2015 new year decisions


Like a lot of people, I’ve never really considered myself a new years resolution kind of person. Yeah, as a year comes to a close I think of things that I’d maybe like a fresh start on, or things I would like to change or work on, but no specific resolutions have ever come into existence from those thoughts.

Last year, though, I mixed it up a bit.

Shortly after the new year had already begun, I started coming up with some ideas of things I’d like to work on in 2014, and for once I actually wrote them down. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Peaks, Pits, Praises & Prayers at least weekly (I saw this when I first got a Pinterest and love the idea of tracking what God is doing in our lives. I wanted to start making a habit of it).
  2. Take steps towards getting fit & being healthy.
  3. Less imagining, more doing (& stop making excuses).
  4. Read more.

All but the first were very general and simple, without much structure – exactly how a goal you want to achieve shouldn’t be. But for me, it kind of worked. Keeping it general and simple allowed me to not feel like a failure if I didn’t achieve each one to a T. I’ll be honest it does sound like it was kind of a cop out, but at the same time, it was the perfect kind of balance for me and my constant battle to push aside my perfectionist tendencies. In fact, the only goal I made that was actually specific (Peaks, Pits, Praises & Prayers) was the one that I didn’t accomplish in any way, shape or form. The rest of them I was able to make strides in throughout the year, and I feel like I made them habits rather than boxes to check.

Keeping general resolutions allowed them to become more inspirations or themes for my year. It worked for me. By not having a specific measure I didn’t feel like if I fell behind on a goal that all was lost. If I took a couple steps back, I just got back up and started at it again. I looked up what the word “resolution” actually means. Turns out there are a lot of ways to define it, but the one that I liked was “a decision or determination.” That is exactly how I want to view my new year resolutions. Less pressure, but still inspiring – at least for me.

So with all of that said, here are my 2015 decisions/determinations:

1. Reach my goal weight

The past two years have been a period of some weight gain for me, & I’ve learned that regardless of how often, or how little, you’ve struggled with unwanted weight gain in your life, it’s never an easy thing to deal with. That’s one of the reasons I decided on the goal last year to get healthier. This year, I’m just rewording it and making it a little more measurable.

2. Pare down my wardrobe (even more)

2014 was the year that opened my eyes to the world of minimalism and how it can be applied to my daily life. While in California I did a total wardrobe overhaul and removed a lot of pieces from it in order to start living with less. Since moving to Minot I’ve slowly been taking out even more. I still feel like I have far more clothes than I need, so this next year I’d like to keep parting ways with the clothes (& other household goods) that are only taking up space in my closet and drawers, and finding more ways to implement minimalism into my life to make more room for the things in life that matter.

3. Drink more water

2015 decisions

Everyone knows that water is good for you, but when I read this article I was all the more inspired to drink the suggested daily intake of 2-3 liters. Granted following through with this decision makes me have to use the bathroom at least 30 times a day (that might be an understatement), but if it means I’m staying hydrated and healthy then so be it!

4. Read through Systematic Theology

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Last year I joined a group of women in our church to read through Systematic Theology, by Wayne Grudem, in an attempt to become more familiar with the basis for a lot of what we believe. Unfortunately for me, I had to leave this group of women when we left Carbondale, and then I lost the momentum to continue on my own. However, with the new year I would really like to get plugged back into the pages and start over in order to understand more, and also be able to explain better what it is that the Bible says. I would love to be able to finish this book within this year, but I’ll just be realistic about the 1167 Pages and hope for the best.

So overall, these are a bit more specific than last year, but I think I’ve still allowed myself some wiggle room. & more than anything, I just want to keep learning to show myself grace if (& when) I’m not kicking every one of these goals butts. I’m usually a shorter term to-do list kind of person when it comes to actually getting things done, so there are still plenty of things I desire to accomplish with my time, but these are the bigger picture ideas. Plus, I’d still like to maintain the habits and values I incorporated into my life last year too.

So bring it on 2015! I’m ready to take you on a little more motivated, and a little more focused than the year before.

How do you do New Year resolutions?

the purge: tips for minimizing your wardrobe

You wake up in the morning & look into your closet & just stare. You see a closet stuffed with clothes, yet in the sea of shirts, sweaters, & dresses you find that you have nothing to wear. Bring on the feelings of frustration at not having anything you like enough to wear, feelings of insecurity as you try on 10 different outfits only to settle on one that feels a little less “meh” than the others, & feelings of guilt at how you have wasted money on clothes that you’ve maybe worn once or twice. We’ve all been there.

