His Gospel is Peace

Design Lotus is stepping out in faith this year…

We have decided to donate 100% of our proceeds of Design Lotus’ 2016 faith-based holiday collection to an organization called The Last Well. Typically, we  prefer to do stuff like this on the down-low. But, in order to maximize the gift, we need to share what we are doing and why.

It is a little ironic that Amy and I have been blogging about our experiences with enoughism (decluttering our lives to make room for stuff that really matters) and chanting –  “less is more!” But, we’ve recently come across an instance where more really is more.

Simply put: more clean water = more life.


Praise be to God

Recently, we had a chance to attend The Last Well’s Worship and Benefit Night at Mclean Bible Church. Amy and I met at McLean in 2001. It’s where we grew in faith and in community. It’s where Amy and I got to know each other through a missions trip to Ecuador in 2002. It’s where we met our husbands. It is where The Last Well got its beginning. So, there is a real history here.

The Last Well’s mission is “to provide access to clean water to the entire nation of Liberia and offer the Gospel to every person we serve by 2020.”

Did you catch that?! The ENTIRE nation of Liberia border to border! That’s not a big deal… That’s a HUGE deal! If you think it can’t be done, you would not be the first person. Everyone doubted it… But God has proven nothing is impossible for Him. Since 2008, The Last Well project has already helped reach over 750,000 Liberians with water and the Gospel through over 1,000 clean water projects in Liberia! And with the appropriate funding, they are on track to finish their mission of bringing the good news and clean water to ALL the people of Liberia by 2020!


Celebrate Christ

It would be amazing if preventable water-borne illnesses could be eradicated in Liberia. Families could flourish and kids could go to school! And, they would know of God’s great love for them.


His Light

Being inspired by such an incredible movement and out of gratitude for all that we’ve been given, we are stepping out in faith and giving ALL of the proceeds of this year’s Christ-centered designs back to God’s work in Liberia.


God With Us

Generally promotion is something we’ve always struggled with and shy away from. But for The Last Well, we will joyfully use the platform we have been entrusted with to help bring living water to the ends of the earth!


John 3:16

Please know that you do not need to buy our designs to support The Last Well. You can help by signing up as a donor, giving a one-time gift and/or getting word out about their mission! 

But, if you are looking for beautiful Christian holiday cards, look no further! Minted has the best assortment even beyond our designs. You can help The Last Well by shopping through this link  –  Design Lotus for The Last Well.


Great Wonders

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Faith Retake: The Soccer Game

Amy had the great idea to write about our real life experiences where we wish we had a do-over. So, we are calling this Faith Retake.  As Design Retake, we reimagine what something could look like in our homes. We wanted to see if we could relate that to our life experiences.

We will share about an experience where we “could’ve, should’ve,” but we didn’t. We ask you the reader to share what you might do or have done in a similar situation. The purpose of this exercise would be to encourage people that we all make mistakes, but that doesn’t have to be the end of the story.

soccer3So I pulled this experience from the archives of my Facebook page, circa 2014.

True Confessions of a Soccer Mom:

So last weekend my son’s team (Green Team) played against Yellow Team and it was a really close game. A Yellow Team mom yells: “That’s ok, we beat Green last year 3 to 0!”  Another soccer mom tells her quietly: ”’that is not good sportsmanship.” Yellow Team mom defiantly yells even louder “Like I said: We beat Green last year 3 to 0!!!!!” Then she turns to me and says “Your son is a bad person – he tripped someone on my team.”  

I don’t know if you’ve seen boys under 10 playing soccer – but it can be messy. (My son Andrew and a Yellow Team player both went for the ball at full speed – and the other player fell down). But I digress…

So she talks smack about my team and then my son?!? I say nothing to her, but instead imagine a nice pile drive to her angry face! (I said this was a “confession”). Andrew scores to tie the game. I say an inner-voiced “in yo face!” and went home justified in my anger. Is this as silly as it sounds? I now understand the negative connotation of “soccer mom.” My husband AJ says I shouldn’t attend any more games if I am going to get so worked up😳.

Fast forward to Tuesday night bible study when I hear from a woman in my group who was short with a nasty store clerk. As she leaves the store, she does a figurative and literal 180, apologizes to the store clerk for being short with her, says she is a Christian, says to the clerk she understands she may be having a bad day and asks if she could pray for her. Clerk accepts her on-the-spot prayers and begins to weep…  

So what does that have to do with soccer? I would like a do- over if I ever see Yellow Team mom and offer her a kindness of some sort because Jesus loves to turn situations on their heads.

What would you have done differently to turn this situation around?


Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

An Exciting New Adventure in Enough-ism

Back up. I need to stop for a minute because I need to tell you about this new adventure I’m on. It started with the idea of minimalism but, it is a journey toward what I’m going to call “enoughism.” By the end of this post, I hope you will know what I mean.

