5 Ways to Faithsize Your Life (Even If You Don’t Know What It Means)

5 Ways to Faithsize Your Life

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.
— Anne Lamott

When you make a big decision, like selling your new, 2500 square foot suburban home in an upscale neighborhood to move into an old, 960 square foot lake house in need of renovation, people ask questions.

When you give what you’re doing a name — faithsizing — they ask even more questions.

  • “What exactly do you mean when you say your family is faithsizing?”
  • “Don’t you mean downsizing?”
  • “Aren’t you just jumping on the latest tiny house living and debt freedom fad?”
  • “Is that some spiritual synonym for minimalism?”
  • “You’re just cheap, aren’t you?”

That last one is my favorite.

And the answer to all of those is “No, not really.”

Faithsizing Defined

Faithsizing is a simple word I coined to define the choice to obediently and faithfully align your position and purpose before the Lord.

I believe God uniquely created each of us to fulfill a divine purpose and equips us to live it out in every aspect of our lives.

The lives that He alone gave us.

That means what faithsizing looks like for you may not be what it looks like for someone else. Because of that, the only standard is what God personally conveys to you through His Word as discerned by His Spirit living within you.

Maybe one of the following fits your situation:

Here are 5 ways to faithsize your life (now that you know what it means).

#1. Be a philanthropist: bear the weighty responsibility of great wealth and success.

Faithsizing may mean recognizing that God positioned you for philanthropy or placed you in a position of significant influence.

Praise the Lord!
Walk in faith.

#2. Go forth and multiply: expand your family.

Faithsizing may mean growing a family or accepting that God may intend for you to expand your family through domestic or international adoption or sponsorship.

Praise the Lord!
Walk in faith.

#3. Lose weight: develop a proper relationship with food.

Faithsizing may mean facing a lifelong struggle with gluttony and overweight. Perhaps you are ready to turn from abusing food; maybe you’ve used it to meet needs beyond nourishment of the body.

Praise the Lord!
Walk in faith.

#4. Overcome addiction: put off the old self and put on the new.

Faithsizing may mean acknowledging an addiction and the realization you’re ready to tear down those idols and live in freedom.

Praise the Lord!
Walk in faith.

#5. Get out of debt: be a wise steward of what God has provided you.

Faithsizing may mean breaking the shackles that bind you to consumer debt and enslave you to a life of trying to keep up with the Jones’s.

Praise the Lord!
Walk in faith.

Since my family stepped out in obedience in September 2014, I’ve discovered that faithsizing has a basic formula, and it looks like this:

Surrender + Simplify = Balance

  • Surrender: Intentional obedience — putting what goes first, first.
  • Simplify: Purposeful decluttering — taking inventory and eliminating the emotional, spiritual or physical stuff that weighs you down.
  • Balance: Peaceful productivity — choosing to manage your life and skill sets in a way that brings God glory wherever He places you.

Faithsizing has many different faces. It’s personal.

Whatever your personal battle is, you feel it pulling you down — smothering you.

You want to be free.

I know I want to be free.

My family wanted to be free.

We did not want to live in fear of financial ruin. We wanted to be good stewards of what the Lord allotted us. We did not want clutter to bind us. Instead, we wanted to have time as a family to sit, talk, laugh, pray and LIVE (not just survive) together in the peace you only know when walking in faith.

THAT is what faithsizing is about for us.

YOU know what you must do to faithsize YOUR life.

5 Ways to Faithsize Your LifeWe all do.

Others may not see it in you, but you know it.

Be honest about it.

Admit it to yourself. Surrender it to the Lord. Simplify your life by being frank with yourself and taking inventory of whatever emotional, spiritual or physical stuff holds you back or ties you to that struggle.

Tell someone you trust for accountability.

And then, set a pace and walk it out in faith.

Blessings, y’all.
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49 thoughts on “5 Ways to Faithsize Your Life (Even If You Don’t Know What It Means)”

  1. Kristina in GA says:

    This post calmed me this morning. 🙂
    As we wrap up our first year of homeschooling (Friday is our official last day of school), it has made me very contemplative. I have been really thinking about what our family needs (spiritual/emotional/physical) over this past year and we have begun take some steps towards simplifying our lives. I think the most interesting thing about this concept is that it means different things to different people, as you have pointed out. Some may feel the need to purge physical belongings, some to work on relationships, and some want to focus on spirituality. I think for us, its a little bit of everything and something that we will work on a little at a time. Thanks for sharing your journey. I wish you continued blessings.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Kristina – I’m trying to not to be jealous that your official last day of school is Friday when Meredith and I have to go through the Summer to finish Algebra and start Spanish. BUT BESIDES THAT…yes, faithsizing does mean different things to different people. But, like you said so clearly, we all just need to work on it a little bit at a time. Blessings back at’cha!

