Saturday, December 31, 2016

intentionality 2017

I like January 1st.

It's actually one of my favorite days of the entire year.

Next to my birthday. That's always my favorite.

And I don't feel bad not saying Jesus's birthday is my favorite, because we don't actually know what day that was.

See how I did that? Boom. You're welcome.

Back to January 1st.

January 1st is like a new cozy blanket that just came out of the dryer.

It's that good. You wrap it around yourself and you feel totally untouchable.

Like nothing bad can even come in your direction, and you could probably fly if you wanted to.

But then February comes creeping in like a cold breeze, gusting towards you through the front door that your brother left open.

And then she snatches all that warm cozy goodness out of your life and jolts you back to reality.

I'm a real optimist over here. Again, you're welcome.

So, I started thinking about my 2017 theme back in August, because, well, I'm an overachiever.

And I wondered how I could potentially keep the momentum we all get in January and keep it going throughout the year.

You know, when the gym is the BEST idea you've ever had, and you are FINALLY going to get organized?

That momentum. The momentum that dies somewhere around January 30th and February 1st.

Back to the topic at hand though.....

I seriously contemplated keeping simplicity for another year.

You know, like a Simplicicity 2.0 - real creative.

It just taught me so much, and I felt like I grew more than I ever had in previous years.

But, I couldn't shake the feeling that doing the theme for another year would set me back rather than propel me forward.

I firmly believe in doing my themes for a year, learning all I can, and then letting them go.

Kind of like moving through grades in school. Maybe you don't learn everything perfectly in the 5th grade, but you aren't really supposed to. You learn it the best you can, and then you graduate to 6th grade.

In lieu of doing another year of simplicity, I started focusing on everything simplicity had taught me.

Honing in on those specifics, and then vision casting what I could do with those things.

Simplicity showed me how much more capacity I have for things and people than I realize. It revealed to me that which I truly value, and that which I don't care about one way or the other.

Simplicity exposed where I rely on myself instead of relying on God. And it taught me that in order to get what you want, you have to let go.

That's when I landed on this theme of intentionality.

I realized that I could take the things I had learned, focus intently on them, and see what a year of focus does for my life.

For Example:

I want to read more books. Which means I will probably be watching less tv.
I want to watch less tv. Which means I will need to be intentional about when I do and don't want it.
I want to build my side hustle. Which means I just might have time if I watch less tv and put away my cellphone.
I want to be more productive.
I want to continue my wellness journey.
I want to go back to school.

Simplicity showed me I have the capacity for all these things, but I am hoping Intentionality will show me I have the time, determination and drive as well.

I think sometimes I give up before seeing the end result or seeing something through to fruition.
And I want to challenge myself to push through the ugly in order to get to what I really want.

I want to see if I am really capable of all the things I think I am in my head.
I want my daydreams to become reality.
I want to whole heartedly seek God and know Him better.

Again, much like last year, I am not sure where this journey will take me, but I'm happy to be on it.

Stay tuned.... I'm talking about television next... And it might get gnarly...


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

simplicity 2016: a year in the life

366 days ago, I sat on a sunny, albeit breezy beach in Southern California, thinking about this idea of simplicity.

To be honest, my mind was spinning, and I felt overwhelmed AND excited at the same time.

There was something really appealing about living my life with less stuff. I traveled lightly most of the time, and that was nice. So I thought that living the same way might also be a nice change of pace.

But I had this hesitation....

I had read for years about people who were super organizers and had achieved minimalism nirvana by living in a white walled apartment with only 12 items to their name.

And while simplifying was practically screaming my name, I was almost 100% positive I didn't want my life to look like that. Because that looked like a cult. No thank you.

Over the past year, simplicity has taken on many forms, emotions, experiences and paths. None bad. All teachable moments in my life.

To continue something I started last year, I give you my Year in the Life: A Recap of Simplicity

January - Oh January, you glorious month of new beginnings and fresh starts. You are the most motivating and the most empowering. But that's what makes you sneaky... Because by the end of those first 31 days, I start to ask myself what have I gotten into this time. I got rid of some dresses. I attacked my budget, and I realized once again, that I cannot sit still.

February - I learned a long time ago to pray for magical, beautiful, big things and then expect Jesus to show off and come through for me. And He did. In the form of a sunset. The most divine sunset. The most heartfelt answer to prayer, because I think Jesus was saying to me that the deepest desires of my heart were coming. Coming soon.

March - March, you were crazy busy. But loads of fun. I took a work trip. I met a really cool girl who came to Serve Seattle. I got some earrings from Africa, and I got to see two of my favorite humans. It was rad.

April - Finally... I planted my garden. And by garden, I mean I planted cilantro and parsley. And some basil that never grew. But I did it. So that was a cool thing.

May - Apparently nothing excited happened in May. Because I didn't blog at all. Oh wait... my friend Dawn got married and I met my best friend's sweet little boy. So those were cool.... :)

June - Once upon a time I thought I was going to get my identity hacked and I kept all the receipts. And I mean all of them. I also fangirled over Joshua Becker. I'm not ashamed of that. At all.

July - This was a sobering month. I reflected hard core on my privilege as a white woman. I asked questions and sat with the answers. If you have never done that, please start. We all have a lot to learn.

August - I like to think I can accomplish all the things. All the time. At the same time. For eternity. I cannot. So I started trying to focus on 1-2 things at a time. It's hard. But it's nice. The shuttle express driver woke up my landlords and I stressed out about the trash under my sink. But even those were good things. I think...

September - Jesus has a lot to say about simplicity, if I will only listen to Him. Thought I could learn it in a month. Haha. I'm hilarious.

October - I'm a firm believer that I have learned more about life from my grandmothers than any other humans on earth. Oh, and in my next life? I wanted to be a honey bee. Or a yoga instructor. Or both. A yoga instructing honey bee.

November - No Spend November is apparently a really popular thing. And I suck at it. Because I like food. And books. But hey, I found out instant coffee is gross. So that has to count for something.

December - I wore the same dress for a month. And it was delightful and stress free. No sarcasm. I'm being serious. Oh, and in case you were wondering? Jesus was a minimalist. And a pretty darn good one.

I thought about being really inspiring and stuff here at the end, but if you are still reading, I want to reward you and keep it brief. You're welcome.

Simplicity is my most favorite theme to date.

It's like a really good friend who has to move away, but you know you will always be able to pick up where you left off. And that's such a comforting feeling.

As with my other themes, I want simplicity to become a part of who I am. Another way of being. Something that is now so ingrained, I don't even think twice when I practice it.

My most treasured take away is the one that says, "simplicity is about having the most room in your heart for the things that matter..."

