Clutter free with Kids

Drumroll please.    

Joshua Becker is launching his new book, Clutterfree with Kids today. I am thrilled to have been asked to review it.  I've read three of his other books about minimalism and enjoy reading his blog at www.becomingminimalist.com. I am happy to be able to recommend his latest book to you. 

"What if there was a better way to live life? . . . . . One that boldly declares there is more joy in owning less than can be found in pursuing more. That truth would change everything about us. . . . . And it may just line up with everything your heart deep down has been telling you all along." 
                                                                      -Joshua Becker, Clutterfree with Kids

There are not too many books out there that give advice on minimalism for parents. Most of the popular minimalists are sort of young and hip and able to live in tiny houses - or bigger houses with nothing in them. Clutterfree with Kids is practical minimalism for the rest of us. 

Mr. Becker does a great job in this book of encouraging people to pare down out of a desire for more of the things that truly matter in life.  This book is full of practical suggestions, covering kid centric issues such as toys, clothes, artwork, sentimental items, collections and more. 

"Less is different than more. Owning nothing is not the goal of Clutterfree. Intentionality is."
                                                                    -Joshua Becker, Clutterfree with Kids

He also tackles the tough issues of screen time and schedules, moving from the concrete world of decluttering "stuff" to prioritizing activities and optimizing schedules. 

Do you have teenagers? A reluctant spouse?  Preparing for a newborn? Maybe you are interested in minimalism because you long to leave the workforce and come home to be with your kids. Great news. There are chapters in Clutterfree with Kids that deal with each of these challenges. 

"Living life is more enjoyable than managing and organizing stuff." 
                                                                  -Joshua Becker, Clutterfree with Kids

Whether this is your first introduction to the concept of minimalism, or you've read extensively on the subject, I'm certain you will find helpful strategies for decluttering, prioritizing, and generally enjoying life more in Clutterfree with Kids

You can purchase a Kindle copy of the book today for only $2.99. Just click on the book cover pictured above and you'll be taken straight to Amazon. 


A good gift for an obedient son


     We have just recently moved. 

     Which makes us feel sorry for other people who are moving and want to help them. (Well, at least the adults in our household -more on this later). 

      So when we heard that some new acquaintances here were moving, my husband volunteered to go lug boxes. And I volunteered to let him. On my birthday. As long as he took our son with him. 

      Said son is 5 years old and would probably have been more enthusiastic about helping someone else move if he hadn't just lived through a move himself. He wanted to do anything BUT help move. Even though it meant leaving the house with Dad, which he usually loves. 

      Needless to say, lectures about helping others and "Don't you remember all the people who helped us and how much we appreciated them?"  "God loves when we serve others." 


     Finally we got down to "Get dressed and get in the truck."  


     And away they went. One cheerfully and the other begrudgingly, but at least they were going. 

     When they got there, a surprise was waiting for them. One brilliant Momma who was helping organize the move, had planned for all the little kids to be taken to a jump/fun/play room/
restaurant kind of thing. (My apologies for the lousy description, but having never set foot in one, it's the best I've got. No plans to remedy that anytime soon, by the way.)

    And so, our reluctant mover's assistant was rewarded with a day of play surrounded by other littles and potentially new friends!

     Isn't that just like God? I love it when he does things like this in my life, but I love it even more when he does it in the lives of my kids. He rewards obedience. 

     And you can be sure I pointed that out to my boy when he got home that afternoon. 

"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father and I too will love him and show myself to him." John 14:21



I stopped blogging last May when my Grandpa died.

Suddenly nothing I could say seemed very important.

And how could I possibly start writing again without writing about this man who meant so much to me? Whose loss I am certain to feel every day for the rest of my life?

It hurt too much for too long and I knew that whatever I said would be inadequate.

But the time has come.

My dad wrote a great story about Grandpa that my son read at the memorial service. Be sure to have him tell you about it the next time you see him. It told a simple story about my grandpa that related a profound truth about him. He was always there when you needed him and went to extraordinary lengths to be sure he was.

While I'm not near the story teller Dad is, I want to share my own story about Grandpa.  The profound truth is that he had a way of making everyone he was with feel special. Important. Good at things. Loved.

When I was a teenager I was attacked by the ugly tree. Some kids go through an awkward phase, but mine was more like an awkward decade. I grew really tall really all at once, had pimples, didn't have a clue how to wear my hair or do makeup. I was a mess. And I knew it. Even those closest to me knew it. And I could see it in their eyes.

They had hope for the future, but were clearly aware that the once moderately cute little girl that I used to be had morphed into a painfully awkward and ugly teenaged mess.

Except Grandpa.

He came to visit us (as he did often) and we all went for a horseback ride (as we all did often). We rode past a patch of lavender colored flowers and I was wearing a lavender colored shirt that day. He asked me to get off my horse and go sit in the patch so he could take some pictures of me. He loved taking photos and had a really nice camera at the time.

You would have thought I was a supermodel the way he oohed and aaahd and had me sit this way and that.  He made me feel great; silly at first, but ultimately great. 


It wasn't an act. It wasn't something he schemed to do to encourage me or anything. It was just him. 

He was so kind that it filled his eyes and through that filter I actually looked beautiful.

To him, most people did.