About the Author

Jessica Turner is the author of Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter and Thrive, and blogs on The Mom Creative. Every day is a juggling act as she balances working full-time, making memories with her family, photographing the every day and trying to be...

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  1. How have you and your family maintained the habits formed during the course of “7”? Are there some changes that were just not realistic to maintain, are there others that have stuck and are totally worth committing to?

    Thanks you for a fabulous book! I gave two away at my blog. My book is worn with marks throughout. It will serve as a reference and a constant reminder.
    jana

  2. Hi. I haven’t read or bought the book. Not because I don’t want to but because I am waiting to afford it for myself with no guilt attached. I am so interested that I started reading it at B&N free so I could begin to prep myself. My question is even though I plan to buy the book, should I start “ridding” our home, my life, etc. of all the unwanted stuff or let the book be a guide for me? I have begun to declutter but it doesn’t seem like I get a real system in place. I feel like I am constantly patching it up.

  3. You talked about how the effects of 7 have taken hold on your family, even now, but I am curious about the Council. Do you still see these effects around you? What would some of them say if they were on that couch with you? I know a fast of this magnitude has had its ripple effect on the souls who participated, even partially. It’s amazing how God can use the actions of one or a few people to reach thousands or more.
    Thank you for sharing this idea, your journey and insights. It has changed, in many ways, how I think about excess and I am planning on really delving into the 7 plan in the spring (I am pregnant right now. I don’t think 7 foods would work out well (pickles, ice cream…) and let’s face it, I only have 7 pieces of clothing that fit so it’s not even a challenge) I’m using this time to reflect, share the book with my friends and listen to how God wants this to look for me.
    God bless you, your family and your work for the kingdom!

  4. There is a popular speaker that uses great steward principles to get people out of debt and build wealth. Although, he stresses to give once you get to that step, I have been trying to wrap my brain around that concept. I read about how Katie Davis doesn’t worry about her ‘retirement fund’ 🙂 or Francis Chan talks about how treating his possessions like ‘the game of hot potato’ and I am trying to wrap my brain out this idea of wealth building. I believe sometimes we (personally) have been called to give sacrificial…Do you have any thoughts on this? I am particularly interested in this since we have been asked by several to lead this course in our church/community. Thanks:).

  5. Thank you Jen for this book, 7 and for your book Interrupted! It made me laugh hysterically and cry deeply! It follows on the heels of reading Francis Chan’s Crazy Love and Randy Alcorn’s The treasure Principle…and most importantly, God’s Word! My question is, in the deepest part of your heart right now, what do you feel God stirring in you? It was beautiful to read about the transformations taking place in the course of writing your book and I am curious to hear where you are now…I was sad to see the book end! The Lord’s continued blessing in your life and ministry!

  6. Jen, Thank you for this! Ever since a trip to Africa I have been a wreck and trying to find an outlet for all these crazy ideas about our over abundance here. About Christ’s call and how easily we sweep parts of it under the rug here. I cried and laughed my booty off while reading it. I am utterly grateful for this journey. God is using it big time! I was so grateful to find out I am not alone. Geesh! I need to actually ask you a question already…Sorry. 😉 As a writer and after your experiences with the adoptions and this recent trip to Haiti is there anything you would add to the book? Or that you would re-instate to your lifestyle?
    Thank you again for being bold, real, and honest,, and most of all shining light on the areas of the gospel we Christians in the US have forgotten, or swept under the rug.

  7. Thank you for such a wonderful book and an insight to your life after 7. My question is how has Seven Sacred Pauses and the Sabbath routines been now that the book has been finished for sometime now. I bought all three of your books- Ms Understood, Interuptted and of course 7. I have read them carefully and want to share 7 with my family.

  8. Wow, your book really messed with my head and my heart! I have been talking about it to everyone I know! My question is how do you move into daily life, without guilt, but embracing the fast and the feast. I guess one way I have found, is through a spirit of thankfulness. I shower, wash my hands, wash dishes and think, “I have clean water IN ABUNDANCE, others yearn for the ‘dirty’ water I wash down my sink. God thank you for clean water and help me to use it respectfully and responsibly.” Now that I say that out loud, I guess I kind of sound like I have Multiple Personality Disorder, but do get what I’m saying? How do you live in the fast, daily, in America?

