Yesterday’s post was a lot harder to write than I thought. Every time I put my thoughts into writing, they become more of a reality. To be honest, I did not want to write, or even say that I was giving up shopping for 3 months straight. But, I did. And here we are, all facing the question: Am I really going to do this? Just to let you inside my head a little, for the past 24 hours my thoughts have gone a little something like this:

“What the heck, Nancy! Why did you even blog that!”
“Don’t you know that your 5th Anniversary is during that time? You HAVE to buy a new dress for that!”
“Surely you realize your summer wardrobe needs help. Surely.”
“3 months? Really? Just drop that to 2 months. No… 1 month. Yes, you can do 1 month, but not 3. That’s just too much.” (
Which is exactly why I feel that I should do this for 3 months. Because it’s the hard choice.)

Here’s the thing: People have done crazier things! They have given up much more of their lives and possessions for the Kingdom of God. I am called to live a life marked of love, contentment, and self-discipline for that matter, and we all have a choice: to stay comfortable, where we are, or to pursue a life worth living.

So, let’s do this! Let’s pursue a more fulfilling life together, by letting go of the things that do not fulfill us! I know there are a million questions running through your mind, so in hopes of answering those questions, here are the guidelines of the Contentment Challenge. I am so hoping you’ll join me.

The Contentment Challenge : April, May, & June 2013

We will give up shopping for clothes, accessories, household decor, and “stuff” for 3 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:

• For the next 10 days, 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, and the opportunity for you to say your goodbyes to Target.)

• Choose 1-3 inspiring books to read during this time.  I would recommend any of the following: Seven, Weird, The Celebration of Discipline, 1000 Gifts, Kisses from Katie. (Feel free to leave additional recommendations in the comments!)

• 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.

• Necessities are okay! 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.

•••

Each month will have a theme, a scripture memory verse, and one activity that you will be challenged to participate in.  Be sure to check in here on the 1st of April, May and June for the challenges. Also, every Thursday I will be posting encouragement here on my blog. So please come by, comment, and let me know how you are doing!

Finally, the official hashtag is #contentmentchallenge ! So be sure to share your struggles and victories along the way on Instagram and Twitter. Who’s with me?

Sign Up to Receive our FREE PDF - "5 Steps to Preserve Your Legacy Through Photographs"

And join The Nancy Ray News!

No Spam, we promise! Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit
SHARE
COMMENTS

[…] you want to read more about the guidelines of the Contentment Challenge check here: http://nancyrayphotography.com/i-am-content-the-challenge/.  I plan to do a check in half-way through and then a final wrap up about the Contentment […]

[…] Re-do contentment challenge […]

[…] The original Contentment Challenge was designed by Nancy Ray and you can check her’s out here! Most of these guidelines have come from […]

[…] created a little thing called The Contentment Challenge (P.S. – I recommend checking out her guidelines and journey through this process. It’s truly […]

[…] Participate in the Contentment Challenge designed by Nancy Ray […]

I found this post late, but I still want to do it. Thank you

[…] I have decide to join my fellow blogger Laura Rennie in The Contentment Challenge by Nancy Ray. […]

[…] I started Nancy Ray's Contentment Challenge, where I will try to go three whole months without buying anything that is non-essential.  That […]

[…] Nancy Ray on Instagram for quite sometime. One day I came across one of her posts talking about her contentment challenge.  This challenge involves going 90 days without shopping! When I first saw this, my jaw dropped […]

I’d like to do this but is there a place to ‘sign-up’ or a way to get connected to a group to do together for support? TIA

Hi Susan! Yes you can sign up in the sidebar of my blog, or you can go to nancyrayshop.com to download a freebie on the Contentment Challenge!

