Remember way back when, I did something called the "Contentment Challenge"?  It was a little challenge created by the talented Nancy Ray.  If you missed it, feel free to catch up on a few of the older posts by clicking here and here.  But let me tell you, it was hard, yet amazing.

The first month was a breeze, I had strong will and I didn't want much.  Month two was a bit harder as I started to see little things in the store I wanted to pick up.  Maybe just this little note pad at Target, because I super need it?  When month three rolled around, however, it was a challenge.  I did't want to go into any stores because I didn't want to be tempted.  As the weeks continued to move on, however, something started to change within.  I went from wanting to appreciating.  I went from taking to giving.

Don't get me wrong, I still wanted things.  But I began to learn a little secret.  The more I gave, the more I could give. You see, as part of this Contentment Challenge you had to work on simplifying your life and heart too.  At first I gave away two shirts and thought I saved the world - yay me.  Then I read this post by Lara Casey and my heart melted.  Really? Her husband gave away his favorite sweater so someone else could enjoy it. Give until it hurts.

So back to the ol' closet I went looking for things that would hurt. I placed a big bag on the floor and each day I tried to drop something into it. At first it was a painful process, as I might need to wear that thermal vest sometime in Miami when the temperature drops every 60 years. But then my heart began to change and I started saying, "If I am not using this now, someone else can."  And items began to fly into the bag.

It's a magical secret:
The more you give, the less you need.  
The more you let go, the less hold things have on you.  
The less you want, the more room you have to appreciate and give thanks.

This Contentment Challenge was challenging to say the least, but also a heart shaper.  So much so that I have begun another Contentment Challenge this month, but with my own twist ;)

Now I didn't write all of this to get a pat on the back, but to encourage you to give it a try.  I assure you that you will see how counting your blessings and giving thanks for what already have will shape your  heart and let you realize less is truly more.

It's a good year to simplify through gratitude.  

With a grateful heart
XOXO always,

Photo source: Everly True

- Live simply - intentionally - gratefully - joyfully -

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ChloƩ Arnold :

Love this!! My husband and I are in the midst of donating about 70% of what we own. It has been such a struggle to say goodbye to the things I have become used to. But it truly is beautiful to realize how little we need to be content. Love your line "the more you give, the less you need." Amen.

Chantel Klassen :

Okay, I absolutely love the sounds of this! I've put myself on a spending freeze (only started about a week ago) and have been in the process of reducing my personal possessions by 50%-75%, it's been fairly easy so far but I know the hard part is coming. Right now I'm just getting rid of stuff I don't use, never mind giving so it hurts. What an inspiration!

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