Plentiful

 

harvest field

 

Matthew 9: 36-38  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

Eastside Mission had it’s kick-off community block party outreach yesterday.  I must say it was absolutely amazing to be back on the streets after 8 months of “being still” and waiting on God.  During the 8 months God was growing, stretching and preparing us as He was about to expand our borders.  After 4 years of inner city street ministry on Main Street in Hamilton we thought God had really given us a HUGE mission field.  Now, reflecting back we realize that was our time of preparation.  

Back to yesterday, we had all kinds of fun activities for our introduction into the neighborhood. Pastor Felix and I spent the time by getting to know our neighbors, meeting their families and talking about their needs and the community needs.  At one point, I remember standing a midst all the busyness of serving and lovin’ on people I had a count of 175 people that we were blessed to serve this day.  We have approximately 1700 people within immediate radius, we passed out 560 total flyers and served 175 men, women and children.   As I’m standing there and process all of the conversations I was having, watching the kids playing I am feeling overwhelmed with all the needs.  Trust me, the needs in this area are many!  As we suspected there is a lot of heroin and addicted mommies and daddies.  Many generations living together in small houses and not being able to make the ends meet.  

For some time leading up to the kick-off and even more today we have been posting pictures, sharing needs, asking for volunteers and I’m starting to feel myself getting stressed about how in the world are we going to accomplish this.  This is 4x what we did and served over on Main Street.  God what in the world are you thinking?  So as I’m starting into that familiar tailspin I pick up my bible and I start reading about Jesus going into a city and Him telling the disciples that the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few.  Man God is so awesome 2,000 years ago He knew that there would be a great need for workers in the harvest field.  God knows we are facing many needs financial, volunteers, supplies, etc. but God ALSO knows that the laborers are few; therefore, as He is guiding me in His word to ask Him to send out workers into His harvest field.  Because bottom line – He has given Pastor Felix and I the charge of stewardship over this mission and building His church among these un-reached people and whether He sends us 2 or 20 we are going to praise Him, serve others and glorify our God as we pray for God to send the laborers.  Won’t you take a minute and join us in praying for this harvest field and the workers to serve in it!!  God might also be calling you to take a step out, he may be calling you to step outside of the church you are comfortable in with the friends and family you love and do some water walking!

Praise Him!!

Love

women in flowers

Good Morning Beautiful Women of God!  This blog is especially for you today.  My daughter had a couple of unpleasant conversations with two “Christian” women this morning and it caused me to start thinking about women of God.  Oh, how precious we are to our Lord!  He loves us so much.  When we were created God said it is good.  As I look out this morning I see the sun shining brightly through the trees.  I can feel the warmth on my skin and I smell the most beautiful aroma from flowers growing nearby.  Then a thought hit me; Wow!  I am being loved on this morning by my Lord.  I’m not certain that I actually pause long enough to notice that God is loving on me with all the beauty that He surrounds me with.  Sometimes as women life can really knock us down.  There are so many varying degrees of who we are supposed to be.  We have the feminist movement that tells us we can do anything that men can do; sometimes even better.  Then we have some ultra conservative movements that tell us we can’t even make a noise without our husband’s permission.  What are we to do and feel as a woman living in today’s messed up confusing world?

As I’m soaking in the beauty of God’s creation around me I am thinking about how as women of God we live out being not only God’s ambassadors but that we were actually created in His likeness.  We have the attributes of God within us.  When He created both male and female we were both created in God’s image.  Do we display this image to other women?  Are we being the best women that we can be?  Are we honoring God with our speech; our actions?  I told you that I have a lot going on in my mind today.

This blog’s point is leading me to the heart of a woman.  We can tell what indwells within a woman simply by the words that come out of her mouth.  We can tell who she is spending time with or who she is NOT spending time with by the way she treats others.  How do you measure up today in comparison to His image today?

I agree that we have a special set of struggles and circumstances that we go through in life as women.  Some women are widows, single parents, divorced, broken and wounded.  Some women are in abusive relationships because they don’t see any other way out.  Some women are very happily married and are thrilled to enjoy the life that they have.  Whichever situation you find yourself in today I implore you to take the time to stand outside and feel the love of our heavenly father.  Stand for one moment and soak in the warm sun on your skin.  Take a deep breath in and enjoy the fresh air or maybe some glorious scents from flowers close by.  Women we are a special created being.  Step into all that God has created you for today.  Find rest and peace knowing that God not only has you wrapped in His loving arms but that everything around us speaks of His goodness.

