Love Does

Love Does

  Spread Love

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Last month, I shared that I’m a try-to-do-it-all-er who crams my schedule full {of mostly good things} and feels stressed and overwhelmed and like I’m failing a lot of the time.

The most important thing to me is loving God and loving people. But if I’m honest, those fall to the wayside of my to do list much too frequently. Not a place I want to stay.

One of the biggest ways I’m changing this is to take one step at a time to narrow down my goals. I’ve chosen one thing to create as a habit or focus each month, and everything else I happen to accomplish is icing on top.

I’ve found this is important because it’s far too easy to avoid the most important things in favor of the quickly-crossable-off-the-list items.

In February, I made a list of ways I could show love to the people around me because I think a lot about ways I can show people love but follow through on an embarrassingly small percentage of said ideas. Love does things, so I wanted to expose my excuses and follow through. (This challenge was heavily inspired by Bob Goff’s Love Does– I highly recommend it!)

How did it go?

  • Meh. It was ok. It actually exposed a lot of selfishness that I’m working through (blech) but I also feel like it was perfect timing. My mom and dad had an accident last month, and Mom had to have pretty extensive surgery, so we spent a lot of time at the hospital. It opened my eyes to the incredible support group we have. They showed love with texts, calls, came up to sit with us for hours, brought flowers, and made meals. Pretty amazing and humbling.
  • It also reminded me that showing love doesn’t have to be a grand gesture to be incredibly meaningful. It can be as simple as rearranging your schedule to make time for those who need you.

This is a habit I want to see grow in my life, so I’m incorporating one “big” way to show love into my weekly schedule. I know that by thinking frequently about it, this will help me grow in showing love in smaller ways, too.

Next up? I listed to a TED Talk about how to learn anything in 20 hours, so I’m setting aside about an hour a day to learn how to shoot manual with my new camera.

This helps me in two areas: one, I’m curious to see if the 20 hour theory works (if so, I’ll apply it in other areas) and two, I want to capture memories our family makes and always keep improving the quality of GTR.

Are you all about this kind of stuff? Or just want a community to encourage you in moving forward in a goal? Join in! Share in the comments what you plan to do. I’ll be giving a monthly recap throughout 2014, and would love to hear your progress!

You might also like:
You Can Do Anything But Not Everything (January’s Recap)

PS Linking up with The Tiny Twig’s March goals. I love her honesty and encouragement that it’s ok to not do the things you’ve set as goals…as long as you’re moving forward toward the things that matter most to you.

Give Hope Through Unused Gift Cards

Give Hope Through Unused Gift Cards

Make A Difference

If you’ve been reading along, you know my biggest goal this month is to show love through my actions. Unfortunately, I’m really good at thinking about things to do, and a little {ok, a lot} worse at carrying them out. But we try to live with grace around here. One step at a time can add up to a great journey. Today, I want to share an easy step that could make a huge impact if just a few of us took it.

Have you heard about Gift Card Giver? They match unused gift cards with needs. {To date, they’ve matched over $200,000 with 150 stories.}

8 billion goes unspent each year in gift cards. Billion with a b. Insert shocked face.

Chances are, you have a gift card you won’t use that could benefit others, like a Victoria’s Secret card that could be matched with women at a shelter in need of undergarments or a gas card for a family traveling frequently for medical visits.

Today, I want to challenge you to take a couple of minutes along with me and send a gift card to this organization.

  1. Use your gift card or send a full card.
  2. Write the amount on your card using a permanent marker.
  3. Place the card in an envelope and mail it to:

Gift Card Giver
PO Box 17920
Atlanta, GA 30316

Do you know of a need? They also include a form that you can fill out to nominate someone as a recipient.

The use of social media to connect and meet needs is amazing. I love the creativity used to bless others out of our excess. If you know of a similar organization, please share it in the comments below or e-mail me. I’d love to research it and add it to the make a difference stash.

Have a happy Wednesday, friends!

