This poetic piece of awesomeness is a finally-finished post I began writing a month ago… Enjoy!


A  month ago, we experienced our first Portland blackout. We were without power, internet and phones for 6 hours. <gasp, I know> We couldn’t watch the tele or cook or use the internet or make phone calls or go on Facebook or participate in any other nonsense we need electricity to take part in, and guess what…?

We survived. 

How, you might ask? 

We played outside soaking up our last bit of evening sunlight, we snuggled under blankets and read books by the light of a candle. We talked. We told silly stories. We laughed. We played games with the flashlights… and then we went to New Seasons for dinner.

We survived #Portlandblackout2014 by having fun and going to the grocery store. YES. You read that statement correctly. I said, we had fun going to the grocery store. 

We are experts at surviving blackouts.  

We’ve been thru several blackouts before. From Ohio to New York City. Remember #Northeastblackout2003? Yep. We survived it. We were living in NYC at the time and working at our church. When the city went dark, everything shut down… except for the people. People were still on the move. We responded by handing out water to thirsty tired travelers from the steps of our church in mid-town Manhattan. The city air was thick with August humidity and millions of people sweating their way thru the city. People were still on the move. They needed to get home, to pick up their kids. People had basic simple needs – like water.

The truth is – we are experts at enjoying simple things – such as going to the grocery store. In fact, the simpler, the better. If a task is too complex, detailed or complicated – forget it. Anxiety will overtake me and… the end. I will shut down. 

When there’s a blackout, life shuts down. There are fewer options and simplicity takes center stage. When there’s a blackout, I can only see what’s right in front of me. In the dark sky, I can see the moon and the stars. Oh, how I long to take joy in seeing the simplicity in front of me! Take it all in. Breathe in the wonder. Trace the stars. Stare at the moon. Soak in the sounds of my children. Slip into the arms of my husband.

I come alive when I ‘shut down’ and enjoy the simplicity of who is in front of me… My family. My friends. My neighbors…  The blackout forces life to slow down. To darken our ‘world view’ momentarily. To take hold of what we can see. The blackout changes our lens to purely see. An unfiltered view. To truly see. What is right in front of us.

In the blackout, life can shut down… And in the simplicity, we can thrive.

Do you thrive in simplicity? Please share! Our story rages on… In Him, Leslie



this weekend we had a G sale (which is short hand for garage sale).
in case you’re not aware, a garage sale happens when you collect a bunch of crap from inside your home, which you don’t want anymore and you then display this bunch of crap, that you’ve collected over the years, or maybe just accumulated last week, on. your. driveway. which typically protrudes out of your garage. hence the name garage sale. 

or sooome fancy people, who really enjoy the company of strangers inside their garage, will host the G sale inside their actual garage. we are not like those people.  our crap goes on the driveway. or the lawn if we run out of room on the driveway. or the sidewalk, if we’re desperate. aaaand we have a pretty – long – driveway. so if we have our crap strewn about on the lawn, we must have a lot of crap.

and we do.

every year for the past 8 years we have had a G sale (every year since we’ve had our house).

and every year for the past 8 years i have not wanted to have a G sale.

but the hubs does.

so guess what?

i am outnumbered 1 to 1… and we have ourselves a G sale. [not sure how that math works out]

i know, i know, some of you weirdos reading this lovely post are thinking {YES!} we love garage sales. we look forward to having one every summer! what’s wrong with you, lady?!

well, i don’t enjoy collecting our crap, moving it down the stairs, to then hold onto it for months inside of our garage, and then display it on our driveway. lawn. sidewalk, if desperate.
i. don’t. like. it!!! it stresses me out. it pressures me into deciding which crap to sell and which crap to keep for next years sale. and it brings to the surface, err the driveway, that we have waaaay too much crap.

so my question is – how do we end up with so. much. crap – every year for the past 8 years???

adam and i are staring at each other during the “in-between-customers” lulls of the G sale… and we are wondering… how did we accumulate all this crap?

*these are the ways we accumulate crap*
we buy crap.
we inherit crap.
crap is dumped on us.
we hold onto crap. 

and now it’s time to get really spiritual [ready. set. go.] 

we think we need it when we see, so we buy it. 
we believe if someone is giving it, we must inherit it.
we lose sight of our own value, and allow it to be dumped on us.
and once we have it, it’s often difficult to get rid of it. 
as i reflect on our recent G sale, i am glad we had it. yep. i am telling the truth. it was a rough start to the morning, dragging myself out of bed to put price tags on crap i consider unnecessary but surely someone else will want to buy it. 
it forced me to deal with the crap i have bought. the crap i have inherited. the crap dumped on me. and the crap i hold onto. both materially and emotionally. 

the crap we have in our homes usually has -or had- some value, otherwise we wouldn’t keep it… unless you’re a hoarder. [whole different blog post…]
sometimes i get frustrated with myself for buying so much unneeded crap, which then enters my home, and takes root in a closet somewhere. i forget about it for a while, but it eventually surfaces and needs dealt with. 
and sometimes it’s hard to reconcile the reasons for holding onto crap, when really we need to let it go…  
some of us simply buy our crap
we buy into this idea that we need a bunch of material things, many of which serve no purpose or carry any real value. then we get emotionally attached to these material things and all they do it take up space and time. but we don’t have to buy this crap. 
some of us inherit crap…
we let both material and emotional crap be passed down to us, through the generations. but we don’t have to inherit this crap. 
some of us allow crap to be dumped on us…
we feel guilty if we don’t. we feel trapped into receiving crap, some of which was never meant to be our load to carry. but we can say no before the crap is dumped on us. 
some of us simply hold onto the crap
Matthew 6:19-21
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven… for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

it’s been said, “one person’s crap… (junk… stuff… baggage… whatever) is another persons treasure. 

every one’s crap is different. 
every one’s crap needs to be dealt with, eventually… 
every one’s crap can be turned around and used for good. 
some for the purpose of making $ big bucks $ in a G sale. good. 
and some for the purpose of our growth as human beings. also good.
if it doesn’t have a whole hearted purpose in our home. it’s crap. 
so here’s to cleaning out the closets. digging through the drawers. and simplifying our lives… materially and emotionally…
here’s to letting go of the crap and kickin’ it to the curb… or selling it in a G sale.