fall vignette via lifeingrace

(photography by Patty)

This is Day 1 of our 31 Days of Less & More challenge.  To read all the posts in order, start with this post, then visit the Overview Page to see the outline for the whole series.  

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 Last year’s 31 Day Series on Hospitality changed me.  I learned so much as I read and researched and soul searched for that series.  I even turned my writings into an ebook that I published this past January. It was a labor of love, with emphasis on the labor.  (Well, there was a lot of love, too!)

But, I wasn’t sure I’d have the stamina to try it again.  Until.   My dear friend, Ruth, told me of her idea to write about LESS.

Less.  Of everything.

I sat kinda quiet and pondered the trend of LESS.   Maybe I’m just a rebel but I found myself conflicted.  I have watched my favorite people in the world (Ruth included) embrace simplicity and a lifestyle of  LESS in every way and I feel a twinge of guilt as I sit in my office;  home to no less than a thousand books.  I have more than enough of everything and it haunts me at times.  Ironically, though, I’m no stranger to less.  I grew up in a world of less and then lost  everything in a house fire a few years ago.  I always feel like the other shoe is about to drop.  I could get rid of more stuff, no doubt.  I could and I often do.  But having less doesn’t magically bring contentment and peace.  It’s not the answer, in and of itself to what ails our hearts and minds.   If we’re not careful to evaluate our motives,  LESS just becomes our next idol.  Welcome to the wonderful paradox and tension of being human.

We are so easily swept up into the predominating waves and trends of our day.  Or at least I am.  Our grandparents and great grandparents lived through the depression and so they were mercilessly frugal.  Our parents enjoyed the kind of economy that made hoarding even possible and they taught us to be consumers.  We push back and rage against the machine and get rid of  all our stuff, often to fill the void with something else.  What I think is more important is the why question.

Why do we do what we do?  

Why do we over consume?

 And is minimalism always or even necessarily the answer?

My portion of the series will provide a little push back to Ruth’s LESS— giving some thoughts and suggestions on what we could use more of in our lives.  What can we do with our selves, our stuff, our homes—to better serve those around us? Can we use our MORE and our LESS to serve our families and our world better?

Ruth and I are so excited to share this series with you this month.   Our hope and prayer is that it will offer  inspiration and encouragement, as we all seek to use your resources and our gifts to bless, no matter how few or how many those gifts and resources may be.  We hope this series provides some nourishment for your soul and the courage to make a series of small adjustments that can together add up to a big change.  LESS? Yes.  But, also MORE.  Each post will be short—500 words or less—and will give you one small assignment or task to focus on each day.  You can do as many or as few of these tasks as you feel able.  Our goal isn’t to stress you out, but to offer practical tips and encouragement as we walk through this journey together.

The series will be broken up into three main parts.  Part One—days 2-11—will focus on filling our lives with less heartache and more joy.  Next, Part Two—days 12-21—will focus on creating less stress but more peace.  Finally, Part Three—days 22-31—will hone in on our physical spaces and focus on having less stuff but more contentment.

 

31 Days of Less and More—Will you join us?

31 Days  of Less and More

We will be encouraging lots of support and discussion on our Facebook pages, so be sure to “like” both Living Well Spending Less and Life in Grace on Facebook if you don’t already!

Be sure to read Ruth’s post HERE! 

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:

Commit to joining us for 31 days of Less & More!  Public accountability is a powerful motivator, so we strongly encourage you to let others know that you are IN!  Leave a comment below or on the Lifeingrace Facebook Page.  Even better, post about this challenge on your personal page so that your own friends & family can encourage and challenge you, or perhaps even join you!

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Are you ready for this challenge?  What are your fears or concerns?  What are you most excited about?

 

 

127 comments on “31 Days of Less and More::Day 1 (Why More?)”

  1. Edie, I was also in a fire years ago – my whole house burned down in the middle of the night – and I lost every material possession I own. I also struggle with the Less/More – because like you- I grew up with less – came to have MORE – then lost everything! I try to stay minimal – and Ruth’s giving away her kids’ toys actually sparked a passion in me towards minimalism and doing that myself! But – I also see the other side of it – and believe the William Morris quote: only have that in your house which you believe to be beautiful and useful (or something like that…)

    I am so sorry about the fire- here is my fire post I wrote about my own experience – I hope it’s okay to post. There aren’t a whole lot of people in the world who’ve experienced having their whole house burn down and losing everything they own. It definitely changes a person’s perspective (at least it did mine)…

    http://erikafinn.com/the-fire/

    -Erika

  2. Working in a thrift store I see the downside of too much stuff on a daily basis. It is sometimes overwhelming to see how much of it we churn through every day. On the flip side, I am also able to purchase some really nice things very cheaply! So most days I feel that have too much/want more tension. Can’t wait to see how your series addresses the contradiction!

