MIS-C Symptoms & 3 Things You Need to Know from My Daughters Diagnosis

MIS-C Symptoms & 3 Things You Need to Know from My Daughters Diagnosis

The Diagnosis: Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children

Christmas with MIS-C

I never would have dreamt that my six-year-old daughter’s fever and vomiting would land her into a five-day stay at the Boise Children’s Hospital during Christmas. 

At first, I wasn’t overly concerned with my daughter’s symptoms. We already had COVID-19 a month prior, so whatever she had must be just a bug.

I was so wrong.

After a six-hour ER visit with an IV for fluids, ultrasounds, heart x-rays and the works, my daughter and I were taken by ambulance to the nearest Children’s Hospital. 

The Symptoms of MIS-C

One of the first questions the doctor at the Children’s Hospital asked was if Selah has had COVID. 

“We all had it in the middle of November,” I told her.

I tested positive for COVID-19, but the rest of my family didn’t get tested. Selah was barely sick then. She only had a fever for a couple of hours and that was about it. Meanwhile, I had it bad, I felt like I had been hit by a freight train.

The doctor told us that in rare cases, 4-6 weeks after having Covid, some children become very sick with fever, vomiting, rashes and an inflammatory response in their organs.

The timeline and symptoms added up. Selah was diagnosed with MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children). 

Typically, children who contract COVID-19 experience mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all. However, a small portion of children who are infected with COVID-19 end up developing MIS-C, a life-threatening condition that can affect a child’s heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, and other organs.  (intermountainhealthcare.org)

I had never heard of MIS-C. I just sat there in disbelief with no battery left in my phone to contact my husband. I was in shock.

If I’d known I’d be spending the night at the hospital, I would’ve packed a toothbrush, but all I had was a water bottle. I was so unprepared for this.

Feeling clueless, I had no idea what to expect with this diagnosis. We were about to embark on a whole new journey I never wished to be on.

I watched my daughter get poked and prodded countless times, she was put on oxygen, had fluid in her lungs, was given an infusion and was monitored every 15 minutes. 

My daughter’s experience with MIS-C hasn’t been sunshine and rainbows.  It’s felt more like a hailstorm on a hot summer day -so unexpected and yet so damaging.

It was downright scary trying to sleep on the uncomfortable hospital sofa bed while her monitor would ding because her heart rate wasn’t consistent. Nurses and doctors would rush in throughout the night to check vitals, do tests, and administer medication.

I’ve never been in the position of seeing my daughter this sick ever. Oh, I wish I could have taken her place. I felt utterly helpless. Yet, my six-year-old daughter was so strong and brave. 

Because of COVID-19 precautions, only one parent can come and visit at a time and no one else is allowed in. Thankfully, my mom came into town to take care of our son, so my husband and I could take turns being with Selah at all times.

We were like ships in the night, running on little sleep and big doses of emotional exhaustion. I longed to process everything that was going on with my husband. But it felt like we were in a baton race, only having time for a quick embrace before switching shifts.

Treatment for Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children

All my plans for Christmas went flying out that hospital window. Christmas of 2020 will be one that I’ll never forget- spending the best holiday of the year in the hospital will hopefully never be repeated!

My sweet family of four weren’t allowed to be in the same room, but we made the best of it and took turns with our little girl. We made FaceTime calls to family and friends.  Videos were sent to Selah to cheer her up and wish her a Merry Christmas. Our friends brought us a delicious Christmas dinner that made our day feel more festive than eating the less-than-appetizing hospital meal. 

After a five-day stay in the Children’s Hospital, we were finally able to take our sweet girl home. Driving home felt like freedom. Tears welled up in my eyes as I recounted what we had just been through. I was so glad she was well enough to go home. We could celebrate Christmas together as a whole family, and our kids could actually be in the same room. When we arrived at home, Selah started opening some Christmas presents, but she was too exhausted and just fell asleep.

Reye’s Syndrome: The Risks That Come with MIS-C’s Treatment

Before we were discharged from the hospital, the doctor told us the risks our daughter will have with the medications they prescribed her.  We have to be super careful that Selah doesn’t get the flu or chickenpox. With the heart medication she is on, she is at risk of getting Reye’s Syndrome.

Reye’s (Reye) syndrome is a rare but serious condition that causes swelling in the liver and brain. Reye’s Syndrome most often affects children and teenagers recovering from a viral infection, most commonly the flu or chickenpox. (mayoclinic.org)

I had never heard of Reye’s Syndrome before (I’m so not a medical professional). It’s super rare, but can cause permanent physical and mental disabilities, and has a 30% fatality rate.