2016, you've been divine.
2017, I'm ready for you.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

simplicity 2016: anything in a dress

Last year I counted the dresses in my closet.

31. 31 dresses, a majority of them unworn.

This year, I chose one dress.

One dress to wear for the entire month.

Why? Because... simplicity.

Last year I participated in Dressember, did fundraising, took pictures, read books and opened my mind to that which makes me deeply saddened and at times, helpless.

This year, I chose to do it again.

But, with this theme of simplicity, I wanted to be more intentional.

I wanted to be less focused on myself, and more focused on the cause.

I thought that maybe if I wore the same dress for the entire month, it would free up my mind to focus on things that have greater meaning.

I thought that if I wasn't thinking about how to outfit myself for the day, I could devote 10 minutes more each day to fighting for freedom.

At the end of the month, that's 310 minutes. Over three hours. Not necessarily a lot, but it's something.

The first few days were annoying. Which is such a first world problem, but it's still true.

I was trying to figure out different ways to wear the dress. Trying to mix it up a little. Also trying to stay warm. Because....winter.

Around day five, I really wanted to not wear it anymore. I wanted my jeans and hoodies.

I felt bored.

Which is exactly where I think I needed to be.

So I pushed on, and kept wearing that dress.

To every single Christmas party. To every staff event. To every church function.

The same dress.

Day fourteen was the shift. And I thought it would be.

Two weeks in seemed ample time to feel like I was getting into this new rhythm and habit.

I figured out how to wear it in the most comfortable way.
People weren't commenting on it anymore.
In fact, I don't think people were even noticing.

I was posting my pics each day, really and truly able to focus on how I wanted to share the message and focus on what I was truly asking people to do.

Then, this weekend, it hit me.

I mentioned before that I was bored with the dress after the first few days.

I think I was bored because I actually have found quite a bit of my identity in how I look and in how I present myself.

In college, I would not leave the dorm without making sure my outfit was on point, my lashes looked good and my hairs were unmovable. #hairsprayfordays

There was a lot of focus on me. And honestly, I don't think that was the healthiest of things.

I don't think there is anything wrong with looking nice, or wanting to be your best. Not at all.

Because this month, I have tried to look my best and make this dress look good.

I just know myself. And all my focus on the outward appearance was just a cover for some deeply rooted insecurities.

But, this month. That shifted.

And it just seems like wearing the same dress every day for the entire month seems to have put a few things in perspective for me.

  1. People do not love me because of what I wear, or how I look. People love me for me.
  2. Some people think it's really weird to wear the same thing every day. I don't. As long as I am neat and clean, I don't really care if it's the same thing.
  3. I feel like I am working smarter, not harder. 
  4. Wearing the same thing consecutively might become a habit.
  5. I think Jesus wants me to focus less on vanity, and more on substance.
  6. My feelings of self worth are more solid now than they were a month ago.
  7. Consistency doesn't have to feel suffocating, it can actually feel quite freeing.

Maybe some of these won't make any sense to you. Or maybe they will.

All I know is, I have spent the last month in the exact same dress, and I think it's one of the best things I've done for myself in a long time.

Dressember has this saying, "You can do anything in a dress." And I know this to be true. Not because I have spent the last month doing it, but because I grew up doing it.

Growing up, you wore dresses all day, every day - if you were a girl that is. It was this really legalistic and controlling thing, and honestly, it was pretty damaging to a lot of my friends.

So when Dressember first appeared on my radar, I was skeptical. 

Skeptical if it would really be that big of a deal for me. 

Skeptical if my friends who still choose to wear only dresses would be able to jump on board and want to participate.

This year, I think I finally got over that skepticism. 

It doesn't matter what the past narrative has been, or what I fear the future narrative will be. 

What matters is that there is a platform to talk about freedom. 

And as women, we are powerful advocates to affect long lasting change.

I guess that's the other thing this dress has taught me. 

The past doesn't have to control the future. But it should propel us forward to make it better.

Who would've thought? I learned all that from a dress.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

simplicity 2016: jesus the minimalist

Last week, I got to share about this topic of simplicity with my intern family at Serve Seattle.

Maybe this is super silly, but you guys, it was so much fun.

The process of gathering information, researching, compiling everything I've learned, creating a power point, sharing with the group and then being on the podcast - it was all amazing.

I think sharing what Jesus is doing in your life should feel amazing, right?

When my friend Kyle asked me to speak on simplicity, I asked him if there was anything in particular he thought I should land on. His response was basically just this, "Yeah, just share your journey and then also share what Jesus says about simplicity."

Oh yeah... Jesus.


Sometimes, I get pretty involved in my projects, and forget to check back in with the Lord about it.

I hear what He wants me to focus on loud and clear, but then I forget to check back and see if there is more He wants to say.

In preparation for this talk, I was amazing at what Jesus had to say about minimalism and simplicity.

For instance.....

The Rich Young Ruler - This dude. This dude said he wanted to follow Jesus. Even become one of the disciples. But when Jesus asked him to do exactly as the disciples had done, and give up everything to follow Him, he just couldn't let go. His things and the false sense of comfort they gave him mattered more in the moment than the life changing act of following Jesus. If I am being totally honest, I am not sure that I wouldn't have also hesitated. Because as much as I love Jesus, and as much as I try to practice simplicity, I still get alot of joy from my things...

Mary and Martha - Jesus comes to hang out. Mary sits and learns. Martha storms around the house being pissed because her sister isn't helping her. Jesus tells Martha to calm the heck down and be more like Mary. I usually feel sorry for Martha, because it totally would've been me, but not this time. This time it stood out to me that Jesus never asked Martha to do all that extra work. He just wanted to teach her. He wanted to give her a gift that most women would never get to have. And she was cleaning. Priorities Martha.

Breakfast on the Beach - You know how in the book of John, Jesus makes breakfast for the disciples on the beach? What stood out to me in that story was that Jesus prepared this simple meal, in a simple way, in a simple place so that the purpose of fellowship wouldn't be lost. How often do I try to plan the perfect thing only to have the heart of the matter be lost in the process.

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, but I really was. Jesus had so much to say about our relationship to our stuff and His desire for us to focus on the things that matter.

I still feel like I have a long way to go, but man, this year has been a lot into perspective for me.

My five most reflective take away's were:

  1. Less stuff means less managing which means more time for the things I love.
  2. Handling the unknowns and the curve balls of life feels less terrifying.
  3. I am a better listener because my mind isn't full of things that don't matter.
  4. Making decisions based on what I want not what I think other people expect me to do.
  5. Jesus wants really good things for me, and He is bring them into my life now that the unnecessary is out
There are a hundred other things I could write, but then this would be a book and that's not #simplicity.