[…] Month One of the Contentment Challenge.  After many purchases for our Hawaii trip, I decided I needed a retail detox and remembered that […]

[…] just feel like meaningless law rather than a mission for Christ to fight my selfish nature? The Contentment Challenge is a 3 month period of no shopping. The thing is, I don’t feel like I have a problem with […]

[…] boy, reading all about this three month contentment challenge and thinking I should start it. That could be another post for another day but I’ve had […]

[…] recently started the ‘#Contentment Challenge’ by Nancy Ray you can read more about it here.  In a few words Nancy is a Christian photographer and the challenge is to give up shopping for […]

[…] this year to simplify my life and purge it of the clutter. To clean out my closets and bookshelves. To do the contentment challenge. To spend less money on myself and to give more to those truly in need. When it comes time for me to […]

[…] back to the Contentment Challenge…Well, it first started here with Nancy Ray’s Contentment Challenge. That led me to read the similar one at Brave Love Blog and her Contentment Challenge and finally […]

[…] – Do the Nancy Ray Contentment Challenge […]

[…] original Contentment Challenge was created by Nancy Ray which you can read about here.  I’ve decided to create my own version based on what being content means for me. Not only […]

[…] With that being said, I was scrolling through Instagram today and I ran across Hannah Brencher’s post about the “Contentment Challenge”. For 90 days, you vow to only buy the essentials, no extras (all rules here). […]

[…] I’ve been challenging myself with this for a while, but the Contentment Challenge created by Nancy Rey has inspired me to go further. Here are the basic guidelines for this […]

[…] (many of the guidelines have been borrowed from Nancy Ray- the original creator of this challenge). I will give up shopping for clothes, accessories, household decor, and “stuff” for 3 months, to focus my heart and mind on the root of true contentment. I will actively pursue fulfilling activities that will replace my addiction to material things. […]

[…] for this challenge with you. These are modified slightly from the original rules posted by Nancy Ray for her Contentment […]

[…] For the past year or so, I’ve seen posts floating around the internet regarding something called The Contentment Challenge.  It originated with Nancy Ray challenging herself to give up shopping for 3 months.  No clothes, accessories, home items, etc.  You can read her journey here. […]

…about to give this another go for 2015!!! xoxo

[…] for me. I’ll be posting about this soon and you can also expect a brand new blog series about this challenge. Stay […]

[…] Complete a Contentment Challenge (see here) […]

[…] The contentment challenge is something that I originally read about on Nancy Ray’s website. Her website is amazing and I really look up to her as a writer, photographer, and creative mind. She is a rock star because her guidelines and timelines are much more in-depth and regulated than I plan to be. You can read about her personal challenge here. […]

[…] I think contentment is the key to financial success.”  From there, she went on a 90-day Contentment Challenge, which has inspired many people to take the challenge to stop buying “stuff” for a […]

[…] Read about Nancy’s Contentment Challenge. […]

[…] Guidelines: (taken from Nancy’s blog post, slightly modified by me – if your major vice is spending, check out her blog post as it is more […]

[…] One month Contentment Challenge (modifying Nancy Ray’s 3 month challenge). Basically, I will not buy anything except wedding checklist items and […]

[…] Guidelines: (taken from Nancy’s blog post, slightly modified by me – if your major vice is spending, check out her blog post as it is […]

[…] And here I am.  Let’s get started. The Challenge: January, February, March 2014  (Originally from Nancy Ray)  We will give up shopping for excess stuff for three months.  Yes, three months this […]

[…] The Contentment Challenge from Nancy Ray […]

[…] gas and groceries and gifts for others are okay. I’ve been really captivated by this idea of the contentment challenge and want to discover the freedom from things. — CHECK! I did a pretty great job of this last […]

[…] ‘dumpster cleaning’ I was browsing the web looking at photography sites and came across this blog post. It was exactly what I needed! A challenge! I love a good challenge. It feeds my Type A personality […]

[…] with a spending freeze.  You’ve seen other online friends do the same thing… Nancy, Lara. If you do a spending freeze (or a cleanse or personal challenge of any kind), I think you […]