Gulp, that’s super comforting for a parent to hear. 

So, the doctor said the best way to keep Selah healthy and lessen her risks is to quarantine ourselves and wait three days before anything comes into our home while she is on her medication.

We took our doctors advise seriously, and made some big changes, since her prescription was for at least 6-8 weeks.  It’s not worth messing around with our daughter’s health.  Their hope is that Selah will feel back to normal within two months. 

Tough decisions had to be made. We decided to pull Selah out of public school, so she would not have added exposure.  Plus, we wanted her to have consistency in school for the rest of the year.  So now, I am a homeschooling mom which has been a big change, and a good one.  

My husband works from home only now, which is quite a shift from before. We are all home now 24/7, which has actually been really nice and challenging.

Right now we are over three weeks past her diagnosis, and she still isn’t herself yet.  We have people visit outside our window and when they bring gifts or groceries, we wait three days before any items can enter our home. 

Selah still has side effects from the steroids she was on.  She doesn’t look like herself, but she’ll get there. It’s a slow journey.

Rare and Unknown Disease

The Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children diagnosis has been a roller coaster ride in the hospital and at home. MIS-C is scary for a multitude of reasons, especially since this new disease is so new.  The unknowns of the disease are a hard pill to swallow. Doctors are scrambling to understand it, and they have no idea if there are lasting repercussions. 

Because MIS-C has only recently been identified, the medical community is still trying to understand what causes it, as well as why it appears to affect only children. […] Fortunately, it is also rare, and the vast majority of children affected by it survive. (yalemedicine.org)

No one will know if there are lasting ramifications from MIS-C for the next several years. I’m hopeful that she won’t get this again or have any other health issues from having this new disease.

MIS-C Symptoms are important to know

Now, I wanted to share our story not so that you feel sorry for us or to freak you out.  I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but the more you know what to look for with your child, the quicker the diagnosis and recovery process will be. My hope is that I can help you know what to look for so if you are in the position we were in with your own child, you’ll know what to do.

Here are some important things you should know about MIS-C:

1. If your family has COVID, pay attention to your kids in the next 4-6 weeks.

It’s important to know the timeline for MIS-C, especially if your child has had COVID or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive.

MIS-C typically doesn’t show up for four to six weeks after first being infected with COVID-19. (intermountainhealthcare.org)

Honestly I was in disbelief that this was all from COVID, especially since she had such a mild COVID-19 case.  But after talking to so many specialty doctors, they said most of the kids with MIS-C had a very mild case of COVID-19 or didn’t even know they had it at all.

If I were you, I’d mark my calendar four to six weeks out, so you can start looking for any symptoms your children may have during that time period. 

2. MIS-C symptoms are all across the board.

The trouble with MIS-C is that it looks very different depending on each child.  Here are some symptoms to look for:

Patients with MIS-C usually present with persistent fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash, mucocutaneous lesions and, in severe cases, with hypotension and shock


Not all children will have the same signs and symptoms, and some children may have symptoms not listed here. (cdc.gov)

My daughter had a fever that wouldn’t go away, vomiting, and she had rashes that look like targets. MIS-C looks most similar to Kawasaki disease and that is how doctors have been determining how to treat it. The range of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children cases vary, but the worse cases lean more towards Kawasaki-like symptoms.

If you’re like me, you probably have never heard of this rare disease.

Kawasaki disease causes swelling (inflammation) in the walls of medium-sized arteries throughout the body. It primarily affects children. The inflammation tends to affect the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle. (mayoclinic.org)

Selah’s lips would change colors, her tongue looked like a strawberry and was dotted, and her eyes were red.  Those are all classic Kawasaki markers.

3. If MIS-C is misdiagnosed or isn’t treated quickly, it can cause permanent damage.

I first called my daughter’s pediatrician, but they didn’t have any openings for appointments. If you can’t get into your child’s pediatrician, go to the ER especially if your child is dehydrated.

If you think that your child has MIS-C, you should contact your child’s doctor or pediatrician immediately. […]

A child experiencing serious illness should not delay in getting care and should immediately seek attention from their nearest emergency room. (chla.org)

The ER is the place to go if you think your child may have MIS-C.  Urgent Care is not equipped to do much with kids.  Plus, my husband spoke with a local urgent care doctor, and they had never heard of MIS-C. I’m so glad we skipped the Urgent Care and had a quick diagnosis from the Children’s Hospital.

If you suspect your child might have any of the MIS-C Symptoms, talk to their medical provider and bring it up.  The sooner the diagnosis, the quicker the treatment, and the better likelihood of positive recovery.

