Book Club

Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt

I don’t believe that cleanliness is next to godliness. You can’t earns God’s love or favor by doing a darn thing on this Earth — He loves you in spite of your actions, not because of them. So I honestly don’t believe the things I write about in Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living will automatically make you a better person, just as owning a bike doesn’t automatically make me Lance Armstrong.

But I do believe that being very intentional about my choices in life frees me to be who God created me to be. When I release my life from “gazingus pins” — the little clutter that just doesn’t matter — I am available to live in a way that’s honoring to God and free from the world’s standards.

In all areas related to the content of my book and blog, believe me when I say I’m speaking to myself just as much to you here. I’m very much a work in progress. “Simple living” is a journey, not a destination. It’s also a thing not meant to be worshipped — it’s a lifestyle meant to help you freely worship the One worth worshipping, unencumbered and fully alive.

Organized Simplicity is meant to be a handbook for you to use throughout your life. It’s not an autobiography of how I’ve figured everything out — not by a long shot. It’s a compendium simple truths that are (hopefully) a helpful encouragement as you work towards living intentionally and with purpose.

When we know who we are, we can guiltlessly say ‘no’ to the things God just doesn’t have for us, and say a resounding ‘yes’ to the things He does. It’s very freeing.

What I’m Up To

A few of you asked more questions related to me and my family — Why are we moving again? What do we do? And are there more books in the future?

We’re moving to Oregon to join a different ministry organization, a group that serves other people in ministry living cross-culturally overseas. This organization runs guest houses around the world, available for those in ministry to take breaks, find refreshment, and if needed, talk to someone about how they’re doing. It’s not so much counseling as it is “life coaching.”

Kyle will serve as this organization’s Director of Operations for a season, helping keep the guest houses running smoothly from the headquarters in Oregon. While we’re here, we will be trained to be certified life coaches, and Lord-willing, we’ll move back overseas soon and run one a guest house, focused specifically on families with children.

Our 3-5 year plan is for Simple Living Media (blogs, books, and the like) to be our sole source of income, freeing ministry funds just for the work at hand. We pray and work daily to this end.

And yes! There are at least two more books in the future. I’m in the very early stages of the next one, and I can’t wait to tell you more about it when I’m able. Stay tuned.

Organized Simplicity Discussion Guide

If you want to take the book a step further, I encourage you to find a group of friends and read Organized Simplicity together. Everyone’s take-away will be different, of course, because every home is different. Yet even though ‘living simply’ will look different for everyone, its definition remains the same — “living holistically with your life’s purpose.”

I’ve created a free PDF download of questions for you to use in a group setting. This is a simple discussion guide to get conversation flowing — no right or wrong answers; just an appetite-whetting for rich conversation.

You can find the download here, or you can hop over to Simple Mom’s download page and find it there as well.

I am enormously blessed to hear how the book resonates with youthank you are words too small. THANK YOU for being readers. Thank you for your feedback. Thank you for your ideas and inspiration. I am honored to share some space on your bookshelf.

I’m working on some upcoming topics on Simple Mom based on the feedback and questions you all have been asking me lately. It’s been great chatting with you this week! Is there anything else you’d like to see on the blog this summer?

Affiliate links are used in this post. All proceeds go directly to Bloom (in)courage, to help fund the free books provided for future book studies.

  • renee @ FIMBY

    I know you may be tired of talking about yourself (like you mentioned at Simple Mom) but I’m loving “getting to know you” a little more through these posts. The pieces are coming together for me of why you do what you do and what makes you tick (these are the things I really like to know about people, more so than how they organize their toys, etc..)

    Your family’s vision for SLM is awesome and also what you are doing in Oregon sounds amazing. We have a real heart for hospitality – to strangers, friends and family alike. We are not in ministry, but well yes, I guess we are as members of Christ’s body. We have a heart to provide rest and respite for life’s weary travellers (and to be travellers and adventurers ourselves) but living that calling to the fullness has been put on hold for some time because of our lack of freedom in the US.

    But we’re moving! (as you know) and we can thus move forward in the vision God has placed on our hearts – for our family and our ministry to others.

    So reading this has been very cool and getting to know my editor-in-chief a little more has been very helpful for me as a contributor. Because of our shared faith in Jesus Christ and desire to serve the body, your vision for SLM makes me excited about contributing to its continued success.

    I’ll stop before my comment becomes a post…

  • Lauren

    I would like to hear more about putting kids in activities like sports and arts, and whats “too much”.

  • coleen

    I, too, have loved these “behind the scenes” glances. One thing I’d be interested in having you comment/post on is developing deep relationships that span time/location even when you may not spend a lifetime (or even a few years!) in one place.

    Your new ministry opportunities sounds amazing. God bless you in your new pursuits.

  • Emily

    I second Renee, it’s been really great to get to know you better. When I first started reading you blog, I assumed you’d been blogging for decades and worked as a writer or journalist out of college, or something along those lines. I’ve enjoyed the story behind the blog and the book! I want to write a book too someday, and your story is very inspiring to me. Thanks for sharing yourself with us here on InCourage!

  • Rebecca Whisnant

    I am new to your blogs. I joined after receiving a post from a friend who is trying to live simply as a new mom and knows my penchant for helping people de-clutter.

    On a different vein, I am now totally curious after reading this one!
    I am an Interim Innkeeper. I go to Bed and Breakfasts and keep them so that Innkeepers can take time off. I go for a few days or weeks. I would love to know more about the Guest Houses you were referring to and how someone like me might be involved.

    Thank you!

  • Messy Wife

    “But I do believe that being very intentional about my choices in life frees me to be who God created me to be.” – this is one of the most important reasons for my recent urge for change although I have not been able to put it to words:

    I have been struggling with clutter for… my entire life, basically. Earlier this year, I found myself turning down a serving opportunity that I am very interested in because I could not keep my home in proper shape. Long story short, I started to realized that I was letting the clutter decide for me what to do instead of me deciding what to do with my time and what to do with them.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us and thank you for helping people like me to see clearer and put things into perspective.

  • Alissa

    Yea Oregon!! I’m sure you’re not coming to my town, but when you take the required trip over the mountains to bask in the Central Oregon sun, I would be honored to show you around Bend. =) The organization that you are joining sounds FANTASTIC – what a gift!

  • Larae

    hi, Tsh! i would love to know the name of the organization that you recently joined in oregon. my family has the gift of hospitality and a heart for missions and the whole concept of guest houses for missionaries etc sounds really intriguing. are you allowed to share?

  • Shannon

    Love, love, love your book! I am sooo happy to find a book that is practical and easy to follow. We think so much alike… I am a list maker too! My children are 3 (boy) and (Juliana) 1. Your book is something I plan to recommend to my other mom friends! You are a kindred spirit… God bless you and your family, through this journey. Enjoy every moment and thank him for blessing you so abundantly!

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