*This week’s Monday post veers from our regular family liturgy to offer this review of a book that will be of interest to Practicing Families readers.
More than Enough: Living Abundantly in a Culture of Excess by Lee Hull Moses. Westminster Johnn Knox Press: Louisville, 2016 (136 pages)
A while back I had an idea that I should write a book about living simply. Or rather, I should write a book about NOT living simply enough. Or rather, I should write about how complicated simple living is and how I just can’t be Amish or afford to do all my shopping at the natural foods grocery store or research every pair of underwear I buy to make sure it wasn’t made by six-year-olds somewhere, but I’m not blind and I know all this STUFF is awful or at least a lot of it is but it’s just too exhausting so I end up putting a frozen pizza in the oven and watching Netflix.
You can see how I never quite managed to get a coherent book out of that. Fortunately for all of us, Practicing Families contributor Lee Hull Moses had similar—though much more coherent—ideas that she has explored in a lovely little book titled More than Enough: Living Abundantly in a Culture of Excess.
In More than Enough, Moses asks a question that should be central for U.S. Christians: How do we live faithfully with abundance? She looks at biblical teachings from creation and Moses to the Psalms, to the words and actions of Jesus. She considers the implications of a variety of life choices from buying Christmas presents to honoring the Sabbath to taking vacations to shopping at Costco. And she deftly connects our personal lives with larger issues such as global economic realities, systemic injustice in our communities, and globalization.
Moses writes out of her own struggles and readily shares examples from her life—stories of choices she has made and how they have or have not been or maybe were at least a little bit faithful. While her conversational style and concrete examples are helpful for anyone wrestling with these complicated questions about lifestyle and faith, More than Enough is a particularly wonderful resource for those of us trying to navigate these choices while we raise children.
The book does not hand out easy answers, but it does offer this encouragement for those of us who want to help ourselves and our families live abundantly in a culture of excess: “We have to do some things differently, even if it’s hard. . . . We need to do better, and we need to give ourselves and everybody else a little grace” (28).
Do better. Give grace.
And when this book is released on October 10, consider giving it to yourself as a gift. As one small step along the journey as you seek to live your complicated life ever more faithfully.
–Reviewed by Joanna Harader