  2. Rebecca F says:

    Thank you. I needed this, this morning. A reaffirmation, if you will, of my own journey through a career change to allow homeschooling even as my husband’s employment is on shaky ground. Trust and faith that each step has already been set before me and that the shake up in our careers may lead us to “faithsize” to wherever it is we SHOULD be…Prayers and blessings for you and yours on your own journey…

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Rebecca – I can understand where you are in the career change. It is a scary place to be. It sounds to me like you have the understanding to traverse your journey successfully. “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way…”

  3. kelli says:

    Absolutely agree. Deleted my original reply because I started preaching -ha. But the gist of my preaching is that I totally agree with you and ultimately, the question is, am I becoming more Christlike wherever I am in life?
    Keep walking in faith!
    (I’m sitting here making lists so I can get back on the health track as well… ugh. 🙂 Cheering you on!)

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      kelli – I can handle a bit of preaching! Bring it on, sista! I agree completely that the only question that matters is the one where you ask “…am I becoming more Christlike wherever I am in life?” Perfect! Thanks for being a cheerleader!

  4. Blair says:

    I heard your neck of the woods got hammered these last couple of days and was hoping y’all were ok. Glad you’re still safe on your perch and posting! We now have a lake where our pasture usually resides, but for now all creatures great and small are well and accounted for, albeit a little soggy! Stay dry and keep up the inspiration!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Blair – Yes, we’ve had weeks of hammering, coupled with little twisters, hail and what appears to be a Texas-size monsoon season. We are safe, yes – and soggy too!

  5. Heather says:

    Love this post. I am in a place of desperately wanting to faithsize, but holding onto certain things out of sheer terror. My fear is that letting these things go will allow too much boredom, grief and depression to well up that it may overtake me such that I won’t be able to recover from it. My husband will reject me for being someone different from the person he married. I won’t be as well respected at work, etc, etc. For example, part of my identity is tied up into my physical appearance so how could i possibly stop dying my hair, wearing makeup or jewelry – even though there is a part of me that wants to give that all up. I, too, have a dysfunctional relationship with food. In fact, I just started a private FB group called The Sugar Train. I really should start blogging and open it up to others, but I’m (once again) afraid of being judged, etc. I admire you and look forward to more and more encouraging posts from you, Heather!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Heather – Lovely name. 🙂

      I know fear well. I’ve come to recognize fear for what it is, and I know better how to face it. It doesn’t mean it goes away, but I can withstand it now. Everything comes down to fear in the end, which is why it is addressed so many times in the Bible. I read that it is mentioned 365 times (once for each day of the year), but I read also that it’s really only mentioned a bit over 300 times. EITHER WAY, it is obvious God did NOT want us to be ruled by fear, especially if it keeps us from walking in obedience.

      So, FEAR NOT.
      Walk in faith.

      Thanks for commenting!

    2. Tulip says:

      Such a good question and one I think about too: can a person faithsize herself when she is living in an environment where the people around her not only don’t understand what that means but also don’t understand the need for it? How do you do it? And after you figure that out, how do you gather the courage to launch off on that journey? Maybe the answer is to take it a bit at a time, so you won’t scare the daylights out of your family, friends and co-workers. Is that possible? And do you really need to take everyone else with you when you go?

      1. Heather Sanders says:

        Tulip – As a Christian my first responsibility is to the Lord. So, to answer your question, I can ALWAYS faithsize myself in ANY environment. Naturally, it makes it easier when surrounded by those who believe the same, but regardless, I have to walk in Truth.

        BUT, and this is important, my life is not my own. Sometimes my “feelings” can get in the way. I can replace TRUTH by what I feel, and that is a completely wrong direction. My feelings fluctuate. Truth doesn’t.

        So, when I know I need to go one direction when everything else is pulling me in the other direction (and believe me, I HAVE EXPERIENCED THAT), I make sure that first I am walking in faith. I make sure I am founded in Truth. And if I am, then I know God will give me the discernment to move forward in love and obedience.

        It starts with prayer and time in The Word so I’m not led astray by emotions.
        It starts by dissecting fear and seeing it for what it is – a hurdle or a distraction.