MIS-C Has Given Us Perspective

I hope you don’t have a personal experience with MIS-C, like we have. It’s been a difficult journey, but there have been many hidden blessings within it.  MIS-C has forced us to slow down, figure out our priorities, and become closer as a family

We have had so much support, prayers, and have felt very loved through the whole process.  Even with a not-so-pleasant diagnosis, we can see some good in it.  It’s a matter of perspective. 

MIS-C has been a reset for us. 

A good reset. 

A hard reset.

It’s given me the chance to take a deep breath, love on my children, and to cherish their health.

4 Reasons Why You Are Not Good with Money

4 Reasons Why You Are Not Good with Money

4 Reasons Why You Are Not Good with Money

Do you believe that you are not good with money? Did you learn how to spend and save money at school?  Did you ever have a class in high school that talked about debt, interest, investments, and practical money tips?  

Well, I didn’t and most of us aren’t taught or exposed to how to deal with money in a positive way.  Most schools completely neglect to teach personal finances, how to balance a checkbook and basic money-management skills.

If children aren’t taught about finances and how to manage money wisely by their parents, they are going to have to learn the hard way. It’s not a surprise that most people make financial mistakes, especially when they are young, because they just don’t know any better.


4 Reasons Why You Are Not Good with Money 1

I remember during my first week of college there were tables set out by a few locals banks.  They were trying to reel in all the incoming freshman and any other college students with credit cards by using some cheap bait.  They tried to woo all of the broke college students with a free 6″ Subway sandwich and I almost fell for it.  A $3 sandwich was the entry point into a heap of financial mess.  

Banks and credit unions know that college students are an ideal target audience.  College students are young and finally have some independence.  Plus, they have no money and are paying for expensive tuition, books, food, and living expenses for the first time.  Of course, they’ll draw these newbies in with an offer they can’t resist even if it’s a frisbee or a crappy T-shirt they’ll never wear.

Now, I know laws have changed and banks and credit card companies can’t go onto campuses like they once did offering frisbees and subs for new sign-ups.  The CARD act is good first step. But how often do we get sucked into some ‘amazing offer’ that really isn’t that amazing?  If we don’t know any better, we’ll probably make a lot of poor financial decisions just like a typical college student.

4 Reasons Why You Are Not Good with Money


Lack of Financial Knowledge

Knowledge is power if acted upon.  If children, teenagers, and even adults for that matter learned the in’s and out’s of how money works and principles for building wealth, our society would change. 

Could you imagine if people were educated on the power of compound interest in terms of investments and debt? The amount of debt and financial blunders would most likely decrease or be completely avoided.

People would literally run away from every cash advance store in the country.  Maybe people would fully understand how much interest their student loans will accumulate over time.  Fewer people would run themselves into debt.

So, if you don’t know much about money management, immerse yourself in research.  You can find most answers online.  Check out my posts and other resources that will help you understand these concepts more.  And if you know someone who is good with their finances, ask them what they are doing.  I’m sure they would love to share and be a support to you.



 Schools Don’t Require Financial Literacy

Schools aren’t equipping students to understand and manage finances either. There are only five states in the U.S. that require all high schoolers to take a personal finance class.  Those five states are Utah, Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, and Virginia. Clearly, this is a problem. It’s no surprise that most people are not good with money, because they weren’t taught about finances.

We can’t rely on schools to teach children everything they need to know in life.  As a parent myself, I want to educate my kids on finances because it’s important.  I want to equip my children to be able to excel in life and in the real-world.  So, I need to help prepare them by teaching them about personal finance. If they know better, they’ll more likely do better.

In an ideal world, all states would require personal finance classes and parents would also teach their children money-management skills at home.  But we all know that the likelihood of that happening is as like winning the lotto.

So if you’re a parent, make it YOUR job to teach your children how to manage money wisely, because you can’t expect them to learn these skills at school.  And the best way to teach these skills is by modeling them to your children and explaining to them what you are doing.

Let your kids watch you create a budget, calculate a tip at a restaurant, write a tithe check, pay bills, and the list goes on.  The more we equip our kids to be competent adults, the better.



The Majority of Americans Can’t Pass a Basic Financial Literacy test

In fact, more than two-thirds of adults can’t pass a basic financial literacy test. That means that the majority of Americans don’t understand the math behind interest and other financial principles. It’s no wonder that people are drowning in debt and the weight of their financial choices. If you don’t understand financial principles, of course, your going to make some bad financial decisions.

