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Happy Thanksgiving month!! This is my favorite time of year. I love everything about it, the meaning, weather, food, fashion and decorations. In honor of Thanksgiving I am planning something exciting and a little nerve wracking. I have seen others do this through the years, I have always wanted to but never really committed to it. It’s similar to giving up something for Lent which is what I have done before, but this I have never done leading up to Thanksgiving.

I couldn’t think up a cool catchy name for it so I’m calling it “Living With Less”. I am not going to be buying anything for the whole month of November! Only necessities food, toiletries (sephora and ulta don’t count as necessities) Que Matt’s sigh of relief and Targets sigh of disgust ha. All those women out there understand what I’m talking about, us women keep target in business, that dollar section is everything, right?!

With the recent destruction of my Nordstrom card see my previous post Plastic Surgery. I thought this was a great next step in my faith walk in understanding that God is my provider. I have more than I could ever ask for, a beautiful family, clothes, shoes, home goods but I still buy things even though I don’t really need them. There is a satisfaction or a rush that comes with buying something. Does anyone else get that? I guess that’s our culture right, it is constantly trying to get us to buy the next best thing. I remember so clearly a story from a study we did once from Crown Financial Ministries. Here is the excerpt from Biblical Financial Study it’s in the debt section and is titled Be Content with What You Have:

“The advertising industry uses powerful methods to get consumers to buy. Frequently the message is intended to create discontentment with what we have. An example is the American company that opened a new plant in Central America because the labor was relatively inexpensive. Everything went well until the villagers received their first paycheck; afterward they did not return to work. Several days later, the manager went down to the village chief to determine the cause of this problem, and the chief responded, “Why should we work? We already have everything we need.” The plant stood idle for two months until someone came up with the idea of sending a mail-order catalog to every villager. There has not been an employment problem since!”

Isn’t this story amazing! I want to be as content as those villagers were after their first paycheck. I always think of this story when I’m looking in magazines or scrolling through Instagram and see all the “shop my feed” pictures. I find myself thinking “Well that’s adorable I need that!” The more TV we watch the more social media we are on the more stuff we buy. Because of this I have slowly began unsubscribing to all the stores I get emails from. I tell Matt I’m going to get a restraining order against Old Navy because it feels like they are stalking me, funny not funny. So far I have unsubscribed from Old Navy, Target, Ulta, Sephora and The Rack. I think this will really help me in this month of “Living With Less”. Even though this is probably the hardest month to do this I am so glad I am. I have felt my spending get a little out of control lately and I am hoping this resets my priorities. Has anyone else gone on a spending freeze? How has it worked for you? Tell me all about it?

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Anyone who knows Matt and I knows we love anything having to do with Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University. We have taken the class Uuuummm a few times and learned something new each time. We recently paid off all our debt and don’t have any credit cards…well accept one. For years now we have been trying our best to live out the principals we learned in Financial Peace but I can’t help but feel I have been a hypocrite. It’s kind of my dirty little secret. I have a Nordstrom card (Ahhh) glorious, wonderful Nordstrom. I’ve had it for 14 years that’s longer than I’ve been married people!! I have never had more than a $200.00 balance on it and always paid it off right away or pretty quickly (excuses, excuses). Seriously, I have gone years without using it. Now that we paid off our other debts Matt mentioned this Nordstrom card and how silly it is that I still have it. I have always justified why I should keep it. Here are a few of my desperate justifications, “What if I find something I can’t live without it and don’t have the cash”, “I don’t want to miss a deal, there’s only one”, “I like having it, I’ve had it for so long” and “I have self control, I don’t have to use it” and Matt’s personal favorite is “I want the points” (ha) we always go round and round with that one.

This little card has had a crazy hold on me but I’m finally ready to give it up. Something else has been pestering me about this card. It’s hard to put into words but basically for me having this card shows my lack of faith. That God isn’t always looking out for me, or that He won’t provide for me. He doesn’t want me borrowing money just to have the latest trend or some really adorable ankle boots. It shows that I am not trusting God. It’s like I have this security blanket (not really) to help get me things I want not that I need. Oh and not to mention I’m using money I don’t currently have to get it.