[…] gas and groceries and gifts for others are okay. I’ve been really captivated by this idea of the contentment challenge and want to discover the freedom from […]

[…] heard about this lady’s contentment challenge  a while ago and loved the idea of it. I’ve also been thinking a lot lately about how I want to […]

I just came across this…so awesome and inspiring! What a great challenge…too bad I am a year late :)

Would love for you to check out my post on Simplicity:

http://bluegmusings.blogspot.com/2014/03/simplicity.html

[…] this season of grace, renewal and fresh starts, I have decided to participate in Nancy Ray’s Contentment Challenge beginning April 1. The remainder of this month will be used to read, prepare my closet, office and […]

[…] Earlier this year I challenged myself to 3 months of no shopping. Before you close this webpage and write me off as crazy, I want you to know that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was a simple decision centered on self discipline, changing habits, and focusing on what matters. It was hard. I’ve always been a “shopper,” a “spender,” a “free spirit.” My weakness is clothes, I’ll admit it. But in the midst of this challenge, I learned so much about myself, about wasted money, about our culture that lies to us and tells us we never have enough and we always need more. I learned the truth: I CAN change my habits. I DON’T need more. I AM content. (You can read all about it here.) […]

[…] on this. {It’s probably because she makes it look so easy!} One of her blogs last year was on contentment. {WOW it was so good} I know she has another planned this year and I plan to join! I have also made […]

[…] first read about the Contentment Challenge in a blog post from Nancy Ray (read that post HERE).  After doing a little bit of digging, I began to  see lots of other people participating on […]

[…] huge inspiration throughout my goal setting quest has been Nancy Ray. Last year she set out on a “contentment challenge” which inspired some of my 2014 […]

[…] – followed my heart – met an incredible ‘real’ man that loves me for who I am and makes me feel free / found love again – married this amazing man that i love so much – became a step-mom – moved to florida – enjoyed the moment and leaned let go (still working on that) – focused on my new family – started redecorating our house to feel like we are starting fresh – finished the nyc marathon – developed a nurturing side of me that i didn’t know i had – stopped taking antidepressants – let my hair grow – went out on countless fun dates with Justin – became more patient and less judgmental (still working on that too) – learned and still learning about simplifying life and focusing on what really matters- created good memories with Janiah (my 8-year old step-daughter) – taught her how to roller blade, water hose shower, beach days, nail painting, went to santas enchanted forest, baked brazilian cakes and desserts together – started going to a new church – started financial peace university and understand more about money – spent less money / saved more / was more aware and cautious about money – spent less time on social media and actually enjoyed real life – did the contentment challenge […]

[…] world this was. I was intrigued. I found a blog post by Lara Casey, that then led me to a post by Nancy Ray. The Contentment Challenge is a 3 month challenge to not buy anything new – clothes, shoes, […]

This is definitely how I’m starting my new year. I’m doing something similar right now to stop me from focusing on gifts and decorations during Christmas. But since I’ll be home on maternity leave for the first two months of the year, I think it will give me more time to read and gain from other resources to keep me focused on how God wants me to grow in being content. I’d already read this last week, but Emily Ley just posted it again and made me realize that I really need to dig deeper into it. Not sure if I’ll do two months or three, but I’m ready to change my outlook on so much.

Lord, fill me with Your peace.

xoxo

[…] This post from Nancy Ray: The Contentment Challenge […]

[…] has to change. I read about a Contentment Challenge first on photographer Nancy Ray‘s blog, then on my friend Lara Casey‘s, and I thought ‘maybe this is what I […]

I am so excited to do this challenge! My friend just found your blog and this challenge, and we’re going to do it together. Although it is beginning Oct 1 for us, it creates a new spin on it, because we have to face it leading up to Christmas. Last night I cleaned out a couple of closets already and I look forward to seeing how our desire to not spend money will really help show us the value in more than just the $ we’re saving. My Bible study girls and I are also starting and finishing a study on James during this time as well, so I look forward to seeing how God may bring these two things together!