Most people start making poor financial decisions when they leave their parents home. What would our world look like if high school students understood how taking out student loans will affect their lives?

I know so many people who regret taking out student loans on a degree they’ve never used. It’s downright tragic. The US has $1.5 trillion in student loan debt and 45% of those millennials wish they would’ve never taken out student loans in the first place.

Take some time to look at the interest rate you’re paying (debt) and earning (investments).  Look at the math and see if you need to make changes.  You might want to check into a financial advisor that will help you look at your finances and help you get to where you want to go.  This is a financial advisor I’d recommend, Liftoff Financial Planning.


We Are Taught That We Shouldn’t Talk About Money

One of the biggest reasons why people struggle with money is because we don’t talk about it.  We need to quit making money a taboo subject and start talking about how to manage our finances wisely. 

People put money in the same category as politics and religion as a big no-no to bring up. This is yet another reason why most Americans have little to no financial knowledge base.

If people felt comfortable talking about money, they would be more likely to ask for help and ask questions.  It’s just assumed that you just figure out money on your own, but it really doesn’t work that way.  Finances are complicated.  There are many different facets like investing, saving money, retirement, real estate and so much more.

So don’t shy away from talking about money.  Ask questions.  Talk with people who know more than you.  Read and research what has you stumped.  And if you’re married, TALK to your spouse about money.  Look at your finances together, because you don’t want money to be the divide between you and your spouse.

Needless to say, we shouldn’t be silent when it comes to finances. The way we spend and save money must be addressed because money impacts every area of our lives. I wish this wasn’t the case, but finances make a daily impact on us and it’s our job to manage our finances well.  

It’s time to stop saying that we are not good with money. You can have a different future. You can stop generational poverty in your family.
Talk to your kids about money, ask people who are making wise financial decisions what they do, research on your own the topic.  Because if you want to see a better financial future for you and your children, you have to start being proactive.  

What is something you can start doing today to help your financial situation?  I’d love to hear your comment below!


Why We Paid Off Our House Early

Why We Paid Off Our House Early

Why We Paid Off Our House Early

Get your own Paid Off House

A paid off house sounds magical, right? For most of us, it just seems like a pipe dream or maybe not even a dream at all because the thought of a paid-off home seems unimaginable. Maybe you must be a unicorn or have some special powers to pay off your mortgage early.

Most people just wish to have a paid-off home before they retire so they are able to retire, but what would life look like if you could have a paid off house today? What would having a paid-off home give you the ability to do?

Could you go on that dream vacation to Greece? Would you be able to afford some things you’ve always wanted? Or maybe you wish you could be able to be more generous with your money and your time? Having a paid-off home gives flexibility and financial freedom.

Financial freedom looks different to each person. To some, that means being able to pay for whatever you want without caring how much it costs. For others, it means being able to work fewer hours, play more and be more present.

For me, financial freedom means that I don’t owe anyone anything and I’m not stressed by finances. Financial freedom would allow me to be generous when I see a need. It would give me the ability to live my life how I want to, without money being a roadblock.


Get a Paid Off House

I crave financial freedom, and I’m sure you do too. We all long for security, the ability to live our lives without the stress of living paycheck to paycheck. Finances impact every area of our lives, and sadly, most of us are held back by them.

The decisions we make about money profoundly changes our lives. This is why my husband and I have been on a journey of getting rid of every ounce of debt, including our mortgage.  And believe it or not, we’re debt-free! We didn’t get to this goal by accident or luck. We didn’t win the lotto or inherited money.  

Honestly, we’ve never had brag-worthy incomes that would make this goal an easy feat.  What we have had going for us is a stellar financial defence. What I mean by financial defence is that we are really good at saving money.  

Financial offense is the money you earn.  It doesn’t matter how good your financial offense is if your financial defense is not on par.  Financial defense wins the game. Here are a few of my articles that go more in depth on saving money: Live Like a College Student, The Phrase I Use to Curb Overspending, and How to Save 40% on Groceries Without Coupons.

My husband and I have had a clear goal and we are determined to change our financial destiny. We don’t have one big secret to help you be financially successful. Finances don’t work that way. Every little financial decision has an effect. That’s why I can’t pinpoint just one thing that has helped us more than anything to reach our financial goals.

A Good Financial Plan:

A good financial plan is a culmination of millions of everyday choices. The small choice of making coffee at home instead of purchasing it at a coffee shop can make a huge impact on your ability to save. Over time that consistent coffee shop purchase adds up. Our choices change our financial future and that’s why we need to start paying attention and being intentional with those decisions.

