Another Contentment ChallengeJoin me?

I want you to pray about & truly consider giving up shopping for 3 months with me, starting April 1st.

I KNOW. I went there.

I felt I might as well have just hit you with it first thing, because you’re going to immediately do one of two things:

1. Close the window
2. Keep reading to see why

Well friends, I’ll tell you why. The Lord called me to give up shopping for 3 months straight 3 years ago, and I called it “The Contentment Challenge.” He was calling me deeper into Him, to find my joy in my relationship with Him – not in things or appearances, and to quit my addiction to impulse buys at Target, Anthropologie, and online sales that landed in my inbox.

You can read all about my first journey here.

You guys, I’m tearing up as I type this. That journey was freakin hard for me. It’s embarrassing to say it was hard, but it was. 3 years later, I AM FREE. I simply do not shop like I used to. The addiction is not there, hallelujah! I hardly shop any more, but when I do, there is such freedom and enjoyment because I don’t do it out of this compulsive need to keep up – I do it because it simply brings me joy. And I’m good with that.

So why am I inviting you? Because I want this same kind of freedom for you. I know there are other ladies out there reading this who tried the Contentment Challenge and didn’t succeed in completing it. Or there are some of you who are just now hearing about this for the first time, and it’s for you, too.

And guess what? Most of the time, freedom doesn’t come from observing others or asking for it. Freedom comes when we participate. God has moved for us when He died on the cross for us – providing our freedom 100%. Now it’s up to us to move and take hold of that freedom! Even from something petty like shopping. He cares about that. He cares about you. He cares about the small things that hold us back.

3 years later, I’m amazed that there are 800+ posts on Instagram using the #contentmentchallenge hashtag, and even more people who have completed it without ever instagramming about it. I’m amazed that my friend and author Hannah Brencher is doing her own Contentment Challenge right now. I’m amazed that my friend Lara Casey did the Contentment Challenge and when 3 months was up, she just kept going, all the way through Christmas, because of the delight and fulfillment she found when she stopped buying for no reason.

You guys, this is a real thing. And because I want to maintain my heart’s focus on the Lord, I’m doing it again: starting April 1st! Here are the guidelines for the 2016 Contentment Challenge:

The Guidelines:

• Until March 31st, your homework is the following: prepare your heart, organize your closet, and make any necessary purchases that you might need during these months. (This is not a last minute shopping spree! This is one final trip to the store for items you will need.)

• Choose 1-3 inspiring books to read during this time. I would recommend any of the following: Radical, Seven, Weird, The Celebration of Discipline, 1000 Gifts.

• Gifts are okay! If someone gives you a new dress or 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. It’s not the time to be legalistic.

• Necessities are okay! Please buy groceries. If you drop and break your phone, please go 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. (“I really NEED this bathing suit, even though there are 8 in my closet already.”)

• 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. I’ve signed up for a half marathon in June – so I plan to do a lot of running.

•••

Guess what is the most exciting part about all of this? On April 1st, my Contentment Challenge E-Book and devotional is going to be available in the Nancy Ray Shop that launches at the end of this month! You certainly don’t need the book, but my hope is that it would be an encouragement and a guide along the way. Some things to expect in the book:

– Weekly Devotionals & thoughts
– Monthly Scripture to Memorize
– Activities and guidelines
– Thoughts from Will on contentment

Finally, the official hashtag is #contentmentchallenge ! So be sure to share your struggles and victories along the way on Instagram.

That’s it people. It’s official. All of April, May and June, I won’t spend money on clothes or “stuff” – focusing my attention on how the Lord fulfills me, not things.

Pray about it, and if you feel called to do it, commit to it by the end of this week and leave a comment below!

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  • Lauren said:

    I am so excited for this!

    How much will the ebook be?

  • Kristen said:

    Oh, I feel like the Lord has been working on my heart towards this for quite a while now. It makes me so scared because I know how hard it will be, but I also know that the Lord knows and wants what is best for me. And I want to desire Him more than I desire a new dress. So, starting April 1st, I'm going to join you! Thank you for sharing your heart towards this and encouraging everyone to come alongside you and experience true freedom and joy in God alone. Also, I should mention that I work full-time at Anthropologie and it is going to take every ounce of the Holy Spirit inside of me to keep me far from temptation through these next 3 months!

  • Zoe said:

    I LOVE this Nancy.

    I have now done the contentment challenge twice. (in fact I am just coming to the end of my second go). During the first one I focussed on our big house move and during this one (two years later) I have focussed on intentionally planning time with my husband and it enabled me to save for his fantastic 30th birthday surprise trip to Italy!!

