Friends, I’ve got a FANTASTIC book to pass along to you from another dear writer friend. As I said in my endorsement, Uncluttered by Courtney Ellis is somehow raw, relatable and hilarious all at the same time …and I don’t know about you, but that’s exactly what I need and want from a book sometimes! Check out this interview with her and head over to Instagram in a couple of days for more chances to win a copy of her book.
Tell us a bit about yourself, will you? Sure! I serve as a Presbyterian pastor in southern California where I live with my husband Daryl and three littles—two boys and a newborn girl. I grew up playing ice hockey in Wisconsin, and when I’m not pastoring, parenting, or writing, I’m reading too much, chasing sunsets, or procrastibaking.
Let’s talk about your book: what, in a nutshell, is your book about anyway? Uncluttered is a story of learning that less really is more, across nearly every area of life—possessions, schedules, digital connectedness. But it’s not just another take on tidying up; it explores the theological reasons we collect more than we need, run ourselves ragged, and are wired to respond to every vibration our phones make, and it paints a picture of the deeper and more lasting goodness offered to us in Christ.
Do tell, what was the inspiration behind it? I didn’t set out to write this book, but when I found myself fighting off a panic attack in a hallway even though—on the surface—my life was pretty great, I realized I couldn’t go on in the same way.
Turns out I’d jammed more and more and more and MORE into my life over the years until it was bursting at the seams. More stuff, more activities, more media, more digital devices. The physical, emotional, and spiritual clutter was threatening to drown me—and my entire family—and something had to give.
That journey became Uncluttered: Free Your Space, Free Your Schedule, Free Your Soul, a story of our family’s transition from too much to just enough to an absolute abundance of delight in each other, our neighbors, and our God. These personal bits are interwoven with Scripture and wisdom from great mothers and fathers in the faith—everyone from St. Augustine to Anne Lamott, from Brené Brown to St. Paul—on embracing deeper abundance through the practice Christian simplicity.
How do you hope readers will be changed by your words? I hope my readers laugh a lot, for starters. Rare is the piece of wisdom, encouragement, or challenge that doesn’t go down easier with a chuckle or two.
Beyond that, I hope they’re inspired to ask deep questions about their everyday lives—why they own what they own, what is essential and what is not, how they can use technology without allowing it to use them in return—and live more intentionally, simply, and freely with the time and space to welcome God and one another.
Lest we forget to ask, how have YOU been changed by writing the book? Writing this book has transformed not only my life but our family life and culture as well. We’ve become serious about Sabbath practices (unplugging one day a week and dedicating it to, as Eugene Peterson once brilliantly wrote, “praying and playing”). We are ruthless about our schedules and say no to quite a lot. We have made hospitality a cardinal family virtue—to welcome neighbors and strangers into our home and around our table on a regular basis.
My closet also sort of looks like I work a professional mime now (black, white, and denim). But to learn more about why, you’ll have to pick up the book.
Well, there you go: I’ve got a feeling Courtney’s message of decluttering the more-more-more is going to resonate with you as well, so head over to your local bookseller to pick up or request a copy of Uncluttered today! Otherwise, post a comment and tell us why you want to read this book for a chance to win a copy of it. Good luck!
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