Almost Amish {fourth review}

 

I’m still plugging along with Almost Amish I love it and am constantly feeling convicted and encouraged. I am going a tad slower than the rest of the group, but it is ok. I will finish and drink in the ideas and implement them in our lives. I keep purging, purging, purging. We are getting rid of stuff and making room in our schedules to practice hospitality and simply to be.
Simplicity

Small and local leads to saner lives. 

I have to admit, when I saw this chapter title I laughed. Really? Simplicity? Isn’t that what this is all about? How is she going to explain and implement the idea of “simplicity” in one chapter? “Simplicity involves cutting back on two major kinds of stuff- the kind that fills our houses and the kind that fills our calendars.” We have been doing great at getting rid of the stuff that FILLS our home. I really don’t need things just to take up space on a shelf. I’ve learned that I can have an empty shelf and an empty night on the calendar.

Sleeth also talks about simplicity in our community. Knowing our neighbors, buying local and investing in relationships the way God intended for us to. I love the idea of buying local. Hubby and I have often talked about how we would love to know the all of the farmers who grow our food. Luckily we live in an area where this is possible. I’ll admit right now I only shop at the local farm if it is convenient for me. When I do, I am so glad that I have, but I sadly do not go out of my way to shop there nor do I deny us certain produce if it is not available at the farm. I need to work on this area, and I am committed to doing so.

Knowing our neighbors. Sleeth talks about the emphasis that the Amish place on knowing their neighbors. The neighborhood that we moved into a little under a year ago is big into neighborliness. Our neighborhood was designed in the 50s, so our houses are close, our garages aren’t attached to our houses and even if they were, they are no where near big enough to put a car in. Our houses lack some conveniences and for some reason, people haven’t updated them, for example, we set up sprinklers in the yards (they aren’t automatic). We also live in a town that is about 75 degrees all year long, so we spend a lot of time outside. These things force us outside and make it almost impossible to live in a bubble. I love it. Mostly… This weekend I think that we got the tiniest picture of community among the Amish. Our doorbell rang at like 9:30 on Friday night, it was our neighbor kid telling us they were butchering a pig and asked if they could borrow some things. We lent them and offered to help. (Gratefully they declined, a seasoned professional was there.) But sure enough out our bedroom window we could see the pig hanging from their deck. Then on Saturday, we invited to go partake in the eating of the butchered animal. I have to say, it was a little… tough, but we stood in their kitchen, talking with neighbors and eating boar that we had in a way helped to bring to the table, even if it was only because we had lent some tools.

 

Something Hard…

Yesterday I had to do something hard… Before it happened I would have said it was the hardest thing I have done in my life. But now, after it has happened, I don’t think it was the hardest thing I have ever done, but it was hard none the less and required lots of grace from God.

We put Skye up for adoption. It was awful, I cried big ugly nasty hyperventilating tears the whole time, and daily for the last two weeks since we made our decision. And almost weekly before that as we were praying about it.

We got Skye from the humane society and were told when getting her that she was a friendly dog and would do great with everyone, including children. Well, even though we had people in our house from day one and kids visiting constantly, sister didn’t like people. Don’t get me wrong, she LOVED us, big kisses and hugs always. I know, it’s weird, but Border Collies can hug… Anyway, when it was just us in the house it was great, but the second someone else walked in, walked by, or even thought about looking in her direction, her hair would raise, she start growling, then she would lunge and bark.

It was stressful, strangers would try to pet her when we were walking, a couple were close to being bitten. Friends couldn’t even look at her when they came over because she would become super aggressive. And the neighbor kids, well we hadn’t seen them since we brought her home until last week.

Last week we watched our neighbor kids dare their friend to knock on our door while they stood in the street and then laughed as Skye charged the window and scared the living daylight out of the kid on the porch. We don’t want to be that house.

We loved Skye dearly, but we had to decide that it was no longer safe for her (or our friends) to be in our house. There were too many things that scared her and caused her to react in an unsafe way.

Last night I kept going to pet her and she wasn’t there. This morning I went to let her out of her crate and she wasn’t there. It was really really hard. But in the hard I got to tell our neighbor who doesn’t know Jesus, that it was more important to us that her kids felt safe in our house than that we keep our dog. That her family was more important. And in that moment, as we both stood crying in my driveway, I hope that she saw some of Jesus’ love.