Ladies you are each beautiful wonderful women created for a specific plan and purpose.  Are you walking in all that has been prepared for you today?  What is coming out of your heart?  Rest in Jesus and His love.  Allow Him to consume you to your very core ladies.  Take time today just to spend time with Him.  Love on Him and allow Him to love you back.  Ladies, others will know if you have been with Him.  Ladies, others will know where your heart is and who you keep company with just by your words and actions.  So take the time out from your busy day spend some of it with God then take that love, that peace, that warmth to someone else and give it to them.  Praise Him Today!!!

Finally Friday – It’s Time To Come Undone!!!

needle

Compassion – suffering with someone with the desire to help them, this is what my husband told a youth group we pastored 16 years ago.  I thought I understood the meaning of compassion back then but I had not even begun to comprehend it’s depth of meaning.

Life for us has been crazy this last month with the closing of the café, my diagnosis of fibromyalgia and the experimental medications the insurance company has made me go through before I can take the one my doctor actually thinks will help me.   So for me, this week wraps up a four year long journey as we will lock the door to Offerings Holy Grounds Café for the last time this Saturday.  What a journey it has been.  Just penning these words springs up a well of tears filling my eyes.

We have met so many people.  We have seen the good, the bad and the truly ugly.  I have so many stories that it would take me all month to share.  One that comes to my mind to share is of a blonde haired woman that lives a life of prostitution and crack addiction.  I had only known “Misty” for about a week when I found her crouched out in the back parking lot trying to smoke crack out of some kind of make-shift pipe.  She was frayed from end to end, disheveled and rocking back and forth.  I remember walking up to her and standing there for minutes with her never even looking up to see what I was doing.  My heart was feeling physically heavy as I lowered myself to my knees in front of her.  All the while she never once looked at me; she continued to try to put crack in this so called pipe while she continued to rock back in forth.  I can still feel the pain deep inside of me this day as I recount this story. I sat there for a minute or two and just watched her not knowing what I should do.  With a deep breath I stretched my arms toward her and I cupped her weary face into my shaking hands.  As I cradled her face her eyes met mine and at that moment I had become totally undone, never to be the same again.

Have you ever had an encounter with such suffering that it totally rocked your world?  I did that day.  That day I felt so much suffering and pain that I began to understand the meaning of compassion.  Right there that day it hit me; compassion feels bad.  It hurts, it’s dirty, it’s messy, it’s . . . awful.  Compassion is walking away from an encounter that you know has changed your life forever and you realize that life as you knew it would never be the same.

Friends, we live in a world full of pain; do you feel it?  Or have we become so desensitized by all the news stories and so self-centered that we will walk right past a person begging on the streets.  Or as we pass the poor we drop our eyes so that we don’t have to look at them.

By now, most have put in at least a 40 hour week already work.  So now we can have this weekend to enjoy and kick it up as we please.  I understand this; I lived it for most of my life.  I worked long hard hours at a job that was okay just so I could pay a mortgage on a house that I no longer live in and travel to a tropical state for a two week vacation once every year.  I was living the dream; right?  No, I had bought into a lie.

After four years of street ministry I have got to admit it’s dirty, it’s hard and it’s painful.  But my friends, I could not go back to the comfortable life that I once knew.  I have been called to follow Jesus, the one who gave up the comfort of heaven and had compassion on me.  As I was holding Misty in my arms Jesus was holding me in His.  Jesus was whispering into my ear, He was saying, “Kimberleigh lay down your net and follow me.”  Suffer with her, have compassion “with” her, feel it.  He showed me in that very moment that I would shed many tears for the little children that I would see running around in the alleys barefoot, dirty and hungry.  He showed me that I would feel the deep heart wrenching pain of holding a drug addicted prostitute in my arms.  He showed me that the road that I had stepped onto was narrow and the path that I was about to take is dirty, full of busted beer bottles, heroine needles, crack pipes and cigarette butts.  Sitting in a little church, pastoring teens I would never have imagined that I would be here today serving the poor and broken in my community I would have avoided it at all costs.