    The first time was really, embarrassingly hard but like you it has changed my relationship to stuff. This time it has been a pleasure not to have to think about buying things and I am just so much more intentional when I do make purchases either for our home or myself.

    In short. thank you.

  • Amanda said:

    I'm in!

  • Leanne said:

    Let's do this! I'm in!

  • Meg said:

    Yay! I've tried starting this the past 3 months, and I just haven't been motivated or felt accountable to doing it. I was very excited to see you starting it in April and to be able to participate with a group! :-)

  • Kendra said:

    I've been feeling called to lighten my load and simplify, so finding that you are doing this challenge right now is divine timing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and blessings to all on this journey!

  • I am most definitely in!! We just recently rented an apartment and are needing to buckle down with our spending (aka my spending). I am most definitely an impulsive buyer and I know this will really help me!! :) thank you Nancy!!

  • Briana Lynn said:

    God has been weighing on me in many ways, and this is one of them. I have tried this in the past without success, but I feel like now is the time. I'm at a transition point in my life, working to find a full time job and find my own space for me and my daughter. I'm going to take this on as part of a larger cleanse. I'll be working and sticking to an intentional budget so I can save for a move, and fasting from social media during these 3 months as well. Time to refocus on what truly matters so I can build a foundation for my "someday soon" home.

  • Em Enockson said:

    Nancy! I am so in. I am super close to being debt free-yahoo! And yet I know there is still a hold on my heart for things over true contentment. Joining you sweet sister in this journey!

    • Em, yay! I can't wait to talk about this more on Wednesday during our first coaching session! Eeek! :) We will both be doing this challenge together--how awesome is that, and how awesome is our God? :)

  • Sonja said:

    I am in!
    I so want to see the Lord work in me what only He can do through His power!
    I am weak; but He is strong!

  • Eranne said:

    This couldn't have come into my life at a better time. I am so scared and already contemplating not doing it because there is something that I'm waiting until the first of April to buy but it's not something I need yet-- just really really want. If I still want it in 3 months, I'll get it. 😁 excited to go on this journey and see where God leads me.

  • Kaylee Jinks said:

    I have wanted to start this so many times and then I don't. Here we go...taking the plunge! :)

  • Gloria dabolt said:

    So ready for this commitment! I know it just what the Lord is telling me! Count me in!

  • I'm in, a million times yes to saying no to shopping! Will and you have totally inspired me to take the reigns of our finances and this is just the perfect way to kick it off!!

  • I'm in! I'm feeling a heavy burden on my heart to not just fast from shopping, but from the food that I know harms my joints and is often an escape for me: dairy, sugar, and starches. Thank you, Nancy, for your boldness and your transparency in all of this! :)

  • Karen said:

    I'm in! This is perfect for this season in my life...

  • Jen Sharpe said:

    I'm in! One of my goals at MTH was to get intentional about our money. Not spending money is a perfect way to start. :)

  • Sarah said:

    I noticed that today's Proverbs 31 devo is on Contentment! How fitting for the first day of the Contentment Challenge! http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=f63562b3be485ea0ae33acf18&id=daf62a6218&e=ecedfc17a1

  • Alicia said:

    Count me in! I've really needed to work on this area for awhile.

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  • I took your class through the Influence Network on this topic, and instantly fell in love (er, conviction?).

    Even seeing the promo photo for it on Instagram, I felt a pang in my heart and I KNEW the Lord was calling me to at least look further into it.

    Lo and behold, He said without a doubt, that this was for me in this season. :)

    I'm the girl who asked you the question in the class "What about moving during the Contentment Challenge? I feel like I'd have the tendency to replace clothes buying with home decor, justifying all the things I need for our new place."

    So here I am, a week in and getting ready to put our current house the market and move into a new one - all while doing the contentment challenge! Here's to using what we have and most importantly, a heart more in-tune with God and less concerned about the trappings of this world. <3

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  • Jessica Martinez said:

    Im just learning about this and will start in June for 3 months!

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  • Grace said:

    I came across this challenge from someone else's instagram and I thought it was interesting, but I didn't think I needed it. But lately I've been noticing a trend in my behavior - feeling like I need some item and obsessing over it until I actually purchase it. And then I have that item and I still don't feel full. Soon enough another item comes along and the cycle starts all over again. I think this is my push towards getting back into my relationship with God and learning how to be content in my life, where I am. I'm definitely going to look into your ebook and the books you mentioned here. Thanks!

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