        I have a tendency to believe that courage is like a muscle; the more we work it, the stronger it gets. Each time we step out in faith, we can do it better the next time.

        So, pray.
        Read God’s Word.
        Know THE truth and not just a feeling.

        And take step one.
        Then, the next step.
        Live out your faith in love with those around you.

  6. janelle says:

    Love, love, love the view, mainly bc it’s your view and your view helps me recalibrate my view.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      janelle – I love the view too. 🙂 And hey, your next post is coming up on the 18th. Whoop!

  7. Laura Brown says:

    Thanks for this Heather! It’s a terrific explanation of what we’re doing right now. I’m quitting my job, we’re moving in with my in-laws, hubby’s looking for a job up there, I’m taking over homeschooling our children, and trying to get all our health problems under control. We are faithsizing our lives. Our family is faithsizing. And God is providing all the details to align more perfectly than we could ever imagine. Praise God! Walk in faith. Packing and moving is next on our list, as the house is now basically gone once we move. Then a job hunt for hubby, summer school for our children (they need a little catching up) and adjusting to a new life in a new town in a much smaller space (7 people sharing a 3 bedroom house). It’s daunting, but praise God – His will be done. Thank you for the affirmation.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Laura – I have a feeling there are going to be a number of unexpected blessings and perhaps, several more hurdles. Unfortunately, obedience tends to churn up more trials that make us question our decisions. Don’t question. Keep on keeping on. I’m so excited for you! Praise God, indeed!

  8. Rebecca Leggett says:

    Beautifully said Heather!! As God’s Word states in Hebrews, “Without faith it’s impossible to please God”. Oh how I love Him that He is looking for faith and not perfection! Thank you for the reminder that faith is accompanied by action and a response to our reverence of His faithfulness to us. Praying for y’all always!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Becky – I LOVE YOU! Hey everyone, Becky is a local friend who reads my blog! How’s that for a high measure of accountability!

  9. Kalendi says:

    Just want to say that this was an awesome entry! It reminds me that when my husband and I do things that others don’t always understand or “get”, that it doesn’t matter, because we are trying to do what God specifically wants us to do. Not them, but us. Your faithsizing entries always encourage me!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Kalendi – Yes, when the Lord gives us clear direction the ONLY direction is obedience. I’m excited for you and your husband!

  10. Dad says:

    Great post Heather! I read it and think, “This is my daughter.” “Why don’t I have an handle on things as well as she?” It’s wonderful to learn from one’s own children. It’s wonderful to learn from you and Jeff. And I do most days.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Daddy – I think you’re forgetting that YOU RAISED ME. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”- Prov. 22:6

  11. Kristy says:

    Go to Academy and buy yourself a ThermaCell – it will ward off Mosquitos really well! You can get personal ones, perfect to clip on you for a boat ride or fishing trip. Or a lantern style for your table top. They work!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Kristy – Now, that’s a thought. I could hook it to my ankles like I’m on parole and march about town with it under my jeans. HA!

  12. Kemi says:

    I am also faithsizing at the moment. De-cluttering my life from things that take me farther away from God. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Debbie says:

    Great post Heather! We faithsized about 11 years ago, moving from a brand new brick home in a neighborhood, to my husband’s grandmother’s old farmhouse. We lived with my inlaws for 9 months, which was super hard, and worked on the house every single day (which sits on the same land as my inlaws).

    We decided we didn’t want to work, just to pay a mortgage. We wanted to really live and do other things besides write that big check every month.

    It has to be something you really want to do, not just a fad, because it takes work and you will have trials, but in the end…you get the beauty of knowing that you are truly living and not just existing.

    I love your porch, by the way!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Debbie – Thank you, Debbie! We haven’t been in a position not to have a mortgage BUT we certainly positioned ourselves to have a MUCH smaller mortgage, which we appreciate. I agree that any degree of faithsizing has to be something you REALLY want to do or REALLY need to do because it’s always harder than you think. I guess that’s why I like to call it “faithsizing” – it takes great faith.

  14. Alicia says:

    Just what I needed to read. I am on a faith sizing journey! My husband is retiring from the military (yay! Or yay?). We are a homeschooling family and are faced with a move back to rural Alabama ( Winfield- I think you’ve been there? I remember from a long ago post about your road trip). Homeschooling is very odd and unfamiliar to most people in the town. It does have a great school system but it’s not for us. Job changes, home changes, church changes. Everything’s changing! The movers are coming in a few short weeks and I haven’t started “editing” our stuff. Faithsizing. I like it. Stepping out and moving forward.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Alicia – Yes, I’ve been to Winfield once to visit my best friend, Cindy. She has since moved back to our town, but she spent a year there. She homeschooled while there and drove to a co-op a considerable distance away. I remember her telling me that the town strongly supports their local schools and so, no one really understood why she’d choose to homeschool. That was a few years ago now. Maybe the town has changed. Either way, it sounds like you have quite the journey ahead of you!