Before you approach your weekend and all the activities you have planned I ask you to spend some time alone with God.  Listen for His whisper.  It’s there.  Your path and purpose have all been laid out before you were even created.  Turn the world down for just a little while and turn off its lies of if we work hard enough, make enough money, and buy all the latest and greatest gadgets that we will be happy.  What is He calling you to do, where is He calling you to go?  We live in a world full of pain and suffering but few have actually engaged it.  Most of us, walk past the beggar and the drunkard and lower our eyes.

Four years ago, I had an encounter with my Savior that caused me to become radically undone and since that time I have held many women while they cry.  I have seen pain and hopelessness in their eyes.  For me, I know that my life will never be the same.  There is no way to put those pieces all back together, the dirt has been under my nails for so many years that OPI can’t cover it.

Just for this weekend, before you go out to eat buy someone else a meal first.  Before you buy that new outfit you’ve been waiting for buy one for someone else.  And when you walk down the street smile at the person you are passing.  I encourage you to become UNDONE!!

Praise Him!!

Moment by Moment

woman_in_stress

I am sitting in my sewing room listening to KLove on the radio and trying to install a zipper on a cosmetic bag that I am making.  I have only sewed one zipper before and after ripping the seams out 4 times and starting over I can say that  I am really getting frustrated.  A commercial played on the radio from the movie Son of God where Jesus was talking to Peter and Peter asked Jesus, “What are we going to do?”  Jesus replied, “Change the world.”

I know you must be thinking what does all of this have to do with sewing zippers.  Well, at that very moment, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “take a breath, say a prayer and then tackle this zipper with gladness and an opportunity to learn.”  Really?  I did just that.

Renewing our minds is not only a daily activity it can be a moment by moment task.  Therefore, I encourage you, if you are working on something at your job that has you frustrated, if you are waiting on patients or customers that are pushing your last nerve, stop for a moment, take a breath, say a prayer and then approach the situation with a willingness to learn and grow.  With each day and each obstacle there is an opportunity to glorify God.

With the remaining twelve and a half hours left in this day step outside of yourself and strive to serve others, actively go out of your way to make someone smile, speak kind words to everyone you encounter, approach your task with gladness and embrace this gifted day as an opportunity to reflect Jesus.

Praise Him!

Monday Morning Motivation

monday morning

What a Magnificent Monday Morning.  Glory be to God!  As you reach over to silence the ringing of your alarm clock sticking your arm out from the warmth and comfort of your cozy bed your thoughts go to, “I hate Mondays”.  I’ve had such a great weekend, why does the weekend go by so fast?  You slowly and begrudgingly place your feet on the floor and start making your way to the coffee machine.

This morning, I want to encourage you as you inhale the warm aroma of your freshly brewed hot coffee to exhale and purpose in your mind that this is going to be a magnificent Monday. You can change the course of your day just by renewing the way you approach your day in your mind.

As your taste buds come alive with the anticipation of the hot, creamy, smooth first sip of coffee allow God to energize your mind.  Some of you don’t like your job, some are okay with their job but spend the week wishing it was Friday.  Perhaps you are not employed.  Whatever your circumstance may be, allow God to direct your steps today in a positive manner.  Stop your stinking thinking and your complaining and embrace this day as the gift that it is.

Serve your customers, patients and employers as you are serving Jesus himself.  Each person you encounter may be Jesus in disguise treat them as such.  Take your disappointments and renew your mind by embracing them as an opportunity to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Savior.

Place a smile on your face by picturing Jesus lovingly looking into your eyes and guiding you as you type each letter, take someone’s temperature, assist your boss, load trucks, deliver food, fill teeth, whatever it is that you do.  He is saying to you as you do to these you are doing to me.  Love them as you love me.  Embrace your day as an opportunity to live it as fully as you possibly can.  Make each moment count, take every thought captive and bring it into line with God’s plan for us to have joy and peace.

You have a choice on how you will live today.  Embrace it with love, joy, peace, excitement and an opportunity to love and serve God and others.  What a glorious day the Lord has given us.  Let’s make this Monday Magnificent.

Praise Him!

Strongholds – The devil never wins unless you don’t fight!

 

I grew up in an independent Baptist church, I learned all the Sunday School Characters, the children’s choir songs and shame.  Yes, I said shame.  Although, I was in church from the time I was 5 years old throughout my life I was testing the waters of the world.  I felt the rules and regulations that were being expected of me were way too much for me to ever obtain so I thought, why bother.