  9. I have also promoted the book in my prayer and meeting groups. It’s stuck in my mind as I go through my house reorganizing and decluttering it after my daughter left my company and the passing away of my husband. I’m still working in the second room and not deeply working on my stuff yet, but I’m getting there. My question is how you, Jen, have reacted to the fact that many people in the US are suffering with the economy and are experiencing some loss in their families and close friends. It seems like Seven is a sign of times. I wonder if the result of this life changing wil be for a season or a permanent lifestyle. Have you thought about it? What will be you next book about? Those were the isssues (in addition to debt, income loss) in my mind even when I’m gardening and weedling my plants with prayers and thoughts. Thank you for helping me to find a purpose in cleaning my home and to weep my tears while late in the night I feel the chills of an empty home now reduced to two – me and an eight-years-old grandson, Wesley.

  10. What about your books? Did you purge? Reduce? Leave untouched? I don’t WANT to part with any …

  11. Okay, this might be kind of long, but here goes:
    I remember in the chapter about getting rid of all your stuff, you said you gave a lot of it to specific individuals rather that just hauling off one big truckload to Goodwill. I love that, in theory, but my problem is, I’ll set something aside that I no longer want or need, but think that someone else might be able to use it. But when I give gifts, I like them to be personal and meaningful, so I rarely raid my closet of unwanted items. Then they end up just collecting dust in my closet for months on end, until I finally decide I’ll never find someone to give them to, and haul them to Goodwill after all. So here’s my question: how did you decide what to give away, and what to simply trash/donate. And how did you find someone to give it to?

  12. Jen,

    Since doing your ‘7’ experiment, is there anything now that you just can’t personally justify doing or buying? What I mean is, do you refuse to buy bottle water, or shop at large department stores, or buy non-organic food, or put regular gasoline in your suburban, or feed your kids fast food? (Just examples, of course). Have you developed any new “non-negotiables” for your family or personal life, since your 7 experiment?

    It was so hard to pick just one question. I’ve SO enjoyed this book club and even though I read the book months ago, it’s been a great refresher for me. The new question I try to ask myself each morning is “What can I live with less of today?” Thanks for inspiring that.

  13. I guess my biggest question is how to find other people who really “get it”? I loved that you had the council to back you up and talk things through. I’m having a hard time finding those people in my day to day life. Everyone seems so caught up in kids’ activities and busyness. Even at church, I can’t help but notice the expensive clothes, purses, and hairstyles. I find myself being judgmental, which I know is wrong, but I so long for others who want to live differently.

  14. I am a blunt person. God has graciously taught me to cover blunt with love…so I guess now it’s bl-ove. anyway…
    Did you lose anyone along the way? Did you have someone you respected, loved, thought you were in this journey with for the long haul that has decided this type of authentic-ness was too much?
    I have been discipling young women for 12 years and you can probably imagine that at times I need to have “those” conversations with them about one thing or another. I have lost a few…surprisingly not many. I ask God to be my defender and help me to let go of what needs to be released, but He has brought many relationships back around. I am the blessed one for it. I have found that most women want to be told bold truth in love, not passive flattery.
    anyway I am rambling now….adore you Jen Hatmaker….

  15. I read your book in June and we decided with a few other families to use it to clean out our lives. It has been great do far, we reordered the months (July-possessions, Aug-media, Sept-spending and here we are in Oct-waste). The waste month has been frustrating…my daughter fell on the way to school, my son’s bike was stolen, the bike trailer got two flat tires all on the first Monday of the month…so we have kind of given up on the one car idea. What aspects of the “waste” month have you continued to use in your every day life?

    The best part of using your book 7 as a guide has been out “council” time! It is so encouraging to look at our lives differently together and laugh, question, debate about where God is taking us as He continues to challenge us!! Thanks for your honesty in the book 🙂

  16. First of all – thank you. I didn’t want to read this. I told God “no” several times. I was afraid it was going to mess with me. It did. It’s a good thing. Timing for me was perfect. My question similar to another – Where is life hitting you now as far as “7” lessons in your life? I felt led to scale back in the food area last month, gratefully my family joined along, are hearts have truly been molded. I’m wondering how to maintain this safely? had my first mission trip back in July, similarly, I wanted to “hold onto” the lessons… in a healthy way. Advise?

