. Unfortunately, it's harder to do than I realized. I eyed our out of date shell sink in the half bath this morning and thought "I'd like to change that out for a more stylish one". Then I immediately thought I would throw up at my thought. My shell sink is perfectly fine. There are people without sinks, without water....my shell sink can be my reminder of that fact.

    The book sounds awesome. Life-changing.

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  142. i so think i need to win this for a couple of reasons

    1. i too have sent those freakish stalker messages to certain people because in my little world in my mind we are amazing friends and kindred spirits and then i freak out because i am weird and they will think i am a stalker.

    2. i keep pondering buying the book, but freak out, but know that it totally mirrors my thoughts and hopefully my living one day

    3. because you inpsire me to want to give brussel sprouts a try

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  143. this books sounds great! I am always thinking of ways to simplify life..but then life gets in the way and the simplifying gets put on the shelf...with everything else

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  144. That book sounds amazing. I've been building myself up to get rid of excess for the last little while now. It's hard!

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  145. I've been really wanting to buy this book, but having yet. Hoping it's because I'm going to win it for free here! :) Thanks for the giveaway!

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  146. Oh, I want to read this so much. Especially now, during Lent, when thoughts of giving up and living with less are so much on my mind.

    I send pretend text messages too, mainly because I don't have a texting plan. Something I gave up before I ever got it :)

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  147. I think I'd have a hard time with only seven foods for a whole month. My taste buds would be bored.

    But the whole idea of simplifying and ridding myself of so many things that take me away from God and His plans sounds pretty cool. My taste buds would survive.

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  148. I need to read this book. Really, I am trapped by my stuff and I have a mantra running in the back of my mind-"GET RID OF STUFF, YOU DON'T NEED IT!" I just can't bring myself to do it.

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  149. if i could only simplify my own heart and brain and emotions i'd do it in a heartbeat- but i'm thinkin only God is capable and in the process so i need to be here in the messy

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  150. I'd like to read this. I'm at a point where I'm willing to be challenged & have God change me!

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  151. i often feel the same way when i read your blog (as you do when you read her book). you're the only other one in my life who is waging the war against materialism. thanks for being that one. :) -anne

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  152. This sounds like a great read and another opportunity to be challenged! Thank you for the recommendation!

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  153. I would love to read '7.' I too have read Jen's blog and agree she is great. Yours and sit a spell is my other go-to blogs. I love the idea of slowing the heck down to let GOD do whatever...how badly I need that and desire it.

    Hope all is well with C

    In HIS LOVE
    Molly

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  154. I pinned this book a few weeks ago!. I'd love to wiin a copy. Thanks.
    Jill in CA

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  155. I found her blog through yours - WOW!! Would love to have her book. If I don't win I will certainly buy it!

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  156. I have heard of this book! Three times now. Not sure I'm ready for such a radical change but . . . maybe that's the point.

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  157. This book sounds great! This past year I have been "purging." I have gotten rid of so many of my things Goodwill loves me and my daughter gets nervous when I go in her room. :) I have found that stuff has released it's hold on my life and I am focusing more on the eternal. (Don't get me wrong, I still love junkin' once in awhile.)

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  158. This is the first I have heard of this book...but am SO excited to learn about it! It is already in my Amazon cart, but I can hold off a day (I mean you waited months!) to see if I can win a copy! And Thank You for writing...you're writting is honest and heartfelt. I love reading your blog.

    Melissa in PA

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  159. This sounds like just the book to get me out of my rut of excess. Love your blog!

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  160. Love any book on simplifying! I am so disenchanted by how much STUFF people think they need. And I am guilty of it too but I am conscious of everything that comes into the house that will take up residence. My huband and I both go through fits of decluttering. Would love to read her book though I must say, I may draw the line at food items - I so love to cook and use interesting ingredients - not sure I could manage with 7. My own book would have to be called 20!

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  161. i just turned in my resignation from my first teaching job. painful. disheartening. devastating. refreshing. frightening. i could use some random goodness :)
    PLEASE

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  162. It is awesome when people are brave enough to step out of the box & take a leap of faith! Some of us like safety & security & loose out on the blessings of fully trusting God one step at a time. I happened to be married to a faith leaper & God has definitely shown Himself strong. If you give Him half a chance He can move mountains!

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  163. WOW! I love the idea of this book! IF I dont win, I wonder if my library has a copy :)

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  164. I have been both running far from and quickly towards this book since I heard about it a few months ago. If I win I'll have to read it.

    I have no idea if I hope I win or lose. Huh?

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  165. This is the first time I have heard of this book and it sounds core shaking! I know often I get caught up with the stuff I don't have- but oh how wonderful it may be to simplify.

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  166. Sounds like a fantastic book and something that everyone should put into practice to some degree. 7 foods might just kill me, but the idea of less waste, possessions and stress gets me VERY EXCITED!

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  167. So thrilled about this book!! So even if I don't win...which I never win, I'll be purchasing a copy for myself!!

    Less "stuff"=more life and I'm all about that!!!

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  168. An impending move has me desiring a life with less. I'm anxious to weed through our closets, our pantry, our shelves... but I know when it comes down to it, I'll probably still opt for more rather than less. A girl can dream though... and wish for powerful motivation.

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  169. It sounds like maybe, just maybe God is speaking to a few of us about excess and simplicity. In the past two weeks I have cleaned out the kitchen and pantry and rid our lives of things we don't need, don't have room for and someone else could surely use. I was ready for clothing next but haven't gotten started yet. I have used the word simplify a lot lately. We make life way to complicated. Emphesis on we..or is it I, hmmm. But God helps us make sense of it all doesn't He. So needless to say this book would be right up my alley. I sure hope I win. I get rid of a few books on the shelf just in case : )

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  170. Just the word "simplify" is always refreshing....

