Author

amandaiconAmanda (“Molly”)

The American Dream terrifies me. For some people, a big house, a fancy car, a 9-to-5 job, and a few years of retirement are all they desire. For me, the idea of living in one place, tied to one building, working for one company my entire life would feel like a punishment.

My husband and I have lived in four cities in three different states since our marriage in 2009. Often we have wondered why we were created to be so transient. I’m beginning to suspect that more than anything else, God wanted to keep us pliable. Over the last few years, He has opened our eyes to a bigger view of the world. As He made us aware of others’ needs, He taught us to live on less (and then less, and then a lot less!). As he taught us what it means to truly be free in His grace, He showed us a world in bondage.

Howard Thurman wrote: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Creating, building, writing, drawing, baking, singing, and knitting make me come alive. Raising awareness of social injustice and helping to incite change makes me come alive.

So recently, with the support of my amazing husband, I quit my desk job and began my journey toward a simple, fulfilling life. I can’t wait to see where I end up next!

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25 thoughts on “Author

    • Thank you, Mark! Most people I interact with on these topics aren’t Christians. I feel it’s unfortunate that many Christians don’t believe that simplicity and social/ecological responsibility are compatible with their beliefs. I love meeting and interacting with people from every background and paradigm. 🙂

    • Thank you so much! Feel free to reach out if you need anything. I do consultations for people who are trying to downsize, restructure their finances, or clean out their schedules. I’d love to chat if I can ever be of service!

  1. I’m so glad I found your blog! My husband and I are also living a newly (1 1/2 years) simplified life. I know I am going to enjoy reading more of your posts. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  2. […] I am new in the world of blogs, and I never knew that some awards exist in this sphere. Thanks to Amanda now I know it – it was very-very pleasant and unexpected to get something like that, really 🙂 I […]

  3. Hi Amanda, I happened upon your blog because I’ve been wanting to downsize, de-clutter, live within a budget…you name it! My husband and I are Christians, but somehow we’ve gotten caught-up in working to try to maintain a lifestyle that’s beyond our means…and have (from what God’s shown me recently) become materialistic (uggh…I hate even typing that word!!!). I soooo desperately want to change…for our sake, for our two girls, and so we can be a blessing to others. Right now, we are struggling to pay our mortgage/monthly bills, and have so much clutter/stuff in our house that it’s “weighing us down”. I hate it! I love our house and where we live (in the country), and compared to a lot of people, I guess we are not super wealthy. But we are not living within our means (we keep – repeatedly – getting into debt). I feel like we are in a vicious cycle…and feel very trapped! Right now, I am not working (I took the year off because my youngest daughter was in kindergarten & my oldest in 1st grade) so I had to be at the bus stop 3 times a day. I wanted to be there for them. It was freeing to get rid of my 2 part-time jobs, but financially it’s been hard. I worry at night about how we are going to pay for things, and think of ways we can get more money. I recently cashed-in my 403B to pay off some debt we incurred. Then I heard about a family from our church, who are just picking-up and moving to Colorado (because they feel God’s calling them to)…without any jobs lined-up, etc.! I was humbled. I thought about us doing something like that…and realized that our stuff is tying us down!!! I am willing to move to a smaller house, but my husband isn’t sure that’s the answer, since we got a good deal for our house & he thinks it’d be harder to find a much cheaper mortgage (a lot of the places for rent in our area are more than what we pay per month). Anyway, I’m interested in reading more on your site, and if you have any thoughts, suggestions, helpful advice for us, I’d greatly appreciate your input!!! Thank you!

    • Welcome! I’m so happy to meet you!

      Downsizing from a “traditional” lifestyle to one closer to your means is a huge transition, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. I hope some of the information on my blog will help with the initial few steps. 🙂

      The biggest source of inspiration for me has been the Gospels. Seeing how Jesus interacted with and spoke about possessions and money completely changed my perspectives. I’ve spent the last year pouring over those four books again and again. Every time I read them, I am reminded of how short life is, and how unimportant my “stuff” is in the grand scope of things.

      On the practical side, every month here in the Live Simply Blog we do a 20-day challenge called Jump Off the Ladder. You can find the philosophy of the challenge here: http://tshirtsandtwine.com/the-jump-off-the-ladder-philosophy/ . Every participant chooses one thing to add or subtract from their lives for 20 days. Some people cut out television (or other unnecessary expenses), others maintain a vegetarian diet, and one lady selected 5 things from her home every day to donate to charity. If you decide which part of your life you want to tackle first, feel free to jump in and do the challenge with us! The challenges usually begin on the 11th or 12th and end the last day of the month.

      I’m so excited for you to begin this journey in your lives! If I can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. My email is amanda@tshirtsntwine.com.

      Grace and peace!

  4. Thanks so much, Amanda! I greatly appreciate your suggestions & will definitely read through your blog more (I’ve already found it so helpful & inspiring)! Thank you!!! Also, we will definitely participate in the next Jump off the Ladder challenge…just praying about what God wants us to give up, get rid of, or change. It’s kind of scary, but exciting at the same time! I am thankful for your advice & wisdom…thank you for being so open, honest & supportive. You have been blessed with the gifts of discernment & encouragement…thank you for sharing those gifts!!! And thanks for your email…will be in-touch. God bless!

  5. Taking your advice, found this verse, Luke 12:15, which I wanted to share cuz it sums it all up perfectly… “Then He said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Wow! Jesus said it…and how true!!!!!

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