Back to Basics: Clutter Free Book Club Launches June 18

Back to Basics: Clutter Free Book Club Launches June 18

It’s been three years since Clutter Free came out and took the clutter/organizing world by storm with its quick and easy steps to simplifying your space. When the book was written, we had no idea it would change the course of our ministry by changing thousands of lives. Yet here we are.

Today, that book has evolved into an entire community. Clutter Free Academy is a live workshop, ecourse, blog, podcast and Facebook group. In just a year, that Facebook group has grown to more than 5,000 members. Every day, people post pictures of their transformations. We see bedrooms go from junk rooms to sanctuaries, and we hear stories of how Clutter Free living has freed women from anxiety, lifted spirits and improved relationships.

It’s awe-inspiring, and more is yet to come.

This month, we’re launching the Clutter Free Book Club in our Facebook Group. Going from June 18 to July 13, this brief book club takes members through the book that started it all: Clutter Free. We’ll spend about an hour each Monday at 5 p.m. discussing segments of the book in the group on Facebook Live. The first session will be an orientation of sorts with the first reading assignment. After that, our group discussions will involve the assigned readings and how they apply to our daily lives.

This group is perfect for anyone who is new to Clutter Free and wants to learn the foundational principles upon which the Clutter Free Academy is built. It’s also great for the longtime Clutter Free fan who wants a refresher in the company of others to share similar challenges and successes.

To participate, all you need to do is be a member of the group and own a copy of the book. If you need the book, you can order via Amazon or you can purchase a signed copy from the Kathi Lipp store and receive a free bookmark with the three questions we use to determine whether stuff earns its space in our homes: Do I love it? Do I use it? Would I buy it again?  The bookmark comes in handy when you need a reminder. You’ll need to order the book this week if you want to receive it before the book club begins.

Whether it’s your first time or your fifth, we look forward to taking this journey together to become Clutter Free in our homes, our hearts and our minds. Join the Facebook group today and introduce yourself. We can’t wait to meet you.

 

Trading in Comparison and To-Dos for Meaningful Traditions

Trading in Comparison and To-Dos for Meaningful Traditions

Welcome to The Mom Project. For the next few weeks, we’ll be launching my book The Mom Project by hosting several mom friends who have tried it out for themselves. They read the book, completed a project from the book with their kids, and wrote all about it. And these are real moms. Busy moms. Unsure-of-themselves moms. Single moms. Special needs moms. Working moms. Stay-at-home moms. They do the hard working of mommyhood every day, and have found fun ways to connect with their kids in the simple activities found in The Mom Project. Read on to hear their experience:

When I first became a mom over 20 years ago, I had this perfectly reasonable idea that if I could just follow a certain list of things that “good moms” did then surely I would ensure that my kids would turn out OK. The problem was that the hospital must have forgotten to give me a copy of the list because I left with a tiny baby bundle and no clue what I was doing. As a young mom I quickly fell into the comparison trap. I thought that if I could just copy what other successful families were doing then we’d be fine.

So I started looking around, taking notes on all the things “good parents” did. You know the usual: reading to your baby, getting them into the right pre-school, sports teams and activities, sign up to be class parent for every grade, volunteer with the PTO, and so on. But every year that passed the list seemed to get longer and longer. It was becoming hard to keep up.

One area where there seemed to be a never-ending list of to-dos, for example, was birthday celebrations. We have dear friends and family members who have a gift for hospitality. They love throwing parties for every birthday and holiday. And early on I felt pressure to have big parties too, even though it’s not one of my “gifts”. But after having our 4th child we realized that big birthday parties every year for each child was just not in alignment with our values or our budget.

Our focus shifted from checking boxes and trying to do all of the things to considering what we really wanted our kids to remember about their time at home?

After we gave our family permission to trade-in the to-dos for meaningful traditions, our birthday celebrations became small and simple but meaningful. The birthday person gets to choose the meal and dessert of their choice on their special day and they get to use the red “I am special today” plate. Then we go around the table and take turns sharing what we love about the birthday person.

It’s become a sweet, fun and often funny tradition in our home.

As I started to think more about what memories and experiences we wanted to create together as a family I began to look for ways to make our time together special. Little every-day events have become reasons for celebration.