    Also, thanks for sharing your adoption story, nothing beams more brightly than the way he brings families together. How have your adopted children adjusted to life, and even the life of “7”?

  17. I read your book and felt like you shared your family and opened your home to us. I didn’t want the book to end. I wanted to know more, see more, do more, hear more!
    I have often wondered about your adoption journey and would love to know how that story has progressed with your children in their new forever home.

  18. I loved the book for the writing, and hated it for the conviction. (I kid, mostly)

    My most burning question:

    How do you balance purchasing organic / local / made in America items versus the higher cost of those items? We want to be eating and purcashing the quality items but what I spend on them in a month (not even in excess) is what someone in a third world country could live on for a year. I can injest the chemicals and support poor labor practices yet be able to give more…or we spend more on ourselves to have products with integrity. It’s a conundrum for me every shopping trip.

    Thanks!

  19. Read your book right when it was released and now my hubby and I are in month 2 of our 7 journey (we did media last month and now food). I am loving this fast thing! Food is h.a.r.d but oh so rich! My burning question is:
    -would love resources for sabbath practices and the readings done at Shabbat
    -would you go through 7 again?
    -have any recipe ideas 🙂
    Love a fan, hungry for more of Jesus, and a momma waiting on her Ethiopian love!
    Suzanne

  20. I am in the middle of reading “7”. I finished reading the Food, Clothes, and Possessions chapters. I am part of a ladies Bible study and we all have enjoyed reading this book and have been busy purging our homes. We are actually having a charity garage sale this weekend, selling our purged items to raise money to feed people over Thanksgiving. You have lit the fire, Jen!

    My question is how has writing “7” changed your life or your way of thinking on a daily basis?

    Thanks, Jen!

  21. How do you stay humble or walk in humility? These lfe steps, heart values, mission statements look different for everyone so how do you stay in relationships with those who have a different set than yours? I’m not talking about relationships that clearly look different but those relationships that have Jesus as the foundation but “up top” just look different. Make sense?

  22. i am wondering on Movie Night the eve of the Sabbath how you choose a movie? It always feels weird to me to try to find a movie that is “honoring” on that resting day. Football on Sunday seems safe as long as it isn’t a god which can be tough enough!! Any suggestions for wise selection???

  23. Hi Jen… I have an excess of stress… sometimes when I’m not stressed but relaxed I feel that something is missing.
    I’m 52 years old, and 5 years divorced (after 26 years of marriage) so my main stress is because I feel so pressured with debts that I cannot handle them anymore. I have 2 sons and a daughter (but their grownups now) my oldest is married and is 30 years old, and he has a daughter (my 2 years old little princess), my daughter is 29 years old, married too and living in San Diego, no children yet; and my youngest, he’s 26 years old not married, (he says he’s not planning to do so until he’s 35)… so all the household responsibility is mine… a new stage in my life has begun but I’m still struggling with it… One thing that I need to confess is that I play BINGO very frequently which I know is the main problem with my stress; I pray a lot and sometimes I feel that God is trying to tell me in different ways to stop doing that… but I’m not listing to him, because I keep doing it.

  24. How do yo live with the push-back from traditional churches/evangelicals/American Cultural Christianity in regards to creation care and social activism (or is this even an issue)? Do you feel any need to “self-censor” within particular segments and fight the good fight silently? (this may be a moot point as you published a book on this whole thing, but I struggle with this as someone in ministry who depends on the support of the American church).

  25. How has “7” impacted you and your family? Have you made revelations that have caused you to change habits?

  26. You should know that Dave Ramsey makes tithing a goal right out of the shoot. And then when you are “living like no one else,” give more! Just thought you should know this about his financial management values.

  27. Hi,
    I just started reading your book about a week ago. I feel like this book is perfect for the current season in my life and my walk with God, so I want to do it myself. I’m getting ready to start with food at the beginning of May, but I’m not sure how to choose my 7 items because I’m vegan. I want to replace the chicken and eggs, but I’m not entirely sure what 2 items would provide the best and equivalent nutritional value over the course of 30 days. Since in the book it says you did some research about this, I was hoping you could help me with this. My current thoughts are to use nits (almonds, cashews, or peanuts) along with beans (black beans, chick peas, or maybe something else). What do you think? Or where could you point me so that I can get help with this?
    Thanks!