Monday 3-2-1: Spring Decluttering Challenges

“By simplifying our lives, we’re making space for what matters – to hear God more clearly, to give more wholeheartedly, and to place our energy in people and hearts rather than in things. Ultimately, simplifying allows us to slow down enough to savor this life.” Emily Ley

If you had to identify one specific thing that often keeps you from opening up your home to others what would it be? I’m going to say for most people, it’s not time, money, or even square footage, it’s the condition of our homes. It’s the stuff, the piles, the cleaning, the kids toys, and the endless piles of laundry that have to go somewhere. When our homes feel overwhelming, so do our hearts. I think many of us desire to be people whose homes are open and marked by hospitality. We want to open our front doors to the last minute play date, guests for dinner, or neighbors stopping by, but how can we ever have a home that’s ready for unexpected guests at the last minute?

I’d like to encourage you to consider making this the year you take on a decluttering challenge.

“Decluttering is not cleaning. Decluttering is not organizing. Decluttering is paring down and getting rid of things you don’t use or need to create a more pleasant and more useful space.” Stephanie Cowan

Before you start tackling any of these challenges, it might be helpful to read this article on 10 Decluttering Tips.

3 Spring Decluttering Challenges

1. Mika Perry 30 day decluttering challenge

What I like about this one… 

If you’ve never done any kind of decluttering challenge and the very thought of decluttering makes you want to cringe, you can totally do this one! I like that you’re not being asked to tackle an entire room at a time, but rather small, simple tasks (everything from emails to purse to makeup to your phone.) You could also easily double up on items and complete several at a time over the weekend. This is also a great option for those of you who declutter every year but want something new!

2. Emily Ley’s 30 Days to Simplicity 

What I like about this one…

This is more than just getting rid of things for 30 days. Emily Ley also encourages you to ADD IN more of the right things (think rest, getaway with your spouse, birthday cards for friends, meal plans), and helps you walk through simplifying your life by working through different areas of your home. I think this is one of the more creative lists I’ve seen over the years. If you’re currently in a busy life season but want to do something, this could be a great fit for you.

3. Ruthless Decluttering Challenge

What I like about this one…

This is for those of you who want to do your entire home but just don’t know where to begin. This guide offers you the options of decluttering everything in 1 week or breaking it down into 4 weeks. It will literally walk you through every room of your house, give you step by step directions, and ask you questions to consider as you look through your possessions. If you decide on this challenge, I would highly encourage you to grab a friend for accountability and do it together! This was one of the first decluttering challenges I completed 3 years ago and can honestly say it transformed my home.

2 Things I’m Loving

  1. Struggling with fear and anxiety? I think we all do at some level. I’ve really been enjoying the new series on Fear by Risen Motherhood and noticed the Gospel Coalition’s Lets Talk Podcast recently tackled the subject as well.
  2. These mini meatloaf muffins. Even my kids will ask for seconds or thirds so these have stayed on our meal repeat list this winter. Tip: I found mine stuck too much to my muffin tins so I just bake mine in a 9×13 pan. This is also a great recipe to double and freeze half!

1 Quick Thought

“I always wanted to be a hero–to sacrifice my life in a big way one time–and yet, God has required my sacrifice to be thousands of days, over many years, with one more kiss, one more story, one more meal.”

(Sally Clarkson)

Lent & Easter Guide 2021

Adult Devotionals & Resources

1. Village Church Lent Guide (FREE)

2. Journey to the Cross: 40 Day Devotional by Paul Tripp

3. 50 Reasons Jesus Came to Die by John PIper

4. Comforts from the cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick

5. Jesus Keep me near the cross by nancy guthrie






If you’re looking for a free resource that helps you navigate through fasting, prayer, and Scripture meditation, I would highly recommend the Lent Guide by the Village Church. If this is your first time participating in Lent, you feel you are newer in your faith, OR you want a resource to do as a family with older children, I would suggest beginning with The Journey to the Cross Devotional by Paul Tripp OR Uncovering the Love of Jesus by Asheritah Ciuciu. If you’re simply looking for an additional resource to add into your current reading plan over the next 40 days, you won’t go wrong with anything written by John Piper, Nancy Guthrie, or Elyse Fitzpatrick. And if nothing else, consider downloading the free prayer guide by Val Woerner to go through with a friend!

Kids Highlights


Journey to Easter with the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones (Free Guide)

The Garden, The Curtain, and the Cross + this activity guide + the calendar

The Donkey Who Carried a King

The Quiet/ Crazy Easter Day

Benjamin’s Box: The Story of the Resurrection Eggs

Holy Week: An Emotions Primer

There can be a temptation to look at a list of books and think “I need all of these things!” Friend, you don’t. You do not need to own every single item on this list to help your children see the truth of the gospel and the beauty of Easter! Do you already own the Jesus Storybook Bible? Download the free Easter guide for your younger kids! Or consider adding just 1-2 new books into your celebrations this year, and keep a list of what you might want to purchase in the future. My personal favorite is The Garden, The Curtain, and the Cross.

