The recurring theme of my November is slow down, simplify, be thoughtful, and be content. Whether it's in our home, my making, or my time commitments, I want to choose to slow down life a bit. A friend of mine from Purdue started a lovely project called The Contentment Project encouraging us to do just that. Make November less about you. Make it all about God. Because really, Jesus is the only entity that will ever satisfy our human hearts so bent on discontentment. Coincidentally, her first email to us came at a time when Nicholas and I are already feeling motivated to pare down excess stuff, material or otherwisein our life. It has already been such a blessing to me, Annie! Thank you.

I don't want to go about this life so surrounded with worldly comforts that I'm blind to the true comfort of my Savior. 

The only way to break my reliance on stuff is to stop accumulating it. This is also means that we need to get rid of things we really don't need. We need to not need so much stuff.

I want to continue to enjoy the wonderful everyday pieces of life without idolizing them. (More on idolizing comfort here). I'm seeking a balance of thankfulness for our current blessings and an effort to hold what we do have with open hands.

Practically, some ways we're working on this:

  • Using our pretty dishes as much as we can, rather than keeping them tucked away in the cabinet. And, waking up early on Saturday mornings to make time for a slow breakfast with just the two of us.
  • Organizing my knitting project bag (all the little balls of leftover yarn from recent projects! Goodness.) With one or two exceptions, I'm continuing to knit projects from yarn I already have on hand. I'm finding necessity is the mother of invention (it always has been, hasn't it?) and many of the projects I've made from yarn I had on hand are more creative and engaging than shiny new yarn projects. For those of you who knit, sew, or craft, this blog post from The Craft Sessions, and the rest of her ongoing Stash Less series is thoughtful and convicting.
  • Exploring new coffee shops with friends or Nicholas in the name of spurring each other to growth. My goal is for my coffee consumption to be grounded in community and good conversation with friends or Nicholas, not just because it sounded good. 

Also, 

  • Enjoying some cooler weather! Contentment comes a little easier to me with a side of cool weather (it's probably my Midwest roots).
  • Visiting our local public library. I love the library. I think the chilly temperatures make me even more eager to read. Plus, library books are meant to be shared, borrowed, read, and returned.
  • Saturday morning trips to the Farmer's Market with Molly, while our husbands have coffee and conversation together.
  • Discussing spiritual gifts with a group of lovely women from church. The timing of these conversations is perfect. As I continue to feel more grounded here in Austin, it's so helpful to be reassured of my own personal gifts and my potential to contribute to the work of the church, both in the church, and in our community. As we minimize excess stuff in our life, we can make room for purposeful work for Jesus.

I'm encouraged by this from Hebrews 3.6

But Christ is faithful over God's house as a son. And we are His house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

We are His house.

I don't want to clutter up His house with my fleeting desires for earthly things. As I pray for my grip on the things of this world to loosen, I'm praying for a tighter grip on my confidence in Christ, our faithful, trustworthy hope.