We will get another dog. We loved having a dog. It turns out that due to a paperwork error, Skye never had a behavioral test done, so she may not have been suitable for children after all. But that doesn’t make it easier. We still bonded with her, we still loved her and it was still terribly hard to give her up. But it was more important to us that our home was a welcoming place for EVERYONE and that was simply not the reality with Skye. I pray that she is adopted by someone whose home is quieter than ours and where she feels safe.

At the end of my Bible Study today, the author talked about how we, the Church of Christ are like precious pearls whom Jesus gave his life for. But she also talked about how “pearls are the product of pain; an oyster that hasn’t been hurt does not grow a pearl.” Yesterday was painful, but I know that it was part of Jesus’ plan and that out of it, a pearl will come.

Thank you for allowing me to use this as a place to heal.

 

Tasty Tuesday {Southwestern Bowls}

 

Today I thought that I would share a Cairns Family Dinner Staple, Southwest Quinoa Bowls. We eat this at least once a week, it is easy, fresh, delicious and Hubby’s staple. WIN! We love quinoa in our house because it is a seed not a grain (read: paleo friendly) and it is a complete protein.
Because I think that it is important to know what we are eating, I wanted to share a picture of a quinoa plant, a relative of spinach, to give you a picture of what is really on your plate.

Ingredients:

Chicken Breast (1 large or 2 small)

Quinoa (1 to 1½ cups)

½-1 Bell Pepper (not green, diced 1/4inch)

1 to 2 Jalapenos (seeded and finely minced)

3 gloves of garlic (finely minced)

1 cup of Corn (frozen white Trader Joe’s is great)

Butter

Salt & Pepper

Paprika

Garlic powder

Cheese

Favorite BBQ sauce

Cooking:

1)   Cook the Quinoa in a rice cooker (easiest) fill the water just above the seeds and place a pat of butter on the top. If you don’t have a rice cooker than follow directions on the bag and I recommend using chicken broth instead of water (20-30 minutes)

2)   Season Chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, and a little garlic powder.

  1. With a flat mallet (tenderizer), tenderize the chicken to about ¾ thick all around
  2. b.    Using a Le Creuset, seasoned cast iron skillet, thick bottom pan, or non-stick if you have nothing else Heat 3 counts of EVOO on high. Once up to temp, place the chicken breast in pan (top part down). Sear on high both sides for 2 minutes each (to seal in flavor). Reduce Heat to medium to medium low (depending on your range) and cook until done.

3)   While Quinoa and Chicken are cooking, cook the vegetables in a large non stick on medium to medium high.

  1. a.     If adding other vegetables you like, you want to cook in order of vegetable density. If not then:
  2. b.    Place the diced Bell and minced Jalapenos in the pan with a pat of butter and sauté until softened (add a pinch of salt to help).
  3. c.     Next, add the minced garlic to sweat and then the corn (just to heat).
  4. d.    Mix all together. (turn off heat)

KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR CHICKEN, Take off and let rest when done

4)   Quinoa should be done, dump it into the large skillet that contains the bell pepper, jalapenos, garlic, and corn and mix thoroughly.

  1. a.     Serve in medium bowls

5)   Chicken should be done and resting on a cutting board. Slice chicken in the desired size

  1. a.     Place the chicken on top of quinoa mixture in each bowl

6)   With a microplane, grate cheese on top of each bowl (we like Dubliner cheddar, but also a fresh grated parm or Mexican mix works too)

7)   Last but not least, pour your favorite BBQ sauce on top (heated is preferred and as much as desired) and then enjoy.

 

Almost Amish {Third Review}

Hi friends! I know that it has been a.w.h.i.l.e. since I’ve been here. We got to take a wonderful vacation, then we spent a week “getting back in the swing of things.” So I haven’t been here in a bit. This week I am going to attempt to catch up to Rachel in my review of Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth. I have been convicted and challenge and very introspective while reading this book. I am still processing what the principles in this book mean in my life, so please bear with me as I process out loud here. Here goes!

FINANCES

Saving more and spending less bring financial peace.