Maybe you are thinking about a life that is simpler, more easy, less overwhelming and stressful. I'm by no means an expert, but I can say that it's changed how I am walking through this season of life. 

It's changing how I interact with people and it's changing how I decide what I want my future to look like. 

Which is an incredible empowering thing to feel. And that's what it's really about. The journey and what we gain by traveling it. Not just what's at the other end waiting for us.

"The goal of simplicity is not to have the least amount of stuff; it's to have the most room in your heart for things that matter."

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

simplicity 2016: dressember

"So wait, you're wearing the same dress. For the entire month?"

This is the question that I have gotten the most when I tell people about my plan for Dressember.

For those that don't know, Dressember is an anti-trafficking awareness campaign that takes place every December. Women around the globe commit to wearing a dress every day for the entire month. 

They take photos in their dresses and share on social media. They also raise money that goes to two grant partners that work to rescue individuals directly out of trafficking situations. 

It's pretty cool.

But the thing is, just wearing a dress doesn't rescue people.

Wearing a dress starts a conversation.

And by having conversations, we educate. And hopefully change some narratives and stories that are out there regarding women.

That is, where I believe, the power really lies. When we change the narrative in our head, and when we are more open to the action steps that need to happen, change occurs.

So why the same dress.

When I decided to practice a year of simplicity, I knew I wanted it to permeate every area of my life that it could. Even Dressember.

So, in keeping with my theme, I will be wearing the same dress for the entire month.

I didn't think I would care one way or the other if I wore the same thing. I mean, I wear the same jeans all week sometimes.

But in total transparency, I got up this morning and felt a twinge of sadness as I looked at all the clothes that were just going to sit there for a month.

Which sounds so silly. To be sad that clothes will be left unworn. But, silly or not, I felt it.

And that's one reason why I think this process will be good for me.I think it will be good to not focus so much on what I wear. But instead, to focus on the issue of human trafficking.

To focus on raising as much money as we can to fund rescue missions. To become more educated about how I can get involved with local organizations that are fighting this evil. To get outside of myself and realize my privilege. To ask questions and be curious about things that are happening outside my sphere. And work to change the things that take away the freedom and dignity of others.

And if wearing the same dress every day for a month gives me the space to do that, then I think it is a good thing.

The Dressember campaign has a quote, "The heart of Dressember is FREEDOM -- that every woman has the right to live a vibrant and autonomous life."

This is probably the single most inspiring thing about this campaign -- at least for me. The truth that every woman (man and child) has the right to freedom, dignity and respect.

And that's a message I want to share with the world. Because I think that mentality can change the world.


***if you are interested in participating, or in joining my team - click here for more info

Sunday, November 13, 2016

simplicity 2016: instant coffee is gross

Last post I blabbed on and on about how great it is to shop with cash and how much popcorn I eat.

This week I am going to blab about how I am a big fat liar and the cash keeps disappearing from my wallet.

Oh, and I am also going to blab about the fact that I will never give up popcorn.

Do you hear me?


Real talk though? I was seriously considering giving up on this paying in cash thing this week.

Because by Wednesday I had spent all but $5 of my weekly budget.

Yes, you read that correctly.

By Wednesday.

Sheesh. What is wrong with me....


With my aforementioned $5, I took myself to Target Wednesday evening because I needed some ish.

Some lady stuffs, some coffee cream, some coffee. Stuff that is super boring but I am telling you about it anyway.

So, you're welcome.

I honestly do not know why I walked so confidently into the store. Like, $5 wasn't going to get all that stuff.

Okay, I actually forgot I needed coffee when I first walked in, and that's probably why my walk was so confident. Because when I realized that I needed coffee after grabbing my other stuff, I panicked.

Because... coffee.... #neednotwant

Yeah, I almost broke down and bought some of those delicious beans with my debit card right then and there. They were calling my name. Loudly and quite provocatively to be honest. Skanky beans...

But NO! I made a commitment dang it! And I was going to keep it.....

Even though I really love coffee (insert lots of tears)

All of a sudden, I had this idea. What about sample packs of coffee? Surely Target had to have something like that.

And they did. Just not for a dollar. Which is all I had left. #dangit

Then I saw it. Smiling down on me with it's obviously cheap packaging and super affordable price tag.

Instant coffee.

Specifically, Cuban instant coffee.

Because it was $.25 cheaper than Folgers instant coffee.

I'll shoot straight with you guys... I should've paid the extra $.25

This stuff tasted like that instant cappuccino powder that your mom used to keep in the cupboard for "special occasions."

For four days I drank the kind of coffee you drink on a missions trip. Acrid, thick, really dark, and kind of questionable smelling.

I can also say that I have never in my life used so much creamer in my coffee. I am hands down going to have cavities from this experience.

Yesterday I bought coffee beans and this morning I almost wept with joy as I poured liquid gold into my tumbler.

It was a truly spiritual moment. Angels were singing. Harps played backup. It was a good cup of joe.

In all seriousness, it really hit me hard when I only had a $1.00 leftover to buy coffee.

It hit me because people in America, and in other countries, live like that all the time.

They don't have the luxury of choosing dark roast or blonde roast. They don't have the choice of french vanilla or hazelnut. Grande or Vente.

Their choices are based on what they can afford, down to the very last penny.

The rest of the week felt pretty humbling. Because even though I have money in the bank and could totally buy coffee and be fine, I was pushing myself outside the comfort zone I have created.

I thought about that every time I opened a packet of that instant coffee.

It was a really interesting place to hang out.

I realized I am so much more blessed than I thought. I have so much more accessible to me than I acknowledge. And, I really have such a greater capacity to give back than what I have been telling myself I did.

So, if I have a clearer picture of what is entrusted to me financially because of a box of instant coffee, then it was $.94 well spent.

It was so gross. But it taught me well. And for that I am thankful.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

simplicity 2016: #nospendnovember

When I was 8 years old, my mom took me to the bank, and we opened my very first savings account.

I would say that this is my earliest memory surrounding the concept of money.

The second was when I started getting an allowance and my parents used that to teach monetary responsibility.

Then I saved my money to buy my American Girl doll.

I later started babysitting and buying my own clothes.

High school came and I created a budget and was able to save up and buy a car.

And basically since then, I've been fairly good with my money. At least I thought so.


Like I mentioned in my previous post, I'm practicing No Spend November. Or at least a Limited Spend November.

Because I wanted to see where my money was really going.

I wanted to challenge this belief that my finances didn't really need any work. That I am so good and solid I don't need to work on it.

Oh hey pride...

Anyway....when I started thinking about lessening my spending, I started to think about how I used to spend money when I was younger.

When I opened that bank account. When I saved for a my doll. When I paid for my clothes and saved for a car.

I payed mostly in cash.