Thank you for going before and completing this. Just shows it can be done!!

[…] it with you. Will Ray is the husband to Nancy Ray (of Nancy Ray Photography and the starter of the Commitment Challenge) and he wrote a post today about what to do with unexpected loss in income. It was just what I was […]

[…] did I really want to take after being completely debt free? After these two days, I began the Contentment Challenge. It was probably one of the best things I've done with my year so […]

[…] was first inspired by this idea from the incredible Nancy Ray and her 3 month journey with the Contentment Challenge.  Like  WHOAH!  Her heart and desire to focus on finding contentment in Christ opposed to […]

[…] out how I could specifically practice contentment in my daily life.   Last week, I stumbled upon “The Contentment Challenge” by blogger and photographer Nancy […]

Avocado, cooking with coconut oil and extra virgin
olive oil, which are much healthier. These foods are not only full of sugar,
they are not all the same. And if you want to look sexy in a social
event so that you can” Lose ten pounds while eating chocolate cake!

Hi Nancy, I just stumbled upon this challenge and I’m starting it this month. I’ve so needed something that will help keep me accountable to spending wisely. Thanks for sharing your heart and convictions!

[…] on Central Park, lost a little bit of weight (few more pounds to go), I juiced and I completed the #contementchallenge!! Instead of reading “Complete Guide to Money” I decided to read “Financial Peace” first, […]

[…] the brick…but i’m trying to be content with what i have.  kylie and katie brought the contentment challenge to my attention and i realized it’s something that i desperately need.  especially as we […]

[…] the last Thursday in June, which means this is the last post for the Contentment Challenge! What the what? Where did the time go! For those of you who have joined me the past three months, […]

[…] been learning a lot about myself these past few months. I am a day behind in blogging about the Contentment Challenge, and honestly this past week has been more challenging than all the others so far. Preparing for […]

[…] an amazing weekend! It’s been almost 3 months that I don’t “buy” anything. The Contentment Challenge is easier than I thought and I’m happy to say that I’m really learning to be content […]

[…] I start my first month of the Contentment Challenge (see my previous post and Nancy Ray’s post). So here it […]

[…] day, and most importantly it means the beginning of Summer!  June also marks the beginning of the Contentment Challenge. The challenge is to not shop for anything except for necessity (and not to justify every […]

[…] you believe it? We are officially halfway through the Contentment Challenge today! I'm celebrating by going Strawberry picking tomorrow before my double-wedding weekend, then […]

[…] those of you who have joined me, how has the first month of The Contentment Challenge been for you? I hope it's been as challenging and rewarding as it's been for me. It has been a […]

[…] is a new beginning. A scary one for me. I am starting Nancy Ray‘s Contentment Challenge, and it has already challenged me even in the past few days making me […]

[…] has me more excited than this Contentment Challenge Nancy proposed nearly a month ago. When I first read her proposal, I was scared and put it off a […]

[…] “No Shopping Challenge”. I don’t think this is an official thing, but I read in a blog post by Nancy Ray that she was not going to shop for any clothes or accessories for three full months. I […]

[…] friends! It's Thursday, and if you remember from the Contentment Challenge, I am popping in each Thursday on my blog to encourage everyone who is participating (including […]

I just read this post via a link from Katie O’Keefe’s blog and I am so thankful that I did. The Lord’s timing is perfect and this challenge could not have come at a better time. Since I’m a little late, I’m going to use the rest of April to prepare my heart (and my closet) and then I’m all in. I’m so excited to take a brave step against a big societal current and focus my heart on the ultimate Provider. I will continue to check back for updates and encouragement! You’re a jewel! Thanks :)

[…] I dive into the Contentment Challenge, the timing of their visit could not have been more perfect. I stopped by to visit Grandpa Gene and […]

“we all have a choice: to stay comfortable, where we are, or to pursue a life worth living.” This got me! I’m in.