Finances! Oi to the Vey! The area of finances is a place that I find myself checking my heart A LOT. As with many of us I think, finances are a close second in our hearts for the place of God. It is something that we think that we can control. It is something that we trust to bring us happiness, joy, confidence, popularity, love, security, the list goes on and on. But the saying is not true, whoever dies with the most toys does NOT win. My mom always says “just look at where you spend your money and your time and you will find what is most important to you.” My mom is right, I know that when we are standing in front of God on judgment day, He will look at our bank statements. And I want mine to show that His glory was most important to us always.

But with all of that being said, money is a doosey. Everything costs money and our culture does such a good job convincing us that if we just buy X, Y, and Z, we will have it ALL. In the chapter on finances, Sleeth says this of the Amish, “They do not buy things to impress or to draw attention to themselves or to win love. They understand that every single thing on earth is a gift from God, meant to be shared with others. And they act from the certainty that the most important things in life cannot be found at ‘the mall that has it all.'” I am so convicted by that statement, “they act from the certainty…” if I learn anything from this chapter I want it to be this, that I act from the certainty, that money can’t buy happiness, that everything is a gift from God and that nothing of eternal value can be bought at the mall. I am in a major purging mode. Nothing in my house is safe. My husband keeps asking where certain articles of clothing have gone. It is still a continuation of chapter 1, making my house beautiful, welcoming and clutter free. But most importantly in all of my purging I want to learn that this stuff is just stuff, it doesn’t make me skinner, more popular, my house cooler, etc. And I do not want to replace everything I am getting rid of with other stuff.

Another characteristic of the Amish Sleeth discusses is the attitude of giving. She says, “The Amish understand this attitude of giving out of gratitude. In times of scarcity or misfortune, everyone pitches in. Those with more take care of those with less. The community becomes the face of God’s grace.” Seriously people, why would pass up any opportunity to become the face of God’s grace to our community? If my attitude with my finances can show grace to my community and can declare that my trust is in Jesus is all that matters in the end, then I think that my attitude in finances should be covered in lots of prayer.

One of my rules regarding finances is if I notice a hesitation to give in my heart when someone asks for something or I notice someone needs something, I sure as heck better give, because at that point I am putting my thing as more important than that person. And I am sure that ANY of God’s people is more important than ANY of my stuff.

NATURE

Time spent in God’s creation reveals the face of God.

Amen! Right? I have seen this so true in my life. We have had the awesome opportunity this summer to spend time in some amazingly beautiful places. We have been to Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Tetons, to name a few. In these places I absolutely see the face of God. The face of Half Dome, the shear cliff of El Capitan, the jagged points of the Tetons, the colors of Yellowstone Canyon. Beauty. In Romans 1:20, Paul declares that God has given us all the proof we ever need that He exists in creation. That simply by looking at the created Earth, we have evidence that the creator exists. Amazing.

I have been more in awe of our Creator as I have gardened this summer. It is amazing that God has given us, out of the land everything that we need to live. And incredibly humbling that it is entirely up to Him whether a seed germinates, whether fruit ripens, if the weather is exactly right to keep a plant alive and a fruit from molding, how much a plant fruits. You get the picture, the really isn’t much that we can do if God isn’t in control. The Amish feel that living off the land cultivates an attitude of gratitude. “It serves as a daily reminder that everything we have depends on God.” As Sleeth says, “A garden cultivates gratitude, reminding us that every ounce of food that passes our lips ultimately comes from God. And as any experienced gardener will attest, a garden keeps us humble – constantly aware that the enemy, entropy is very much alive.” I love this, not only does living off the land cultivate a simpler way of life, but it constantly cultivates gratitude. I am committed to anything that cultivates gratitude in my life.

If you aren’t already, I would highly suggest reading along. I have been constantly challenged and encouraged in my pursuit of a simpler life.

Almost Amish {Second Review}

TECHNOLOGY

“Technology serves as a tool and does not rule as a master.”

Again this week I am joining Rachel over at Crimson to Wool to share about chapter 2 of Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth. I am a day late, but I couldn’t help blogging about my Handsome Hubby yesterday, on his birthday.