 

I remember sitting in the hallway at my childhood home and fighting with my dad insistently saying I don’t want to go to church tonight.  It’s too cold to put on a dress; I’ve got homework, etc. etc.  The excuses were numerous.

 

At the age of 16 I decided that I knew what was best for my life and I ran away from home and got married.  Oh yeah, wow, there is freedom in that statement for me.  You see, I lived so many years of my life chasing the pleasures of this world only to be left with guilt and shame.  So over the course of my young life I learned how to hide many things in secret places so that no one would know about my sins.  No one would know about all of the partying; drinking and drugging and must I add the many men.

 

Later in years when I married a good man and came to Christ and I learned to hide and pretend that I had this wonderful perfect life so I hid this secret shameful life that no one must know about.  After all, my new husband was a preacher and if people really knew what kind of life his wife had years before who knew what kind of damage that could do to him and damage it did do.  To make a long painful story short, my amazing God lovin’ husband was told that because of my past that He could never be in ministry other than driving the church Sunday school bus.  Wow!  I did that to him.  I ruined his life, or so I thought.

 

Many many years down the road I was growing closer to my Jesus and falling deeply in love with His heart and learning what He is really all about.   Here’s one lesson I have learned from this time in my life.  In Matthew 12:43-45 we read about satan seeking a stronghold.  I was allowing the enemy to come into my Jesus cleaned life by keeping my past a secret because of all of the guilt and shame that I felt and I allowed the enemy to gain a foothold into my life.  I learned that whatever you hide in the dark Satan will use it to harm you; however, you must expose it to the light to allow God to heal it and remove it.

 

I learned the impactful meaning of John 8:36 – If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.  Listen friends what strongholds does the enemy have hanging over your head?  I encourage you to take some alone time with our wonderful merciful creator and sustainer and take him into those secret places that have become a stronghold that if left alone the enemy will destroy us with.

 

Two and a half years ago, I stood in our café with a packed house and with God’s voice saying in my ear; it’s time my child.  I have come to set you free.  I grabbed that microphone and gave my testimony.  And one link at a time the chains that had held me for over 20 years came clanging to the ground.  That day I learned that Jesus’ blood is enough!  His precious blood that He shed for me is enough to cover absolutely anything I have ever done.  There is power in the blood, there is freedom in the blood, and there is salvation in HIS blood!

 

Sisters, let me encourage you today that if you have anything holding you back from becoming the woman God created you to be, I encourage you at this time to take it to the cross and allow those chains to be broken.  It’s time to deal with the things that are in our lives that keeps the river of living waters from flowing in and out of our life!  Be encouraged.

 

Praise Him!

fervent-prayer

A Woman Transformed – Rahab

Scripture:  Joshua 2:1-24, 6:17-25; Matthew 1:5; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25

Rahab

Rahab lived about 1406 B.C. in Jericho.  Rahab was strong, brave, decisive and a prostitute.  This was a common profession back in this time but still not looked good upon.  She lived in a house that was at the city wall which made her highly accessible to travelers. Rahab is known in scripture as being Rahab the Harlot.  Harlot meaning a woman that yields herself to any man who approaches her.  During this time she had learned about the Exodus of Israel and the miracles of the Red Sea.

So here we are after 40 years of struggle the Israelites were ready to enter the promised land.  The Israelites were now under the leadership of

Joshua who trained under Moses.  Joshua needed to get the Israelites to the Promised Land so he sent two spies to secretly scout out the area.  Upon their arrival these men were spotted.  So the king of Jericho sent a message to Rahab to bring the men out.  Instead under the threat of treason and the penalty of death she hid the men and told the king’s soldiers that they had left town.

So Rahab asked a favor of the two spies.  She asked them to spare her family from death.  They agreed.  Rahab told them to run to the hills so she lowered them by rope through a window to safety outside the city wall.  For seven days she waited and while she heard the Israelities marching around Jericho; but she had faith.  This act and her faith in God earned her the title as a woman of Faith.

