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the rising tide society, rising tide challenge, my monday mugshot, community over competition

Good Morning y’all. Switching up today’s blog post to let all of you creatives about an awesome movement that is sweeping the nation. Often times in the entrepreneurial journey we feel the need to compare ourselves to others. We compare techniques, successes, failures, office supplies, social media followers and it’s exhausting! The Rising Tide Society is a commuity of creatives focusing on #communityovercompetition. You can head over to The Rising Tide Society for more info on what they are all about! While you are there be sure to check out all of the great resources.

This month the theme is all about Instagram and the ladies over at Rising Tide are hosting the #risingtidechallenge to not only teach us a few things about Instagram but also connect us with fabulous creatives.  Calling ALL creatives! If you are a creative, a photographer, stylist, artist, blogger, calligrapher, small business owner…..and the list goes on – be sure to join this weeks challenge. Believe me you will not regret it!

I have been so blessed by this amazing group and can not wait to see how it continues to grow and create community!

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The Contentment Challenge Guidelines

Last week I shared my contentment story. This week I am sharing the guidelines for this challenge with you. These are modified slightly from the original rules posted by Nancy Ray for her Contentment Challenge.

The Contentment Challenge : August 15, 2015-October 15, 2015
We will give up shopping for clothes, accessories, household decor, and “stuff” for 3 months, to focus our hearts and minds on the root of true contentment. We will actively pursue fulfilling activities that will replace our addiction to material things.

The Guidelines:

• For the next 10 days, your homework is the following: prepare your heart, organize your closet, and make any necessary purchases that you might need during these months. (This is not a last minute shopping spree! This is one final trip to the store for items you will need, and the opportunity for you to say your goodbyes to Target.)

• Choose 1-3 inspiring books to read during this time.  Nancy recommended any of the following: Seven, Weird, The Celebration of Discipline, 1000 Gifts, Kisses from Katie. I am going to read Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, From Your Head to Your Heart: The Change You Are Looking For Is 18 Inches Away and The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands

• Gifts are okay! If someone gives you a new dress or piece of decor during that time, receive it graciously! If you need to buy someone else a gift, by all means, do so. The point is not to be rude, but to learn more of ourselves and the Lord.

• Necessities are okay! If you drop and break your phone, please go get a new one! If you lose your glasses, buy a new pair. Just don’t start justifying new purchases for items that you already have. (“I really NEED this bathing suit, even though there are 8 in my closet already.”)

• You must actively pursue something – anything – that replaces your tendency to buy stuff. Begin thinking about something you love or a hobby you’ve always wanted to do, and make preparations to actually do it.

This is not about being perfect… This is about finding a place of contentment that is deeper than the “stuff” we surround ourselves with. Who is with me? I would love for you to join me in this journey and hold me accountable. Check back each week to follow along.

 

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Happy Tuesday Friends! This weekend Alex and I snuck away for three days of relaxation on the North Fork of LI. We were blessed to be welcomed into the home of friends for a B&B like stay on this mini vacation. We drove out early and took our time making our way through the many towns that the North Fork has to offer. We walked and ate our way through Greenport, Southold and Mattituck and stopped at a few of the many vineyards that Long Island has to offer.

B&B, sunset, relax, Long Island, North Fork,

Saturday Morning we joined Captain Batkowski aboard the Miss Patty for a full morning of pulling lobster pots. Commercial fishing is no joke and a lobster pinch has a nasty grasp but we had a blast. While we did not pull in a large bounty we did catch enough for dinner!

north fork, long island, fishing, boat, lobster, relax, weekend recap

lobster, long island, the north fork, vineyards, barn, farm,  food truck, menu

After our morning fishing we drove around and witnesses the miles and miles of beautiful farms, fields and vines. Potatoes, corn, sunflowers, asparagus and more… We never could have imagined that the North Fork boasted so much beautiful farmland. There are also farms with alpacas, longhorns, goats and of course the bison at Tweed’s bison farm. Before heading back to the city limits we made sure to check out the local fish market and a few of the many farm stands.

It was a much needed relaxing weekend for both of us! Don’t worry Long Island – we will be back for you!

north fork, bison, farm, ranch, long island

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contentment – A state of happiness and satisfaction.

Am I content? This is a question that has been plaguing my mind for over a year now! In 2013 I came across a blog post from Lara Casey about something called the Contentment Challenge. The Contentment Challenge is a 3 month challenge not to buy anything new. I remember reading it and thinking “wow that sounds intense!” It sounded interesting but I brushed it off as not being applicable to me because of course I came up with a million excuses why I stopping purchases did not apply to me. I was not unhappy with my life, so I must be content. Right?

A few months later I came across a blog post that Tiffany Farley wrote about Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover. I bought the book, read it with my husband and we decided that we were going to start following Dave Ramsey’s guidelines for our finances.  It has been almost two years since we started this financial journey together and YES we have made definite progress but on the same hand there have been many moments of weakness where we have slipped back into old habits of buying things that we do not need that have set us back along the way.

Having healthy finances is just one component of being content. We live in a society where we believe that things can make us happy. We see something in a store, we  buy it and we feel content. We crave coffee, tea, a sweet treat and just indulge ourselves everyday not realizing the consequences. But material contentment is temporary.  I am totally guilty of all of this! Our finances, stuff and our current stage of life all intertwine to create a web of contentment and I have been struggling with all of it!

1 Timothy 6:6-8 “Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”

Stuff is literally that…stuff. We can’t take it with us and if we are not careful things become nasty idols in our lives that take our focus away from the things that matter. Stuff does not matter. Some things that do matter are relationships, God, reading, spending time outside, being active and healthy and helping/giving to others.

contentment, challenge, am I content,

{Photo Credit: Pinterest}

Fast forward to March 2015 when I attended Making Things Happen and heard Nancy Ray speak about her lifestyle transformation after she completed the #ContentmentChallenge. Again bringing this challenge to my heart and attention. Here we are over 4 months later and I still have not submitted myself to relinquish control of stuff. This month is the month. I am tired of being in this season. The season of too much stuff cluttering my life. The season of financial struggle. The season of growth so slow that I feel stagnant. The season where I struggle with self control. We all go through seasons of life and I know that I am in this season for a reason and that God has a bigger plan that I  can not see. It’s His time, not mine but in the meantime I am going to start the Contentment Challenge to prepare my heart for the next season, whenever that may come.

Consider joining me and the many others that have done this #ContentmentChallenge before me. Think about your contentment story and whether it is complete. I will be sharing the rules of the challenge next week. Whether your joining me or just supporting me be sure to follow along each week for updates.

 

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The blog has been a bit quiet for awhile but this month  but  I am trying to get back on track with a full schedule of posts to share with you all!

Family, Friends and BBQ…what can be better than that right? We are all busy, life gets in the way and sometimes its hard to make time for the special people in our lives. That’s why Alex and I started a tradition to make it happen, once a year with the annual Hog Roast. Bringing as many people as possible together to tend our relationships; to laugh with one another, to eat and drink with one another, to hug one another, to put down our phones and be fully present in the people that we are surrounded by. This year we rocked it out with a 50’s diner theme and welcomed 60 guests out to the country for an afternoon of fun, fellowship and of some awesome food. Check out a few detail shots from the day.

backyard, bash, pig, hog, roast

You can read about last years Hog Roast and the behind the scenes look at the day here. I would love to hear what traditions you have to maintain relationships with your friends and families. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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