For example, Friday evenings have turned into “Toto’s Fridays” where we head to our favorite pizza place for dinner, usually after our youngest son’s baseball game, and catch up on the week’s events.

Other ideas for family traditions:

  • Family reunions
  • Annual camping trips
  • Donuts or a special treat on the first day of school
  • First day of summer scavenger hunt
  • Family game night Fridays
  • Ice cream sundae Sundays

There are definitely times when we need to check off to-do lists but when it comes to creating family memories each family is wonderfully different. Let’s choose to celebrate our time together by creating meaningful traditions that are in line with our family’s values rather than consume what others are doing and potentially miss out on some special opportunities.

One small win: We have limited time while our kids are at home, creating family traditions can be a great way of celebrating your family’s uniqueness and create memories together. Consider what special or ordinary events you’d like to find ways to celebrate.

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Ready for your chance to win a copy of The Mom Project? To be entered into the drawing, just comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win. *Only US readers are eligible to receive the free book.

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Zohary Ross is a life coach, speaker and author of the Aligned Parenting Workbook. She is passionate about equipping and encouraging women to let go of the never-ending hustle for perfection and live with alignment instead. Connect with her at zoharyross.com

Clutter Free Book Club and Giveaway- The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook: 650 Recipes for Everything You’ll Ever Want to Make

Clutter Free Book Club and Giveaway- The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook: 650 Recipes for Everything You’ll Ever Want to Make

Welcome to the Clutter Free Book Club, where I share the books I’ve been reading (and hopefully loving.) Every couple of weeks, I review a book I’ve read, and because I am living a Clutter Free life, I pass that book on to ONE OF YOU! To be entered into the drawing, just comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win.

But there is one catch: if you win the book, you have to promise to pass it on to someone else when you’re done (keeping this book club Clutter Free.)

When you comment below, share either 1.) A book you’ve read that you think I should put on my list or, 2.) The name of the person you will pass this book onto when you’re done reading it!

 

The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook: 650 Recipes for Everything You’ll Ever Want to Make Paperback – April 1, 2014

by America’s Test Kitchen

Where I bought it: Costco

Where I read it: In my kitchen where I tried out multiple recipes…

I went from feeding a family consisting of famished teenagers to becoming an empty-nester is a matter of mere years. The problem? I still have the tendency to cook as if a soccer team may stop by after practice needed to be fed. I still cook with leftovers on purpose (LOOP meals), but I’m learning to dial back and sometimes, just cook for two. I love this cookbook with loads of recipes for just two, that are mostly simple and (with every recipe we’ve tried) delicious. The ONLY reason I’m giving my copy away is that my mom bought me the hard cover version for Christmas.

Highly recommended.

 

Just a word on the books I read and review: I have a wide and varied sense of taste when it comes to books. I would love for you to enter and win one of my books – but if you are offended by book content, I would ask that you go online to read reviews to see if this book is for you before you enter to win.

Only US readers are eligible to receive the free book.

Affiliate link used. 

I AM – Book Review

I AM – Book Review

I Am Book Review

I recently read — no, scratch that — I devoured Michele Cushatt’s first book, Undone. While I have never had a cancer diagnosis, I found myself strangely relating to her memoir. My “undone” was both different (recurrent pregnancy loss and infertility) and the same (loving and raising kids from hard places).

So even though I knew her story, I trusted her heart, and I delighted in her voice, I still came to her newest book, I Am, a little concerned that it might not be for me.

I AM: A gift of faith when easy answers aren’t enough

“I’m no theologian,” she claims. There are no degrees hanging from her walls from seminary. So who is she, she wonders, to be able to wrestle with the deeper truths of God’s Word and pair it with the brokenness of this world? To not only find God in this brokenness, but to discover her true self along the way? And help us find our own true selves through her experiences and God’s Word?

“It wasn’t a clean faith, a faith without questions. But it was a real faith …”
Michele Cushatt, I Am

From someone who has a Bible and theology degree hanging from my own proverbial walls, I have to say she is exactly the right person. I know a degree can be bought and paid for without it changing one’s heart. But to have suffered and to still have deep faith — that is a qualification no one pursues and yet it is priceless in value.

As someone who has also faced significant heartache, the last thing I desire to read is someone force-feeding me faith by way of easy answers. What I really need is someone who knows what it is to starve, has been to God’s lavish feast, and is able to invite me to the table to eat.

