Book Review: The Need to "Unstuff" Our Lives

Hayley and Michael DiMarco decided to spend three months downsizing their lives and live in a 200-square-foot motor home with their young daughter as an experiment in what it means like to live with less. They are quick to admit that this was not some easy decision they reached, they reached it more as a means of necessity because they realized the strangle that consumerism and wants and "stuff" had on their lives, even though their day jobs are creating Christian books that aim at helping folks (and teens especially) learn how to walk out their faith in everyday life.

I can relate to this dilemma so much, to love the Lord a great deal and, from many perspectives to have it "together" as a Christian, and yet to be missing so much because of my greed and want for "more."

They share some of this downsizing journey in their new book, Unstuff, which I received a complimentary copy of to review from the Tyndale Blog Network. However, the bulk of the book actually focuses on spelling out why we need to "unstuff" our life, how things in a variety of forms (from possessions to food to church commitments, even) get in the way of a Christ-focused life, and the benefits that cutting back can bring to a variety of situations (not only financially, but also to your relationships, self-esteem, physical health as well as your relationship with God).

The thing is that I get all that. I can see how stuff gets in the way and holds me back from what God intended. But I was really looking forward to getting a deep look into how one young couple actually broke free from their stuff, how they really honestly wrestled through the pangs of wanting more and learning to be content with less. Yet, those details are relegated to small sections scattered throughout the book called "Life on the Road, Day XX" that provide glimpses into how the "experiment" is going, from both the husband's and wife's points of view, but are limited to just a paragraph or two—hardly enough to get a real, raw feel for what it's actually like.

For that reason, I was disappointed by this book. However, they do provide a solid, biblically-based look at all the ways that stuff gets in the way and all the different forms that these distractions can come in. I appreciate the premise of the book and that they actually did something about their desire to cut back; I just wished they would have shared more about that in the book!

Find Unstuff by Hayley and Michael DiMarco on Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you I would have loved to have heard how they unstuffed their lives. I actually just wrote a blog earlier this week on my COG blog about our desire to do that very thing this year.


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