For travel plans and just everyday life, tips for traveling light are always greatly appreciated. All it takes is overpacking one time or lugging too much in your tote to understand the value of traveling with less. Eliminate the extra stuff, stick to necessities, and your load will be lighter. The less you are carrying allows you freedom to be more present, explore more easily, and go with the flow of the day more fluidly.
Jase and I travel often, especially now with a place in Idaho! When it comes to packing light for those trips, here is what I stick to…
–Work out clothes: bike shorts, tanks, cropped tees, leggings, and sweatshirts
–Casual vibe: denim, sneaks, boots, tees, and sweatshirts
–Comfy clothes: this is a must for all vacations. I have to be comfortable in order to truly relax, so athleisure is the name of the game
–Layers that mix & match: the more that you can wear together, the less you have to take!
–Hats of all kinds and sunnies: for all outdoor activities and let’s be honest, the hats hide the hair that won’t be washed too often on vacay.
Sticking to these necessities have made packing for Idaho a simple strategy that I return to each time we make the trip. Not only does packing simply keep my physical load light, but it keeps my mental load light too and that is KEY for joyful travel and a rejuvenating time spent away.
Just wanted to chime in with a quick update on our process of moving in! If you follow Jase and I on Instagram you will have seen that it has been a lot of work with a lot of stuff (especially pillows…!), patience, time, help, energy, understanding, and LOVE. We are so thankful for this new home and cannot wait to see the chapters of life that unfold within these walls.
The main words I keep thinking about during this move are patience, grace, and gratefulness. My acupuncturist a few weeks ago talked to me about the act of “reframing,” which is taking a situation and turning it into a positive perspective rather than a negative. I keep saying that I am so grateful that I get to unpack and create a space for my family.
For instance, the dust has been a nightmare for me, and it’s somewhat helpless to avoid it at the beginning of the move and after a renovation (no matter how much you clean). The stores and dusty boxes bring in more dust, the items in the box that have collected dust do the same, and the foot traffic brings in all the things too! We just keep cleaning and continue being grateful for the progress!
I am the type that diligently finishes every project I start. And y’all probably know, my home reflects the Marie Condo theme that everything has a place. Organization, creating a home, cleaning, and feeling settled is in the heart of who I am so this process can be mentally tough. I keep reminding myself that this is a process and I am so grateful for this space now and what it will develop into. It’s such a parallel for life. We often want something to be complete, but the time of work and waiting is often times a struggle.
My parents came in to help and it was a game changer. My dad literally did over 30 hours of laundry (he is a pro!), and my mom is the best organizer of coordinating the rooms. She also set boundaries for us to stop when we were tired and to rest when we needed it so we didn’t fully exhaust ourselves every day. I could not be more thankful on how well we work together and how much they sacrifice for us, even though they just view it as a gift to help!
Our method in unpacking was to unpack everything first, and then organize it into categories in the appropriate room. We also first vacuumed and cleaned every cabinet thoroughly. And P.S. we are only using Branch Basics in our clean up! Then we organized drawers and cabinets + write a list of organizers we needed to order to make it fully complete.
It’s so nuts to me because we purged so much before the move, and so you think you are good to go with purging when you move, but this was not the case for us! We are continuing to purge items, which is the best feeling in the world.
Other keys to a successful move-in: blasting music throughout the house, laughing, making sure you get enough food and water, rest when you need to, and HAVE FUN!!
Also, last but certainly not least, I have been praying over our house as we unpack – such a special and powerful thing to do, inviting Jesus into the process.
Thanks for reading and share this post with anyone who is preparing for and praying over an upcoming move themselves!
Just last week, one of our favorite authors and speakers, Rebekah Lyons, came out with a new book. Her book, You Are Free, is one we have recommended here on the blog before and her new book, Rhythms of Renewal, is once again a must-read.
We are so excited to soon be asking Rebekah a few questions, so of course the Q&A will be posted here on the blog, but until then we had to share an excerpt from her book that we keep re-reading. Focused on four rhythms: rest, restore, connect, and create, this new book from RL encourages readers to incorporate these four ways of being in their lives in order to truly rest, experience restoration, deeply connect, and beautifully create.