Now in the financial world, most people would’ve recommended that we should’ve invested into the stock market more instead of paying off our house early.  Their reasoning is that the interest rate you pay on your home is typically quite a bit less than you’ll make on your investments.  Yes, this is true.  But, we still invested and we’ll be able to invest quite a bit more when we have no monthly mortgage payment going out.

Or the other common reason people don’t pay off their home early is for the tax deduction.  When you actually do the math, keeping a mortgage for the tax benefit doesn’t add up. You’re only getting deducted from the interest you are already paying on your home.  It’s not a tax credit. But we took a different route.  

We didn’t want to just follow what the mainstream financial world recommended us to do.  We wanted to pay attention to what God says about money and He is very clear that debt isn’t good at all.  In fact, in Proverbs 22:7 it says, “The borrower is slave to the lender.”  That means that when I owe money to anyone or to the bank, I’m giving up my freedom and handing it over to someone else.  

Christ has set us free, but when we live in debt (being enslaved to the lender), we aren’t experiencing the full freedom given to us.  And that’s why we wanted to become debt free.  Now that we have no mortgage, we have more available finances to invest and use in other areas. 

If you want to here some of the tips that helped us pay off our home at 31 years old, check this out.  I’d love to hear about your financial goals.  What are you doing to make your financial future a brighter one?

Collecting Dust: My Journey to Love and Use What I Own

Collecting Dust: My Journey to Love and Use What I Own

Collecting Dust: My Journey to Love and Use What I Own

I’ve always been one of those girls that held onto my fancy and higher-end items and would never use it. I remember being given some Burt’s Bees lotion, but I thought it was too expensive and special to be used only on special occasions. It just became a decoration on my nightstand. Then after a long while (it might have been years later), I opened the bottle and poured out the lotion into my hand. It was brown and watery and smelled funny. That too-fancy lotion ended up going bad because it was never used. At that point, something dawned on me. How often do I hold onto items and never use them because they are too nice to use?

That lotion experience was quite an eye opener for me. Too often I don’t wear that nice dress because it’s just too nice. I don’t use my wedding serving utinsils because they are too special. My china is in a box in storage where it hasn’t seen the light of day in years. How often do we not enjoy the special and sentimental things that we own? Honestly, I’m getting a little better in this area but I still need some work.

Collecting Dust: My Journey to Love and Use What I Own 2

So how do we start to enjoy what we own instead of letting our stuff collect dust?


Scarcity Mindset

The more I contemplate my own tendency to not use the good stuff, I realize two key points. First, it shows a scarcity mindset. If you don’t know what a scarcity mindset is, it’s when you think and believe that there isn’t enough to go around. For example, phrases like, ‘I’ll never have enough money,’ ‘when will I ever be able to get this again,’ etc. Now back to the lotion example, I didn’t use it because I knew I wouldn’t spend the money to buy it again. It was special, so it was for display only. What a travesty. That displayed lotion ended up in the trash- that’s not too special.

I remember in college, one of my friends only ate on china. Yes, you heard me right. Real porcelain china, the kind your grandma passed down. I was in shock when I went to her home. She enjoyed her china plates and actually used them. I remember sitting down for a meal at her home and it felt so fancy and upscale. We don’t even use China for Christmas and Thanksgiving, and there she is using china everyday. When I look back at that experience, I want to be like my friend who actually used and enjoyed the fancy plates instead of storing them in a box in the attic.


 Don’t Wait for a Special Occasion

The second reason I think I’ve struggled with using my stuff up is feeling like it needs to be a special day or occasion to use it. Deep down, it really shows that I don’t think I’m good enough to use it right now. I’ve got to get over this. I need to wear the earrings that I got from my grandmother after she passed. She would want me to enjoy her things, and not just store them away because they are so valuable.

My daughter has nailed this!  She would get fancy dresses from her grandma every Christmas and Easter. Instead of only wearing her beautiful dresses just for the holidays or for church, she wears these fancy dresses to school or the library.  Her dresses get a lot of love and wear- which they should!  For her, wearing those dresses make her feel beautiful and special, so she wears them.


I’m ready to start using what I have and enjoying it right now. If I don’t use those nice items, they just become clutter. I want to honor those memories and the people who have given me lavish things. We aren’t meant to hoard, but to enjoy what we own. And I’m ready to start living that out!