  15. Cheryl Smith says:

    LOVE your porch office, Heather, but even more, I love what you and your family have accomplished. Each time I receive one of your posts in my inbox, you inspire me to keep on this path that God has been leading us down. We have been feeling this “urge” and “nudge” to downsize, and we, at this point, still do not know have the slightest clue as to why we are doing it. Literally trunk loads of stuff has left our home to be donated…we feel lighter, but still aren’t sure of God’s perfect plan or what this is all about. It is very frustrating to be in this place, and it is requiring a new level of trust in Him, for sure. I see how He as led you and your family, and you are just such a light to me right now. Thank you for shining so brightly and for being faithful to share what He lays upon your heart. 🙂 Still praying for you.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Cheryl – I’m thankful I can serve as an inspiration, and I appreciate you writing and letting me know. HOW EXCITING that you’ve reduced the clutter in your home by “literally trunk loads.” How awesome is that? If God placed that on your heart, He’ll shed light on the next move when it’s time. BLESSINGS!

  16. Mary says:

    Heather, sure wish I lived closer. I would dearly love to sit with you on your porch, fan mosquitoes, and just de stress with someone who has a lot in common with me! We could drink iced tea or water with lemon! I lost my sister to suicide a few years back—-have no friends (my choice!)—-am dysfunctional with food, happily married for many years, kids out of nest, but 2 stress me to the max. I could go on and on. Just want to say that I so admire you. You inspire me. You have a God-given talent for writing! On another note—can you offer your advice on a safe browser so I can set up a secure email? Please!!!! I use Yahoo email now but have had issues do I must figure out which to go with. I know you are so knowledgeable regarding web “things” and I also want to send you a private email. Sorry this is so long! Promise I am not a crazy person stalking you! Again, thank you so much! Blessings to you, Heather!

  17. J. Lynn says:

    My son and daughter-in-law are taking steps to faith-size. They are the parents of a 2.5 year old and will be living in a travel-trailer on our land while they pay off some major debt – the ubiquitous credit cards and some other obligations. I’m so very proud of them for recognizing that they were on a downward slope, and the steps they are taking to walk more closely with the Lord. They wanted their little boy to see that “things” aren’t all there is in life. Living in a less-than-400 sf home after being in a large 2-story is going to take a lot of prayer and patience but I am going to love having them nearby, and I can’t wait to see that little guy running across the back pasture!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      J. Lynn – That is awesome! And it’s wonderful that you provided a place for them to park their travel-trailer while they step back and realign. Doing it with a Toddler won’t be easy, but they take up considerably less room than teenagers! What a tremendous blessing that they have such supportive parents nearby.

  18. Kay says:

    I keep coming back to this concept of faithsizing. Rereading your post. It applies everywhere I am seeking change. Today I took a blank sheet of paper to think about and picture my future. I sat quietly until this thought came, “Dedicated to the Lord.” My concern for my future, faithsized under this safe canopy, immediately lightened. Thanks again for the concept of faithsizing.

  19. Naomi says:

    This was so encouraging this morning.

    I like the word “faith-sizing” b/c for us, we have moved “up” in the space department…We just moved into a larger home – the parsonage for the church my husband is pastoring. It feels almost like too much sometimes…we have a WHOLE ROOM now for homeschooling materials. We have a GUEST BEDROOM! It’s just luxury!

    But at the same time, it was a hard choice to commit ourselves to being on campus at church 24/7.

    It has been faith-building to prepare the home we own for sale while living “off” of the generosity of our church family. But these seasons of life can look lean or lavish. God doesn’t ALWAYS call us to “down-size” – that’s why I like the word “faith-size!”

    Remember the woman who broke the alabaster bottle over Christ’s feet? Remember that Christ’s first miracle was to supply more excellent wine at a feast? There are times when we are called to have…and sometimes that can be just as faith-filled and intimidating as having-not.

    I know for us, this move in to MORE space has actually convicted us GREATLY to purge our belongings and bless others and simplify our lives…b/c we are striving to be in the will of God, he is blessing us with his peace and gently leading us to align ourselves to his best for us.