You Can Do Anything…But Not Everything

You Can Do Anything…But Not Everything

you can do anything but not everything I Greater Than Rubies

Are you a try-to-do-it-all-er? Cramming your schedule full {of all good things} and feeling stressed and overwhelmed and like you’re failing a lot of the time? Let’s be friends.

This has been the story of my life. There are so many good things I want to be part of. But I’ve stretched myself and our schedule to the max. It’s time to dial back, y’all!

Oftentimes, when there’s something God needs to teach me, He’ll show me over and over and over and over and over again. I’m thankful He loves me enough to keep after me to get it right.

Lately, it’s been the creation of margin in my life.

Because I’m a Christ follower, the most important thing is loving God and loving people, hands down. If I’m honest, those fall to the wayside of my to do list much too frequently.

So I’m taking one step at a time to narrow down my to do’s. I’ve chosen a couple things to create as habits per month, and everything else I happen to accomplish is icing on top.

January covered:

  1. Making prayer a part of my morning Bible study routine.
  2. Watching only 1 TV show a day.
  3. Automating our finances.

I’ve experimented with tracking this and have gotten to a place that works for me. I make a small checklist every day with the 3 things and the next morning, I check off what I did. I missed days on all of them, but intentional evaluation of my progress helped make these things habits I think will stick. It’s important to figure out what works for you.

How did it go?

  • Prayer: I don’t do well with praying consistently if I’m not writing it down. {I will fall asleep or get distracted by something else…sorry, Jesus.} I started using an outline I read in one of Beth Moore’s studies as a springboard.
  • TV: Too many times, I’ve started a season of something on Netflix and “couldn’t” stop. {Darn you, Netflix, and your brilliant auto-cue of the next show!} Once I saw the benefits of trading screen time for making memories with Troy or moving forward on a goal, I didn’t want to watch as much as I had before.
  • Finances: This was more of a goal than a habit, but will save a ton of time and willpower. Troy and I read Ramit’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich at the end of last year, and wanted to automate our finances. To make it less overwhelming, I worked on getting all that up and going in 30-60 minute chunks per day.

I’ve narrowed down to one habit* for February. Bob Goff’s Love Does made me realize that I think a lot about ways I can show people love but follow through on a small percentage of those ideas. Love does things, so I want to expose my excuses and follow through!

Are you all about this kind of stuff? Or just want a community to encourage you in moving forward in a goal? Join in! Share in the comments what you plan to do. I’ll be giving a monthly recap throughout 2014, and would love to have you share your progress!

*I chose to narrow my habit forming to one item from here on out. As I was prepping for this post, I looked into the “fact” I’d heard somewhere that it takes 28 days to make a habit stick. According to a UCL study, it can take up to 66 days to form one. No wonder we feel stressed when we hit the 21 or 28 day mark and it’s still tough. Keep going and simplify!

PS Linking up with The Tiny Twig’s February goals.

12 Pieces I A New Shopping Challenge

Twelve: A Wardrobe Challenge I Greater Than Rubies

Last week, an overwhelming amount of people asked how the challenge has shaped my finances and wardrobe today, a year later.

Despite that break with shopping and a completely new perspective, I still struggle with materialism sometimes. Even though I know I don’t need anything, becoming better at remixing my closet has allowed me to see TONS of possibilities with just the addition of one piece. Dangerous.

Because I added great pieces over the last year, my list of potential additions is small, and I want to keep it that way. I just wasn’t sure what that would look like until Sarah and I were discussing the no shopping year she just wrapped up. She mentioned the idea of buying one item per month in 2014. Whether big or small, that one piece would be it.

I love it. It’s simple and intentional. It will help me continue learning how to moderate while buying. {Simply not buying took away the temptation to overspend, and I’ve found it’s more difficult to be a good steward while allowing myself to shop.}

I’m really excited about this new challenge of sorts, and I promise to keep you updated on it.

Here’s the piece I added for January:

Lace Top

Why I added it: I’ve been looking for a full front lace shirt because it’s a different texture/pattern than anything else in my wardrobe. It’s also thin, so I’ll be able to wear it during spring, fall, and winter.