Which is fascinating when you think about it in contrast to how we typically spend today.

Credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, etc....

There is this interesting thing that happens when you pay with cash. When a physical transaction occurs.

You pay attention to what is being handed over. You pay attention to what you get back.
You feel the deficit, the lightness in your wallet and you are more aware of what is left over.

With these thoughts in mind, I trudged forward into Week One of No Spend November #cashonly



I eat out a lot and buy ALOT of popcorn.....

Now I didn't do that this week. I just realized how much I was doing it when I was spending with my debit card.

And because I am not bouncing checks or overdrawing my account each month, I wasn't really paying attention.

I mean sure, I would notice my spending was up on, but since I was consistently saving and putting money aside for the future, I figured it didn't really matter.

How very foolish that thought process was more me....

You see, this week gave me some "aha" moments:

  • I have believed a lie about what the amount of money I make means for me and my lifestyle
  • Meal prepping is a thing and it's super good for me and my stress levels.
  • I'm checking my bank account balance less
  • The act of being able to purchase food is really powerful


That last one stuck with me. And because it did, I want to share a story from this week.

I stopped by the store on saturday to pick up a couple things.

Yes, one was popcorn. But don't stress. I used cash.

Anyway, the couple in front of me were trying to pay for their groceries, but were having trouble with their card.

Which, is a super hard spot to be in. Especially when a line of people are forming behind you.

So I asked if I could pay for their groceries. They said yes. They got their OJ. It was cool.

And after I did, the cashier said, "Well, looks like you did your good deed for the week."


Doing good and being kind shouldn't be a weekly task we check off. It shouldn't be something we do to feel better about ourself.

I truly believe that Jesus calls each of us to a constant spirit of generosity. An immediate willingness to give back to those who may or may not be having a tough time.

I didn't pay for their groceries because I wanted a high five. And I didn't share the story for praise.

I shared it for two reasons:

  1. I can totally relate to not being able to pay for something due to lack of funds.
  2. I think we all can be more generous and aware of others needs than we are.

And really, that's what I want this month to be about. I want it to be about discovering how much farther my dollars can go towards doing good. I want my life to be more about other people and less about me.

I don't think I am going to stop doing fun things, traveling or occasionally eating out. But, I definitely don't want those things to financially define me.

I just want to do some good.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

simplicity 2016: a hundred bucks a week

Oh simplicity, bless your little heart. It is almost November and you have taught me so much.

I feel like I still have a lot to learn, but man, it's been so great. Exploring what it looks like to do more with less, to not complicate things, and to just enjoy what I have.

About a month and a half ago, when summer started to wind down and fall was beginning to be upon us, I started thinking about how I wanted to end the year.

Last year I ended with Dressember, and while I will be doing that again this year, I wanted to take it one step further.

I mentioned often in my blog posts that this year, I'm trying to focus on three specific areas of simplicity: stuff, money, technology.

And while I have a tendency to be hard on myself, and think that I am totally failing at life and this simplicity thing, I have to admit that it has gone pretty well.

I mean, I got rid of SO much stuff, I am saving more money than I was back in January and at times, I am on my phone less. Except when one of my interns turns me onto a new iPhone game.

Then it's bad.

Thanks a lot SarahJ...

But, this idea of spending less continues to intrigue me.

I look at my grandparents, I look at my friends in other countries, I read WAY to many articles on BuzzFeed... and I notice how happy and content people can be when they use what they have and spend less money.

I notice it the most in my own life when I am on vacation, or when I am traveling. I notice I am much more mindful of what things costs. I pay attention to what I do or don't buy. And I tend to use more cash than I do card.

It never fails, I am always surprised by how much money I have left over and how reduced my spending habits become.

So... how to translate all of that to the last month or two of 2016?

Cue "No Spend November." 

(If you don't know what it is, then just get on Pinterest, and you will wish you had never asked)

Originally, I was going to cut out all extra expenses for 30 days.

And while that might be a good idea in the future, we are coming up on the holiday season and I still would really like to go out with friends and immerse myself in some of the local festivities.

So, instead of a total spending freeze, I broke down my monthly expenses to see what the average weekly spending should be.

And then I lowered it 20%. Not an exact science by any means, but 10% felt to minor to feel the difference and 50% seemed unrealistic. So I found something in the middle.

For the next month, I am giving myself $120/week in cash to spend on groceries, gas, spending money, etc.

Once it's gone, it's gone. So I have to be strategic. Innovative. Scrappy.

The only exceptions for using a card are:

  • if it's a purchase already in my budget (i.e. cell phone bill)
  • if it's an emergency (i.e. stranded on the road, medical, etc)
  • if for some reason I cannot pay with cash. (And if that is the case, I take the cash amount and reimburse my account)

My goal for the month is two fold.

I want to be a little more disciplined in my spending and see how I do with less.

And, I want to identify the areas in which I can be more generous with my finances.

I am realizing more and more that so many people have  far less than I do.

So, if I can be more frugal and give back, I think that's a good thing.

Especially since Jesus said a little something about that in Luke 11:5

Wish me luck and I'll keep you posted on my #nospendnovember


Thursday, October 27, 2016

simplicity 2016: what is dressember?

Two years ago I attended an event at Seattle Pacific University that was raising awareness about human trafficking. It was a documentary showing and it was super intense. At least for me.

I'll be honest, it left me feeling very uncomfortable and at a loss for what my next step was supposed to be.

I now realize that was such a good place to be in. 

Because it launched me towards knowledge, understanding, and a desire to see change in the world.

Currently there are over 27 million people in slavery worldwide. That's just not okay, and I want to bring awareness and shed light so that we can change that statistic.


Last year, in order to find a way to get involved, I participated in a campaign called Dressember

In a nutshell, women use something inherently feminine (a dress) and use it to start conversations about the issue that is human trafficking; as well as try to raise funds that go towards rescuing people out of this terrible way of life.

For the entire month of December, I wore a dress everyday, took a picture, and posted on social media to spread the message. 

It was a truly powerful experience and I am doing it again this year. The only difference is that due to my theme of #simplicity, I will be wearing the same dress everyday for the entire month!

I think it is overall going to be such a good experience for me to simplify my everyday in order to give more thought to this serious issue. And how we can be apart of the change.


I would absolutely LOVE, is if you guys would consider joining me for the Dressember campaign.

However, I realize that not everyone is able to participate in the same way that I did. 

But, if you are interested in learning more about this and how you can make a difference, here are some ways to get involved:)

1) Consider giving up ONE specialty coffee and donating that money to my Dressember campaign

*One rescue mission costs approximately $100,000 start to finish, so every little bit helps!

2) Join our team and get in on the epicness that is Dressember:)

*If you can't wear a dress everyday, that's okay! You can still participate! And guys can get involved too! Wear a bow tie! That counts!

