So, WHAT are we doing?

Maybe you’ve been wondering what this website is for, or what the #52weekswithout challenge is about. Maybe you stumbled upon our site and have no idea what it is or why it exists! This post is here to answer the “what” question. We also have a second post covering the “why” which you can find here.

First I want to cover our challenge for 2019. We (Joshua and Bethany) started discussing minimalism seriously in the beginning of September 2018. We sat in our favorite coffee shop on a rainy Saturday sipping hot cider and iced coffee. While I don’t remember how the conversation started, I (Bethany) remember that suddenly we were discussing owning less, being more intentional about what we own, and paring down our very full closets and dressers. I had always liked the idea of minimalism, but had never really put it into practice. And I certainly had no idea how it could affect every area of my life, not just the amount of clothing and accessories I owned.

That night we watched the documentary Minimalism, and our eyes were opened to a new world of possibility: a shift in mindset. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, the two guys that call themselves The Minimalists, discussed how this shift in ideology allowed them to simplify their lives and find greater purpose and meaning in the small things. We could see that making decisions to be more intentional in our purchases and lifestyle choices could lead to less stress, less focus on material possessions that can not and will not satisfy, and more focus on the right things (community/relationships, ministry, time with God, etc). The Minimalists who made the documentary are not believers in Christ, but many of the topics and ideas they discussed in their film comes very close to Biblical principles. That made it even easier for us to follow along and adopt a more minimalist mindset in our day to day lives.

That day began a journey for us. We have pared down our wardrobes substantially. We’ve thrown out things we were holding onto “just in case” or because we were sentimentally attached. We moved into a new home and still have things boxed up that we are considering throwing out as well. We find that we are able to function just fine without them. But in 2019 we want to take it a step further.

In the minimalist community, people talk about challenging yourself. If you just donate or throw things away here and there, it will take ages to actually get rid of the clutter taking up space in your home and life. And there is likely no mindset change, which is key to living intentionally. You have to push yourself out of the box. There are many challenges, like Project 333 or the 4-pile strategy with guidelines for eliminating wasteful possessions; but we wanted to come up with one that was a little unique to us. This concept is not specifically original to us. We took several ideas and mixed them together into a challenge we are calling #52weekswithout. We are excited to challenge ourselves and push our limits.

The #52weekswithout challenge is to see what we can do without for one week at a time. Do we really need Netflix? Do we really need an oven? Do we really need meat? Do I need makeup and does Josh need weights? These are just a few examples of what we are going to challenge ourselves to go without for one week at a time. Every week will be something new. Some things may be similar, like we may go without Facebook one week and without Instagram another week, but we want to do as few repeats as possible so we can try living without as many things as possible in 2019. We will be starting a new challenge every Sunday of 2019. This means that our first weekly challenge will not begin until January 6th. Feel free to provide ideas or challenges for us along the way!

This website is for documenting our discoveries and making everything easy to find. We want all our social media to be linked–YouTube, Instagram, Facebook–and we want our website to be the hub. But there will be more on here than just “here’s what we didn’t use this week and how it went.” This site is also to document our adventures (hence the title). Yes, #52weekswithout is going to be the theme of our year. But we are planning on taking a couple trips, getting more involved in our church, learning new skills, and writing more about things we are passionate about. Hopefully we will be sharing stories, thoughts, escapades, achieved goals, pictures, and victories on this site. We are so pumped to see how God works in our lives this coming year. We hope that by the end of 2019 we are able to look back and see what things are truly important and what things we can do without.

This website is not to bring glory to ourselves. We merely want to document our adventures. Feel free to be as involved as you want. The challenge to go without is not to build a following. We know that minimalism has affected our lives in so many ways, and we want to share it with others. Simplifying life is beneficial for everyone, whether you do any kind of minimizing challenge or not. Christ is the most important thing in our lives, and we want to make sure that through all of this, the challenges and adventures and blog posts, He is glorified.

Thanks for joining our #52weekswithout journey.

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