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  171. I have not heard of the book or her blog. I have been reading your blog for sometime. I would read the book, honestly don't know if it is something I would try. My reason for commenting is just to say this entry has been used by God to speak to me. My pastor gave a message 2 weeks ago about fasting (not just talking about food) but denying ourselves for Him. There has been an uneasiness in my spirit since, I know there is something He is going to ask of me and I want to be ready to surrender. Just reading the word fast, I felt my spirit quicken. I don't know what it is yet but thank you, He has used you today for a woman in Tennessee. Funny with technology we can feel close to people we have never met; I see that as someone I will recognize someday in glory. God bless you and your family as you go forward for him. You know I don't need a book I have His book; I think I will find my answer there. Thank you.

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  172. I would so love to win. I heard about it on another blog, and last week I shamelessly read the first half at Barnes and Noble. I intended to go back the next day and finish it, but instead my sweet baby girl was born early and with little warning. So needless to say, the book remains on the store shelf. But I really want to finish it sometime--very thought-provoking!

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  173. This book has been on my "to read" list! You can even check out my pinterest if you don't believe me. Its pinned! I also saw a copy of this book at Barnes & Noble this Sunday on a leisurely peruse through the store for something that might strike my fancy. I opted to wait even though it was calling my name. Pick me!

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  174. wow, I'm intrigued and scared...I'm fasting from desserts for lent and that alone has been a huge challenge, 7 foods, got to check this book out, pinning it.

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  175. 1. First of all, you can fully expect to receive some sort of stalkerish e-mail from me in the future. But for now I'm re-writing it in my head over and over so you'll understand just how much we have in common, etc. etc.

    2. I won't send it for awhile, and you won't read it for awhile after that, so don't lose sleep over it. You have a lot of time before you have to worry about how crazy I might possibly be.

    3. I want this book. And I might actually go buy it, but I'd rather win it. I'm debating on joining the challenge. I'm completely intrigued, especially by the parts of me screaming about how such and such would be impossible (7 foods?!?)!! But we are waiting for a call to tell us that it's finally (FINALLY!!) time to go pick up our little guy in Korea and bring him home so this really might not be a good time.

    4. I learned from my Dad that combining several impossible things into small time frames is completely doable, as long as you know a good psychiatrist, so maybe I will do it!! We'll see...

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  176. I saw Jen's book featured on another blog and was so intrigued! But I'm cheap and my library doesn't have a copy, so I sit and have an internal conflict on whether or not to spend the money or exercise my ever fleeting patience and wait for my library to get a copy at some point in the future. What a long winded (and a complete run-on sentence) way to say "choose me!" Thanks Shannan!

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  177. I've heard such neat things about this book and I'd love to read it.
    And I'm still chuckling over your sour cream issue.

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  178. Been wanting to read this book...sorta! Hope I win so I'll be brave enough to read it.

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  179. I read one of your earlier posts that mentioned her book and immediately went to Amazon thinking I needed the book to read for myself. I even put it in my cart. But, then I got thinking. "Why am I buying in order to reduce? I need to borrow the book and after digesting it, give it back." Anyway, I'm looking for a copy to borrow.

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  180. Sounds like a great read and it makes me a bit scared at the same time. Easier to keep my eyes closed and not pay attention but reading this book would force me to look at things in a different way. That is not always a bad thing. P.S. Your blog is nothing short of amazing and inspiring. Thank you.

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  181. Love that you are giving away this book! My small group gals and I are reading through "Interrupted" right now and we all love it (in fact, I keep sneaking ahead as I can't wait to read what she has to say next)- so much to talk about and think about. Our hubbies are reading David Platt's "Radical" which us gals did last fall and that messed us over bad too and brought up lots of questions and made for lots of great talks. Anyway, I so hope I win because I would love to read this!

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  182. I couldn't wait, I purchased this book via Amazon direct to my Kindle ap. I have already devoured the first couple of chapters and CANNOT put it down! Thanks for the recommendation.

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  183. I have been wanting to read that one too!!! thanks for the rec!

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  184. I would love to read this. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  185. Ok, first of all, you're hysterical! I love your blog. Second, I would love a chance to win the book. It's exactly what I need! I want to simplify!...but not sure if I can go that extreme...I'll have to read the book.

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  186. Would like to read this.... though scared....

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  187. Would like to read this.... though scared....

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  188. Would like to read this.... though scared....

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  189. I hope i am not too late to leave a comment for the drawing! i looked Jen up last week after reading one of your posts and I am very intrigued. i've already started doing the clothing thing :)

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  190. I've heard about her book! It does sound really intriguing. We're kind of doing the same thing for Lent.

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  191. This book sounds delicious! Give me any reason to not have to make excuses on why I wear the same clothes every day and I'm in!

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  192. oh how i've been trying to simplify my life!!! i feel like i'm shoveling in a snow storm, ya know? between cooking-laundry-bathrooms-toy pickup-floor cleaning and then trying to be engaged with my littles, teach my dance and zumba classes, be a good neighbor, church activities, and have somewhat of a social life- whew!!! I could totally use this:)

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  193. This is on my too read list - and truthfully? I'm a little scared to read it. Scared in a "this is going to be another book that shakes me up for good" kind of way. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  194. I've been hearing about this book everywhere...so I'm intrigued.

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