3) Share on social media this link to help bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking

*Awareness is a huge part of changing this narrative! How can we change what we do not know.

4) Be curious and willing to learn

*Books, documentaries, non-profit websites - the resources to learn are out there. Curiosity, even towards that which is uncomfortable, is a good thing.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and consider getting involved. 

Human beings are not commodities, and our world will be a much more beautiful place when we value the worth of someone for who they are, and not what they can be exploited for.

Feel feel to share and ask me more questions!!! Let's be world changers!

Friday, October 14, 2016

simplicity 2016: flat on my aster

Once upon a time, I took a class on Meyer's Briggs. For those who don't know anything about MB, check out this article, super helpful.

However, in a nutshell, it is a personality assessment designed to help you better understand why you do what you do, and how to do what you are best suited for.

One of the character traits is referred to as being a "J" - which stands for Judging.

Not an accurate word at all, because "J" basically means you are highly organized, appreciate things done in a sequential order and strive for order in your life.

And if any of you know me, you will know that my "J" is off the crazy charts.

If you give me a label maker and a day planner, I will conquer the whole frigging planet. In an hour.

Cause ain't nobody got time to waste time.

I often wonder though, why I am this way?

If it's wrong to be so organized and thorough.

If I need to cool it and just "go with the flow."


Two weeks ago I was in NY, celebrating my great grandmother's 99th birthday.

And while it was absolutely wonderful to be there, I left feeling unsettled.

And to be truthful, I also didn't really want to leave.

I didn't want to leave her.

I didn't want to leave how at home I felt there.

I didn't want to leave the deep sense of belonging that almost overtook me when I drive onto her property.


As I was walking through her garden taking pictures one afternoon, I stopped and held my breath as I watched bees pollinating the flowers.

I quickly snapped a few photos, and then I just stood there in complete envy.

Yes. You read that correctly.

I was envious. Of some bees.

And here is why....

They have ONE job.
They do their job.
They aren't running around trying to do everyone else's job.

They have a schedule.
They know when to work and when to rest.
There is only one leader they follow.

They don't have emails.
They don't have cellphones.
They don't have calendar invites, bills, or anything else weighing them down.

Their life seems...simple.


I've been home for two weeks now, and I still can't shake this unsettled feeling.

A little out of place. Not sure what direction I am headed in.

Which is crazy, because I have so much going on right now. And it's all really really good.

But, as I was sitting in the Meyer's Briggs training today, I FINALLY felt like I had a break through.

Two nights ago I was reading Martha Steward Living - don't you dare judge me, she is BRILLIANT!

And as I read through her calendar for October, where she tells you what to start planting and what she is harvesting for winter, that's when it hit me.

Why I feel so at home at my great grandmother's house. And why I have the same feeling on my uncle and gramma's farm.

I'll try to explain it like this:

  • Farms and gardens run on a seasonal calendar. 

  • You have to plant and harvest your crops at a certain time, or you won't have any bounty.
  • I mean, weather is always a factor. But you can't control that. You have to prepare and then just wait.

  • There is predictability and structure.

  • A specific role and a specific desired outcome.

  • A farmer plants crops, a bee pollinates the plants, the earth changes seasons and new life comes into the world.
It's this cyclical calendar of events, that while it has the potential for being mind numbingly boring, it's not.

Because it's always a little bit different.
A chance for new beginnings and a fresh start.
And I think that's what I am craving a little bit.

Schedule, predictability, a need for things to be done in a certain way in order to obtain a certain outcome.

While I often judge myself harshly for this desire for order and schedule, I think I'm beginning to realize it's something rooted so deeply within me, I don't think I could shut it down even if I wanted to.

There is something inexplicably beautiful about the natural order of the earth. And I really, really love it.

That realization? Leaves me feeling like I have had the wind knocked out of me and then knocked flat on my aster.

Get it? Aster? A flower? #dadjoke


Don't get me wrong, I love my job and I love my life.

It's just.... when I am with these amazing women, on the properties where they have and are building their lives, things make more sense.

Stuff isn't so urgent. We just are.  We get up early, enjoy the day quietly, share a nice meal, and then go to sleep.

If this was my routine, day in and day out, I might get a little bored. Maybe not though.

But, if I could find a way to incorporate this spirit of just being into my daily schedule, I have a feeling I might feel a little more settled.

Or maybe, I just need to go plant some asters.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

simplicity 2016: jesus and simplicity

Simplicity is hard.

And that's incredible annoying to realize.

At least, it's hard for me.

Gosh, I started out with such fervor and zeal, and I pridefully thought I could just coast through a year of simplicity.

I don't think my pride was out of arrogance, but nonetheless, it was pride. And it was mine. And I own it.

I guess I thought that cutting back on my spending would be easy. Because I thought I didn't spend a lot to begin with.

Oh, how quickly you make a liar out of me.

I thought I could get off my dang phone. Get off BuzzFeed and stop mindlessly scrolling Facebook.

My three year self with her security blanket is laughing at my 28 year old self and her cellphone.

Why? Cause the blanket and the phone are the same thing....

Stuff. In this area, I have been okay.

But lately? I have been feeling suffocated by anything that doesn't have a specific place and function in my daily life.

Not sure that's a reason to get rid of everything I own, but it definitely occupies a lot of head space.

Like, I know I need to keep my fire extinguisher, but it just keeps sitting there, collecting dust. And like a crazy mania, I keeping eyeing it and thinking about how much cleaner that corner will look without anything in it.

Really I am just a crazy nut who wants to throw everything away and will then have instant remorse and get on her phone and use the Amazon app to replace everything she just threw away.

See my problem?!? #thestruggleisreal

But about a week ago, I was talking with my friend and coworker, Kyle, about simplicity. He asked me to speak about it at Serve Seattle in December, so I was asking if he had anything specific he wanted to me to touch on.

He said something that I haven't been able to get out of my head. He said, "Well, you're probably going to have to explain the concept of simplicity, because most people won't know really what you mean. And, you know, talk about what Jesus says about simplicity. Stuff like that."


I have been doing "simplicity" for almost nine months, but I haven't stopped to think about what Jesus says about the subject...

So maybe, just maybe, that is why I have been having such a hard time with it lately.

I have been trying to do it in my own strength. And I am completely overwhelmed and slightly embarrassed by that fact.

I'm trying to be simple in my daily life, but there are all these little empty pockets that I keep filling with technology, spending and things.

Instead of letting Jesus come in and fill those areas of void in my life.

And there are areas of void. Because I am human and so very far from perfect.

No matter how many times I try and tell myself I have it all together.