It’s easy to say all this to myself and then do nothing about it but it’s another thing to let all of you know my secret so it’s no longer a secret. For me this is a spiritual issue more than anything. As of today even though I feel silly saying it I’m trusting God to supply me with all of my fashion needs and wants with cash not credit.

Here it is all cut up in little pieces. And for those of you out there that know a cut up card isn’t all that needs to be done, I actually called and cancelled my account. For those newbs even if you don’t have your actual card on you they  can look up your account in the store so I have taken that temptation away all together.

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Is there anyone else out there that feels me? I mean am I the only one holding onto a somewhat harmless credit card? I guess it feels good that it’s finally out of my life. The idea of it feels good but we’ll see the next time I wander into the Rack how it feels. I guess I’ll just make sure to take my shopping envelope with me. 🙂

Our house is on the smaller side and we don’t have a lot of wall space. I think this is why I am such a lover of gallery walls. I can’t really decorate with big frames because I would only be able to fit a few pictures on each wall. So I have started using one larger frame and then filling in the space with smaller frames, words, deer heads (ha) you name it I’ve used it. I have played around with a lot of different options and am really happy with how my gallery walls have turned out. So let’s start the tour.

Dining Room: I used to have a large chalkboard here but have since moved that by the front door and had so much fun arranging these pictures. I have a bit of a frame addiction. I pick up frames all the time and still feel like I need more. Some of my favorites have come from thrift stores and clearance sections. The large frame in the upper left is so pretty it’s distressed in gold and white. It was only $5.99 at the goodwill.

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Next is Lily’s Room. This gallery wall has changed a bit through the last year and a half. I could literally cover the whole wall in pictures. Picking which ones go on the wall is so hard.

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Matt’s Office: This wall was a little more challenging because of the lamp situation but I love how this gallery turned out!! Matt cut the California on his Router and I stained it. Anyone want one of their own?

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This stuff is a life saver at keeping all the frames in place. If I don’t use it then all my pictures seem to lean.

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Before I start hanging pictures up there’s a few things I do first.

1.I figure out what I’m going to use.

2. I cut and tape pieces of paper on the wall the same size as my items and start playing around to find the perfect arrangement.

3. I clear a space on the floor and lay everything out to see what it would look like on the wall. Although the paper works good most of the time it really helps to see all the items together. Sometimes once it’s up you might not like the way something looks. Don’t be afraid to change things up either. Don’t just stick to frames.

Some of my favorite items to use in a gallery are:

Plates, Monogram Letters, Candle Holders, Small Chalkboards, Crosses, Tree Rounds, Small/Large Mirrors, Fabric Looms, Garland, Deer Heads (that cute little one in the office gallery is from Ross!) and of course Pictures.

Anyone out there want to put together a gallery wall but you feel intimidated? Well let’s talk about it. I would love to help.

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I can’t believe it’s already Thursday, another week has almost come and gone. Lately I have really been struggling to get everything done that’s on my “to do” list. I feel like my list is never ending. I’m wondering do I want to do too much or am I just not using my time wisely and can actually get it done if I just buckle up and focus.

I started a new Bible Study last week and the group was asked to label their current feelings with emoji faces. There was a mix of emoji’s in the group but there was one that kept coming up. It was the closest I found to overwhelmed! So many of the women said how they have so much to do and have a hard time getting it all done. As the week has gone on I’ve thought so much about it this. It was good to know I’m not alone but then sad to know that other people feel defeated by their lists too.

Is this just the forever woman/mom struggle having too much on our plates? I wonder is it me or society putting the pressure on me to do it all, I guess it’s probably a mix. I did a study once The Life Ready Woman by Shante Feldhahn where she talks about how women are expected to be able to do it all. You have to be the perfect homemaker while working outside the home, be the perfect mom, wife, baker, cook and whatever else. She simply stated that there is no way to be it all and do it all and we shouldn’t have to. Here is a little info on the study.

