The day we brought Andrew and Simon home from Uganda to our 1,200 sq ft home in Florida, I knew I wanted to move.

The noise in the house was staggering enough, but add in 2 kids in diapers, 2 homeschooling and all four kids under 5 years old sharing the same space all day, every day and I had a daycare in my house, that I never left. Ever. Those were tough, long years in that tiny house.

Fast forward five years and we finally move into a new home! We call her Orange Haven and we are loving every square inch of our big mid-century beauty, spacious yard and amazing neighborhood (it's like we went back in time 50 years with chili cook-offs and neighborhood kids free-range on bikes everywhere. Swoon!).

As I was unpacking my closet in the new house, I looked up and became slack-jawed when I saw 23 pairs of shoes.

I had neatly lined them up one by one on my newly purchased shoe rack at the top of my closet, not really reflecting on how many there were until I had finished putting the last shoe in place and I looked up at all of them. I honestly had no idea I owned that many. Twenty-three different pairs of shoes. And all of them were mine.

Why did I need that many pairs of shoes? Sure, I could rationalize that I needed 4 different pairs of heel in various shades of black & brown, all vastly different styles for my ever changing look. It would be easy to explain why I had 4 pairs of sustainably made flats and 2 different fair trade sandals that all gave a better life for someone across the globe simply because I bought them. And I can explain why I have 2 pairs of running shoes and 2 fashion sneakers when I don't run or exercise at all.

Isn't this what the stereotypical American women is? Shoe obsessed? Variety for every outfit imaginable? I was just fitting in the norms of lots of people I know and giving my Instagram following examples of a socially conscience wardrobe on a real life person. And for even more justification, the majority of my clothes are made by people whose names I know and they are getting a fair wage and better life because I purchased them. So it's OK, right?

The more I wrestled with the sheer volume of shoes and then all my clothing as I unpacked box after box after box, I realized that things in my life were out of sync.

The thing that kept coming to mind was, "This is so much. I have so much. Why do I have so much?" But then I would scroll through my beautifully curated Instagram feed through sustainable companies and think, "Oh! I want that!" These two opposing forces were fighting an internal battle and I knew which one was winning. And it was time for an intentional change.

As 2017 comes to a close and we look to a new year and a fresh start, I'm choosing my word of the new year as "EXCESS."

It's a negative word, which is usually not the point of choosing a word for the year. The intention behind choosing a word is to motivate and help with reflection, but mine is a cautionary word as I reflect on all I have and my attitude towards it. Am I thankful and content with the good gifts God gives or just focused on consuming to get the excitement of something new?

Am I pursuing God or just the good gifts He gives?

And my first step in 2018 is to start a year long fast of not purchasing any new clothing items for all of 2018. Not underwear, a cute necklace, or a cause-driven t-shirt. I will not purchase anything for my wardrobe and make use of the excess I have in my amazing wardrobe already. I'm excited about this challenge!

Thanks for joining back into my blog after a two year break! I look forward to sharing so many things with you over the next year, like 12 fair trade brands worth investing in, post-adoption depression, curating a diverse children's library for your home and so many things.

Do you have a word of the year for 2018? Share below!

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