Where I got it: This one is from The Clothes Mentor, which is my favorite store. It’s a consignment shop, so you never know what you’ll find, but I’ve gotten incredible pieces and have never paid over $30 for an item. This top was $8.

A peek at the rest of my list:

  1. plain or striped jersey knit dress
  2. another summer dress {dresses are hard for me to find, but they’re perfect for Texas summers, so I’d like to add a couple to my closet this year.}
  3. black and white polka dot collared button up {I wear my other polka dotted tops and button ups all the time, so I’d like to mix the two.}
  4. rain boots
  5. wedge sandals- black, cognac, or a bright color, because I’ve got a lot of light colored summer shoes
  6. floral scarf
  7. colored cocktail ring
  8. clutch
  9. fur vest {T’s not a big fan of this one, so I may not go for it. I like to dress in things he really likes.}

I’ve decided to allow for replacing worn out or ruined things outside of my new additions, but I don’t even have 12 pieces on my list, so I may count them. {Right now I’m looking to replace my leopard flats.}

Are you limiting your shopping at all this year? I think I can speak for all of us when I say we want to hear about it!

A Little Honesty


“Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.”

-Brene Brown


I want to be real about my struggle with Greater Than Rubies over the past year. Holding back makes me feel inauthentic and I never want this to be a place where any sort of fakeness reigns.

Most of you know this blog started out of a challenge in 2012 where I broke up with shopping for a year. It was really a way to keep myself accountable, but it’s become a place where others have shared their own no shopping experiments and remixing chronicles, and I am constantly encouraged and humbled by the way you share your lives with me.

In spite of all the good, this past year was rough. I struggled with the blog growing and not being sure what I wanted to write about. I loved the style piece of it, but not shopping bled into every area of my life, and I felt like everything I was learning should maybe somehow be part of this thing. Along the way, my life-long struggle with perfectionism crept in. It whispered convincing lies that though this had started as a place of honest struggle, I needed to appear put together for it to keep working.

I should have realized it wasn’t up to me, and perfectionism is the same old liar it’s always been, but when it become clearer that God wanted me to keep writing about my closet and how to be a better steward and remixer, I tried to ignore it.

I was worried people would judge me for writing so much about clothes. I’ve struggled for years with worrying about people labeling me as shallow. I didn’t want to justify the assumptions I assumed they were making.

But God didn’t give up, and I finally got to a place where I care more about what He wants me to do than my fear of others’ judgment. There are still days I worry or struggle. He’s just been gracious and given me the strength to step out in faith and trust Him with the outcome one step at a time.

One of the things I love most about the community that’s growing here is the encouragement and camaraderie as we step outside of our comfort zones. Even a step as seemingly small as wearing a new outfit combination is a step toward embracing bigger experiments and risks.


Thanks for being here. For being real, and willing to stretch yourself. I love that about you. 


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Why I Remix + Winter Remix Reminder

live simply

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My quest for simplification over the last couple of years may have started with my wardrobe, but it’s affected so many areas: my home, schedule, relationship with Christ- literally every facet has been touched. It’s amazing to me that something so tangible {and arguably superficial} has such deep emotional and physical roots.

This quote fits my journey from the last couple of years into the most eloquent nutshell I could imagine:

We simplify, not just to be less busy, even though we may be right to pursue that. Rather, we simplify to remove distractions from our pursuit of Christ. We prune activities from our lives, not only to get organized, but also that our devotion to Christ and service for His kingdom will be more fruitful. We simplify, not merely to save time, but to eliminate hindrances to the time we devote to knowing Christ. All the reasons we simplify should eventually lead us to Jesus Christ.
-Donald S. Whitney as quoted in Becoming A Woman of Simplicity

Why do you remix your wardrobe?

PS If you want to dip your toe in the remixing waters, join us for the January 20 for 30 remix challenge starting with a link up of your pieces on January 3!

Winter Remix : 20 pieces, 30 outfits : January 2014 : Greater Than Rubies