And Michele does exactly that.

No easy answers

She does not provide easy answers because every single conclusion to her faith is hard-won. And in the places she cannot give answers, she gives the next best gift: the gift of her wrestling.

“This wasn’t the disappointment of plans falling through. This was the crashing down of everything I’d once prayed for and dreamed of. Those who have endured a similar wrecking understand something of my deep confusion. I’d been faithful, followed Jesus my whole life. How could God allow me to end up broken and alone?”
Michele Cushatt, I Am

Is there any greater gift an author could offer her readers? To come forward and say, “Listen, I’m deep in this too. I have faced my greatest fears, I have questioned his goodness, I have walked away from my faith and then walked back. My perspective has shifted, my values remain, and in due course, my questions have not all been answered to my liking. And like you … I am wrestling. But we’re in this together. Not just you and me. We’re in this with God.”

And yet, she goes one step further beyond the questioning. She offers us the gift of faith. As a friend wise friend once told me, there can be no faith without doubt.

“Life without God was equally as painful as life with God. But life without God was absent of relief.”
Michele Cushatt, I Am

Acknowledging Doubts

Acknowledging our doubts is not the antithesis of faith, but rather the doorway to it. Michele has walked through that door and is beckoning us to come:

  • To believe that we are more than our sufferings. More than our failures. More than our aging bodies and fluctuating bank accounts.
  • To believe that these struggles we face can be more than a maddening repercussion of sin, and can be a miraculous undertaking of God’s redemption if we let them.
  • To believe that we have value, purpose, and security.
  • To believe that while we may not be saved from every trial, we will be saved in it.

When I began Michele’s I Am, I believed I would be in for a good story to keep me reading, a few insights to boost my self-esteem, and a few words that would answer the questions about God I sometimes ache deep inside with. And I feared a book that might seek to placate my questions of faith in this hard life with platitudes and easy answers.

Instead, I found a fellow wanderer. A friend on this really demanding and sometimes outright painful journey called life. A friend who acknowledged the hurt, but also the hope, the joy, the safety of God. A friend who is ready to walk me back to God’s truth. A friend who knows what it’s like to starve, who has eaten from the feast of God’s table, and who has invited to come sit and satisfy my soul’s hunger.

And today I want to extend that invitation:

Come, sit. And eat to your fill.

Book Giveaway

Welcome to the Clutter Free Book Club, where I share the books I’ve been reading (and hopefully loving.) Each week I review a book I’ve read, and because I am living a Clutter Free life, I pass that book on to one of you. (This is a guest post)

To be entered into the drawing, just comment on this post within 7 days and you’ll be entered to win. But there is one catch: if you win the book, you have to promise to pass it on to someone else when you’re done (keeping this book club Clutter Free.)

When you comment below, share either:

1. A book you’ve read that you think I should put on my list
or
2. The name of the person you will pass this book onto when you’re done reading it!

Book giveaway open only to U.S. readers.


Rachel Lewis

Rachel Lewis is a foster, adoptive and birth mom. After a 5-year battle with secondary infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, she now has three children in her arms and a foster son in her heart. She is passionate about helping women feel heard and understood when building their family gets a little bit complicated. When she’s not chauffeuring her kids around, you can find her shopping at Trader Joes, drinking coffee, or writing about her journey as a mom at The Lewis Note. She is a regular contributor to Still Standing Magazine, Pregnancy After Loss Support, and The Mighty. You can get her free resource,  “Your BFF Guide to Miscarriage: 5 Ways to Comfort a Friend Through Pregnancy Loss” here. Connect with Rachel on Facebook, or join her private Facebook group Brave Mamas — a support group for anyone who had to struggle to build their family.

 

How to Make God-time Fun and Easy for your Kids

How to Make God-time Fun and Easy for your Kids

Sometimes it can be hard to spend intentional time with our kids each day. Okay, make that all the time.

And when you do sit down for official family + God-time together, perhaps you get disheartened by the grunts and groans from your older kids? *Sigh*

Welcome to the world of parenting and trying to make God-time fun and easy for your kids.

Although I’m not sure what it’s like yet to have older children, I was already experiencing the difficulty of raising kids to know and love Jesus (without it being boring or feeling like a lecture) while getting my own much-needed soul care as well.