I’m not sure why, but I was having a harder time finding action points for our family in regards to technology. I love that the Amish have loosed their attachment to technology. Maybe it is because I have a general unease about technology. I am still, after 5, technology heavy, undergrad years, entirely inept at technology. I have also felt a creepy unease about the F-word (Facebook) and the ability it has to make you feel so alone even though the screen claims that you have 629 friends. Given the world we live in I would say that we are a pretty technologically void household. Perhaps it is because my hubby stares at a computer all day at work, plugging in the moment he gets home is the last thing on his list. Yes, I realize that I am blogging in a social media avenue on a laptop while sitting in a Coffee Bean enjoying the luxuries of wi-fi and air conditioning, but I am obviously a work in progress. I do believe that the line we walk between convenience and control is very thin in our culture. We don’t have a TV in our room because we believe that our room should be a place for us not for the 352 channels that our direcTV offers. Yes we have direcTV. We love our DVR. We love that we can record the shows we like, watch them when we want to watch and fast forward through commercials. The TV is only on if we are watching and we usually don’t watch until late into the evening, after we have eaten dinner, done the dishes and taken a walk. As of right this moment I am not convicted about the presence of a TV in our living room.

The thing that was getting me was my iPhone. I LOVE my iPhone. Seriously though, talk about ease and simplicity. All on one device smaller than my wallet, I have a camera, a Bible, a map, a notepad, a to-do list,  contacts and, of course, the internet. But that is if I can find my phone, have it on, etc. I am notoriously bad about my phone. I often leave it in the car when I am at home or at work. I turn it on silent, then it lives in the bottom of my purse for days. Really my cell phone is more of  an annoyance to those trying to get a hold of me. But put me in an awkward social situation and I find that puppy in no time flat and pretend that I am so busy on it that I couldn’t possibly initiate a conversation with someone whom I do not know. I have tried to be deliberate lately about deleting the apps on my phone that I go to when I am bored or feel uncomfortable in a social situation to force myself to listen to the birds or talk to someone new.

We have tried to make boundaries with technology in our house. No technology between 5 and 7:30. No phone in the bedroom unless we need to wake up at different times. No phones on date night. No TV in the bedroom. But even with all of these rules, I think that the real issue, like in anything, is how our hearts relate to our technology. If I hear my phone buzz and don’t check it immediately, I become anxious. What if something really important is happening? And despite all of the rules we have put in place, I cannot focus on what I am doing until I check it. So I think that is my action point for the week. I am going to do some serious heart checks and ask the Lord to remove that anxiety that technology can cause in my heart. Because if I am following the Amish’s example I am the master of technology, it is not the master of me. And frankly, I have a sneaking suspicion that I am letting it be the boss of me.

Happy Birthday Hubby!

 

Happy Birthday Love!!! You are my favorite person in the whole world and rock my socks right on off. In honor of your 28th birthday I sharing 28 of my favorite things about you!

1. You love Jesus with your whole being and following Him is never a question.

2. You love me with your whole heart.

3. You love taking pictures of us squeezing together holding the camera with one hand. Even if someone else offers to take the picture for us. (See above picture)

4. You set up the coffee maker before you go to bed so that the coffee is ready as soon as I get up.

5. You take the dog out at night so that I don’t have to go out in the dark.

6. You always encourage me to face my fears. ALWAYS.

7. You don’t shave your face on vacation. (See above picture) Lucky for us, vacation starts on Saturday!

8. You make dates with me a priority and then tell me later how much you loved our time.

9. Your new found love of fly fishing. I am so grateful that you are so excited to pursue a Mentink family tradition.

10. Your support of my homesteading adventures. Even though our towels are extra crunchy after week one of line drying.

11. The way other men admire you.

12. Your love of great coffee and commitment to keep me caffeinated.

13. Your love for spontaneous adventures.

14. Your crazy Spikeball skills.

15. That you always call me on your lunch break to ask how my day is going.

16. Your love for things with rust and stories.

17. You aren’t afraid to try new things.

18. You do everything in your life with the upmost integrity.

19. You are intentional in your pursuit of me everyday.

20. Your blue eyes. I mean seriously!

21. You make the meanest chicken quinoa bowl around.

22. You can fix anything after a little research.

23. Your bravery when I am scared. Like when I got the spinal tap.

24. The way you make me feel like the most important person on the entire planet. Ever.

25. You not only tell me I’m beautiful on a daily basis, you make me feel it too.

26. Your excitement to go to my favorite place in the world for vacation 2 years in a row.

27. That you bought me a christmas tree last year even though we didn’t have running water.

28. That you have chosen me to love everyday for the rest of your life.

I love you to pieces Stephen McQuay Cairns!

Almost Amish~ A Review

 

 

HOMES

“Homes are simple, uncluttered, and clean; the outside reflects the inside.”