Other fun things

This Easter Coloring Mat (Reusable) by His Kids Company

These Easter cards by Crew & Co. are super cute too

Gospel Conversation Cards for Kids by Daily Grace Co

Isaiah’s Prophecy Cards by She Reads Truth

Resurrection Eggs

Does your family do Easter baskets? Maybe this could be the year you pass up the candy and trinkets and include some gospel conversation cards or those reusable Easter coloring mats instead! Ps. Don’t forget your resurrection eggs!

Crafts & Recipes

Resurrection Cookies

Countdown to Easter Chain

Empty Tomb Rolls

Quick Reads

Looking for more ideas and inspiration on how to observe this lenten season as a family?

Lenten Preparations for Good Friday and Easter by John Piper

Why Mourning Can Be Good For Us by Paul Tripp

20 Ways to Celebrate Easter by Barbara Rainey

10 Family Activities to Make This the Best Easter Ever by Seeds Family Worship

Do Your Children Understand Easter by Focus on the Family

Other Resources

Sacrifice & Atonement Video by the Bible Project

The Meaning of Easter Video by Phil Vischer

Seeds of Easter Music

Risen Spotify Playlist by Sovereign Grace

Monday 3-2-1: Building up your Marriage

“A wise woman builds her house, while a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands.” (Proverbs 14:1)

As I’ve been thinking through the month of February, I’ve been praying that the Lord would give me more of this vision as I start my days…

“God, help me to do the most good for those around me today. Help me wake up today and see all the interruptions as opportunities… May my life make a difference in the lives of those around me.”

So what does this look like in relation to our marriages? What does it look like to be the wise woman mentioned in Proverbs who builds up her home and those in it? What does it look like to wake up every morning with the mentality of serving those in your sphere of influence?

3 Tips (for building up your marriage)

1. Commit to praying for your spouse every day for the next month.

We all know we should be doing this. But if i’m honest, sometimes other needs seem more “urgent” and before I know it, a few days have passed since I’ve spent time praying for him. I love this 31 day challenge by Revive our Hearts to help get back into the habit of praying daily for my spouse.  Print it off, place it in a spot you’ll see it every day, and enter a reminder on your phone. Once you’ve finished the 31 days? Just start over!

2. Grab some friends and start the 30 day husband encouragement challenge.

Another 30 day challenge? Stay with me here. This challenge is going to take you beyond prayer to practical ways you can build up your marriage. 

“For the next thirty days, don’t say anything negative about your husband—to him or to anyone else about him. Each day, for the next thirty days, tell your husband something you admire or appreciate about him—and say it to someone else about him!”

3. Look at your calendar, your to-do lists, your priorities, and ask yourself the question “Am I reserving the best of my physical and emotional energy for my husband?”

Maybe this means taking some things off your calendar. Maybe this means not getting everything done on your to-do list today. Maybe it DOES mean getting your checklist list done during the day so that you aren’t distracted and overwhelmed in the evenings when you actually have time with your husband. 

2 Things I’m Loving

  1. The MamaBearApologetics Podcast. This one is new to me, and if I’m honest a little out of my comfort zone! It’s an area I definitely need to grow in, so I’ll be sticking around to check more episodes. Also this episode from the Lazy Genius Podcast. I’m totally trying a few of her tips and tricks on cleaning this month (including putting socks on my kids hands and having them help me dust and cleaning my bathrooms in her recommended order.) 
  2. This chicken alfredo spaghetti squash recipe. Why have I never tried this sooner?? I doubled the sauce, made my kiddos a box of noodles (because some are more willing to try the spaghetti squash than others) and paired it with garlic bread. This will definitely be on my meal repeats during the month.

1 Quick Thought

Try the  “Five Dollar, No Hollar Date Night”

(Taken from “Make Their Day” by Karen Ehman)

The premise is pretty simple. Spending only $5, purchase a drink from a local eatery (think large milkshake with two straws, a buy one get one free drink, or share a large coffee from your favorite coffee shop.) Then spend time asking each other these questions.

What was the high point of your week?

What was the low point of your week?

What is one thing you’d like to do around the house this next month?

What is one place you would like to go with me in the next month or so?

What is one task I could help you tackle in the next week or so?

What is your greatest prayer request at work right now?

What is your greatest prayer request regarding our family right now?

February Roundups (the best of the best)

To have the entire list in your inbox each month, make sure you sign up for my monthly newsletter! Here’s a sneak peak of some of my favorite February finds.