[…] favorites! – blog my recent weddings & sessions from February & March – take part in the #contentmentchallenge. Anybody else interested? I’d love to hold each other accountable. I have a feeling this is […]

I’m in! I’m preparing for a cross-country move in June and really need to pare down what I’m bringing with me. Last night, I filled up two huge shopping bags with clothes to donate. I felt so happy and relieved to start narrowing down my wardrobe into the things I wear the most and really enjoy. It will be a challenge to avoid impulse clothing purchases, but I am going to undertake this contentment challenge!

I love that I am finding this today on the first. This so spoke to me (even though we are hoping to purchase a home soon). I have been trying to find contentment in my life lately and this will help! Super excited!

wow — this is truly inspiring! & I am so blessed that I ready Rhi’s post today or I would not have found you. I have been wanting to stop my meaningless shopping sprees that only fullfill my need for instant gratification. The Lord wants us to long for Him, not for materialistic things. I am really going to strive to give up shopping for ‘stuff’ over the next three months. So ready for this journey! thanks for being such a blessing. xo

Wow! I just found this post via Hey Gorgeous twitter post and I am so impressed! I have been thinking about trying a no shopping challenge for 2 months and now reading your post I am inspired and am ready to try 3! This is the best idea and will help so many (including myself) see that we do not need possessions and clothes as badly as we think. Thank you for this! I will check back for some encoragement! I will be needing it!

This is so inspiring. You have such a big heart, Nancy!

[…] 9. Complete a simplicity challenge […]

Nancy, hearing you speak at MTH about how you brought your business up without going in debt was so inspiring. I always feel like I’m so behind compared to other planners, but I’m trying not to go into debt in order to have a successful business. I’ve gotten better about the comparisons since MTH though! Today was all about finances in my house, and when I started adding up all those little trips to Target or TJ Max I was appalled at how much I’m spending on seemingly nothing. Your challenge has been in the back of my mind, and after today, I know I need this so I’m in! I have to say I’m nervous, but I’m up for the challenge.

Nancy……wow…this is so incredible!! I actually did this for as one of my new years resolutions!! I had never heard or seen anything like this. It just came to me. The exact same things that you have listed in your post. I started in January and have been going for 3 months now. Let me tell you – IT WORKS. In that time, I’ve learned to sew and my photography hobby is really taking off. ! I am currently reading 1000 Gifts. I’ve also be able to spend more time working on music for our church and teaching a Sunday School class. I’ve grown so much spiritually by doing this. So, to everyone out there who is doing this or thinking about doing this, GO FOR IT. It is SO worth the effort.

When I told my husband about this, I think his immediate response was to ask for your address so he could send you a huge bouquet of flowers!!! This is SO something outside of my comfort zone but I am with you! I’m nervous and kind of feeling the immediate effects of cutting Target trips out of my week but…I’m with you! Can’t wait to see what this leads to!

IDK about this, I am SO hessitant to say “yes” to this… is it awful I already don’t think I can do it… which prob means i NEED to… ahhhhhh idk

I know I’m a little late on this, but I’m in! 1000 gifts and Kisses from Katie have been on my reading list for awhile now. I am excited to just read them already! I have been so inspired by your financial journey lately…thank you so much for sharing! As my husband and I begin to make some big decisions (aka moving to a new state!), we are reevaluating where we spend our money. This challenge came at the perfect time. I get so fired up reading your blog…thank you thank you!

I’m in! I’ve been thinking about your challenge and write away I wanted to say YES, I’m in! But decided to really think about it. It wasn’t until I walked into Target today and saw all the pretty new spring clothes. It was then that I realized YES I need to do this! Because honestly, I’m up for the challenge. Which I think will be a challenge and I also think it’s gonna be kinda fun. :) Oh, and because Chris and I are sticking to our budget. Which means I only get $30 a month for spending. I’m excited to save up that $30 for the next 3 months. Put it towards our savings or maybe buy something fun for someone else. YAY! I’m in, I’m in, I’m in!!