“Thankfully, God has given us exactly that timeless, unchanging guidance for how to find peace, clarity, and God’s best for our lives once we know where to look! The Life Ready Woman: Thriving in a Do-It-All World, reveals a profound biblical roadmap for how each of us can find the abundant life we are longing for, rather than the stressful, torn, how-do-I-balance-it-all life we often feel like we are trying to keep up with today. Actually being a LifeReady Woman means that you are clear about your life, bold in your faith, and able to find God’s best for you, and the end result will be that you not only survive but thrive in our do-it-all world.”

Doesn’t that sound great?! I think I need this study again. It’s funny because when I went through this a couple years ago my life looked very different. I lived in a different city a different house had no kids. I remember thinking what good advice and great practical principals. I wonder why more women don’t practice this and understand they don’t have to do it all. Fast forward a couple years and insert a big laugh and eye roll for my naivety. My prayer and plan is to slow down not focus so much on my list and “BE” ok with:

Not having a perfectly clean house

Not showering everyday (keeping it real)

Taking a nap without having guilt

Not bringing in a regular paycheck

Serving fish sticks and mac n cheese for dinner (sometimes)

Taking a day or more to reply back to texts and emails.

Not being able to do it all!!

I know there’s more but that’s all I could think of for now. Is there anyone out there feeling the same way? I would love to hear from you.

Happy Monday! I don’t know about you but I am a podcast lover. I am so encouraged and motivated by them. I thought it would be fun to share my favorites with you.

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There’s something so special about the very first Podcast I ever listened to, Revive Our Hearts. I was told about this ministry from a dear friend. They have some really great 30 day challenges that I have done, I really recommend them!

1. Revive Our Hearts  The love and knowledge that Nancy Leigh Wolgemuth shares about the Lord with these podcasts have helped carry me through some of the most difficult moments in my life. Seriously you will walk away feeling enriched and stronger in your faith.

2. Your Move with Andy Stanley  I can’t really put into words how great Andy Stanley is. Just go listen!! He is wonderful!

3. Parenting Great Kids with Dr. Meg Meeker You will love her! Go download now. Matt’s currently reading her book Strong Fathers Strong Daughters. He’s having a lot of Aha moments.

4.  Dr Laura She’s so many things 🙂 where do I start! She’s bold, moral, honest (some say rude), funny and tells it like it is. We all need a little Dr Laura in our lives. P.S I met Dr. Laura at a book signing for The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands years ago it was pretty cool!

5. Focus On The Family These next two are constant and classic. Their titles pretty much explain it all. They are all about Christian family values, marriage, parenting and personal growth.

6. Family Life Today You may have heard of The family life marriage conferences. Matt and I went years ago to one in Monterrey. This is such a cool ministry. They have a great app too.

7. Joyce Meyer  is a powerhouse. She is amazing and full of faith, knowledge and wisdom. You will feel challenged and convicted to be who God calls you to be after listening to her.

8. Dave Ramsey  I usually catch Dave on the radio but sometimes I’ll download his podcast if it’s been awhile since I’ve heard him on the radio.

9. Christy Wrights Business Boutique I just recently started listening to Christy Wright’s podcast. I heard her on Dave’s show and loved everything she had to say. She always has a guest on each podcast, which I love. It’s such practical advice.

10. New Life Live This is another show that I usually catch while I’m in the car. They are a group of Christian Counselors that answer callers questions. It is so, so good but beware it is usually for mature audiences.

There you have it some of my favorite podcasts. I have a few in my library that I want to get to but just haven’t yet.

Craig Groeschel Life Church.tv 

Marvelous Moms 

Do you have any podcasts you love and want to share? I am always looking to add to my list!

Have a great week 🙂