As  women, wives and mothers we all have day to day struggles and we make mistakes along the way.  We can learn faith, courage, commitment and o

bedience from Rahab.  As Rahab’s example, no matter what your path in life has been a simple step of faith in Jesus Christ can turn your life around. Hebrews 11:31

Listen she went from prostitute to being in the lineage of motherhood of Jesus Christ.  Wow!  A prosititute in the lineage of Jesus Christ.  What Rahab found was deliverance through the mercy of God.  Friends Rahab experienced a transformed life.  If a prostitute can become a saint of faith and become a mother in the line of Jesus then nothing is impossible.

Rahab had no religious background but she had a courageous choice to make.  First, she chose to have faith. Second, she chose to help. Rahab risked her own life by an act of treason.  Just as God transformed Rahab he is able to transform any life that is brought to Him no matter how wicked, broken or wretched it may be.  God showed her mercy.   Remember that you have not fallen so far that God can’t reach you.  No matter what you’ve done, where you are right now take a risk, put your faith in God and allow Him to transform you.  You are His creation.  You are His precious daughter, allow Him the opportunity to transform you into the woman He created you to be.

 

Praise Him!

Broken and Naked Before God

 

 
He Without Sin 017    John 8:1-11

My text is from the story of the woman taken in adultery.  It was the time of year during the Feast of Tabernacles, where every Jewish man and woman went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast that commemorates their ancestors living in tents as they wandered thru the wilderness.  Now this story takes place early in the morning.  Jesus is outside the temple teaching a group of people when all of a sudden the scribes and the Pharisees show up dragging behind them a naked woman.  This woman has been caught in the act of adultery.  According to the Law of Moses she is to be stoned to death.  (Lev. 20:10 The man who commits adultery with another’s wife even his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.)

Let’s take a look at the brokenness – as we journey throughout our life we encounter many situations that cause us to become broken people.  Perhaps, we were introduced to drugs and/or alcohol and became addicts.  Or we were physically or sexually abused as children.  We become extremely far in debt, we cheat on college exams or taxes.  How about we catch our spouse, the love of our life, having an affair or a porn addiction.  Just take a look back over your life or your current situation and I’m sure you can name a few things along the way that has caused you to become broken.  I know I have.  At some point in our life we have failed somewhere or someone; we have blown it, we’ve made a wrong choice or two.

So  here we go back to John 8: 2-5 But early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them.  As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery.  They put her in front of the crowd.  “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone here. What do you say?”

These Jewish leaders were trying to trap Jesus.  These men were happy because they figure they’ve got Jesus where they want him.  They know she’s guilty.  She knows she’s guilty.  And Jesus knows she’s guilty.  Everybody knows she’s guilty.  Never mind, that these scribes and Pharisees have already just broken the law themselves because they did not bring the man to Jesus . . . nope, just the woman.

So check it in verses 6-11.  They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.  They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” The he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

This is so good.  Picture this it’s early, Jesus is teaching a group outside the Temple and here the leaders come rocks in their hands dragging this naked broken woman caught in adultery.  Friends, these men are armed and ready.  (Vs. 9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with this woman.)  I LOVE this! Jesus turns it all around on them.  As the Jewish leaders were ready to prosecute this woman with rocks in hand Jesus turns it around on them by asking them to let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone and when they are confronted with facing their sin they leave one by one dropping their rocks to the ground.  Halleluiah! Praise God!

Then here is where grace comes in.  When they have all dropped their rocks and left and Jesus stands up and looks this woman in the eye he says (vs. 10-11) Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”  “No, Lord,” she replied.  And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”  WOW!!  Now that’s what I’m talking about Jesus and His love for sinners; grace, grace marvelous grace.

That is grace my friend.  Was this woman guilty?  Absolutely.  Was Jesus the only sinless person there qualified to throw the rock at her?  Oh yes.  But He doesn’t He says to her Go and sin no more.  So why is this important; there are several reasons.

  1.  Why doesn’t Jesus condemn her?  She’s guilty right.  So as this woman stands before Jesus broken and naked it’s not going to be very long before Jesus goes to the cross, the only sinless perfect man was about to die for this woman who was not.  This is too good friends.  This is my Jesus!!!
  2. I want you to notice He also wants our commitment.  He says Go and sin NO MORE.  He gives grace my friends but He does NOT excuse our sin.  He doesn’t say go and do whatever you want you are covered by my grace.  He says, SIN NO MORE.  Listen, Jesus gives us grace and forgiveness but He hates sin.  Have you ever heard the saying, Hate the sin but love the sinner?  It’s like this Jesus says, Woman, I don’t condemn you but I do not like what you did so go and don’t do it anymore.  Get it?

