Gooooood morning! Happy September! Happy Wednesday! I am SO excited today to introduce my sweet friend Rachel, who is going to be a regular face around here for the next several weeks as I'm on maternity leave! Rachel reached out several months ago about collaborating for this blog while I'm away holding a teeny little baby (and thus probably not posting very much) and I was SO excited about the idea of working together. I just love Rachel's blog, her refreshing take on life, faith, her home, her wardrobe, everything!! Her tagline reads "simplicity anchored in the Gospel" - and that is an idea I can VERY much stand behind. We've become good friends and I can't wait to hug her in just two weeks at the Influence Conference! Assuming I'm not in labor...ha! Rachel is going to be posting here every Wednesday, with a new post centered around the theme of simplicity. She has some seriously amazing stuff in store for you guys, and I am so grateful to know that at the very least, there will be one post a week here for the foreseeable future! I'm going to try very hard to not let this blog slip into oblivion, and I'm so thankful for Rachel who'll be helping out.
So today I want to introduce Rachel, who has written a little introduction and kindly answered some fun get-to-know you questions!
Hello, y’all! My name is Rachel Nordgren, and I am literally thrilled to bits to be sharing on Val’s blog today! You’ll be seeing a lot of me around here for the next few months while Val is on maternity leave, so let’s get acquainted, shall we?!
I’m a believer in the Gospel, wife to Hans (like from Frozen, except he’s nice), dog mom to Banjo, lover of good coffee and crisp white sheets, and blogger at RachelNordgren.com. One of my favorite things to write about is simplicity...not just decluttering your closet or getting rid of a bunch of scheduling commitments, but having a heart attitude of simplicity that overflows into an outward lifestyle.
Now onto the questions...
Describe a typical day. Oh, I wish my days were typical! I work part time as a receptionist at a Birth and Women’s Center, so I’m there four days a week. On Fridays I get to be home, though! Hans and I are trying this new thing where we get up at 5am and go to the gym, and it’s really working for us. I’m still halfway asleep so my body doesn’t realize what’s happening, and then exercise is out of the way for the rest of the day. HOLLA.
After the gym, we head home, shower, get dressed, feed Banjo and the cats, and get coffee brewing. I spend 30-45 minutes in the Word and in prayer, and if I have time I work on scripture memorization or read a spiritual sort of book. Then it’s time to get ready for the day, kiss Hans on his way out the door to work, make a massive green smoothie, and sit down to make stuff happen!
I’ll spend the morning working on my blog and social media, answering emails, and writing. Staying “on task” is definitely NOT my strongest suite right now, and I often feel my attention get scattered between several different projects at once. Eek!
After lunch (normally a big salad or a quick dish of brown rice/quinoa pasta with steamed broccoli) I finish up whatever is left over from the morning and then move on to taking care of things around the house. When Hans gets home in around 4:30 or 5:00, I try and have all of my blogging and housework done so that we can enjoy the evening together. Hans is my best friend and my other half, and there’s not much I love more than putzing around the house with him! If we don’t have anything going on, we’ll make dinner and curl up on the couch together for a re-run of Downton Abbey or Tiny House Nation, take Banjo for a walk, and then we’re in bed by 9:00!
How do you stay inspired? I’ve carefully curated who I follow on Instagram, so I know that every time I scroll through my feed I’m going to be inspired! Good books and podcasts inspire me, as well as the occasional sermon or TED talk. Cooking and baking...just being creative in the kitchen...is also hugely inspiring for me too.
What's your favorite way to cultivate simplicity? Start with Jesus. Every single day. For every single decision. When I filter my life through the context of what God has done for me and what my response to Him ought to be, leading a simple life suddenly becomes easy.
What are your three favorite reads (books, blogs, magazines?)
Make It Happen by Lara Casey
Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
What fills your tank so you can keep going in your various roles/how do you rest? My tank gets filled by spending time with Hans, playing with Banjo, reading an enthralling fiction book, meeting a friend for coffee, or planning dream vacations on AirBnB. Also, anything involving good wine also fires me up! Ha! I’m also super particular about getting chores done over the weekend so I can hit the ground running on Mondays without worrying about washing the sheets or watering the plants.
Describe your perfect day. My perfect day would include sleeping in and snuggling with my husband, an excellent cup of coffee, sweet and slow time in the Word, taking Banjo for a walk, and going out for brunch with Hans. We’d run a couple of errands and then head home and I’d spend some time writing or being creative in some other way. We’d have friends over for a delicious dinner (simple: pasta, salad, wine, and fruit), something utterly sinful for dessert, and then wile away the evening hours with good conversation and lots of laughter. My perfect day would also probably include a trip to IKEA too, haha!
What did you want to be when you were a kid? A Ballerina Doctor. I wanted to wear a tutu and a white lab coat.
If you could have any job in the world other than what you’re doing now, what would you do? Honest answer: I would love to be able to quit my part-time job and do blogging and online creative business full-time. Crazy answer: Run a horse farm! I’ve loved horses ever since I was a small girl and Hans and I would love to own a small farm someday.
Share five products/apps that make your life easier/you can't life without.
- My Simplified Planner from Emily Ley
- The PowerSheets from Lara Casey
- Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm - I have several tubes stashed around, because chapped lips will tick me off faster than anything.
- PicTapGo - this is what I use for 97% of my Instagram posts!
- SheReadsTruth - this is by far my favorite Bible/Bible plans app!
Favorite song to throw an impromptu dance party to? This changes ALL the time, but right now it’s “Woman (Oh Mama)” by Joy Williams.