It was mornings like these that brought me to a point where I just didn’t want to feel those feelings anymore. I want to be able to look into my closet & be satisfied with the clothes that I see. I want to be able to pick out an outfit that I feel comfortable & confident in every single day. & back in May I discovered a way to achieve this…or at least work towards achieving this. My eyes were opened to the option to minimize my wardrobe so that I could get rid of all of the clothes that made me feel lousy, insecure, or antsy when I wore them & leave the pieces that I wouldn’t mind grabbing on any given day. There’s the doubt that might be creeping into your mind that says “how can getting rid of clothes solve my problem of having nothing to wear?” & here’s the thing: if you purge out the unwanted & unnecessary items, you’ll remove the roadblocks that stand in the way of your key item pieces. It clears up your vision & frees up your mind to come up with an outfit easier. Does this mean that you might have less to wear? Yeah, it does. But if quantity over quality has led you to a state of “nothing to wear,” then clearly it’s not working out. If you like an outfit, why not wear it more often? If you don’t like a piece of clothing, then why keep it in your closet? These realizations & ideas inspired me. So much so that when we moved into our apartment I couldn’t wait to unpack all of my clothes so that I could go through them & get rid of them.

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I set aside some time one afternoon/evening to go through everything in my closet & dresser. I started with my closet, took everything out & tried on every single piece of clothing – tops, sweaters, dresses, & t-shirts (this one was a big feat because I have a lot of them & have fond memories attached to most of them). I even tried on the clothes that I was pretty sure I would be keeping, because I didn’t want some emotional attachment to blind my vision of what the clothes actually looked like. As I went through each piece I asked myself a lot of questions to determine if it was something I really wanted to stay in my wardrobe. Does it fit? Is it too short? Too tight? Too baggy? Is it flattering to my body shape? Do I feel comfortable in it? Do I feel confident in it? How often do I wear it? When was the last time I wore it? Can I see myself wearing this in the near future? Does it work with the other clothes in my closet? Do I honestly like it? Or am I just tolerating it?

As I answered these questions, I found some pieces were easier to figure out than others. Some were an immediate no. Those ended up in a pile on the floor. Some were a definite yes. Those ended up back on a hanger. Then there were the maybes. The ones that I was still questioning; The ones that I thought might not be a necessity, but I was still attached to; The ones that I thought might be able to be worked into other outfits; The ones that don’t exactly fit me anymore, but could if I stayed committed to working out and losing a few pounds. I took the maybes and put them back on a hanger, but put them in a separate spot in the closet to revisit. I continued on to my dresser & followed the same procedure with my jeans, my shorts, my sweatpants, my socks & intimates, & even my bathing suits. I continued on to my accessories (scarves, belts, jewelry, shoes). I didn’t want to keep anything that was unnecessarily taking up space. By the time I finished trying on everything, I had a pretty massive pile on the floor of items that were no longer going to be a part of what I wore. Then I revisited the maybes. I tried them all on once again. There were some pieces that I was now able to give a more clear answer to. Then there were still some that I wasn’t so sure. The ones that still didn’t have a definite answer I put back along with the yesses. I had future plans (that I’m also very excited to share with you soon!) for these pieces to see if they were worth keeping, so until then I would keep them with the good stuff. (As an update though, I have continued to get rid of a piece here or there as the weeks have gone by as I have settled on a final decision about the piece. So I’m still getting rid of things on a weekly basis). I turned to the giant pile on my floor and sorted through it to create a sell pile, a donate pile, and a trash pile. Then I boxed up the sell & donate piles to follow up with on another day & threw the trash items into the trash (those pieces included items that were either damaged, or unable to be donated). Then I rested peacefully that night knowing I just accomplished a great deal (& had my own fun doing it too).

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So after going through a total purge of my wardrobe, I’m here to share some of the tips I picked up while dwindling down the things that no longer belong.

1. Try on EVERYTHING. If you’re willing to commit to a complete wardrobe overhaul, you should go through & try on everything. & I mean everything. I went through my tops & t-shirts, my jeans & sweatpants, my socks & other intimates, my shoes & accessories. I went through it all. There is no reason to keep anything that is never being worn & is unnecessarily taking up space. It’s also unreasonable to hang on to clothes that don’t fit right, or that you don’t even really like that much. Not only are these pieces physically taking up space, but they’re also adding to the mass amounts of stuff that you have to choose from every day. These are the things that can cloud your vision when you’re trying to decide what to wear that can make you feel like you have nothing to wear when staring at a full dresser & closet.