After my chat with Kyle, I started to wonder what it would look like to spend the rest of this year focusing more on Jesus and less on the three areas I have been focusing on.

No, I won't be stopping simplicity. But, I am super curious what bringing it all back to the foot of His throne would do.

I am curious if my spending would shift if I spent my mornings in prayer instead of running out the door and buying latte on my way in to work.

I wonder if I would be on my phone less if I was journaling or reading the Word at night instead of falling asleep while scrolling Instagram.

I also tend to think that if I spend more time worshipping the One who has given me so much, I will see the value and abundance in what is around me. And I will be less inclined to fill my life with things.

A few nights ago, I had a little worship session with myself. Oh, and my Facebook friends, because I put in on Live.

And it was this truly powerful moment. Instead of overthinking every word like I am doing right now, I just talked. And sang. And tried to be as authentic as I could be.

I went to bed and didn't really think much about it.

But the next day I got the sweetest message from my friend Emily. Oh, did I mention she does INCREDIBLE graphics work? And that she made me something AMAZING after watching my video??

Well, she did, and it's awesome, and I love it.

But what I love most is this....

I have a fantastic community of people and friends who love Jesus and love me.

Sometimes, in the hustle of life, I forget that I have such immediate access to the most loving people in the world. I forget and instead, buy stuff. Or eat out. Or hang out on my phone.

I forget how blessed I am. But when Emily made this beautiful graphic for me, I was reminded once again why I quite simply, adore the body of Christ.

I see so much of Him in the people I have in my corner.

And when I focus on them, and on Him, I find myself less likely to fill my time and space with other things.

So, the tender voice of Jesus is calling me to Him. And I truly think I will find the answers I seek about simplicity there at His feet.

Until next time...


Thursday, August 18, 2016

simplicity 2016: shuttle express

Simplicity has felt really hard lately.

I mean, I developed what I thought was a really good rhythm, but.... Gosh I'm feeling inadequate as a result. 

I want to throw away and hoard everything at the same time. 

I don't want to manage my stuff, but I want to at the same time.

It's also 4:30 on a Thursday morning and I'm getting ready to head to the airport. 

Which is great. Because vacation. But could also explain my dejected mood.

As I was packing last night, I struggled to fit everything in my bag and for the first time in YEARS I considered checking my bag.

What the heck.... I have always and will continue to refuse to pay that ridiculous fee.

Then I realize my bag is soo full because I packed my new camera.

I want to play around with it and figure a sunny beach is a perfect place to do so. 

But then I start wondering if that's a good idea and is it really simplifying to bring it of it takes up so much space...Etc, etc, etc

Oh, and then the awkward moment of the day --- 

Shuttle Express was scheduled to pick me up. But, they didn't call me. 

They KNOCKED on the front door. 

Not my front door. 

My landlords front door. 

At 4:30 in the morning. 

They called me. 

I'm almost positive they were PISSED, lol

Which really doesn't bother me (well, maybe a little) because of all the times they've woken me up.

They are super loud....

Anyway... I'll call later and apologize.

Still, kinda funny...

Honestly, it probably wouldn't have happened that way if I had arranged my ride earlier. 

Which I didn't. 

Because I'm apparently very unorganized.

Oh, and this shuttle smells like cigarettes 

I think it's from the lady riding with me. She kinda smells like my Gramma Betty.

Oh, and she looks a thousand times more put together than I do!

And since I'm creeping on the drivers iPad (cause I still don't believe him about the no call), I can see SHE was picked up at 3:50. 

AM. As in the morning.....

And she is wearing earrings. 

And her hair is done. 

What is my life that I even try...

Oh, and she's wearing something with a collar- so you know she ironed it. 

This girl? Doesn't iron. Ever.

I throw it in the dryer and call it good enough.

Even though I own an iron and ironing board.

Because I'm a grown ass woman and somewhere along the way I figured I should have one. 

Truthfully, it's actually a really good thing that I'm going to dive headfirst into the rest of Shauna's book.

Because at this exact moment - 447am - I feel like an utter failure at life.

And you want to know why???

There is trash under my sink, food that will go bad in my fridge, a floor that needs to be swept and a dishwasher that I didn't start before I left the house. 

Oh, and I woke my landlords up at 430. 

Well the shuttle express guy did, but you know what I mean.

So even though I made my bed before I left, all I can see is the undone. 

The incomplete. 

The to do list that wasn't finished.

And, even though I did some of that intentionally, I still don't like it. 

It makes me uncomfortable. 

And I know I should sit with that for a bit.

Or at least my two hour flight to LA.

But first, coffee.

And then I'll sit.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

simplicity 2016: one to two at a time

Last week I went to a conference.

Well, really it was a satellite site for a conference. 

Honestly, it really doesn't matter where it was or what the set up was. 

What really matters it what the take aways were for me. 

And how they are still running through my brain at a thousand miles a minute.

My thoughts in a nutshell (because #simplicity) are as follows:

1) stop trying to be perfect. be present

2) one goal at a time. maybe two. done well is more effective than four-six goals not done at all.

3) reflection is important

4) stay put (well, that one wasn't something I got from the conference, but it's what I said to myself several times over those two days. because I needed the reminder).

Shauna Niequest wrote this new book called Present Over Perfect and quite frankly, it's rocking my world. If you know me at all, you know that I like things neat, organized, orderly and predictable. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say it is my personal code to be that way. And last year, when I was focused on my theme of #dolife, I tried to reign that side in a little. But this year, it's escaping me a tad. 

And then I read this phrase in Shauna's book, "Who told me that keeping everything organized would deliver happiness? What a weird prescription for happiness. Why do I think managing my possessions is a meaningful way of spending my time?"

I felt punched in the gut. Totally breathless as I processed this idea that maybe, just maybe, being so on top of things wasn't what God was calling me to do. I mean, I don't think being organized is bad. But if I am using it to define my identity, then we have a serious issue.

And quite possibly, He is calling me into creativity instead of structure. Imagination instead of absolutes. Daydreams instead of spreadsheets.


Then there is this idea of one goal at a time. I am absolutely terrible at this. I have seventeen thousand ideas in my head and I think I have to do all of them. No, I truly and deeply believe in the depths of my soul that I have to do them. All of them. One hundred and ten percent. Or else I am a failure at life.

So... I'm going to give this one goal thing a shot. And it feels so weird.

I have a full time job - my goal is to be intentional with my time

I have a business - my goal is my Instagram account and making it as pretty as can be. 

I have a life (at least I tell myself I do) - and I'm not sure what my personal goal is

Technically you could say I have three goals. But for someone who usually has a hundred sub-goals, one in each category feels really healthy. I'll let you know how it goes.


Reflection - specifically self reflection is super healthy. 

And I would say that I do a fair amount of it. 