View More:

So if you are following what I am doing in my office and the rest of my home, you might have a better understanding of why I am doing it. I’ll do my best to document this and provide the best steps and share any missteps I may make along the way.

I know what started this. I was looking for organizing and decluttering books. Let’s be clear: I do not like to read. So I was looking for visual guides within these books to show me how to organize all my crap. So I checked out a ton of them…

  • Declutter Anything : a room-by-room guide to cleaning your home and simplifying your life / Ed Morro
  • Decluttering Your Home : tips, techniques and trade secrets / Geralin Thomas.
  • New Order : a decluttering handbook for creative folks (and everyone else) / Fay Wolf ; illustrated
  • Clutterfree with Kids : change your thinking, discover new habits, free your home / Joshua Becker.
  • The Joy of Less : a minimalist guide to declutter, organize, and simplify / Francine Jay
  • Never too busy to Cure Clutter : simplify your life one minute at a time / Erin Rooney Doland.
  • The Nesting Place : it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful / Myquillyn Smith.
  • Unstuffed : decluttering your home, mind, & soul / Ruth Soukup

OH THE IRONY : having a stack of decluttering books cluttering up my floor!

Sadly, none of those books had what I was looking for. Mind you, I was hunting for a book to show me visually how to organize things. Most books were nothing but words… I KNOW I KNOW it’s a book! Duh. The others felted very cluttered… Crazy since it was supposed to help me do the opposite… In the midst of searching for on my public library site though I stumbled across Hoopla, which solved my not liking to read problem. Through my local library I am able to access and listen to a multitude of books for free! They even have an iphone app! Disclaimer – So if ever say I read a book, I’m technically lying because I probably listened to it. Except for a couple Harry Potter books that I tore through in a week. =) (Go to your local library and see what types of online audiobook options they have. If you still insist on a hard copy, at least you can check a book out at the library before you purchase it for yourself.)

So, did I tell you that I don’t like reading yet? I began looking up videos on Youtube on minimalism when I came across Joshua Becker’s video.

Because I am a Christian, I wanted to hear what he had to say and to see if living minimally was even biblical. It is… I’ll want to explore this some more later.

You know those stupid books that people say “changed their life?” I wouldn’t… and you know why… Well thanks to audio books I found one of those. The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker. I am actually going to go back to relisten to it again and again. What he says about organizing just blows my mind…

“If organizing your stuff worked, wouldn’t you be done by now?” —Courtney Carver

Organizing is not the answer! I needed something different altogether. It is all about moving past my mental roadblocks, immediate selfish, defensive arguments/thoughts and the guilt over so much money wasted…

I was basically hooked by his message. It just made so much sense. The truth was sitting right in front of me. But, I couldn’t see it because I had all this crap! People are definitely hungry for something different. I think that’s why his book and the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up are best sellers.

Our soul is crying out and screaming “enough! You can’t quite put your finger on it because we’re constantly bombarded with messages telling us “you need this to be happy.” All around us are the messages that you need the newer, the better, the faster. These are lies. And the longer we listen to them, we’ll lose our ability to recognize them as lies. We’ll just absorb them.

But, one of the first objections that I personally had to minimalism was the idea that minimalism = getting rid of everything. But minimal is not none people. I don’t even like the word minimalism. I don’t want the very minimum of what life offers. I want to live in the enough – just enough. Without excess.

So my journey is toward “enoughism.”

ENOUGHISM: Having just the things in your life that are useful, add value and bring you joy.

What does that look like for me? I’m figuring it out still. You will have to ask what this looks like for you.



In the coming weeks, I will be posting about finishing up my office, how I tackled my closet and my bathroom, and trying to figure out how this new adventure will look for our family of five.

This is my invitation to you. Join me on this journey/adventure – whatever you want to call it. The process of decluttering our lives is a P-R-O-C-E-S-S. Start small and see the benefits. Don’t start with the hard stuff – sentimental items or other people’s stuff.

Let’s start living in the enough – rather than being stuck in the rut of too much. In order to do this, we need to define what “enough” is for ourselves, our families and our lives. Let’s make enough our goal. If we don’t define what enough is, we continue to buy more, not knowing when to stop… Man! I have to say that was kinda deep. Right?! LOL I have to crack up because, if you knew me, I’m so not deep y’all…

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

When Less IS Really More

It’s funny when you begin to sense a theme in your life.

Mine has been:  GET RID OF THE CLUTTER.

I am tackling the physical clutter and hoping it’ll have positive impact upon the rest of my life as well. Saving precious time. Saving money. Saving energy. For things that really matter.

How did I come to this epiphany?

Part 1:  unnamed family member cannot find their keys or wallet (again) because they are wading through a sea of non-key and non-wallet items. Plus the wallet is black. I am offering to purchase in a bright neon color or to bedazzle existing wallet.

Part 2:  sweet friend Amy happens to share her story about how she is being intentional about simplifying her life and shares this video on minimalism.