I am joining Rachel over at Crimson and Wool as she reads Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth. It chronicles her journey on the quest for a simple life. In each chapter Sleeth takes a principle of the Amish and talks about how she and her family applied that principle to their lives. I am not reading this as an end all guide to the simpler life, but as an encouragement to seek simplicity in our life.

I love my home. I love that it is colorful and eclectic and full of love. My mom and my grandma taught me at a very early age to only put things in your house that you love dearly. I have often found these are the things that tell a story. A story about who we are, where we’ve been and where we are from. I am not one to collect knickknacks and as time has passed I find my self more and more of a purger. I feel that something has to be BOTH useful and beautiful to have a place in my house. And I also know that the sooner you get rid of something, the easier it is to disconnect yourself from it. Suddenly something that you don’t even like becomes something you don’t think you can part with because you’ve moved it 4 times and so now it feels like you are stuck with it.

With that in mind, I thought that this chapter on homes would be easy for me. It was, however, an incredible challenge. When talking about the wardrobe choices of the Amish, Sleeth says, “They avoid using appearance as a form of self-expression or to attract attention to their bodies, which can lead to pride.” Yikes! Maybe this is why I had such a hard time cleaning out my closet. I don’t see clothes as simply a covering for my body. I see it as a form of self-expression and constantly fear others judgement of me when it comes to what I am wearing. This fear tells me that I am placing way to much importance on what I use to cover my body.

This statement also convicted me in relation to my physical home. I put TONS of pride in my home. I how cute or not cute my decorations are. In how clean or most of the time not clean my floors are. In whether or, well wether, there is dog hair on my couch. The hope for our home, and our most frequent prayer while renovating, was that our home would be a welcome place to friends and family. But more often than not, I find myself worrying about whether or not our house is cute enough or clean enough to welcome our friends rather than opening our doors and our arms to allow real community to occur.

Sleeth says, “A home, after all, is more than four walls: it is shelter against the tempests of life, a place to welcome friends, and a nest – after our travels – to which we long to return.” This is what I truly long for in my life. That my home would be a shelter. This is the new lens through which I want to view my home and my possessions. I will start getting rid of things that are not useful and beautiful. I think that there is something so calming and welcoming about a simple home. It allows your head room to breath and gives you space to do what you love to do.

ACTION POINTS

1. I took all of the papers off of my refrigerator. Ahhh, it is so much more soothing to walk in to my house and see nothing rather than a fridge full of stuff.

2. Take all of the random knickknacks off of the bookshelves and get rid of most if not all of them. Most of it is stuff I don’t even like that I put on my shelves because I was afraid of empty space. But you know what, empty space is good for your eyes.

3. Clean off my kitchen counters. My kitchen counters are for cooking right? But it is a tad hard to cook when you have to rearrange items to get to the counters.

4. Get rid of all random toiletries. I HATE to get rid of unused toiletries because they are so expensive and I don’t want to waste them, but I NEVER use them. I know what I like now and remain pretty faithful to a handful of products. But my drawers are filled with things that I feel guilty getting rid of. Out they go! I’ll donate them to the local women’s shelter so that someone can actually use them.

5. Clean out unused kitchen tools. We cook almost every night and know what tools we like and what we don’t. We hand wash our knives, tools and pots and pans, when we are done using them and so we don’t need to have “extras” in case something is in the dishwasher.

Hopefully I will get to share the results of these action points with you later in the week! Pray with me that our house would be a place that reflects our values, that we would boast only in the Lord, and that as I seek to simplify my house this week that I would be in fact simplifying my life to allow for more time to be in relationship with the Lord and others.

Grace (Eventually)

Image

“Jealousy always has been my cross, the weakness and woundedness in me that has most often caused me to feel ugly and unloveable, like the Bad Seed. I’ve had many years of recovery and therapy, years filled with intimate and devoted friendships, yet I still struggle. I know that we someone gets a big slice of pie, it doesn’t mean there’s less for me. In fact, I know that there isn’t even a pie, that there’s plenty to go around, enough food and love and air.”

-From Grace (Eventually), by Anne Lamont

Have you ever read anything by Anne Lamont? You should. She is laugh out loud hilarious. I loved her humor. But more than being funny, I think that she hits the nail on the head when she talks about the human condition. She shares honestly about her thoughts feelings and heart. The whole time I was reading her I kept thinking, “I am not alone.”

