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Call Me Crazy, But Challenge(s) Accepted

This post was originally titled "Dear Target, it's not you, it's me... mostly." However, I realized that was not true because it is ENTIRELY me. Why was I writing a break up letter to Target, you ask? Because sometime's a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. But we'll get to that in a minute.  

You may know that I love a good challenge (and you may also know that I'm either a wild success at them or riding the struggle bus the whole way...), so naturally I signed up for three at one time ;) Putting the title CHALLENGE on a goal gives me the extra "umph" I often need to get things into gear, and I love being able to document them on Instagram with a hashtag to look back once completed. It's quite the sense of accomplishment! 

Today I'm sharing the THREE challenges I'm diving into this month.

The Contentment Challenge
April 1 - June 30, 2016

I started The Contentment Challenge for the fifth sixth soemthing-th time at the start of April, and it's been going pretty well so far! This is where the break-up letter to Target comes into play. Thankfully the closest Target is over an hour away, and my college town doesn't have too much to offer in the way of shopping. So long as I keep myself from driving into the city and splurging, I should be good.

This time around I am following Nancy Ray's Contentment Challenge 12 Week Study. Partnering a desire to be more content with what I have --and to save money while doing it-- with a Biblical exploration of commitment is the element I have left out in every other failed challenge. Pick up her study guide for a more in-depth look at the process or even her free starter booklet. I've included a brief outline below to get us going.

We will give up shopping for clothes, accessories, household decor, and "stuff" for the next three months, to focus our hearts and minds on the root of true contentment. We will actively pursue fulfilling activities that will replace our addiction to material things.

The Guidelines (from Nancy Ray's blog, slightly edited for my personal challenge):
  • For the next few days, your homework is to do the following: prepare your heart, organize your closet, and make any necessary purchases that you might need during these months.
    • I did this at the end of March (and maybe a little splurge spending... SEE?! I NEED HELP), and those purchases have been made. I've got the guide and a list of stores I'm literally not allowed to step foot into during the challenge. Working at Anthropologie this summer is going to be an added challenge, I already know.
  • Choose 1-3 inspiring books to read during this time. 
  • Gifts are okay! If someone gives you a new dress or a piece of decor during that time, receive it graciously! If you need to buy someone else a gift, by all means do so. The point is not to be rude, but to learn more of ourselves and the Lord.
    • This is not a plug for gifts, but an allowance for honoring others even if it includes spending. I did send a couple of Greetabl boxes to some gal pals of mine, and Y'ALL. Spending on others feels so much better than spending on yourself! One lesson is already being learned. 
  • Necessities are okay! If you drop and break your phone, please get a new one. If you lose your glasses, buy a new pair. Just don't start justifying new purchases for items that you already have.
    • There is definitely a difference in a need and a want. Trying to draw the line clearly in the sand. I could say I "need" a new pair of nude sandals because my last ones broke, but honestly I have others that I could wear instead. Plus, that would mean walking into Target and DO NOT PASS GO! DO NOT SPEND 200 DOLLARS! So... that's not on my need list ;)
  • You must actively pursue something -anything- that replaces your tendency to buy stuff. Begin thinking about something you love or a hobby you've always wanted to do, and make preparations to actually do it.
    • The challenges shared below are part of my plan to replace window shopping --and inevitably over-shopping-- with another type of activity: reading and/or illustrating my faith! 
Are you in? Have you done The Contentment Challenge before? 
If so, I'd love to know what worked for you!

The 100 Day Project
April 19 - July 27, 2016

The second challenge I am participating in begins TODAY! If you haven't read The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna, add it to your list ASAP! Elle is also hosting The 100 Day Project, and I'm excited to jump in!  She shared all the details on Instagram, but I've also added them below.

  1. Choose your action (an action you will repeat for 100 days).
  2. Find a unique hashtag for your project like #100daysof...  (This is very important! Choose your own so you can have all of your work under one hashtag.
  3. Announce your project on Instagram with your hashtag and share using #the100dayproject.
  4. Finally, start this project on Tuesday, April 19th, repeating your action UP TO & INCLUDING July 27, 2016.

Voila! The 100 Day Project! This year I am getting into the Word and illustrating my faith. I'm so excited! Follow my Instagram @lovebaileyjean and my hashtag #100illustrateddays to see how things progress! I'm sure I'll share here and on Periscope along the way, too.

Have you done The 100 Day Project before? 
Are you joining in this year?!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon
Saturday, April 23, 2016

Lastly, this is the most recent challenge I added to my list, and it is the one that will be completed first. This Saturday I am participating in Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon! My to-be-read list is a mile long, and nothing quite fires me up like getting lost in a good book, so it should come as no surprise that my heart about pounded out of my chest when I saw that there was a 24-hour reading marathon this next weekend! 

Starting at 7:00am on Saturday, April 23, around 2,000 readers will start the day with their noses in a book, reading all the way until 7:00am Sunday morning, updating on Instagram, Twitter, and their blogs along the way. According to their blog, I'm going to be among The Casual Readathon-ers, those who start right on the dot but allow life to cut in a few times during the day. I've got a Bible study Saturday morning and I am house managing the musical Saturday night, but my plan is for those 3-4 hours to be the only break in my readathoning. 

I'm positively giddy with excitement! And I'm super nervous, which sounds silly. But mostly excited. I'll definitely be over-gramming about all the books on Saturday, and I plan to post here at Brave Love Blog once, updating it with time stamps and page counts along the way.  There are going to be giveaways and challenges throughout the day, too. I'll be sure to keep you posted, and wish me luck.

Yesterday I set aside my to-be-read pile for the challenge which includes four fiction selections, two plays, and a book of essays about life and theatre. I did not include any Christian living books because I like to work through those slowly with a pen and highlighter, savoring them along the way, whereas these I will be able to breeze through and still thoroughly enjoy them.
  1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Derr
  2. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  3. First & Then by Emma Mills
  4. The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise by Matthew Crow
  5. 100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write by Sarah Ruhl
  6. Peter and Alice by John Logan
  7. Ah, Wilderness! by Eugene O'Neill

I don't necessarily plan to read them in this order, and I may add more to the list if by some miracle I'm able to tackle these with time to spare. A full recap and reviews will be on the blog sometime next week. After I've recovered of course ;) 

Have you read any of these selections? 
And any chance you'll join the Readathon?! Wish me luck!

Note: The above post contains affiliate links. These links won't cost you a cent more, but any shopping you do will help me power through my graduate studies with a Sonic happy hour run ;) Thanks for your support and enjoy.

1 comment

  1. Good news book lovers, All the Light We Cannot See Audiobook is now available on AudioBooksNow.