Dear Jen Hatmaker {31 Days of Letters}

Dear Jen Hatmaker,

You are many things that I am not.  You are a fierce Texan, mother of five, and published author many times over.  I, on the other hand, am a loyal Californian living in Idaho, hoping to get past my one year anniversary without a little Gardner on the way, and only in my dreams have a published book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble.

Differences aside, we could (and should) be friends.  Within the first few pages of 7, I realized we were cut out of the same cloth, which just so happens to be a burlap coffee sack.  By the time I finished – and by finished, I  mean laughed, commiserated, and gave a hearty Amen! – the first chapter, I was doubly convinced that we would get along.  Coffee, ahem.. caffeine, is a pretty strong agent for community, wouldn’t you say?

Your reflections from Day 19 proved that I was not alone in the world.  You may not have every jot and tittle of your books on immediate recall, so permit me to quote you:

I escaped narrowly by chewing gum like a quitting smoker.  I should tell you that every time I’ve been in Sprouts, I’ve put my nose directly on the glass cases of bulk coffee beans and inhaled like a deranged weirdo. I mean, deeply inhaled.  For at least ten seconds.  Nose to the glass.  The only possible way I could act more disturbing is if I ground up some beans, made a line with a razor blade, and snorted it in the middle of aisle 9.

My gosh.  I think I have a problem.  A friend asked if I was quitting coffee after this month was up.  I told her I’d considered renouncing coffee exactly zero times, and if she ever brought up such foolishness again, I was going to quit her.

Yeah.  I definitely have a problem.

{page 34 from 7: An Experimental Mutiny against Excess}

I laughed right out loud when I read that, clutching my steaming cup of morning joe a little tighter so as not to splatter the pages of 7 with upset coffee.  Though, coffee splatters would have made the book smell good… Visual aids promote help retention, right?  I digress…

Besides celebrating our shared coffee addiction (and hoping we can be friends), I wanted to thank you for writing 7.  Some people find it a bit gimmicky, and to that I say, so what?  The fact that you got paid to eat seven foods or wear seven items of clothing doesn’t diminish what the Holy Spirit did in you and what He will do in people like me who get to journey with you because you wrote the book.

I love how you describe a fast not as restriction for restriction sake, but as reductions and limitations to create more space for God to move, stretch, and transform.  This journey of yours isn’t about numbers.  It’s about becoming maleable, letting God mold you into something that looks more like Him.

Thank you for being candid and just downright hilarious in the process.  If you’re ever in Northern Idaho, lets get coffee!



PS to readers:

I really would like to be friends with Jen Hatmaker.  In the meantime, I enjoy reading her blog posts and books; both of which you can check devour on her website.

And, please put 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess on your reading list!

Keep up with 31 Days of Letters.

Writing tomorrow’s left me emotionally spent…

Day one: Dear #217

Dear #217 {31 Days of Letters}

Dear #217,

Of all the places we will ever live, you will always hold a special place in our hearts.  You, my dear apartment, get to be forever remembered as our “first place”.

Tim and I were professional house sitters after we got married, watching over the houses of family and friends before our big move.  We were quite grateful for the generosity of others during our time of transition, but after a few months, we were ready to have a place we could call our own.

As God would have it, you fell right across our path – in the best possible way, of course.  Tim and I had two days to find a place to live and there you were, meeting all of our apartment desires.  I know we originally signed up for your cousin, #223, but we are so happy things changed.

We appreciate the new paint and carpet and the new kitchen appliances are a plus, too!  I appreciate your proximity to the fire department.  That seems to be a trend everywhere I live and it has come in handy a few times.  We especially love that you are within walking distance from The Kroc Center – perfect for winter workouts when snow makes running outside a tad too chilly.

Even though the toilet your back bathroom runs incessantly and the occupants above you must walk around with lead shoes, Tim and I love to call you home. We’ve actually nicknamed you Timily Place – I hope that’s alright…

I hope this can be a symbiotic relationship.  We promise to spruce you up a bit, add some character, you know?  Would you promise to help us be hospitable to others?  Tim and I want to partner with you to offer relaxation, rejuvenation, and respite to others.  Are you game?  (PS – we like to play those. Have you heard of Fill or Bust?)

I anticipate your walls will absorb a fair amount of laughter, tears, joy, pain, prayers, conflict, love, tension, and excitement.  Our goal is to crowd you with Christ.  We want nothing more than to fill your nook and crannies with warmth and acceptance.

We don’t want you to harbor secrets or collect cobwebs.  We want to throw open windows and let light in and shine our Light out.  Please be patient with us in the process, dear #217.   I am already praying you can accommodate all of our weirdness… Will you be flexible as we adapt and grow in this new season of life?

Again, we appreciate that your walls create a space we can call our own.  Tim may not have carried me across your threshold, but we hold the matching gold keys to your door.   You have been a delight for the past month, #217.  Here’s to 11 more!