Part 3:  we are getting rid of some older pieces of furniture that we have had since pre-marriage / early marriage, circa 12 years. We are hoping to consolidate pieces by purchasing a console table with storage, for example. Now that the kids are not spilling stuff 24/7 we are getting some grown up pieces and pieces in lighter fabrics – gasp!

Part 4:  you begin to clean out your parents’ home for them – and they’ve accumulated 51 years worth of stuff during their marriage. I want to be honorable when I speak about this, though. My parents were born in the early 30s and don’t believe in waste. Also they are elderly and have both recently suffered from illnesses (including multiple neck surgeries for my dad and two battles with cancer for mom). They are my heroes. So I don’t want to call them out for anything other than being awesome. If you are reading this mom and dad, I love you so, so much. We have smiled on numerous occasions on unexpected cleaning discoveries. My sister, Stella found some LPs[1] including Taste of Honey’s Sukiyaki A taste of honey – Sukiyaki (classic) 1981 – YouTube

Where was I? Brain clutter at critical mass. So anyway, yeah, I was getting this recurrent theme in my life. I hope that by getting rid of extra things in my life, I can be free to pursue the things I really love.

It seems just too simple: get rid of extra stuff – you know the stuff I am talking about -and you will

  • be less stressed,
  • spend less time shopping and cleaning and (looking for lost things) and
  • have more time, money and energy for the things that really matter.

What ‘really matters” may be different for everyone. Maybe you’d like to travel more. Maybe you’d like to spend more time with friends and family. Maybe you’d like to be able to give more to charity? Maybe you’d like to binge watch “Stranger Things” on Netflix.

One piece of advice from a newbie at this: strike while the iron is red hot. Don’t get inspired by the idea of it and then push it off to another time. Start by getting rid of one bag at a time, one room at a time.

In general, I haven’t heard a good reason for the opposing viewpoint which is “accumulate, accumulate and accumulate because it really will improve your life.” So this makes practical, mathematical and logical sense.

If you will indulge me for a moment, it makes great spiritual sense, too.Do not hoard

Can someone tell me if there is a mind-being-blown emoji? Because I need it real bad.

Write and tell us if you’ve experienced a simplifying and minimizing process. We’d love to hear about it!

[1] For any younger readers: Wikipedia -The long playing (nicknamed the LP; in full a 331⁄3 rpm microgroove) record is a vinyl record format, an analog sound storage medium. Introduced by Columbia in 1948, it was soon adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry. Apart from relatively minor refinements and the important later addition of stereophonic sound, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums.

photo-1431960128106-aab3b6cf9b4aIs there anyone else out there struggling to know how to vote in this upcoming Presidential election? In the interests of full disclosure, I make almost no social media political posts, except to recognize our military. One, I don’t feel like I have anything particularly wise to add to the discussion and two, I doubt a single person has ever changed a political view based on some of the negative back and forth I’ve seen out there. And let’s be honest, most of it is quite negative.

But, today, I break that political silence to ask for your help. Because I am torn. I do not know how I am going to vote. I know that voting is a privilege too few in this world are given. I do not want to take it for granted.

I am proud to be an American.  My dad’s family came over from Korea in the late 1800s for a better life. I am so grateful that they did. Even more, I am thankful to be a Christian living in America. I also have the extra blessing of being a military wife.

I am truly a “glass half full” type of person, but it’s getting harder to stay that way these days. This country was founded on Judeo-Christian values and yet I get criticized for wanting to uphold those very values. I know I am not looking to find a new pastor. But I still hope the leader of the United States (and perhaps the free world) would have similar values.

I have friends who support Trump and I have friends who support Clinton. There even seems to be no clear consensus among Christian friends either. I would consider all of these friends to be both intelligent and compassionate.

This is my struggle. What if my conscience won’t allow me to vote for anyone who is nominated? What if I don’t see anyone whose actions seem to support my own core values? (And by “voting” I mean giving this person my support, believing in their record, their integrity, trusting this person will put the interests of the country ahead of their personal agenda.)  Is that too much to ask for? Maybe my expectations are unrealistic that a leader should really be the best servant?

Should I just choose (excuse my lack of a better term) “the lesser of two evils”?

Should I not vote at all?

Should I vote by pencilling in someone I could support (Mike Rowe perhaps)?

I dunno.

Needless to say there are plenty of voices out there trying to tell us how to vote. Too many, amIright? How does a person filter through it all and vote their conscience?

But I can rest assured because I don’t place my ultimate hope in America’s next president. Romans 13:1 tell us that “there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”  (This reality does not prevent us, however, from getting a bad leader.) 1 Corinthians 10:31 says “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Personally, I’m gonna take that to include voting.

What will this all look like for you come November 8, 2016?

We would love to hear from you.  And let’s keep it classy and nice people.  Thanks in advance!