About the Author

Angie is the proud wife of Todd Smith of Selah, and the blessed mommy to Abby, Ellie, Kate, Charlotte, and Audrey Caroline, who passed away the day she was born, April 7th, 2008. Angie was inspired to write Audrey's story, and began the blog www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com in honor of her. You...

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  1. Growing up on a farm, we learned early in life the importance of a budget and sticking to it for the long-term benefits. Spending was restrained by the budget and by expenses. So many of the things people seem to struggle with today is not my weakness, because those were foundational in our growing up. Yet, so many other things lacked due to the vacuum of spiritual truth. It is amazing how one can see the good in humanity and the spiritual dullness by not seeking the Bible for wisdom in every aspect of our lives.

    The spending because we have tracked it for all our lives never surprises me.

    I was taken back by the question: How can you serve those who are ‘marginalized in your own community’?

    It is a good question and I have always been one of those “marginalized”, but I asked God did I ever do that to someone else. And I have to say in every fellowship we have been a part of we seem to gravitate towards those who are “marginalized” and become their champions, because we knew what it was like.

    It is my prayer; your question will prompt others in godly actions.

  2. This chapter was a hard one to swallow. My downfall is the Target clearance endcaps. If something is 70% off or more, it’s a good deal! But the problem lies with the fact that I really didn’t need the item in the first place. In fact, I didn’t even have it on my want list until I saw it deeply discounted. We moved to NC a year a half ago from WA state. We took a small U-Haul trailer full of our possessions. We were so proud that we pared down our possessions. And yet, a year later, our house if full of stuff again, because of spending money on things we don’t really need. Great video. Lots of stuff to chew on.
    Nicole

    • Nicole I am so with you. I am a huge sucker for a good deal. My husband is a smart man though and always says to me “something will ALWAYS be on sale.” It’s so true isn’t it? Even though it’s exciting to find good, even great deals, when does it stop? Because there will always be something on clearance and there will always be a good deal to be had. I think it’s wise to shop smart and look for good deals but like you said, it maybe gets a little out of control when we start buying stuff we know we don’t need just for the sake of getting a good deal. Keep fighting the battle sister. I’m fighting with you:)

  3. I too agree that this one is tough.

    I’ve really been thinking about it a lot for the last three or four months. I love how Jen talks about not just spending less for the sake of saving money but spending less so that we can give more.

    This idea really sparked something inside of me. Back in July I was driving from Des Moines, IA to Olathe, KS to hear Jen speak at a women’s even at a church I’d never been too. I had no connection with this church, I just really wanted to see/hear Jen speak:) Call me crazy. On my drive down there I was thinking about how I could ‘do more’. I’m all in with the ‘mutiny against excess’ but for me it wasn’t enough. I didn’t really feel like I was helping anyone but just having less stuff myself, ya know? Then, on the open highway of interstate 35, three words came to me. Live With Less. That was it. Live with less so that I can give more. Now that this weeks video refreshed my memory on this chapter I realize that this wasn’t a new idea. Apparently I just had a little bit of Jen Hatmaker whispering in my ear. I ran with those words and decided I was going to design a t-shirt to sell. It would say Live With Less and the challenge would be for people who bought the t-shirt, to figure out what they could live with less of. Something small like a couple less Starbucks a week, or less clothes, or less time watching TV. Baby steps. The challenge is small and simple but it’s still a challenge. And I’m challenging myself with the same thing. Every time I put on my LWL shirt it reminds me to think “What can I live with less of today so that I can give more?”. About 30 shirts have been sold already and I just launched this about two weeks ago. Part of the profit from the t-shirt sales will go to purchasing ‘Water of Life’ drinking systems through Compassion International. Living with less. Giving more. Making a difference. That’s the goal. I’m just a girl selling some t-shirts to make a difference for people across the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water. Anyone can do it.

    http://www.livewithlesstoday.org

    Jessica, Jen, and Angie, your dialogue is challenging and it’s encouraging to know that you all are in the thick of it just like the rest of us on the other side of the screen. I look forward to your videos every week. I wish I could squeeze my little buns on the couch with ya’ll and listen in on your fun convos and laugh with you. Because I’m positive there’s A LOT of laughing:)

    Here’s to spending less so we can give more!

    • Courtney, I LOVE what you’re doing! This month I’m doing a 31 day blog series called Fashion for Freedom, for which I’m only wearing 10 items of clothing for the month, and encouraging readers to live with less and buy ethically made clothing. I’d love to feature your tees, and I would also love to interview you and ask you a few questions about why you started this and how choosing where you spend money on clothes can make a difference. Would you be interested?

      • Emily, I’d be honored! Feel free to email me at courtneylaib@gmail.com and we can chat! And I love your 31 day series topic. I’m doing the series as well and my title is 31 days learning to live with less. Maybe we can interview each other and I can write about you on my blog as well! Thanks for saying hi:)

    • Courtney,
      What a great idea for both the t-shirts and the 31 Days series. I’m going to have to hop over to your place this month and check it out, especially after all this good discussion with 7.

  4. I really loved this video! The challenge about being involved with the marginalized in my own community really spoke to me. Thank you so much ladies!

  5. Coming from a lower-income middle class family I learned early on how to budget. My mom would write down every penny spent on each item: clothes, food, paper
    products. stamps, etc. She was an excellent bookkeeper.

    From that I learned how to save every dime I could–for a rainy day. I don’t usually buy a lot of items monthly. Our money is spent in only 7 or less places: grocery, household, eat-out, clothes (occassionally), charity & personal. I try to put a bit back into savings for our home renovations.

    I believe people are to into consumerism. They think they need the lastest everything. I feel that less is more. In fact I try to get rid of or recycle stuff I no longer use.

  6. I’m loving the richness of this conversation and hearing Jen’s heart in the videos and in 7. I loved when Jen talked about being excited about spending less in order to give more. I go to a Methodist church, and this reminds me of what John Wesley said back in the 1700s: “Make all you can and save all you can so that you can give all you can.”

    Living on one income (a grad student stipend, no less!) right now while I search for a job is challenging me to find ways around spending and to be intentional about what I DO spend. There’s been a lot of repurposing, a lot of making do, a lot of finding the “manna” that falls around us (lately, in the form of free food at grad student fairs and furniture salvaged from the curb). It’s hard to not be able to give much financially right now–but I’m praying for the eyes to see how I can give of myself in relationships and time.