Just from the dedication page, it is clear this book is one that your soul is going to soak up. She shares this psalm in the opening page:
“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.” Psalm 25:4-5
Then on page 21, just in the introduction, Rebekah writes this:
“Through study and experience, I’ve come to understand four rhythms that help us replace stress and anxiety with life-giving peace and purpose. They help us nurture and sustain lasting emotional health. These rhythms aren’t complicated- Rest, Restore, Connect, and Create…however, these rhythms do take practice. Practical acts like fasting from media (Rest), exercising (Restore), sharing a laugh (Connect), or recovering an old talent (Create) can help us break the anxiety-inducing cycles of the world around us and bring balance to our otherwise hectic lives. They can help us cultivate the spiritual and mental space needed to allow God to bring us through complacency and fear and into freedom.” -Rebekah Lyons
Here’s to breaking “the anxiety-inducing cycles of the world around us” that are so easy to slip into. Instead, root yourself in these rhythms and find yourself flourishing and truly living from a place of peace, rest, and strength! Thanks, Rebekah, for writing such a faith-filled and much-needed book.
The other day someone in passing said to me when saying goodbye, “take good care of yourself”! Their words made me think: what does “take good care of yourself” actually mean? How does one do that well?
TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF…
…means different things for different people at different times. But man oh man, is it important. Our loving Lord of course is our great caretaker; He takes care of us in multiple ways from His throne. I believe though that He equips us to take care of ourself AND in His great provision, surrounds us with people who will also care for us. It’s our responsibility, though, to care for ourselves to the best of our human ability. This includes caring for our physical bodies, emotional selves, spiritual souls, and our God-focused minds.
…for all of us to fight off the guilt that the enemy uses when we do focus on and care for ourselves. Don’t be surprised when the devil tries to tell you you are selfish or you should be doing something else for someone else. It’s simply NOT TRUE. Taking good care of yourself by rest, relaxation, taking time to do your favorite hobby, investing in yourself, doing something that makes you smile…all of those things fill up your energy tank in order to take care of others in your life well! You have to be filled up in order to fill others up.
Friends! We are so excited to bring to you an amazing Q&A we had the honor of participating in with author and speaker Bianca Olthoff. While we have not met Bianca in person, we feel as though we know her from interview her, reading her new book, and following her on Instagram and that is because she is real and honest in everything she writes and says and THAT, my friends, is a gift and a treasure. Her new book, How To Have Your Life Not Suck: Becoming Today Who You Want To Be Tomorrow, is one of those books that you think about constantly once you start it and one that you tell all your girlfriends about. Bianca is encouraging, inspiring, and convicting; she writes in such a way that makes you want to hit your knees, praying and crying out to God, praising Him for all he has done, and trusting Him for all that He will do. Her words makes you want to stand firm in your faith, obey with endurance, and step out in courage. Keep reading to meet Bianca Olthoff and be inspired to read her incredible book.
TAKE A READ…
Let’s talk about your Instagram. We are loyal followers and your posts always do things: 1) make us LOL so hard and 2) inspire us beyond words, motivating us to fight the good fight and love the Lord with all our hearts. What do you love sharing and interacting with others on your Instagram platform and what has inspired your approach to your IG posts?
First of all, I don’t have followers—I have FRIENDS! I love that we are cyber friends. Secondly, the fact that you laugh at my posts SOLIDIFIED us as forever friends.
But the reason I love social media is that it has really leveled the playing field of communication within social class, nationality, and popularity. Within seconds you can commenting and engaging with a superstar in Brazil by leaving Instagram love, Snapchatting your roommate in the bunk bed next to you, or inspiring someone you’ve never met via Facebook live. Social media has many pitfalls, but there’s a lot of amazing ways to connect, inspire, and be encouraged by new friends we wouldn’t have otherwise met if it wasn’t for the good ol’ world wide web.
For me personally, I know my online friends don’t really go to church. And if they do, it’s not very consistent. So I bring church to them! Yes, I post silly things that I love, but I also posts clips of me teaching the Word of God, sharing inspiring quotes, or sharing stories of life transformation. Why? Because we have this awesome tool called the internet and we can make a really big world feel really small if we take time to engage with people.
First of all, can I put y’all in my pocket and pull you out anytime I need encouragement?! All this flattery will get you EVERYWHERE. Just kidding! (Well, half kidding.)