Do you struggle with not enjoying and using what you own? What are some things you never use or wear because they are too special or valuable? Please comment below…

7 Minimalism Lifestyle Benefits

7 Minimalism Lifestyle Benefits

7 Minimalism Lifestyle Benefits

What we own impacts our wallets, time, energy, and our stress level. Don’t we all want to have the freedom to do more of what makes us feel alive? But most of us aren’t living in that freedom. We shop for more, spend more, clean more, and get stressed out more. Our accumulation of possessions don’t satisfy. That little retail therapy high only last the afternoon. So what’s the cure?

Minimalism. There are so many Minimalism lifestyle benefits that will change your life.

Joshua Becker describes Minimalism as, “the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” I just want to follow up with a whopping big Amen!  Minimalism gives us clarity of what’s important to us and what isn’t. It isn’t just about having less; Minimalism gives you the ability to focus on what matters.

7 Minimalism Lifestyle Benefits 3

Decluttering is a large component of Minimalism and it takes time. Most of us are so overwhelmed by our stuff that we feel paralyzed and don’t want to start. When you look at what you own and determine if it ‘sparks joy,’ like Marie Kondo says, it will take time.

Personally, I’ve been on the journey of pursuing a life of less for the past few years.  My life has drastically changed for the better through practicing Minimalism. Before I started practicing Minimalism, I was stressed and exhausted. I felt like I was failing in motherhood because I spent more time doing housework than with my kids.

The way I was using my time was not lining up with my priorities. Something needed to change. That’s where Minimalism came in. Minimalism reduces my stress and frees up my time. I cannot sing enough praise over the power of Minimalism.


7 Minimalism Lifestyle Benefits:


Reduce Stress:

Did you know that a study through UCLA discovered that for women, the more stuff they own, the more stressed out they become. I don’t need a scientific study to confirm this, I believe it hands down. The more we own, the bigger the mess and the more we have to clean, rearrange and organize. Most of us want a peaceful home, but clutter gets in the way.

Once I started purging my home of the excess, the hand-me-downs, and all the things that weren’t serving our family, I felt a wave of relief. It was like I reclaimed my motherhood.

My mood is directly linked to the level of mess of my home. I wish it wasn’t that way, but it is. By having a decluttered house, my home is so much easier to manage and stays neater even with two little ones.


More Time:

Minimalism and time management go hand-in-hand.  Envision time management like creating a spending plan or a budget. If you just spend however you please, your money is going to disappear out of thin air. But once we get intentional with how our money is spent, we have the ability to save more. It’s like getting a pay raise, without the raise.

When we start looking at how we spend our time and get intentional with it, you become more productive and have more time to work with. Minimalism gives you the opportunity to take charge of your time and your possessions, since you are focusing on what is important in life.

It takes quite a bit of intentional time investment to purge and declutter your home. But once that first wave of decluttering occurs, your time investment pays dividends. There would be no way that I would be able to create my own website, consistent content, learn all the new skills required, and still be present with my kids without Minimalism. I now have the time to pursue my own passions, and I’m enjoying motherhood so much more.


More Freedom:

Decluttering gives you a high, I’m not gonna lie! I couldn’t believe how freeing it is to give and let go of what isn’t serving our family. Instead of feeling stuck and needing to clean my home 24/7, I now have the freedom to take my kids to the park on a whim. Minimalism gave me freedom to do what I want to do.

The women I have helped declutter their homes have all said that it’s like an invisible weight has lifted. They didn’t realize that they were drowning in a sea of their stuff. Once their homes were lighter (literally), they were able to focus on other areas of their lives they were neglecting and didn’t feel capable of tackling like exercise, nutrition, and more family time.


Save More Money:

Do you ever go to a store and buy a cute shirt on sale and then it sits in the closet and barely gets worn? I used to buy amazing deals on clothes and what not because they were a great deal and I didn’t want to miss out. 

Once I started practicing Minimalism, I saw what I owned with a more critical lense. I started asking more question about what I owned. It became harder for me to be ok with bringing new items in unless they were necessary and I loved them. I don’t want to undo all my hard decluttering work.  This is one of many financial benefits of Minimalism.

I look at purchases differently than I used to. When I wanted new curtains for my living room, instead of looking only at the clearance racks, I started to think about what I really wanted. What drapes would I love to see everyday in my home? The clearance curtains would be a band-aid solution (if I didn’t love them). I would end up being unhappy in the long run causing me to spend more and shop more.

I don’t buy things willy-nilly anymore. Nate Berkus says, “be a ruthless editor of your home.” What a wonderful concept that I’m learning to live out. I shop less and buy less than ever before, which gives me more money to save and spend on what’s important to me and my family.