2. Question everything. What I mean by this is really think about each piece in your wardrobe. Ask yourself some targeted questions to help make decisions about whether or not an item is worthy of staying in your closet. Here are the questions I mentioned before that I found myself asking as I went through every item in my wardrobe:

Does it fit? Is it too short? Too tight? Too baggy?
Is it flattering to my body shape?
Do I feel comfortable in it?
Do I feel confident in it?
How often do I wear it? When was the last time I wore it?
Can I see myself wearing this in the near future?
Does it work with the other clothes in my closet?
Do I honestly like it? Or am I just tolerating it?

Sometimes we get so used to the clothes in our closet that we don’t really think about how we actually feel about them. Asking yourself these questions can help narrow down where the problems are with your clothes. & they help to determine whether or not a piece is really worth keeping. Plus, as a bonus, they can help you pinpoint what looks you actually like.

3. Be honest with yourself. From the get-go it’s important to approach this task with the right mindset, otherwise you may end up justifying a lot and not accomplish the goal you set out to achieve. We have a lot of those items that we hang on to just because. They may have sentimental meaning. We may have had it a long time & aren’t quite ready to part with it. We may have just bought it last week & feel like we need to put it to use. We may have received it as a gift, but feel bad getting rid of it. There may be the pieces that we really love, but they just don’t fit like they used to (thanks a lot stupid dryer!). If you’re not honest with yourself when you’re answering the questions from number two, you’re not going to have a very successful purge. You’ll just end up justifying why you should hang on to things. If you’re serious about purging, then you need to blunt with yourself. It can be painful to see so much go out the window, but it can really help release your attachment to things that take up too high of a spot on your priority list.

4. Be systematic. This may just stem from my naturally organized personality, but having a method to your madness & sticking to it can significantly help you plow through this task more quickly & efficiently.

5. Set aside time for it. If you are going to go through every item in your wardrobe, odds are it’s going to take awhile. I found it best to try to do it in one sitting so I could stay focused & motivated. If you don’t have large chunks of time to spare, break it up. Maybe tackle your shirts one afternoon, then visit your pants on another, and the rest on another. But at least devote some chunk of time so that you can stay focused on the task at hand.

6. Phone a friend. If you need some help deciding on some pieces (especially those pesky maybes), having someone there to give you an outsiders opinion can be beneficial. I had the convenience of my husband to ask what he thought of a piece I was unsure about. (Extra Credit marriage tip: the other plus side to having a hubs to ask is finding out what he likes on you so that your wardrobe is not only satisfying to you, but appealing to him.) You can also ask a roommate, family member, or friend that is willing to be honest (yet loving) with you to help.

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As tough as it was to make so many decisions, I was really happy with the outcome of my wardrobe purge. It has freed up a lot of space in my closet & drawers, as well as in my mind. I got rid of a lot of unnecessary stuff that I didn’t need ruining my mornings anymore. & I feel a lot better about the clothes I have to choose from now. I would rather have a wardrobe made up of fewer quality, favored pieces, than one made up of mass amounts of less appealing, not-so-likable items. I would rather wear my favorite shirts throughout my days and be happy, comfortable, & confident, than suck it up when I wear a below average outfit in order to justify the amount of items I have in my closet. We should all be wearing things that we love & feel great in. & we should all be doing that all the time.

If you want further inspiration for minimizing your wardrobe, I would highly recommend checking out Un-Fancy. Caroline’s capsule wardrobe & outfit ideas are definitely worth checking out. This is hands down the blog that I look most forward to seeing each day. It has given me such significant inspiration in my minimizing process. I haven’t quite committed to a capsule wardrobe yet, but I see it being a definite possibility in my future.

So what about you guys? Do have any tips or tricks that you’ve discovered to help purge your wardrobe?

no make up month: part two

I officially packed away my make up on July 14. That means I have now gone over two whole months without a drop of it on my face. In part one I explained why I chose to create this challenge for myself, but now I’m excited to tell you about how it has impacted my face, & more importantly, my heart.

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The most obvious change (& perk) in the past two months is how getting ready is a breeze now. I throw on an outfit (which has become much easier with a new tactic of mine. I’ll be sharing about this in the days to come), brush my teeth, and I’m good to go. If we’re doing something worthy of a nicer hair-do other than my natural long locks or a bun, then I plan for it. I’ve had no frustration. No feelings of defeat. No icky moods. It’s basic. It’s easy. It’s freeing. & it’s amazing how quickly I can be ready to head out the door. Talk about minimal living!