One of my greatest desires for this little blog is to share my life in such a way that it would truly help to encourage honest community. In my real every day face-to-face life, I have found that the feeling “I am not alone,” is the greatest gift of community. The times I can walk away from a conversation feeling heard, known and understood are better for my soul than I could ever tell you. And these relationships that cultivate honest community, I believe, are the most threatening to Satan. Satan loves when he can make us feel alone. He knows that God the Creator created us to be in community, to be living in honest relationships, and he can attack our confidence best when he makes us feel as though we are all alone.

Thank you Anne for your honesty. Thank you for allowing me to finish your writing feeling like I have been heard and am known. That I am not alone. I can’t tell you how many times I have worried about the piece of pie on someone else’s plate forgetting that I have a whole pie sitting on my own lap.

On Simplicity

I want simplicity, I long for a quiet mind. I honestly believe that I can find it amidst all of the noise, but it will takes more intentionality in this era. For me it looks like choosing to turn off the TV and go for a walk or play games. It looks like choosing not to engage in every form of social media out there because I (I am not suggesting anything about you, but I know this to be true of MYSELF) cannot give sufficient energy and time to the face-to-face relationships that are around me if I am constantly plugged in. It looks like not being on Facebook. It looks like choosing to keep the apps on my phone to a minimum because I don’t want my default to be technology. It means choosing to commit to “technology free” times. In our house 5:00-7:30 is technology free, no phone, iPad, computer or TV during that time. I love it! It means making rather than buying. It means only committing a couple nights per week to things that are out of our house. It means that we are a one car family. It means that we are a one computer family (we do both have iPhones and we have an iPad) but it is a lot harder to default to both of us on different computers at the same time while sitting on the same couch.

I want less. I want less to clean, maintain, worry about, think about. I know that we don’t need half of what we have. I know that we are so abundantly rich. I know that even if we got rid of half of what we owned, we would still be abundantly rich. But it isn’t about getting rid of things, it is about changing the way we think about THINGS, the way we view THINGS, the value we place on THINGS. Am I spending more time maintaining what THINGS I have than I am sitting in the Lord’s presence? Am I spending more time cleaning what THINGS I have than investing in the souls of others?

I have been contemplating this post for a while now, I have been writing and rewriting this post and spending hours trying to figure out exactly what my heart is feeling, what my soul is longing for. Then last night my dog, the rascal, ate a hole in the slipcover of my couch while we were innocently watching the Olympics. I got so mad. We had hiked her for an hour and had been home playing with her all day, then bam, a hole in the couch. I mean seriously! Then I heard Jesus, “it is only a THING. It is only a THING and isn’t this what we’ve been working out in your heart lately? Do you want to practice what you’ve learned?” Well frankly I did not. Skye got put on time out and I went to bed stewing. Then I got up in the middle of the night to stew about it some more. But it is only a thing. And frankly if I want to embark on this homesteading ranch handing life, things are going to get messy. Dogs are going to chew THINGS, chickens are going to poop on THINGS and bees are going to sting THINGS. But isn’t that what I wanted, a simpler life, a more natural life, one that enjoys hiking my dog more than worrying about my couch?

But it’s not only the dog that has me thinking. It has been a lot of things for a couple of weeks now. It was Week 6-Day 1 of the Beth Moore study I have been doing this summer. James 5:1-6, the part that says things like “Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten.” and “Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion is evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire.” It was Beth Moore’s plea to assess our hearts. And friends my heart is often ugly and covetous.

It was a favorite blog I read starting a new journey with her family. I was challenged. So yesterday I cleaned out my closet and dresser. And I am embarrassed to say I took two and half garbage bags, the big white ones you put in your kitchen garbage can, out and my closetdoes not look any emptier or simpler. So I made a commitment to myself to try again soon. And next time because “it’s cute” is not an acceptable reason to keep it. It has to be worn regularly and fit to stay.

It was an email from a friend saying that she thought of me when she saw this. Because she knows that I am on a quest for a simpler life.

And then really, it was this post this morning that gave me courage to share.

Hopefully over the next couple of months, I will be able to share real life action steps that we are taking in search of a simpler life. Yes Kelly I am restringing the clothesline and taking the challenge.  And yes Rachel I will be joining you.