Jen Hatmaker is a well-known author, blogger, and speaker as well as a mom to five kids, a leader in her church, and a TV personality. (Phew! I feel exhausted just writing all of that!) But in the midst of what looks like a “big life,” Jen strives to make faith-driven, countercultural choices to help her stay rooted. We spoke to Jen about the “big life” pressure that each of us may feel at times and what it looks like to chart a different course.
We live with the pressure to live a “big life”—to do more, be better, all the time. What’s the spiritual danger of settling into a “more, more, more” mentality?
I’ve certainly felt that never-ending quest for more. I’d start down that path of acquiring more or buying better, and it just didn’t satisfy. That’s the little hidden secret: the quest for more doesn’t really have a finish line. It just keeps going and going and going.
A few years ago, it really hit me: I felt it in my heart, I felt it in my soul, I felt it in my checkbook. It seemed like there was never enough—even though we had plenty. My life was sort of a constant low simmer of discontent. God, I prayed, I don’t know how to stop the machine; I don’t know how to get out of it.
That’s what led our family to do the 7 Experiment which was, essentially, an extreme fast. We identified seven areas of our life that felt so excessive. They were food, clothes, spending, waste, possessions, media and technology, and stress. In every single one of those areas, we could say, without a doubt, “We have too much of this.”
So we focused on each of those areas for a month and boiled down that specific issue to just ...1
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