This next change may be all in my head, but I feel as if my face has brightened up. Now this could be from the glow of the California sun, but I’ll get real honest here & confess to you the disappointing fact that I have failed miserably at my goal of getting the most tan I’ve ever been while being in California. I’m not much more tan than I was when I came out here (that’s embarrassing). So honestly, I don’t think that’s it. Without my make up it seems like dark circles under my eyes are a thing of the past. Or, if I do have them, I’m not as attentive to them anymore. I feel fresh. I feel bright.

Another simple change that I anticipated was that I don’t have to be concerned about my make up smearing or wearing off throughout the day because I don’t have any on to begin with. There are no surprises when I look myself in the mirror (except maybe the constant wonder at how eyebrow hairs grow in so fast that they seem to appear out of nowhere – surely I can’t be the only one who ponders over this). When I do look in the mirror, I see my face. Not the make up. Not the cover up. Not the worn off eyeliner. But the real deal. The beauty that the Lord made in me in all its natural goodness. & as a response I shout out a little “Thanks God” in my head. Because he has shown me so much grace over the years in this small part of my life, and I’m finally embracing what it is that he calls beautiful all on its own.

I did still reach an ultimate test on this matter – because what’s a challenge if it’s not at all challenging. That test came in the disguise of the inevitable, occasional zit (oh the horror!). The mornings I’ve woken up with a pesky pimple forming on my chin have been the mornings that I briefly considered reaching for my foundation. Alas, I did not. & ya know what, I got over it (after a couple statements to the hubs that sounded suspiciously like complaints. Whoops!). Yes, I’d still be a little self conscious about the one spot on my face & look at it in the mirror periodically throughout the day, but the truth of that matter is, it goes away. Even if I did cover up that unwelcome nuisance with make up I would still be worried about it just as much. & since I wasn’t adding any additional oil or product to my face it likely cleared up much faster. I call that a win.

But let’s get down to the heart of the matter. Throughout this process I’ve had quite a few people tell me that I don’t look too different without make up. & the truth is, I don’t. I, as my own worst critic, obviously notice the minute differences, but other people don’t see too much change since I didn’t wear that much to begin with. Some people have told me “you’re one of those people that doesn’t need make up. You’re naturally beautiful without it”. & to those people I first say another heartfelt thank you for your kind, flattering, encouraging words. But the concern that rose within me was that every time it was spoken to me it came with a tone of exclusion. Like these people we’re saying this about me, but not believing it about themselves. & to that I say, rubbish.” I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again: I did NOT do this to draw attention to myself. I did this so that I could realize & begin to firmly believe that my natural beauty is more than enough. & that all women (& even men too – we’re not excluding you fellas) are made stunningly. That each & every one of us is beautiful, because God says so & because He made us to be so. When you’re looking to the world’s standards or definitions, you can lose yourself. You can feel like you don’t fit or measure up. But I’m here to say & continue saying that the world is WRONG. Who are “they” to say that God’s creation isn’t good enough? Who are “they” to try & change what God already made to be lovely? What “they” have to say is rubbish, I tell you! Embrace these truths. Believe them about yourself. Don’t waste anymore time believing the lies. You. Are. Beautiful.

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This has been an even better experience than I ever anticipated it to be, especially considering no make up month has turned into no-make-up-two-months-so-far (although that doesn’t have as nice of a ring to it). I’ve experienced God’s grace & love abound in my heart. It’s made more of an impact on my life than I even intended. Probably because it was not simply about accomplishing a challenge. It was not about doing it just to do it. It has been much more than that. It’s come from something that has been rooted deep in my soul. It’s been motivated by the desire to shove away my temptations & run toward Jesus. So it hasn’t been just a month long challenge for me. It’s been a heart matter. It’s been a lifestyle change. & It has been incredibly reassuring & affirming to feel so broken off from the feeling that I need make up to go anywhere. I’m filled with hope in Jesus for the road that I am on.

no make up month: part one

[Disclaimer: For those who follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may remember back in July I posted that I would be declaring the next month “No Make Up Month” for myself. I didn’t give much of an in depth explanation knowing that I was planning for this blog to get started up, and hoped to share more about it here. So after completing a month+ of wearing no make up I’m hear to finally explain what it’s all about.]

