A photo of candles in the dark with the words December 2022 'Finding Quiet' + Less, But Better

December 2022: ‘Finding Quiet’ + Less, But Better

Happy new year! As we step into 2023, here’s a recap of the last month of 2022: 

Best Book I Read This Month 

I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life. While I’m now much better than I was as a kid, my thyroid condition directly impacts anxiety, among other things. Finding Quiet: My Story of Overcoming Anxiety and the Practices That Brought Peace by J.P. Moreland has been a huge gift in this season. Read more about it here. 

Best Article I Read This Month

“The irony is that the approach to politics outlined by these new, militant conservatives is flatly at odds with authentic Christian virtue. The New Right implies that religious traditionalists have a choice: They can either be the ones inside the gulag, or they can make sure their enemies are. Jesus never would have accepted that bargain.”

Read more from Reason’s Stephanie Slade here. 

Tip + Trick of the Month

Not an original Kelvey Vander Hart tip, but a great one nonetheless. Want to get rid of something but not sure if it’s something you should remove from your home? Try hiding it out of sight for 30 days and see if there’s a need to use it. 

My sister and I have been trying to cut down on the number of coffeemakers we have after combining our kitchens. We prefer French press or pourovers, so we just practiced this idea with a drip maker. That drip maker now belongs to a friend. 

Quote of the Month

“Don’t just declutter, de-own.” -Joshua Becker

Kelvey’s Thought for the Month

Going into 2023, I’m valuing less over more. 

Less stuff. More space, time, and money. 

Less on my task list. More time for priorities. 

Less on my calendar. More time for what matters. 

The key isn’t less for the sake of less. It’s less for something better. 

Where are you needing less this year? 

Have a great start to 2023. I’ll catch you next month.

Pine trees with the caption in white letters November 2022: '16 Rules for Living With Less' + Anti-Social Advent

November 2022: ’16 Rules for Living With Less’ + Anti-Social Advent

What were you grateful for this Thanksgiving? Here’s the monthly recap: 

Best Book I Read This Month 

My recommendation this month is a little different. I was recently introduced to the work of The Minimalists (their Patreon content is definitely worth the small cost), and they offer a free ebook that is a great short read. You can find 16 Rules for Living With Less for free here. 

Best Article I Read This Month

What time is it? Time for some shameless self-promotion! Really, I want to share this article with you all not because I wrote it but because I want people to have the information it contains. “A Consumer’s Quick Guide to Environmental Certifications” is available to read here. 

Tip + Trick of the Month

This one is short and snappy from Becoming Minimalist’s Joshua Becker: “The less you own, the easier organizing becomes.” 

Quote of the Month

“It only takes five minutes to break the cycle. Five minutes of exercise and you are back on the path. Five minutes of writing and the manuscript is moving forward again. Five minutes of conversation and the relationship is restored. It doesn’t take much to feel good again.” 

-James Clear, author of Atomic Habits 

Kelvey’s Thought for the Month

This Advent season, want to get anti-social with me? 

I’m not talking about ignoring your friends and family. (Although, depending on the person and the calendar, it might be worth taking time to do that too.) 

I’m talking about getting off social media. 

Advent is the second period of time when I typically take an extended social media break (with the first being Lent). Both of these seasons are times that encourage us to turn toward Christ. But Advent does this by prompting us to slow down, to turn off the noise, to wait. 

Now, I have to add some nuance here and tell you that I’ll still be on social media for work during the weekdays. Social media management is a huge part of my job, and maybe it is part of your job too. I think that’s a little different. 

Outside of work? I can add to the limits I already put on my social media by completely turning it off. I can step away from the frenzied pace, comparison game, and anger perpetuated on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

I can slow down. I can turn off the noise. I can wait. 

And maybe you will too. If you want to dial down the volume on the world this Advent season so that you can focus more on Christ our King, this may be a practice for you. 

And I’d love to hear if it is. Feel free to hit the reply button on your email or the comment button on Substack and let me know if you’re joining me this season. 

Just don’t tweet me. I won’t see it. 🙂 

Merry Christmas. I’ll catch you next month.