  3. I’m looking forward to this, as it fits right in with where the Lord has been leading me all summer. I’ve already committed to another challenge, so I’m hoping I can handle both, but I feel led to at least follow this one. I don’t think I’m as interested in the ‘less’ as I am in the ‘more’. I can surely get rid of quite of bit lying around the house, but I’m currently in a place in life where my pace and schedule are pretty peaceful and there isn’t much extraneous to get rid of. But, the ‘More’? That’s where the Lord has been leading and I am eager to follow.

  4. Edie,
    I am looking forward to joining you in the 31 Days series. I found your blog about a year ago – what drew me to it was the fact that you were from East TN. I grew up in East TN, my family still live there and in Nashville. My husband and I moved to Sav, GA 28 yrs ago. Although we love this area, my heart remains in the mountains and valleys of East TN. I have grown to love your heart through your blog and am looking forward to growing more in His love through this series.

  5. Hi from Australia – Im in !!! Similar questions to those you raise go through my mind a lot. I love the idea of less, I declutter, I organise but I love to decorate and create and add to my little home. I gain a lot of joy from that but am faced with the question of balance and of what is the point of having a “perfect” (I use that word in its very broadest sense) if my family isn’t thriving and happy there which ultimately is my highest priority – so Im so looking forward to your thoughts – I love your blog, your zest for life – so bring it on !!!!

  6. Cannot wait for your challenges – your writings (both yours and Ruth’s) are always so inspiring. Trying my hand at 31 Days series as well (rather nervous!). I’m just so excited it is October!!! Maybe Texas will cool enough for us to experience some Fall weather?? Regardless, I have my aircon down enough so I can wear a sweater inside!!! LOL!

  7. Thank you in advance….your writing is so meaningful…and so loved by all …looking forward to closing out the end of each day with these thoughts to ponder over. Love and Light.

  8. okay…I am in also. my focus will be more on how I spend my time…more alone time with the Lord, through study of the Bible and prayer. less on things I do that satisfy only me…and only for a short period of time. more of my time serving and encouraging others…less of…well, i’m not sure exactly what. thanks for the opportunity

  9. All. In. Yes.
    I leave for the North Georgia mountains this Wednesday. Time with a best friend, who needs some time away. In a perfect cabin sitting alone on a wide slice of the Toccoa river- Time to rest, read, share, laugh, cry, be still and reflect. I personally am heading towards less. Possession-wise & physically as well. When the excess is carved away, it brings a new awareness. Which always takes me to more. Of what I was really wanting/needing all along.
    Thank you Edie. And thank you Ruth
    I am looking forward to it-

  10. I asked. And here in front of me appears “31 Days of Less & More”. I am amazed and so in awe of God’s amazing grace.
    Thank you Edie & Ruth

  11. I have always been a passive blog reader, I’m excited and this challenge seems like the perfect way to dive in and finally make change in my life!

  12. I’m definitely going to follow along with both series – less and more. There are some things in my life that I definitely need less of and some things I definitely could use more! I am finding so many blogs that I am going to start reading their 31 day posts that I might never leave my desk again! I especially love the interactive series, which is what I am doing too, 31 days to self discovery through list making. I’m also a homeschool mom! Looking forward to reading your upcoming posts.

  13. I’m in! I am already going through the process of getting rid of….. We had a 120 yo oak tree fall on our house in June and are STILL not back to “normal” but the disaster people say soon. Before that we had made arrangements to have our old basement walls reinforced this summer so …need I say it has been a bit stressful. In the process I have come to grips with my stuff and have already moved a lot of it along, but still wanting to do more. So look forward to 31 days of encouragement. Thanks ladies.

  14. I am looking forward to this series. It will bless us as we take the journey and truly try to find balance in our lives. I think it should be a little of both, not just completely paring down and getting rid of all our things, but knowing and having those things that are truly important in our lives.

  15. I really, really love this idea. It’s easy to indiscriminately eliminate things from our lives, without thought. Sometimes what we really need is to invest in considering how we might add to our lives. I’m bookmarking this series. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  16. I’ve never done one of these online before! Praying to be able to stick with it because I really want to! Life…. please don’t get in my way! Ha! Here I go! 🙂

  17. I am so excited to follow you and Ruth on your “Less & More” journey in the hopes that it will help me simplify what is otherwise a chaotic time of year, and focus on those things that really matter!