I subconsciously thought, how can I achieve both a time for me to de-stress and get still from the hustle and bustle of parenting life while nurturing the hearts of my children with God’s Word at the same time?

It was a pretty normal day. I sat coloring in a Disney character with my daughter when I noticed the therapeutic benefits of coloring that everyone was raving about. I was skeptical about it, until this moment when I noticed my heart slow to a normal rhythm as I sat across from my daughter soaking in this mommy time.

As much as I was enjoying the calming moment, it was missing something…

I flipped open my phone to a devotional app and began reading. Yes, I thought. This is what my soul is aching for. But with my eyes off the coloring at hand, not to mention my daughter as well, I knew this wasn’t going to work. Plus, I thought, how is this really helping her grow spiritually? It wasn’t.

I kept coloring, and slowly I began to hear a whisper in my head and heart. Is that you God? That’s when this idea began to form.

Big and Little DevoA year-and-a-half later, Big and Little Coloring Devotional was born! Let me tell you why it’s so good:

  • There are devotionals for the “big” with de-stressing designs, and verses for the “little” to color-in, making it the perfect mix to nurture not only your heart but your child’s heart too.
  • It can also be used for bigger siblings to read through with their little brother or sister.
  • Even daddy’s, grandparents and caretakers are raving about this book!
  • The images are neither too fanciful nor too masculine, thereby girls AND boys love it in equal measures.
  • You experience face-to-face interaction which encourages conversation since the pages face opposite, also creating more room to color without elbow bumping.

There’s finally a way to achieve what we’ve been longing for: de-stressing and nurturing for our own hearts while making God-time fun and easy for your kids, no matter their age or stage.

It’s amazing how God can use my own desire for such a book in ways that now reaches the hearts of many.

It truly has become “so much more than a coloring book.”


Rachel SwansonRachel C. Swanson is an author, speaker, and accredited life coach. Her best-selling book Big and Little Coloring Devotional was birthed by her own struggle as a busy mom to three children she lovingly calls “Twin 1”, “Twin 2” and “wannabe Twin 3.” Married to her husband for eleven years, they rear their tribe in an aspiring country town just outside Los Angeles, CA. Visit RachelCSwanson.com for more info! You can also find out about her Big and Little Coloring Book here.

Connect with Rachel on Facebook or Instagram.

 

 

Book Review: A Street Cat Named Bob

Book Review: A Street Cat Named Bob

A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My LifePaperback, by James Bowen– October 7, 2014

Roger likes to tell people that my favorite genre of books is “Chicken Lit.” If the storyline includes an animal, I’m sold! Just shut up, take my money and let me read! Because of my fondness for, “Chicken Lit,” I’ve read my fair share of animal books. But this particular book, “A Street Cat Named Bob,” by James Bowen, has broken my list of the top five of my favorite, “Chicken Lit,” books I’ve ever read.

I picked this gem up at The Armchair Bookstore in Whistler, B.C. Canada and read it in the car while recovering from 57 mosquito bites (seriously). Sure, I probably should’ve been having a conversation with Roger or gazing out at the picturesque scenery, but after reading a few pages I was hooked. In fact, it was so good, I may have actually ignored Roger for a day of our trip just so I could finish it. (Sorry Roger!)

A Street Cat Named Bob,” is about the author, James a recovering drug addict who becomes the accidental and unlikely owner of Bob, a stray cat. James soon finds out that he needs Bob as much as Bob needs him. What follows is an amazing transformation and a beautiful friendship between man and cat. This endearing story is compelling, entertaining and a must read that I highly recommend.

Win the Book

Win my copy of “A Street Cat Named Bob.”  Leave a comment about your favorite animal story and one person who comments will randomly be selected to win!

Just a word on the books I read and review: I have a wide and varied sense of taste when it comes to books. I would love for you to enter and win one of my books – but if you are offended by book content, I would ask that you go online to read reviews to see if this book is for you before you enter to win.

Only US readers are eligible to receive the free book.

 

 

 

Join the You Don't Have to Try So Hard Book Club

We'll be conducting the book club through Kathi's Private Facebook Group, Clutter Free Academy. Join the book club to get access to the private facebook group. You'll receive an email with instructions once you submit this form. 

Check your email for more instructions!