    And for this season…long or short as it may be…we get a little more breathing room while he is molding us. Thanks for some great food for thought!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Naomi – Yes, sometimes He does call us to MORE. Excellent. I love your comment; it would make a great post! Thank you so much!

      “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

  20. Jessie says:

    Read your post on a link (or several) from Pioneerwoman. Thanks for being so transparent. Your words on weight blessed me today. I’m in the struggle as well and have failed at good management for many years. After kind of a weekend binge (depression, discouragement), I walked this morning and packed good lunches for the whole week. A day at a time, a meal at a time–back to basics. Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Jessie – You know, we each have a weight to bear – something that is harder than we ever imagined, but completely and totally doable through the strength of the Lord.

      We have so much POWER available through the Holy Spirit that we do not grasp, and I’m ashamed to say I must continue to include myself as one of the “we”-people.

      BUT…that is what faithsizing is:

      “Obediently and faithfully aligning one’s position and purpose before the Lord.”

      For you, right now…it is making wiser decisions for you health.

      What an awesome Monday you’ve had! Congratulations!

      1. Tiffany says:

        Providence guided me to your blog from Pioneer Woman’s site and to 2 specific posts….the one on tears and this one….and this particular response. The first line released my internal dam. The weight of our burdens is currently crushing me….facing husband’s dire health crisis and life altering decisions while one offspring recently flew nest suddenly and at a distance and another also has health issue and trying to shield youngest from our fears and scariest news for present. And yet you also name my current situation: Faith sizing. I have found myself drawing in, nesting and purging simultaneously. Contemplating future decisions….major move, downsizing, how to manage potential loss of sole bread winner’s current career due to health, next steps….return workforce after 20+ years at home….and yet I cling to my faith.
        “Obediently and faithfully aligning my position and purpose with the Lord’s”….yes that is my guide right now. Thank you. This morning you are my blessing and your words my anchor.

      2. Heather Sanders says:

        Tiffany – He just steps in, doesn’t He? With the fullness of His grace and mercy. He gives us what we need, when we need it. The most amazing thing to me is how He chooses to use His children to speak to each other in matters of the heart.

        You know that song “How He Loves?” This verse speaks to me:

        He is jealous for me,
        Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
        Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
        When all of a sudden,
        I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
        And I realize just how beautiful You are,
        And how great Your affections are for me.

        THIS is a song that leads to tears because I realize that MY afflictions are ECLIPSED by HIS glory.
        His affections are so great for me.

        Life’s struggle is real. Your struggle is real, but you are not alone. And when I click “reply” on this comment, I am stopping to pray for you.
        Much love to you.

  21. Shane says:

    “We did not want to live in fear of financial ruin. We wanted to be good stewards of what the Lord allotted us. We did not want irrelevant things to bind us. Instead, we wanted to have time as a family to sit, talk, laugh, pray and LIVE together in the peace you only know when walking in faith”.

    Your quote above is everything I have been praying to do! I am so happy I found your site!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Shane – I am glad you found my site. I count each new reader as a blessing and a responsibility. Thank you for taking time to comment and let me know you’re here. Pray that I can deliver exactly the words God intends me to share.

  22. Nayab Khan says:

    Wow!! What an article. A friend of mine told me about this and I must say it did not disappoint me.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Nayab – I’m glad to hear it. Thanks for the encouragement.

  23. Kathy Wertz says:

    Thanks for the affirmation. The Lord has been dealing with me about a couple areas of my life that need to be realigned with Him. Food is one area I really need to work on and I need to be more willing to follow when He nudges me by His spirit to do something outside of my comfort zone. I am trying, but it is hard sometimes. Praying for you and your family when the Lord lays you on my heart.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Oh Kathy, you are speaking straight to my heart. Food is my life long struggle. I know it isn’t food. I know it’s rebellion. It’s a “seeking” that is misguided, but it’s soooooo easy to just let fulfillment – as partial as it is – come in on a fork. Ugh.

      Thank you for your prayers. When I decided to get back on here and really write about #faithsizing my life, the hits started coming. It makes me want to do this more, but I’d appreciate the prayers for wisdom and protection for all of us.

      So thankful for your encouragement today.

  24. janelle says:

    SOOOOOO glad you’re back online!!! As a previous guest contributor, I love your new code of blogging bc we really don’t want contributors, we want you. Welcome “home” you’ve been missed 🙂

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Janelle, lady… love ya. THANK YOU for being a constant source of inspiration. I need you in my pocket always.

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