Dear Thad's Family,

Happy Monday to you all! I hope your week is off to another good start. Our Lent theme this year is Less is More, with a focus this week on Less Clutter, More Simplicity.

If you're like me, you have palpable energy at the thought of simplifying your life, and we can give a chuckle at the accumulations in our closets and garages. But it should also be noted this is serious business, too. Clutter is not the issue in many of parts of the world, but the opposite, scarcity of basic needs to live. It's an important question to consider why many of us have so much and others have so little.

One author, Andrew Mellen, writes in a book called "More Love, Less Stuff" that the important question is, "What are the core values of your life?" and "How is your stuff standing in the way of you living those values?" He says the average human being will waste one year of their life looking for misplaced things, like car keys. (I have no idea how he came up with that, but I believe it!) If you want to embark on a de-cluttering endeavor, as you take a fearless look at your things, he recommends 3 questions:

1) Does this thing bring my life more comfort?

2) Does this thing make my life more convenient?

3)Does this this thing make my life more beautiful?

If you can't answer "yes", then chances are it's time to say goodbye. He encourages a perspective shift of moving from "I have to" get rid of things, to "I get to." See what it feels like to say to an item: "Thank you for how you've served me, now I'm saying goodbye."

Lent is a good time for examination of the inanimate objects we refer to as "stuff." Do the spaces you inhabit reflect your core values? Sometimes I wonder if our drive and impulse for more is actually actually a veiled and misdirected longing for less. That last sentence is worth thinking about for a moment longer. What are you thinking and feeling? E-mail [email protected] with your thoughts, stories, quotes, practices, encouragements and find this week's phone wallpaper below. Have a great week!

Love,

Jon