If you are sitting here saying well, I know this is wrong and I shouldn’t steal this candy bar but I will just do it and then ask for forgiveness; then you don’t get it.  Forgiveness is not a get out of jail free card.  I will do this today and then confess it later.  Nope.  Check it once you come to God with your brokenness He will put you back together and you will not want to go against anything other than to strive to be Christ like.

Today where do you stand . . . are you like one of the Pharisees that are holding the rocks ready to throw them at other people while you stand there in your own sin.  Or perhaps you are like this woman; broken, guilty and have never quite gotten over it.  As you stand there naked and in front of Jesus with your life broken and shattered lying all over the ground are you ready to come to Jesus and give Him ALL of these broken pieces.  Listen friends, with confession and repentance Jesus still stands today ready to forgive us and not condemn us.   The next step is up to you.

My Journey To Minimalism – Week 2

After a BIG downsize, clean and truck bed full in our Master Bedroom we were blessed enough to be able to take a couple of days and go stay at a respite for full-time ministry workers.  While we were there we had time to relax and reflect.  I’ve got to say after week 1 I am already feeling a little lighter and I can’t wait to give all my clothes away to people in our neighborhood in need.  I think a lot about those that we serve in this inner city ministry; the ones in jail and the ones in our back yard.  Three years of being on this mission field we have learned so many lessons and have grown closer and more connected to God.  I’ve prayed for the last two of the three years to be able to see the people through Jesus’ eyes and love them with a compassion that He has for them.

No matter if you are the C.E.O. of a major corporation, a ditch digger, a mega-church pastor or a homeless addict we are all God’s creation and people that Jesus died for and each individual life carries equal value and worth.  Through my prayers I have been able to see the needs around me.  During this journey I’ve been able to slow down enough to notice my community.  I’ve realized that my money and my stuff do not belong to me.  I am only the steward over the resources that God has allowed me to have.  I must admit as I’ve been clearing out the clutter I am ashamed at all of the “stuff” that I have.  When I think about all of the clothing and perfumes, nail polishes and even extra linens that I keep in my closet I realize that they add up to quite a lot of money that I invested in things.  How selfish of me to spend God’s money so unwisely.

Each day I pull into our cafe I am reminded of the condition of the battleground we are on.  We have so many broken people that we come into contact with each day and the deeper and longer we are in this community the more I want to be a voice for the homeless.  I want to remind people of the forgotten and fight for those who cannot.

You see, this journey that I’m on is not only about cutting the clutter out of my life but it is about living the life that I was created to live.  I believe that when Jesus saves us  He calls us to be His imagine bearers to a lost and dying world.  I have been asking myself if my savior didn’t even have a place to lay His head why do I deserve to have all this excess.  Honestly, for me, I am not able to live a life of excess; excess clothing, excess possessions, excess housing when my brothers and sisters are hungry and dying in the streets.

Please friends get this, I am not being dramatic I’m being real.  This year alone I can testify to several deaths resulting from drug, alcohol and poverty.  The time and money that God gives us each day is not to be squandered away.  We are His light in this dark world and perhaps instead of building bigger buildings to meet in our buying the newest fashion we could put shoes on some of our neighbors that don’t have any.  Yes, I have neighbors that do not have any shoes.  I’m working on that by the way.

If we would stop for just 15 minutes and go to God in prayer and ask Him, “How have I done with the time and money you have given me?  Have I spent the money the way you want me to?  Have I spent the last 24 hours doing what you would have me do? ”   Have we even slowed down long enough to realize that the only reason we are here right now is that God is allowing us to be.

I want you to be encouraged.  I hope that you are picking up what I am laying down here.  I am going through several life-changing lessons that I believe I am supposed to share.  There is someone God wants to be impacted by this other than myself.  I believe God is revealing himself to me more and more throughout this process.  I am earnestly seeking the simplicity that minimalism offers.  We are living in a culture that encourages selfishness and excessive consumerism.  I don’t want to drown in all of my possessions and I certainly don’t want to spend the time it takes to maintain them.  I want to live a life of passion and purpose that is bigger than me.