Stop Looking for Missing Items:

Can you believe that Americans spend 2.5 days a year looking for lost/misplaced items according to a recent study? These lost items cost American families $2.7 billion annually to replace! Holy smokes!! That’s insane!

How often do we keep something because we think we may need it someday, and then we end up unable to find it or completely forgot that we even owned it. That happens way too often. If we assess what we own and each item has a home, we save ourselves time and money.

This used to be me to a T. I knew I had a set of wire cutters for the shoffice (my husband’s shed office) we were building, but they could be anywhere in the garage. It would be easier to drive to the store and buy a new pair than to go through every nook and cranny hoping to find it and that’s what we ended up doing.

You could say my house used to be pretty disorganized, until one day I realized that everything in my home needed to have a home. I know that that’s common sense, but that thought seriously never occured to me. Maybe it was divine revelation that brought me this notion.

Here’s another example, I used to get so frustrated when my kids wouldn’t clean up well (I still do, but not nearly as often). After I talked to them about it, my oldest told me they didn’t know where everything went. My kids were overwhelmed and so was I. It was like a lightbulb went off and I realized that I wasn’t training my kids where I wanted them to put their toys. I had tons of unlabeled totes for them to fill with their toys, it’s no wonder they were confused and overwhelmed. So I made labels with pictures for each tote. That alone made a world of difference.


The Ripple Effect:

Once I saw how my life changed through Minimalism, I wanted to share it with others, especially moms. Most of us moms feel like our home is our territory, we’re typically running our homes. If our home is a disaster, we feel like our house is reflecting our character, so we’re a disaster. When our homes have less, we have time for more of the important things in life. I sure don’t want my kids to remember me by constantly cleaning and maintain our home. I want them to remember me as the mom that’s interactive, engaged, and plays with them.

Once I had my home simplified, I chatted with a neighbor friend about it. I helped her declutter her whole home, garage and all. She started sharing about the freedom she’s experienced from having less with her friends and relatives.  Many of them were inspired by her success, and decluttered their homes. Decluttering, if played right, can be a positive chain reaction. When you discover something this good, it’s hard not to share it.


Become More Generous:

I used to keep my mini-hoard just in case I may need it someday. It was all about the someday. I may need to have fifty washcloths, just in case a school bus drops off 50 kids that all need to wash their faces at the same time. Really?! The likelihood of that happening is slim to none. And don’t be like Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber and think that you’re telling me I have a chance.

Instead of keeping every little thing that might be remotely useful someday, I started to ask questions like when was the last time I used all these washcloths? Do I really need two drawers that are designated to washcloths? The answer was no. So I got rid of more than half of them. I chose my favorites and donated the rest.

By purging what I owned, I was able to help multiple new mom’s with baby items. I gave toys away to a few families I knew who were in need. Minimalism sparked generosity in me and my kids in a new way. Instead of keeping my stuff just in case, I started to think about who would enjoy what I don’t use. Seeing that my clutter was making a positive difference by giving it away is contagious. I realized that for years, I was keeping things just in case that could’ve been blessing people.

I prefer giving what I own directly to people who could use it instead of Goodwill or other thrift stores. You can contact local shelters and churches too.  If I can’t find a good home quickly for it, I’ll donate it. But seeing my clutter help others, gives me more of a desire to keep just what I need so we can bless the socks off of others with our stuff.

I never would have imagined that I would call myself a Minimalist, but I sure do enjoy the lifestyle benefits of Minimalism. I’ve always wanted a peaceful home, but I didn’t realize how much I was self-sabotaging myself by buying more and more. Minimalism has reduced my stress, freed up my time, given me freedom, and has saved me money.  I’m not looking for lost items like I used to, I’m more generous, and I love how Minimalism continues to create a positive impact on my family and others.  I never expected to experience so many positive effects from pursuing a life with less, but I’m so glad I did.

My hope for you is for you to take a look at what you own and ask yourself a few questions.

  • Do I love this?
  • When was the last time I used this?
  • Do I really need it?
  • Would this be able to bless someone else?
  • If my house was on fire, what would I really want to keep?

Too many of us are owned by our stuff. We feel suffocated by the sheer amount of it. Don’t wait until someday to go through it. Do yourself and your family a favor by having less.  Once you start, you’ll be surprised how much better you feel.  

What is one of the hardest areas or items to declutter? Please leave a comment below…

Unleash Generosity: How to be Generous Even When it Doesn’t Come Naturally

Unleash Generosity: How to be Generous Even When it Doesn’t Come Naturally

Unleash Generosity: How to be Generous Even When it Doesn’t Come Naturally

I have been so tight-fisted my whole life. I worked throughout high school and I saved almost every penny for college. If I was given birthday money as a kid, it went straight to the bank. I would never spend it. In my mind, money was to be saved and not spent. I held onto every penny for a rainy day. I was so busy saving that the thought of being generous with my money never crossed my mind.

