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The Great Blogger Giveaway (Hint: It's Not That Type of Giveaway)

30 July 2013

As bloggers and blog readers, there is a thread that binds us: we love stuff. Sometimes it is a steal and sometimes it is a splurge. It can be a must have, a need right now or on our lust list. Maybe it's an essential for the new season or an upcoming vacation. It's always pretty and perfect, the exact representation of our effervescent personality in shoe/art/handbag/sweater form. In the real world necessities are ugly and out of our control, like electric bills and in-laws. Blog world is where things are shiny and new and things that could send us to the poor house are called "investment pieces."

I have had a few experiences over the past crazy months that have brought me close to the reality of how much I love stuff. There is a new baby being added to our family budget. I spent weeks in the past months watching people take small bags of whatever mementos they could find from their homes in West and Granbury. I thought more about the women making jewelry in my Noonday shop, and how happy they are to be making more as fair trade artisans so they can feed their families, not hit up shoe sales or feather their suburban nests. Why as we acquire more, are we rarely feeling happier?

With these ideas creating tension in me, I packed Jen Hatmaker's 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess in my vacation bag for some beach reading. I loved hearing someone's else tension and confusion over the personal spending and waste they felt was inescapable from a busy and privileged lifestyle. Hatmaker's approach can be difficult to completely reproduce, but I finished the book with a few of my own game plans in place, one being I really needed to let go of some stuff. Things I had been leaving around because I had the room and was scared of the loss of giving them away more than I was happy to keep them.

See also: There is a baby coming to live at this house! Gotta clear out room for this lil' baby and his or her own accessory problem. 

Some questions I've had while processing my love of possessions:

How can we have so much, and still be interested in more, when so many people's basic needs are left unfilled?

Why am I calling a new top a "must have" when there are hangers in my room with clothes that have the tags still on them?

How do I stop the bus long enough to feel the genuine gratitude and clarity that comes from a life unchained to my possessions, even if for a short burst of time?

I'm working on letting go first specifically to things I already have, hoping that I will want to stay dedicated to the lightness I feel with closets and rooms that are down to their most purposeful items. 

All this week I am going through drawers, closets and bedrooms, making space and filling boxes. And this time instead of taking it all to the nearest drop off, I am working to find charities in Dallas that have a true need for my donations and doing the extra footwork to get it to them. Knowing my things are going to be used purposefully has made the clean out process even more gratifying and interesting. I'm also playing the Fleetwood Mac Pandora station almost exclusively through this process, which is like a spiritual experience in and of itself.

These adventures are always more rewarding and easier to stick to with company, and I would love for you to join me in cleaning out a closet or going through your home to see what you're holding on to that can have a new life with someone in need. 

Next Tuesday, August 6, I'll be posting a recap of my clean out, and I will have space at the bottom for any other brave souls who want to link up with me! 

I'll be writing about:
- How I went about making my selections
- Charities I donated to and how I found them 
- The after feeling of a life with less stuff 

Y'all. I even made a fancy badge for anyone who is interested in taking the plunge with me!

Pancakes and Beet Juice


Any good blogger knows the power of a good giveaway, and this one has the chance to make a big impact on ourselves and, even more importantly, our communities. I'm feeling lighter and more clear already, and I can't wait to read your stories!

8 comments:

  1. Oh Lilly, we are cut from the same cloth. Once you read 7 and that bug gets in your brain it's really hard to get it out. Love this idea.

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  2. great idea! I love it. I shared to help get the word out... I am Lea from Running with Ollie, I found you on the Texas Women Bloggers site. :)

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  3. Hi, I'm Clara from Southern Thintellect and I think this is a marvelous idea! I'm really inspired by this post, and perhaps I'll be linking up next week! :)

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  4. So glad you are doing this! I found you on the Noonday FB page...I'm a new ambassador! I've also been blogging my fasts...entering the fast from stress on Thursday and it couldn't come at a better time. Love love love it. I'd totally link up, but will be on vacation...please keep posting!

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  5. Great idea Lilly!! When the girls go back I will start weeding out!

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  6. Great ideas! I always feel lighter and more at peace when I just let it go. Now if I can just stop swinging back to mass consumerism a couple of times a year...

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  7. Girl. I LOVE this! It's weird because I've been thinking about a major purge lately, culminating with last night and my new plan: get rid of half my stuff!! I've been packing for a move the past couple weeks and actually moving the past couple days and I absolutely despise all this stuff! Stuff I thought would make me happy but is really just a burden. I've decided to go through everything, and if I have 20 necklaces, for example, I keep my favorite 10. If its something I will actually use (bottles of lotion, for example) I can keep the ones I will ACTUALLY use, but can't buy ANY more until those are gone. I need to simplify, streamline, and become happy without worrying about physical possessions so much. After all, God isn't going to be impressed with my collection of shoes, but by the collection of people I help and by my general attitude of gratitude!

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  8. Great stuff, Lilly! My husband and I have been talking about this lately. More stuff is a burden! I've been purging a little all year and still find I have more stuff to purge. We talk about downsizing our house, we talk about simplifying... It's hard as a DIY blogger because I'm always buying more stuff because "it will be a great project for the blog!" I remind myself that I should only do projects for the blog that really matter. Repurposing stuff I already have to name one. I'd love to join in on your Great Blogger Giveaway...I might not make it in time for Monday, though. Maybe if I just start small....

    By the way, I'm excited about your baby news! Maybe in my purging process I can offer you a crib?! lol It's sitting in my attic along with a high chair. Why are we keeping these? Dunno. See...I can already find something to purge!! :)

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