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This is my typical make up routine for days that I leave the house: Start off with a little coconut oil as a moisturizer. Apply a layer of powder foundation to even out my complexion. Draw some eyeliner along my water line (but not on my eyelid because Lord knows I’ve tried & failed at that enough times to give up). Depending on the day’s activities some mascara might make an appearance, which usually will be proceeded by frustratingly wiping away the multiple smudges I made in putting it on, meaning those spots will be touched up with a little more powder. Possibly repeat the last step if I smudge it again (frustration x2).

& that’s it. A basic routine with all drug store brand make up. It’s nothing extravagant or special. Yet despite the simplicity, it’s still one that becomes frustrating at times for a girl lacking make up skills like myself. I never bothered to gain those skills while growing up, so I’ve always kept it simple. & I’ve always been content with that – well, the simplicity part at least. But I’ve still spent some mornings feeling defeated as I’ve had to fix the spots around my eye for the third time because I just couldn’t get that mascara on without smearing or clumping some of it (I’m sure the few male readers I have are totally identifying with the struggle). Then I kick off my day in a lame, if not bad mood (because I’m a woman, & we’re just too darn sensitive sometimes).

I could have taken the time to learn more techniques to diminish my struggles, but in all honesty the thought of that sounds horribly displeasing to me. So I’ve just stuck to it, hoping that I’d eventually get better. & some days are okay, but other days are spent being overly dissatisfied over such an insignificant matter.

I’m not even sure when I came to believe that I needed make up to feel prettier. I used to use the excuse that I wore eyeliner to make myself look more awake (because morning’s & me have never gotten along if it’s before 8 a.m. or I don’t get more than 8-9 hours of peaceful sleep). Yet by the end of most days my eyeliner has worn off enough that I have even darker circles under my eyes than I started with. Then at some point I added mascara into the mix. Why? Probably because that’s what everyone else was doing (along with telling each other to jump off a bridge, I’m sure).

As discussed here, our transition out to California has led to the decision to live my life more minimally. Since this time I’ve spent a lot of my days doing things around home without really leaving our apartment. Therefore, I don’t give make up a second thought. & let me tell you, it’s a nice break on those days to not have the grimy feeling of a layer of unnatural product on my face. It’s a relief to be able to rub my eye when it itches without worrying about messing up my eye make up. & it’s especially great to not get a headache at the end of the day from it (the headaches most likely being caused by my make up irritating my contacts & eyes). The more days I was spending without make up, the more I thought about taking a break from it. I could save a good chunk of time in my morning routine because I wouldn’t be fussing over it. And if I did that I’d also save myself from the irritation and frustration I explained above. AND I’d be irritating my hubs a whole lot less because I wouldn’t always be running late to go somewhere when I didn’t plan for the reapplication step of the process.

In the midst of pondering these thoughts, God did what he usually does when I spend time thinking over life changes. He gave me the extra push. A friend of mine posted Colbie Caillet’s music video for her song “Try,” found below. & I cried.

This was a beautiful encouragement, motivation, & inspiration to me to fully embrace my God-given beauty as it is. I haven’t been doubting that I’m beautiful. But I have been struggling to believe that I’m beautiful enough. There are days that I feel like I don’t measure up because I don’t look as good as this girl, or that one. The truth is we are all fearfully & wonderfully made in God’s image, therefore we shouldn’t feel like we need to add anything to us to look or feel beautiful. We don’t need to spend time covering up our insecurities or “enhancing” our look to measure up to other women. We’re already called beautiful by the God who created the amazingly beautiful world we live in. He’s made the mountains & the oceans & & the stars & the flowers. He makes the sunsets & the sunrises. He’s seen & made the most magnificent sights on earth. & he still calls US beautiful. That is such a heartwarming, encouraging, & freeing word to a woman who has given into the lie that she’s doesn’t measure up in her appearance & as a result has let it become a controlling & life-stealing idol in her life this past year.

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Make up in itself isn’t the evil I’ve been facing. Sometimes it does make me look & feel [extra] pretty. It’s nice to get dolled up for a fancier occasion. But I don’t want to be enslaved by the belief that I need it. I don’t want to get caught into the mindset that I need it to look good on an everyday basis – especially when I’m doing something that clearly doesn’t necessitate it (like going to the beach or playing volleyball, which I’m guilty of putting on some make up for both). & so I have been breaking this chain in my life that has held me back for too long. I made the decision to pack up & lock away my already minimal make up collection for the entirety of a month so that I could open the locks on my heart. As I did, the word FREEDOM just bellowed in my soul. Due to my minimal efforts in the make up department already, this wasn’t a huge shift in what I looked like. But that’s not what it’s about. It’s one small step for pushing back against my temptations, & one giant leap for freeing my soul. (That’s how the phrase goes right?)

