I love bucket lists of all kinds. My friend Jess and I had a Michigan State-themed bucket list of things to do before we left East Lansing. I also shared my travel bucket list with you a few weeks back. I think pursuing bucket list items can help us live with intention and not let the special seasons of life pass us by. I do think, however, that we can make bucket lists into idols and pursue them in unhealthy ways. When chasing after the next thing causes us to lose sight of the blessings we currently have and the… Read More
Budgeting: a word that strikes fear in the hearts of Americans. It’s too time-consuming. It’s too complicated. I won’t be able to stick to my budgets anyway. I can just operate with general principles. All code for: I don’t want to feel guilty for overspending or constrained by rules. Creating and sticking to budgets can be complicated and time-consuming and difficult, but it doesn’t have to be painful. Budgeting money seems a lot less daunting when you stop thinking of it as something that constrains and start thinking of it as something that enables. Budgeting doesn’t constrain your fun; it enables… Read More
This has been a week of anticipation, broken sleep, tired muscles (physically and not), and lots of reading. For each moment I felt overworked and stretched too far, there was a moment of rest right when I needed it. For each moment of disappointment or discouragement, there was a moment of reassurance and support. I know it doesn’t always work this way, and sometimes we go through droughts of discouragement with little to hold on to, but I’m always thankful when God provides one-for-one doses of the good and the difficult. It makes His provision and presence so apparent. Here are… Read More
This is what it looks like to crave God’s grace. When I hear stories of miscarriages at 10 weeks, even though at 7 weeks I’m just barely starting to feel hopeful that this might be real, that this baby might stick, that he really might grow into a little human. I’m terrified that the second I start to hope, those hopes will be dashed; that the moment I start to dream, my dreams will be crushed. I don’t want to try again another child in a few months; I want this one, this child, this gift.
A few months ago, I read a fascinating post from Courtney over at Be More with Less. As she was reflecting on her life at that moment, she realized that the small changes she wanted to make tended to fall into one of three categories: none, less, and more. I love the idea of slow, small changes — I think these are sustainable and often snowball into the big changes we want to see in our lives. In the same way, I think bad habits have a way of snowballing out of control as well. The process of creating this list helped… Read More
It has been raining buckets here in Chicago this week, and it’s taken a serious toll on my attitude these last few days . . . even though I didn’t realize it until Thursday morning as I grumbled the whole way to work. I wrote this post during my Thursday lunch break, and it was definitely the boost I needed to get through the next day and half. Choosing gratitude always seems to pull me out of my whoa-there-negative-Nelly moments. I’m looking forward to a low-key weekend of catching up on lots of writing projects, possibly making the switch to WordPress.org, and spending… Read More
As someone who loves traveling and experiencing new things, I’ve done a lot of mental “filing” of my dream destinations. It’s not that I’ll never be content if I don’t see the places on this list; quite the opposite. My love for simple, contented living applies to travel, too. I don’t need bigger, newer, better in my travels. I just love to travel. But you better believe that when someone asks me where I’d most like to go, dozens of locations come to mind. This is my attempt to boil it down to my top 10, just for fun. I’m… Read More
I firmly believe that simple living has a far more benefits and a better payoff than the alternative, but I’ll admit that it’s not an easy lifestyle to pursue given our cultural climate. We live in a consumer-driven society, and it can feel like a battle to go against the grain every day. I’ve been on this journey to simple living and minimalism for about a year now, and I have definitely made some mistakes along the way. Most of those mistakes have stemmed from the moments when I’ve been overambitious about minimalism, taken things too fast, and taken myself… Read More