The very first bible study I taught was on the book of Ruth over 15 years ago. I discovered that the Bible was FULL of practical wisdom, truth, and humor that could have me not just survive my quarter-life crisis, but THRIVE in a difficult season. So I guess you can say it was a 15-year process to write this book! But I set out to write a playbook that I wish I had when I was in a really sucky season of life. Being single, moving back home, not working my dream job—those were all very normal struggles, but no one talked to me or mentored me in a way that impacted me.
This is my playbook for women who want to get their life together and a primer for those who want to understand and connect with the next generation.
As we started to read, we couldn’t put the book down! Your vulnerability and willingness to share your story, as well as your strong faith and passion for God’s Word, are so evident in these pages. I am sure there are many, but if there is one thing that you want readers to take away from your book, what would it be?
YES! Without a doubt, I want people to understand the power of legacy. This isn’t fully obvious in the book of Ruth, but in the New Testament we see that this pagan, barren, widowed Moabite (basically she was HOT MESS EXPRESS) ends up in the lineage of Jesus Christ?! The decisions she made in her everyday effected her tomorrow—she wasn’t living for a good weekend, she was building a good legacy.
If people read one chapter of my book, I would suggest reading the very last chapter. Go ahead! I give you permission. My hope is that people understand that all decisions, all disillusionment, and despair can be redeemed. Because if you are not dead, then God is not done.
Your writing style is the perfect balance of straightforward, tell it like it is, preach it type of wisdom, with a side dose of humor that makes what you say incredibly moving and memorable. Your relationship advice in particular is always spot-on! What is it about single women and the dating world that inspires you to speak into their lives with such Truth and passion? It is such a gift!
Hand to heaven, I told Jesus that when I would preach, teach, write, or create, I will NEVER ostracize my single sisters. I love the Church, but it felt like I was less-than, unwanted, or diseased during my single years (I didn’t get married until 30 and instantly inherited two step kids). The enemy will have a field day with our mind if we believe that narrative. So I’m always intentional to include as many voices to the conversation as possible. And dating SUCKS, man. Let’s share wisdom and stories with humility and candor so we can learn how to date well!
Did the story of Ruth always hold a special place in your heart? You weave Ruth and her story so well into your personal stories throughout the book. When did you first realize that God had placed on your heart to write this book and how did Ruth become a central role in it?
I’m a first generation American with a family that wasn’t religious. My parents came to this country with nothing, but chose God to be their God, the United States to be their land, and God’s people to be their people. That was Ruth’s story. Scrappy, hard-working, and not like those in her community, she showed up. Her chutzpa inspired me and I hope everyone who reads this book finds a piece of their story in her story. Redemption isn’t just for the perfect, polished, and pretty. Redemption is for all of us.
You guys!! I have such exciting news to share. You know my Clean Sweep Program well by now: a clean living 90-day guidebook to clean up the foods you eat, the products you use, and the self-care practices you follow…normally priced for $129.99. However, today I am sharing an opportunity to get the Clean Sweep + 29 other wellness-focused programs created by wellness gurus for just $99.99!!YES. You read that correctly. It’s the deal of a lifetime and only available this week. Keep reading for the details!
The Bundle Co.
I have teamed up with The Bundle Co: a company that works with influencers to package their programs (like my Clean Sweep!) with like-minded programs into a bundle, creating a community of influencers, causing awareness for the incredible content they have to share, and making it accessible and affordable for YOU!
30 Wellness Programs for $99.99
You can read more details HERE, including all of the amazing programs included in the bundle. A few of my favorites include:
& so many more!! By purchasing all 30 programs in this bundle for $99.99, you are saving a total of 98%! YES, all of this must-know wellness & information for 98% off! It’s such a smart investment for your mind, soul, and body.
Over a $5,000 value
I know how much heart and soul I put into creating the Clean Sweep and believe that all other 29 creators in this bundle did the same with the incredible health-focused content that they curated. In total, all of the programs together are valued for over $5K. You would be purchasing all 30 programs, with forever access to the information, for $99.99. That is seriously INCREDIBLE. It’s a deal only available this week, so hurry and don’t miss it!! Here is the link and I will be talking about it on Instagram all week long.