So for today, I have managed to clear out the excess in my bathroom closet and vanity area.  Be encourage friends.  God is all we need.  His values and His plans are all we need.  Praise Him!
Pantrybefore linen closetafter linen closet 2after linen closet 3 after linen closet before vanity drawer 4after vanity drawerbefore vanity drawer2after vanity drawer2before vanity drawer 3after vanity drawer3 before vanityafter vanity topUnder vanity

My Journey To Minimalism – Week One

bed area beforeMy nightstand beforehubby's nightstand beforecloset before 1closet befre

In process

 

 

 

 

Before Pictures

 

I began my search last year into a simpler, quieter, more peaceful life. I was determined to clear the clutter not only out of my house but out of my mind and life. I’ve read many books and blogs on this topic and as my search continued I knew I wanted . . . no, needed to become minimalist.

As I researched, I realized that I needed to slow down so

that first and foremost I could hear God’s voice. I was realizing that I lived a very busy life always running around trying to fit everything in and make it there on time. Well, that’s enough to wear a person out. As I went about my every day over commitment I began to notice all the clutter around me and all the noise going on in my head.

As I dug deeper I began realizing that minimalism goes against our consumer driven hectic lifestyles that living the American Dream encompasses. We are bombarded with advertisements and infomercials telling us we need to purchase the latest and greatest products to make us happy. So in an effort t

o accumulate more we work more hours to make more money because, after all, that is where happiness can be found; right. WRONG!

Now, you may be thinking, “does this mean that you will be living only out of what you can fit in a suit case?” For some, perhaps but for me it means that I am in pursuit of a much simpler, quieter and clutter free life.

I would love for you to join me on my journey whether in reading about it or finding a way that min

imalism will work for you. I can tell you I am excited about where this path will lead. So, with that said I’m jumping in with both feet . . . Here I go.

The first area in my physical living space I have decided to de-clutter

is my bedroom. My bedroom is my sanctuary, my peaceful private place. However, these days it’s been so crammed full of stuff that my closets are busting at the seams and my dresser drawers are overflowing. My first area that I tackled was my closet and boy oh boy did I have a crammed packed mess. During this week when all was said and done I had boxed up a total of 13 totes full of clothes that I had not even worn in years but, hey, it may come back in style or I may get back down to that size. Um Nah. I can tell you that I am looking forward to mornings free of the stress of trying to figure out what to wear.

This particular part of the process took me exactly one week and several passes through to get it to where I feel ligh

ter. The first phase was pulling out the obviously outdated and just plain ugly clothes. You know, the ones you got for a bargain and couldn’t pass up but never wore. For me, this was the easiest phase. A couple days later, I looked again and really took stock in what actually still fits me. I decided that it does me no good to have smaller sizes for my weight loss journeys and the larger sizes for when I eat too many gobstoppers and coca-cola. So, I toss aside all the clothes that did not fit me right now today. The last phase I must say was the most difficult for me and that was to narrow down my clothing choices just because I have too man

y clothes. The end result, I have so many totes for women’s clothes in a plethora of sizes that I am giving away to the local commun

ity that we serve. That my friends makes it all worthwhile.

Now, for the nightstands, over the years I have managed to turn a total of four drawers into junk drawers. If I was reading a book, I would shove it in the drawer. If I was keeping a journal or three or four it would go in the drawers. Oh, and let’s not forget all the lotions. I think I had a different bottle for everyday of the week. And the pens that I discovered, needless to say I will keep the café in supply for at least the next year.

Last but not least I decided that I needed to part with some of my much loved knick knacks t

hat I have sitting all over the place. Even though they match my furniture and are just too stinkin’ cute the only role they play is dust collector. So, I picked a couple of my favorites and I am goin

g to donate the rest.

A week, a good dusting and vacuum later I have a clutter free oasis. A quiet place where I can come to at the end of the day, snuggle tightly under the covers and let out a nice comfortable sigh.

Next week I will be moving on to the second area of the house where I spend most of my time, the living room.

Before you leave make sure you check out my before and after pictures then leave me a comment to keep me going on my journey of minimalism. Friends, good night and God Bless.

After Pictures

Bedroom 1
Bedroom 2shoe storage aftercloset floorCloset 2 after bedroom after 3

Hubby's nightstand aftercloset 1d