I grew up in a family that didn’t live like everyone else. We rarely talked about money. My parents didn’t buy a new car when my dad got a raise. He actually drove a Chevy Nova that was consistently covered in bird poop. He parked underneath a tree at work and his car was the pooping target.  I remember being so embarrassed when he would pick me up from high school in his baby blue eighteen-year-old ‘poop mobile.’ Needless to say, my family didn’t spend extravagantly which was a blessing in disguise. My family modeled to me that we didn’t have to keep up with the Joneses (whoever that elusive couple may be).


Unleash Generosity: How to be Generous Even When it Doesn't Come Naturally 4
Unleash Generosity: How to be Generous Even When it Doesn't Come Naturally 5

It wasn’t until I was in college that I actually started practicing generosity and it was scary. I started to tithe at a local campus ministry group I was active in.  Then eventually I started supporting a child in Africa. I didn’t have a lot of money to be generous, but I felt like I needed to take that giant leap of faith. God was really working on my heart and the way I was thinking about money.

I remember one day when I was a sophomore in college, I felt God was saying that I needed to give everything I had out of my wallet. At the time, I had no idea how much was in my wallet, but I opened it up and gave every last penny. And boy did it hurt.

I needed to own up to the fact that money isn’t a security blanket. God provides for the sparrows and the flowers, how much more will God provide for me (Matthew 6:25-34)? Reading that passage is one thing, but living it out is another.

Instead of worrying about money, God was giving me opportunities to give and trust in Him. And God has a sense of humor because He gave me my husband, who is one of the most generous people I know. I needed to be with someone who is generous, so I could catch and experience that generosity first-hand.


The Mindset Shift

When my husband and I were dating, I remember hearing someone ask him if they could borrow his car.  I was shocked by his response. He said, “it isn’t my car, it’s God’s.” And he let them borrow it.

I was blown away with his perspective that everything he has is not his own, it is God’s. This truth wasn’t something new to me, but I had never seen someone live it out like my husband.  If I was asked the same question, my response would have been no.  I wasn’t open-handed with what I had and I sure didn’t live out the same belief that everything is God’s. I was the one who needed to change.

Having the mental shift to accept that what I own isn’t mine, it’s God’s, has helped me embrace giving in a new way.  It cuts out my selfishness and pride.  I have a new lens to look at other’s needs.  I’m still in the refinement process of becoming a generous person, and I’m ok with that.  I’m a work in progress.  

Giving has become a little easier over time, especially when we are able to meet someone else’s need. Those experiences help motivate me to continue practicing generosity. My husband’s generous nature has encouraged our whole family to embrace giving.  In our family mission statement, being generous is one of our Rich family traits.  We want our kids to be transformed by giving just as much as we are. Kids watch what we do.  If we are generous, that will be our children’s normal. I want my kids to start practicing generosity now, not when they go off to college like I did. 

It is easy to slip back into being busy and not noticing the needs of others around us, especially when we are feeling financially strapped.  When I start to notice that I am worrying about money more, I know it is time for me to be generous. Generosity isn’t a logical response to worrying about money, it is counterintuitive. But time after time, I have experienced how letting go and giving has helped me be less dependent on money, and more dependent on God.  There is even scientific proof that “generosity has both altruism boosting and anxiety decreasing effects.” according to recent studies.

The Benefits of Generosity

If you struggle with generosity like me, don’t be overwhelmed.  Every little act of giving counts, even if it is buying the person behind you in the drive thru’s order. We all know that giving to others feels good.  Giving shouldn’t be focused on increasing our own happiness, but it is a good side effect. Another study discovered that “planning to give away just a little bit of money had the same effects on happiness as giving away a lot.”  Start giving, because it will help others and be an amazing example to your kids, all while bringing you more happiness.  That my friend is a win, win, win situation!

If you don’t know where to start, I would recommend first tithing to your church.  If you don’t belong to a church, there are so many amazing charities out there to choose from. Beyond that, maybe set a certain amount of cash aside each month to bless others- it could be as little or as big as you want. 

In the meantime, I hope I can get to the point where I am generous by nature. Nevertheless, I will practice being generous because I serve the most generous God.

I’d love to hear your insights on generosity. Is generosity difficult for you? What has helped you be more generous? Please leave a comment below…

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