Oh man, oh man…
I…
am…
in!
(eep!)

I have to admit I’ve very much improved on my shopping habit since my husband and I started sharing a car and I started working from home, but this will be nothing but wonderful for my life and budget! I think I’m going to focus on bettering my cooking skills and working out daily.

(Although my summer wardrobe needs major help, too!)

If it’s not breaking the rules, I do think I’m going to allow myself one souvenir when I travel to Canada for the first time in June. It means so much to me to decorate my home with meaningful pieces from my travels!

So this is a little strange, but I don’t think I’m going to officially join this challenge because I actually need to spend some money on clothes!! I haven’t yet bought clothing or accessories in 2013, and to be honest, I have hardly bought anything (with the exception of my rehearsal dinner dress) in the fashion arena for the past two years. I am all about saving money, but when I realized this weekend that I wore shirts for three days in a row with holes in them (yikes!), it occurred to me that I might have shut down this budget category too far. The good news is that I’ve gotten so used to saving money that it’s very hard for me to pull the trigger on ANY item of clothing, but the bad news is… I’m wearing holey clothing :) That being said, I love this idea and will be cheering on all of you ladies!

So this is a little strange, but I don’t think I’m going to officially join this challenge because I actually need to spend some money on clothes!! I haven’t yet bought clothing or accessories in 2013, and to be honest, I have hardly bought anything (with the exception of my rehearsal dinner dress) in the fashion arena for the past two years. I am all about saving money, but when I realized this weekend that I wore shirts for three days in a row with holes in them (yikes!), it occurred to me that I might have shut down this budget category too far. The good news is that I’ve gotten so used to saving money that it’s very hard for me to pull the trigger on ANY item of clothing, but the bad news is… I’m wearing holey clothing :) That being said, I love this idea and will be cheering on all of you ladies!

I am in! I love this idea and since I am just getting started in FPU it will do nothing but help me!

I’ve talked with you before, but I am in! I can’t help but be a little excited about it too, bc a good kick in the rear with some awesome ladies holding me accountable/cheering me on is just what I need!
I look forward to doing this with you all!

I’m in! Right not I’m thinking this will be a breeze for me, but that could definitely change. Household items will be the hardest, since we just moved into a new house a couple months ago.

Good luck to everyone :-) Praying this challenge will ultimately be rewarding to all who participate. Thanks for encouraging us on this journey Nancy.

It’s weird that I’m actually excited about this! And like a previous poster, I’m due with our second baby in July. Which does make this a tad harder. But I really don’t need much for the new baby. I’m just in the process of moving our son to his new room, so there are a few obvious purchases I need to make to move him. I won’t let him suffer just because I need to :) looking forward to your encouraging words in the coming months! And I can’t wait to see how much money I will save!

Nancy,

Way to go! This is amazing. I wish so badly now was the time for me to join this challenge, but the truth is I have a new baby arriving in June and my necessities will be out of control. Haha! But I do plan to do a true contentment challange at some point this year. Meanwhile I’ll be cheering all of you on!

Hi Nancy! I read your post yesterday and considered joining you for all of 2 seconds… but today I had a change of heart and am convinced that I MUST join you….
So count me in! (can’t believe i’m doing this!)

Oh Nancy, you just had to post this huh? Of course it resonated with me and I wrestled with it, but I know overall that this is a challenge so worth it. I am in the midst of going through Seven with a women’s bible study at church, have already dumped half my closet, and 90% gutted an entire room (it was a junk room). We are on the budget envelope system so a strict challenge will be a bonus! Also, being aware of where our money does go when purchasing items makes a huge difference too… the app Free2Work is an awesome resource to see ratings of stores.

I’m with you. I’m nervous, but I’m with you!

We are so glad you are here!

Welcome to the NRP Blog! Enjoy getting to know our hearts and our work. We are so grateful you stopped by!