Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Year without a Purchase: our family's question to stop shopping and start connecting by Scott Dannemiller

 ★★★★★ The publisher has provided a copy for review.

This progressive unfolding of family in transition and transformation made me rethink my priorities and possessions.
How do you respond to a challenge? We take so many things for granted - things we say we need (when they are a want). But how do you sort out what you have to replace and what you can live without?

Dannemiller and his wife decide to measure their consumption (or rather non-consumption) by their purpose: "To tirelessly seek God's will by living lives of integrity, owning what we have, growing together in faith, and serving God's people to build a world without need."

How do you set rules for such living? Imagine living by these: 1) buy stuff that can be "used up" within a year. 2) Fix stuff that breaks. 3) Give gifts only in the form of charitable donations or "experience gifts." Sounds like a challenge?

The commitment to the family and to their principles has Dannemiller and his wife thinking through assumptions about the very essentials of life. For example, we're used to throwing away things that are ruined or aging. How could the commitment to repair and reuse affect the world around us - beyond our circles?

The author exposes the unexpected successes and failures of the process of replacing "stuff" with quality of life and deliberate simplification. It's fun to read but beyond that ... if you compare your life to the Dannemiller family's life that year, you'll be surprised, challenged, and amazed at this reality check.

The summary and 8 Practical Ways to handle ownership, grow in faith, and serve are a bonus that wrap up the the story.

How much influence does your "stuff" have on your life? Is this a challenge you need to take?

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