For the last 10 years, my husband has struggled to dream. I would ask him the question, What are some things you dream about for the future? And I didn’t even mean job-type stuff, although that could have been a part of it. I just meant you know, whatever. He couldn’t answer the question. Simply, couldn’t. Oh, he would mention a couple of things, make a little joke about golf. But he couldn’t get out of practical. He didn’t really know how to dream.

I dream all the time. Maybe too much, actually. You know my chocolate shop by the sea? Well it is adjacent to my rolling, green hills and my English garden and all my herbs. And also my mountain. And my retreat center that was only a short bike ride away from the city. And my little cottage where I sit and write all my novels. In French. I am a crazy person. But do you want to know one of the things that began to make the difference for him to begin to dream legitimate, real things?

It was Simple Mom‘s book, Organized Simplicity. It isn’t a book about discovering your dreams or anything like that. Instead, it is the clutter-free approach to intentional living. And part of the approach is to  define  your family purpose statement.

And so while The Man sat and cleaned out the junk drawer in our kitchen, I sat with Tsh’s book and asked him the 20 questions she lists. As I listened to his answers, I heard him say things I had never heard him say before. Dream-like things. Calling-like things. Fearless things. And I am forever grateful to Tsh for writing a book that helped my husband and I talk more deeply about the intention of our living.

And so while The Man put our junk from the drawer into piles of pennies and rubberbands, we talked about what we believed. We put paragraphs around what is important to our family. We defined things, and re-defined things. And we still are.

Organized Simplicity is divided into two main parts – the first part encourages us how to think about the purpose for our families and our homes and the second part is a more practical, hands-on cleaning/de-cluttering the house. It is extremely detailed and Tsh outlines exactly what (and what not) to do. I have to admit, I didn’t make it all the way through this part of the book yet. Which is why I’m so excited about Project Simplify over at Tsh’s blog, Simple Mom.

It’s basically a five week hand-holding project. She reveals a hot-spot on Mondays (this week it was the closet – as in, my closet) and then on Fridays we can link up with our before and after photos.

While I wouldn’t normally participate in showing the world my messy closet projects like this, I am beginning to make the connection between the stuff I choose to hang onto and the dreams we have for our family. Sometimes they just don’t match up. And so, I’m jumping in and joining Tsh and many other Simple Mom readers in this challenge to organize five hot spots in five weeks. I may not post on it every week, but I will be quietly working away, losing stuff and gaining perspective.I know, they aren’t that much different. But I have a box filled with clothes to donate that says otherwise. One step at a time, friends. If you would like to join in on organizing some of your hot spots, check out Tsh’s latest post and be inspired.

**I was given this book for Christmas by my sister. I’m not being paid to say any of this stuff. Although, even if I were, it wouldn’t make any difference. I love this book. And also Tsh. Amen.