  18. I think what you said about “less” being an idol is so true. It is amazing how we can make an idol of anything. :/ Looking forward to following along!! 🙂

  19. I am really excited about this series. I like the concept of less & more, and the two of you are such great examples of grace. This is going to be good!

  20. I’m in. I’m excited about this and looking forward to it. There are some things I need more, such as reading God’s Word and prayer, and there are some I need less, such as spending time on things that don’t matter. It’s so hard to find the right balance. I think more and less are both important. Thank you Edie and Ruth for sharing this with us.

  21. Well, once again I must thank you for inspiring me and bringing me to tears. I am all in. Excited for what this next 31 days will hold. Less stress, more peace sounds glorious! I appreciate your thought, time, energy, and heart that you pour into your writing. It is not in vain.

  22. I look forward to reading this. This idea of less being an idol caught me as I have watched it being carried too far. Like the idea of adding the good of life and not stuff. You continue to keep me reading. Thank you!

  23. I’m in too ladies!! My brain is always a discombobulated mess of trying to downsize to less, while bringing in more. It’s a revolving door here. We all have different convictions and its sometimes hard to separate our own from others. Sometimes I feel I fall into others convictions while trying to push my own onto them. Hopefully this series will help me find balance. I’m always reminded of the verse in Philippians 4:11 that says… I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things in him who gives me strength.
    This. This is my goal and prayer. Thank you for joining forces this month to share the blessing that is both of your words tied together for the rest of us to be blessed with!! Thank you!

  24. Thank you for this series. I very much like what you will be covering. I have been wanting to embrace living with less in my life for some time now, but I feel weary of my ability to do so. I think adding the “more” component will help me begin this journey.

  25. I am going to give this a try. Thank you for looking at everything from too sides as nothing is all black or all white. Great concept. I am also going to try to get my friend on board with me.

  26. Sweet Edie- I’m a big “less” girl but always end up accumulating way more… Stuff, stress, things to do, worry… Here’s to less for us all and much MORE of the good stuff!

  27. My grandmother once said, “One day I’m leaving this world with what I brought into it.” (i.e. Her birthday suit!) Great perspective!

  28. I am in! I am a recently retired drama teacher. I have been struggling with using my new free time productively. Perhaps this is what I needed. I look forward to this journey. I have often wanted to simplify by reducing my ‘stuff’. I regularly donate to worthy causes, however I just bring in more!! I am incredibly creative and artistic. I am a young retiree (52) and became a grandmother at 45. Thank you for presenting the opportunity to uncover new possibilities:)🙏👏👍🙋

  29. Edie & Ruth!
    I am So beyond thrilled for your series.
    At first, I really had no idea what you’d say about less and more, but I’m so stinkin’ excited about all three parts!!!

    I have had so many of the same thoughts about living on less….it has become a trend of sorts. Like everything, it can become our idol.

    I want to honor God with my purchases….and so I trust that he will faithfully speak to me in every area of my spending.

  30. I’m doing this blog series too {my theme…Surrender & Commitment} eeek!!! and I tell ya, This is a blessing :] My Dad just said something to me the other day, concerning my blog…and my life…and my desire and need to keep on simplifyin’ {which i’ve been doing for eh.2 yrs now?}, He said “You can only get So Simple”. I got what he was saying. As you said, anything can quickly become and idol and Simplifying was not so simple anymore, it became just as complicated as the mess had been. But This Series is already{day 2} pulled things out of me, and I enjoyed this post!!! Thank you. This is good! I look forward to reading your posts for the next month ;]

  31. Through circumstances, the Lord has been working on me about having wisdom for the challenge of less vs. more. This 31 day topic seems like it will be profitable. Looking forward to seeing what God has in store – – for all of us.

  32. Just found this and am joining.. a little behind but I’ll play catch up! I really need this in my life right now… don’t know if it’s hormones or what but I have been plagued with grumpiness lately. Time to take my eyes off self and focus on what’s really important. Less of me, More of Him! Looking forward to what he’ll teach me. Thank you so much for the time you both put into this series 🙂
    Cindy

  33. Just found this on Pinterest…I am intrigued and joining you on this journey…a little late but better late than never! I am in need of balance in my life and find the yin and yang of more and less compelling…let’s see where this leads!

  34. As I ready our home for an upcoming move I am faced with all the stuff I wish I had less of. But what a challenge it is to actually make it happen. I can’t wait to get started!

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