6 Questions to Ask Your Spouse Every Week

What brought you joy this week?
What was something that was hard this week?
What’s one specific thing I can do for you this week?
How can I pray for you this week?
Is there anything that’s been left unspoken or unsaid? (Convictions, confessions, unresolved hurt?)
What’s a dream, desire or thought that’s been on the forefront of your mind this week?
(taken from the marriage journal)

Marriage Tips (from someone learning right alongside you)

Valentine’s Day. Are you and your spouse gift givers? Gifts (and coffee) are my love language. It took me a few years into marriage to finally understand that my husband did not share the same sentiments. Gifts aren’t really his thing (he’s really good at giving- it just doesn’t matter a whole lot that he receives!) Maybe like us you’ll pass on gifts this Valentine’s Day, but here are some fun ideas to add to that list on your phone of “gift giving ideas” for later (think birthday, anniversary, or  Christmas!) 

The Adventure Challenge 
A friend told me her husband gifted her this for Christmas. It’s 50 scratch off date night ideas (ranging from $0-50) that will spark some creativity in your marriage. According to the “rules” there’s no take backs once you scratch off the date idea (that’s the fun in it!) 

The Marriage Journal
This journal includes a weekly couples devotional, the “6 questions to ask your spouse” prompts, a calendar page, and room to write down journal entries during the week with your spouse.

Not Married? (you still belong here)

Singleness by Journeywoman Podcast
What Hope Does God Give Lonely Singles? Ask Pastor John Podcast (feat. Matt Chandler)
Singles in the Body of Christ by Well Watered Women (article)
Trusting God in Your Singleness by Revive our Hearts (article)
7 Myths About Singleness by Sam Alberry (book)

In My Earbuds (there’s something for everyone here)

Welcoming Your Neighbors
 Family Life Podcast
“Now, I would say that maybe your neighbors have more reason to fear you than you have to fear them. Have you thought about that? Maybe your politics and your theology and your language and your faith will provide more of a challenge, more of a life crisis, for your neighbors than they will for you.”

Is It Time to Press Pause on Social Media
Five Minute Mom Podcast

This podcast might not convince you to delete your social media accounts, but hopefully it challenges you to think through why you use them.

6 Questions to Ask Your Spouse 
Work and Play Podcast

I discovered the 6 questions to ask your spouse from listening to this podcast. A great listen for the month of February!

 What Every Marriage Needs Most
Ask Pastor John
“Behaviors are late things. Early things are soul things: attitudes, feelings, angers, joys. And that’s where the battle is fought — with Jesus, over your Bible — so that when you get up in the morning and go down to the breakfast table after a half an hour with Jesus, coming to terms with your own sin, confessing, you’re able to speak upbuilding things.”

Putting Your Marriage First: Give Him More Than the Leftovers
Risen Motherhood Podcast
“How can you save physical and emotional energy for your husband each day? I ask myself that sometimes during the day. How can I maybe not do this extra task so that I truly have extra energy? Or even these conversations on how can I intentionally put aside part of me to save for my husband?”

On Our Bookshelves

February Reads (what I’m currently reading)

Just Open the Door
Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

With My Kids (books we’ve been enjoying)

Acts ( Read Kaleidescope)
Little Pilgrim’s Big Journey
Secret of the Hidden Scrolls (Book 5)
Read A Loud Revival February Book List

Discipleship Resources (did I mention free??)

Chip Ingram Mealtime Conversations
Village Church Family Discipleship Guide

On Our Walls, In Our Hearts (something fun and pretty)

Looking for some Valentine’s Day banners to light up your hearts and your homes?
Here’s a few of my favorites.
1 Corinthians Banner
Love Is Banner
Wooden Heart Garland

In My Freezer (easy meals to make, take, & deliver)

You can find all these ingredients at your local Aldi! I like to keep everything on hand so I can quickly whip up a a family dinner for us and a casserole for that friend who is having a hard week.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
I’ve been tweaking this recipe! I left out the apple and made mine with a box of wild rice, sautéed italian sausage/ celery/ carrot, and stuffed it all in my baked acorn squash. I ended up having enough leftover stuffing to freeze and save for another meal! 
Tip: Make some of these and deliver them to your next door neighbors to sample!

Spaghetti bake
+ Some fun add ons like frozen meatballs, garlic bread and a bagged salad will make this a complete meal.
ps. Ground beef is optional (I usually leave it out when I’m in a hurry!)

Mom Tip: 
Have a list of easy meals  to grab & go.
If you have access to a Costco in your area, these are some great ideas to keep on hand in your freezer and fridge for a quick meal to take to someone else! 

-Breakfast muffins: buy two, deliver one (bakery section)
-Mac n cheese pasta bake (back freezer section)
-Chicken alfredo bake (back freezer section)
-Bagged salad & rotisserie chicken (back freezer section)
-Cookies (bakery section)

PPS. Don’t forget a bag with paper plates, napkins, silverware, and some lemonade!