But what I don't do is meditate on it after. 

I just self assess and move on. 

Not really sitting with how I'm doing.

Yoga and meditation are actually super healing practices for me. Maybe that's my personal goal. To do more of that.


Ah, staying put. This one I am excited about. Like really really excited.

Remember when I said I was going to have to move?

Well, I don't have to move. And that's pretty rad. Because I love my home.

And in total honesty? I didn't trust or obey super well in this process. But Jesus really loves me and has great patience and grace with me.

It's a cool story for another day and another post. I just really wanted to share that with you guys.


I have a strange feeling that the next four months of 2016 are going to blow my mind. And I don't really know what that means, but I am excited for it.

“The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go.” 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

simplicity 2016: feeling my privilege

Tonight I went to a prayer vigil for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

If you don't know who they are, educate yourself, immediately.

No excuses. No reasons why it doesn't affect you. It does affect you. So learn and be humble.

Tonight, I stood in a crowd of over a thousand people. In the pouring rain. And I listened.

I listened to the passionate and gracious words of black leaders in our community who, rather than berate those who have wronged them, offered grace and a request for accountability and justice.

It was truly humbling.

Because, as a white, middle class, evangelical (with a dash of liberality) Christian woman, I have heard people complain about persecution my whole life. Specifically surrounding faith.

Now, I am not ignorant, and I can read a history book. But in America today, my personal opinion is that Christians are the least persecuted people group in this nation.

And I might lose a couple of you over this, but I have never been persecuted for my faith. Ever.

Made fun of? Maybe once or twice. But not really.

In all honesty, I have received far more negative aggression for being a woman than I have for being a Christian.

But even that isn't what I would call persecution.

What happened in orlando? What happened this week with Alton Sterling and Philando Castro? What has happened within the black community over the last several years?

That's persecution. whether you want to admit it or not.

And tonight, I looked around and felt the depth of my privilege.

And it was acutely uncomfortable.

And it wasn't just feeling the privilege that comes with the color of my skin.

I was intensely feeling the privilege of how I was raised.

You see, growing up, my dad was the police.

And to me, he  and his friends were the safest people in the whole wide world.

He taught me that everyone is equal. He told me that certain words were never to be spoken because of how disrespectful, hurtful and defensive they were to other people.

Once, I stupidly made fun of a friend's doo-rag, and he had me call up my friend and apologize. He told me "that's his culture and there is nothing wrong with it. So you shouldn't make fun. That's hurtful and not right."

I had friends of all different nationalities and backgrounds and never really thought anything about it; in large part because my dad never treated anyone any different and taught me to do the same.

But standing there in the pouring rain and realizing that to most of the people gathered there, my dad would've been the enemy, my heart broke.

Like I mentioned before, I felt my privilege and it was making me uncomfortable. And I think that was good.

Because, I felt my privilege when the man standing next to me seemed surprised that I took his hand when we prayed.

I felt it when I looked around at the police officers across the street and felt kinship instead of fear. Knowing I could approach them with total guile and trust, while also knowing I was probably one of the few who felt that way.

I felt it when I shook the speaker's hand and he thanked me profusely for coming - like it was a surprise I was there. It shouldn't have been so, but it was.

I wrestled all the way home with the amount of grief I was feeling.

Feeling like it wasn't my sorrow to grieve over; and yet, at the same time, feeling like it is worth grieving over, and that I should have a reaction.

And I do. Several actually...

I'm pissed. And sad. And confused. Puzzled even.

I'm pissed. Pissed that shitty cops give the wonderful men and women in law enforcement a bad name. It seriously enrages me. Because those very men and women who are wonderful humans, stood next to me and loved me when my dad died. And they still love me to this day.  So those cops in Louisiana and Minnesota who are not fit to wear their uniforms? Yeah, they piss me off and make me all kinds of angry.

I'm sad. So incredibly sad that a 15 year old boy is now without a father. Hearing the son of Alton Sterling weep on the radio this afternoon took me back hard. I was almost 15 when my dad died. And while the circumstances are in no way comparable, it is still the deepest of griefs. And I feel for him. So intensely. I can only imagine that his grief and sorrow is deeper because his father's murder could've been avoided.

I'm confused. So fricking confused why it is so hard to get justice for people who have already fought so hard for it. And we in our privilege would say that they have it. But really, we would just be talking out our asses because oppression is still a daily part of the life of a person of color. And that's something we don't know anything about. So we should keep our opinions to a minimum.

I'm puzzled. Puzzled why so many people will post all over Facebook about the Supreme Court decision to legalize marriage for all people and how "appalled" we are about it, but when an entire people group are targeted in Orlando and black men are gunned down by dirty cops, the internet falls silent. At least the side of the internet I am seeing in my newsfeed...

Guys, we have to do better. We have to. It's not an option. Jesus says that we are to stand up for those who are oppressed and afflicted. But we aren't doing it. We are burying our heads in the sand and acting like it's not a big deal or that it doesn't affect us. But it does. Or at least it should.

Change starts with us. And it doesn't start by us using politically correct jargon or acting like we get it. It starts by acknowledging our privilege and accepting that it's our very privilege that gives us a platform on which to stand up for our friends.

"We already know that all lives matter, this movement is just about the fact that black lives matter too..."


Monday, June 27, 2016

simplicity 2016: "the more of less"

Last April I was feeling a little overwhelmed by all the things I had going on in my life.

To be honest, I don't remember what they were, but I know I must've been super stressed because I purchased this book called "Simplify" by Joshua Becker. On Amazon. And read it in under two hours.

It was amazing.

So amazing in fact, that I wrote a review. And shared it on Facebook. And then my friend Jessica read it.

The book. Not the review. So that was cool.

And tonight, over a year later, I sat in a bookstore with 40-60 people and listened to this same guy (Joshua Becker) talk about his new book. And also talk about how this idea of minimalism and simplicity started in his own life.

(Wouldn't have known about it if it wasn't for my above mentioned pal Jessica. Shout out for her!)

Now, I'm not going to recap his entire story, but if you are interested, check out his books or his blog.

Both awesome resources.

Instead, I am just feeling the need to share what I got out of tonight. And if you are still reading this, thanks. Appreciate the companionship.

You see, I recently finished clearing my home of things that I know longer want/need/or that no longer serve me.

And I have been in utter awe since I finished that process almost a week and a half ago.

In awe of how much...LIGHTER I feel.

I mean, I know that literally I got rid of hundreds of pounds of stuff - which is embarrassing, but I physically feel lighter and I can't exactly explain it.

I feel like I have more energy, and I know I am definitely getting more things done. So that's a nice pay off.

But then tonight, Joshua mentioned that clutter in our home actually occupies space in our brains.