I didn’t do this to gain attention for myself. I was never fishing for the compliments I received after posting about this (although they were very affirming & kind). But I did this to bring more awareness to the fight that I know many women are battling. One that discourages & tears down & strangles women on a daily basis. I’m here to tell each and every one of you that you are beautiful. You are enough. You don’t have to try. You are cherished. & you are loved. Simply because of who God created you to be.

I’m SO looking forward to sharing with you soon about how the last month+ of no make up has gone for me. Be on the lookout for that update soon. Until then, maybe it’s time for you to give yourself a break from the things that are holding you back or tearing you down. If that’s the case for you, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to comment below, or contact me by email.

Check out Part Two here.

less is more

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Living out of a suitcase can really change the way that you get ready for the day. I learned that throughout the process of wrapping up our life in Southern Illinois and moving to our new home in California back in May. Due to the military move, the majority of our possessions were packed away in a moving truck and had a five day head start on us across the country, leaving us with the essentials (granted our “essentials” meant two cars jam packed with far more than we needed for that time period, but it was a quick & last minute move so cut us some slack!). As we road tripped across the country, I had to lug around a suitcase that contained enough of the actual essentials so that I could shower, get dressed, & be somewhat presentable each day. After arriving to Vandenberg, we spent the following 12 days living in base housing (a.k.a. another hotel) while we waited for our apartment to be ready for us to move in. 12 more days of living in limbo and out of a suitcase. It felt inconvenient at times to not have all of my stuff in one place. And yet an unexpected feeling of freedom came upon me throughout those days with my wardrobe. It started to feel pretty nice that I had a limited set of options to choose from each day. I had less room to doubt whether or not I wanted to wear what I first picked out, which meant less room for frustration when I couldn’t make a decision. I found myself recycling outfits simply because I didn’t get more than a few hours use of out them, and I liked what I put together, so why not wear it again? It was simpler. It was more practical. It was freeing.

And it got me to thinking: what if I lived like this all the time?

Thoughts of reorganizing my closet and getting rid of the [many] things I didn’t need started running through my head. With all my spare time I utilized the handy dandy woman’s power tool of Pinterest to search for information on minimizing. Not only did I find ideas on slimming down one’s wardrobe, but I found blogs about people that were decluttering and minimizing their entire lives. I found one in particular from a couple years back about a family that committed to do one thing every day for an entire year to minimize their life. This ranged from downsizing the amount of items in their closet, to cleaning out their email inbox, to changing all of their light bulbs to energy efficient ones. I spent an entire night reading through the archives and growing more and more inspired. By the time I was halfway through, I couldn’t wait to have all of our stuff back so that I could rummage through it all & get rid of it.

My motivation, however, was not just for the sake of accomplishment in getting rid of the excess. I wanted to find freedom in loosening my grip on so many material possessions and just stuff that I have stored up over time and have no need for. I wanted to live more practically and less distracted. I wanted to live with the mindset of storing up my treasures in heaven.

I was even further inspired as I came across a post on the blog I mentioned before entitled “When Decluttering Hurts.” The following was stated in the process of the writer decluttering her kitchen:

“The truth is, decluttering should be hard. I should be standing in my kitchen with tears streaming down my face, beating my breast and calling out to God over all the times I wandered through stores full of fragile items, justifying myself as I put things I don’t need into my cart. I should be on my knees repenting for caring more about polka dot dishes than starving orphans. I should be begging God to never let me forget again that we are here for something so much better than spending and consuming and storing up treasure here on this broken earth. We are here to touch lives. We are here to spend our lives on HIM.”

BOOM. She hit that nail on the head. In fact, she hit it about a hundred times into my heart. It was the conviction and motivation I needed to be reminded that I am not meant to be wasting myself or my time on this earth away, but that I am to live with purpose – and there are so many things in my life that I let stand in the way of that.

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It was about time I started cutting the heartstrings that have been distracting me from my relationship with God and my purpose(s) in life. Since May, I’ve been finding practical ways to minimize, declutter, and downsize my home and my life, and I look forward to sharing it all in the days to come. So consider this the beginning. Because this is just the start of the process for me. Stay tuned for my tactics on dwindling down my wardrobe, the story of how I spent an entire night organizing my craft & office supplies, the impact purging my possessions has had on me, and more. This may not be anything too thrilling for you, but for me, it has been a wild adventure as I make slight changes to my life in order to make a bigger impact. & I hope that someone, anyone, is motivated to reduce the amount of excess in their lives along the way.