Jan 21, 2020
A few months ago I got a book in
the mail titled
Uncluttered. Imagine that frozen moment in time, when I
was holding this book while standing in my kitchen surrounded by,
you guessed it, clutter! In spite of the stuff that creates
clutter, today's podcast isn't about removing physical clutter.
It's about removing noise, stress, and over commitments. This show
is for anyone who wakes up from a nap and says, "I wish I could do
It's for people who buy books
and find them later dusty and unread. It's for those who meet God
on vacation or in quiet moments and wish they had more times like
that. Courtney Ellis is a writer, speaker, and mom of three. She
serves alongside her husband as a Presbyterian pastor in Southern
California. She is the author of Uncluttered and Almost Holy Mama. Courtney is also an advocate for minimal-ish
living, a crossword puzzle nerd, and a candy
This episode will hit home for a
lot of you, because it’s about discovering that there is room and
space in our lives for the things that matter. We just have to
sometimes make that room. Courtney shares her journey with getting
rid of physical, digital, and time clutter and learning to let go
and rest. She shares how to make it a personal experience depending
on the seasons and preferences of your family. It’s all about
living with less to create more. This is a fun, practical, and
sweet interview. I know you’re going to love Courtney as much as I
- [03:20] Courtney grew up in the
Midwest. She's from Wisconsin. She now lives in Southern California
with her family where she has a fear of earthquakes.
- [04:38] Her oldest son is
seven. Her middle son is 3 and 1/2. She also has a nine month old
- [04:59] Courtney and her
husband are co-pastors in a Presbyterian Church. They take turns
being home with the kids.
- [06:08] It's easy to burn out
if you aren't caring for your marriage and caring for your soul.
Simplicity, Sabbath practice, and resting are even more important
for those of us who serve in ministry.
- [06:53] Courtney has written
two books, and they both came out the same year.
- [07:43] Writing is what fills
Courtney's cup back up.
- [08:09] The lessons of
Courtney's books are universal, because they aren't how to books,
they are me to books. They are invitations to practice spiritual
practices and live with less, so God can give you more.
- [09:29] Uncluttered is about
going from overwhelmed to rest. Her schedule, closets, and digital
media were too full. Something had to change, because she couldn't
go on that way any longer.
- [10:04] The book is all about
less. It's about how she pared down her digital life and cleaned
out her closets. The second half of the book was the biggest
surprise to her, because she started writing about less and God
started teaching her about more.
- [10:36] God wanted to give her
amazing things, but her schedule had no room. It's the story of
more to less to more.
- [15:24] Courtney and her family
began the journey by stopping. They stopped buying non-essentials,
and they stopped putting things on their calendar.
- [16:10] They also have a sacred
family Sabbath. They rest, play, and nap. They have to say no to a
lot to make it happen, but it reset every other area in their
- [19:26] Possessions aren't
neutral. Everything we have takes time to store, care for, and
manage. Each possession was stealing time from Courtney. She wanted
that valuable time back.
- [22:28] Uncluttering the soul
and the spirit has changed everything for Courtney and her family.
She also pared-down social media. We can make the choices whether
we want to give our time away or not.
- [25:49] What would you do if
the end result was hearing God better?
- [28:46] For Courtney, it was a
journey of God being willing to meet her where she is in her life
- [29:26] Courtney would meditate
on scripture in the shower or pray while she was folding
- [30:06] We don't have to wait,
God will meet us where we are.
- [33:00] We wrap up with three
fun questions that may or may not include Asian Box, sitting with
someone in a messy house, and Michelle Williams.
Thanks for joining us on
Ordinary People Ordinary Things. Be sure to
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review. Just like your mother taught you.
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