Live with Less | guest post by courtney laib

I am excited to share this beginner space with Courntey Laib today. She is the person behind my favorite tee, and she inspires me with her efforts of turning living with less into an opportunity to give.

Courtney is the wife of a tall, blonde, and hilarious pastor and mom of a two year old boy. She's into chai lattes, snowboarding, traveling, TOMS shoes, Apple products, giving, warm weather, thrifting, infinity scarves, and instagram. She hails from the big city of Des Moines, IA but currently lives in the Chicago area.


Hey readers of Beginner Beans! I'm thrilled to be guest posting for Trina today!

I thought I'd share just a little bit of a particular journey I've been on this past year. It all started with a book. I'm not much of a reader but every once in a while I'll come across a book that I just can't put down. This book was called 7 by Jen Hatmaker. The sub-title read "an experimental mutiny against excess". Yikes. Sounds daunting right?

Anyone who lives in America knows that a lot of us are swimming in excess. Too many clothes, too much food, too much spending, big houses filled with too much stuff, and the list goes on. In the book 7, Jen shares her story about how she came to a place of undesirable tension with her "stuff." She made a decision to pick seven areas of her life in which she was clearly living in excess and strip them down to the bare minimum. What happened after that was just beautiful. Freedom, generosity, relief, and a sense of empowerment all came from the decision to live with less. This story inspired me so much that I wanted to be a part of it.

Back in July of last year, I was driving by myself from Des Moines to Kansas City. I had three hours of beautiful uninterrupted silence. Any mom out there knows this is a rare treasure, right?! I began having a conversation with God about what I might be able to do to really make a difference for those who struggle everyday in a cycle of poverty and injustice.

I was totally on board with the challenge to live with less but I knew it didn't stop there. Living with less becomes incredibly impactful when you use that opportunity to GIVE. What good can we do if we just rid our houses of a bunch of junk and that's it? The impact begins when we use the space created in our homes, our hearts, and even our wallets to make a difference in the lives of others.

I've always been a sucker for a cool t-shirt. And so the story of "Live With Less" began. I decided to design a t-shirt that would inspire as well as create an opportunity to give. I contacted a graphic designer friend who made my design a reality and once the shirts were printed, we were in business!

Since September 2012, over 100 shirts have been sold. 75% of the profits from each t-shirt sale goes to help provide clean water for people in Africa who don't have access to it. When you buy a "Live With Less" tee you become a part of the adventure. The adventure of fighting for clean water for people we'll most likely never meet. Because it matters. We've chosen to partner with a great organization called The Mocha Club who is doing great things to help end the cycle of poverty for people in Africa.

According to statistics, 780 million people around the globe lack access to clean water and more than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes. It's just not right. These deaths would be completely preventable if there were more access to clean water.

The goal for this "Live With Less" project is to do a few simple things like pin-point some areas in our lives in which we struggle the most to live simply and then come up with a plan that allows us to live generously. My hope is that every time someone puts on their LWL tee they'll be reminded to ask them self, "What can I live with less of today?"

Will you join me on this journey? If you'd like to buy a Live With Less t-shirt you can get one here. You can also read more about my "Live With Less" journey at


For more from Courtney...
store | Live with Less
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