Because we are managing the clutter mentally, even if we aren't dealing with it physically.

Which makes total sense.

Because I am a planner and a manager. So if I plan all day at work and manage all day at work, only to come home and continue managing, then it's no wonder I am always so tired.

The amount of relief and emptiness I have been feeling has been more refreshing than I ever thought possible.

So with that part done, I guess I am on to the next thing?

I mean, I don't know what simplicity is going to hold for me the rest of the year, but I sure am thankful to have started it.

I think the reason I avoided it for so long was because having a little bit of clutter to manage became my protective shield.

If I was busy cleaning and tidying, then maybe someone won't yell at me. If I keep myself occupied with organizing stuff, someone can't manipulate or harm me.

But, I am not in danger anymore. I am safe.

I no longer need to hide behind the armor that is stuff.

I am secure in my less and in fact, I am safer because of it.

Tonight was an affirmation. One that I think I needed more than I realized.

An affirmation that I am doing what is healthy and good for me. And that it is what God has wholeheartedly called me into this year.

So friend? I am affirming you. Whatever you are doing for your healing and wellness, keep doing it.

If you need a cheerleader, I am standing here with my pom-poms.

You are doing great and don't forget that!

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.”


Saturday, June 18, 2016

simplicity 2016: a cleansing rain

I have lived in the PNW for my entire life, minus four years of college in gross nasty desert California.

Because of this, I sometimes take for granted the cleansing power of the rain.

Think about it for a moment, don't you often find yourself taking for granted that which brings great value to your life?

Especially if it's something that happens often?

I know I do.

While I have always enjoyed the rain, I lately have found myself craving and basking in the glorious heat wave that has hit Seattle.

June has a tendency to be a little rainy, so this heat wave has been a pleasant surprise. At least for me.

But yesterday and this morning it was wet and cold and a little miserable.

Like, it was raining, but not really. It was light enough that you didn't need a jacket, but when you go to pump gas, giant drops of water hit you aggressively in the eye. #rude

Which is the most annoying kind of rain. And to be perfectly honestly, I was inwardly really salty about it.

Because I want to be outside and when it is rainy, I don't.

I know, first world problems.

I came home from some errands this morning, drank some coffee, ate mac and cheese (always a good choice) and fell asleep on the couch (it's been a long week, don't judge me for taking a nap at 11:30 in the morning).

I woke up to the sound of POURING rain outside my window.

And instead of being pissy about it (apparently the nap fixed that), I felt oddly calm and at peace.

I realized in that moment that rain has this incredible cleansing affect on not just the earth, but also on my soul.

When I was in southern California, it didn't rain very often.

And when it did, it stunk and just made a huge mess.

But here in Washington, while we do have floods and the rain can create problems, it more often than not gives the earth this sweet, clean smell of new beginnings.

It was probably because I am so tired, but I couldn't stop myself from crying a little.

I cried as I thought about my Serve Seattle family that just graduated and moved out today.

I teared up yet again as I thought about having to move. #stresscentral

And I teared up as I realized that Jesus created this simply, yet beautiful way of giving us a fresh start.

Maybe we mess up and do something stupid.

Maybe we are in over our heads and are not sure how to get out.

Perhaps we just have too much going on and need to simplify.

Regardless of the need, I am realized that the solution is often the same.


Specifically a cleansing rain.

I think that's why the old hymn uses the analogy of all our sins being "washed away."

And maybe that's why God used a flood so long ago. To give the world a fresh start.

However, this afternoon, I am basking in the cleansing nature of this therapeutic rain as it compels me to slow down and breathe.

As it reminds me that tomorrow is a new day, and I have the opportunity to start fresh.

That no matter what I face, I serve a God who is in control and loves me enough to send a cleansing rain.

The cleansing stream I see, I see;
I plunge, and O it cleanseth me!
O praise the Lord it cleanseth me!
It cleanseth me, yes, cleanseth me.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

simplicity 2016: hanging plants and baby birds

Back in April, I wrote a post about my long procrastinated project of planting a garden.

I planted some herbs, potted some lavender and hung a fuchsia basket that was supposed to have magnificent purple and dark pink blooms.

And has it ever blossomed! It's quite possibly my favorite part of my little garden.

And today, I discovered that it is also the favorite place of my two new neighbors.

The most adorable little birds I have ever seen!

Unfortunately, I think I scared a few months off their lives when I went to water my fuchsia this afternoon....

I turned on the hose, carried it over to the basket and started watering the plant.

Then, as soon as the water hit the soil, a tiny bird SHOT out of the basket and perched on the ledge underneath the upstairs desk.

He just sat there, puffing his chest and staring straight ahead, hoping I wouldn't see him.

I walked over to inspect the basket a little more closely, and he got extremely agitated and flew away, squawking vehemently at me.

When I peered inside, I realized why.

His woman was inside and I was invading their space.

I didn't see any eggs, but I am almost positive she is pregnant or the eggs are hidden. Otherwise she would have left the nest too.

I had to snap a photo, but tried to be super quiet and careful. Then I creeped away. Well, I had to shoo the crow away. He was being a douche and needed to leave.

If you are still reading, you know I am about to tie this to simplicity in some way, shape or form.

My thought might be a little jumbled, but here they are:

1) I am stressing out about moving, but these little babes know and expect to have a temporary home.

2) How am I going to protect these little babies when I move?!?

3) I strangely feel like I have my own little bird family and it's weirdly comforting?

4) I am totally naming them. Mr & Mrs Fitzwilliam and Geraldine Peabody

5) I really hope the babies come before I move. Otherwise I am leaving the plant here and just getting a new one. Because I am not going to be responsible for killing baby birds. Or making them homeless.

Those were the main thoughts.

The other main thought I had hit me when I walked inside and stopped annoying them.

I guess this is where simplicity ties in...

When I realized they were in there, everything stopped.

I mean everything felt like it stood completely still.

There was this beautiful moment when it hit me that new life was happening right under my nose.

Right by my front door, another story of life was taking place.

You see, life is busy.

At least where I live.

And I don't see it changing any time soon.

And amidst all the chaos and busyness, I often forget I have control over how crazy my life gets.

I can't control all of it, but I am realizing I have a lot more say in my schedule than I think I do.

My little neighbors reminded me of that important fact. They reminded me that life at its core is truly about the day to day.

Vision and long term goals are important; but, if we don't have time to stop to smell flowers and watch pretty birds, then we are too busy.

I know they won't stay forever, because they have other things to do; but, I really hope we stay for the same length of time.

Because they are cute and are keeping me company. And I am selfish and want to peek at baby birds!

They are also reminding me about practicing simplicity. So that helps too.

"a bird is safe in its nest - but that is not what its wings are made for..."