Using the Principles of Jesus to Accomplish Anything with Jonathan Cottrell
Today's guest, Jonathan Cottrell, is incredible and full of wisdom and humor. Author of Do Nothing: The Simple Principles of Jesus to Accomplish Anything. I want you guys to tune into this because I am so against hustle culture, and I yet know that we have to move. We have to activate.
You know that I'm a passionate person when it comes to activation. I'm a Jesus follower. No different than him. He's a family man, and I'm a family girl. We are people lovers. He's a serial starter, a community builder, a tent maker, a phoenix dweller, a film nerd, an iced Americano addict, and a cranial nudist.
We talk about it all, and it will make you laugh and think, and hopefully get you into a place of rest a little bit more. We all need that in our lives. Enjoy!
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Jonathan Cottrell describes himself as a Jesus follower, family man, people lover, serial starter, community builder, tentmaker, Phoenix dweller, film nerd, iced americano addict, and cranial nudist. But really, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Ever since the first business he started at age 11, he's been starting things from scratch and serving the Phoenix community in myriad ways, from being the instigator behind #yesphx and PHX Startup Week to his current focus as the author of Do Nothing and CEO of Journeyage. Much more importantly, He's been married to the love of his life, Nicole, since 2005, and together they have three precocious kids, Riley, Tolan, and Beckett. Jonathan invites you to learn more about—and connect with—him on his blindingly pink website at JonathanCottrell.com.
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Show Notes Welcome, welcome to the show. I am so excited to be here with you guys today and with Jonathan. I was literally having a ball getting to know this man via his literal media kit. Okay guys, if you don't know what a media kit is, you need one or else you're never gonna get on a podcast, but it is a place where the podcaster.
To learn or the conference host gets to learn or the potential, anyone who is going to put your, your name in concept associated to their name and concept, uh, you learn about them, you learn about their bio and, and where they've been published or maybe where, what other podcasts they've been on. And this guy had me rolling and it's hard to have a website evoke that emo much emotion.
So Jonathan, super excited. He's an author, he's a serial. Starter, which you guys know as entrepreneurs can, can be a fun space and also a frustrating space. And my favorite thing that got the laughed out loud was the cranial nudist. Yes. So welcome to the show, Tamara, thanks so much. By the way, that intro, I am height, I mean wow.
I can't wait to meet this Jonathan Guy that you previewed . That was pretty stellar. So, um, I'm so glad I'm a cranial nudist and, uh, really happy to be with you today. So, to be completely honest, because I had seen a picture of you, but I didn't put two and two together on what that meant. I was like, what an interesting way to say vulnerable.
Like that you were just like, like totally raw and in the nude, I was just seeing you like unashamed in your brain, and then I realized that it was because you're bald and I was like that. Awesome. Let's say one in the same, right? . That's right. One in the same. I'll, I'll definitely be vulnerable to you.
Okay. Awesome. . Well, y'all, he loves Jesus. We were just talking about how he just celebrated his 40th and he's heading to Scotland tomorrow, and I think often on shows like. These, we forget, uh, all of the other aspects of who we are as a human, right? Like I'm super curious about all of these businesses you've started.
I'm really excited to learn about your book because I think it's a for now conversation more than ever, especially in the Christian community. But can we just honor his 17 year marriage, his 40th birthday, his almost 16 year old daughter, and the bunch of dudes that are about to get together in Scotland play.
Oh, thanks. Yeah, it's, it's a great season of life. I'm very thankful. I couldn't wait to turn 40, you know, I, I, I know everyone has their own feeling on, on age and decades, but it really does just continue to get better and I think. Just continue to draw closer to the Lord. The relationships get richer and better.
Um, yes, my wife and I have been married 17 years. It's never been better and I've been in love with her from day one, so I'm so thankful for that. And then we have three beautiful kids and dogs and church community members, and I really do feel just like a rich man, and I'm very grateful to the Lord. Yeah, it's really cool when you, uh, in this media kit, y'all, he like based his life on numbers.
And one of the things that he said was six weeks was the amount of time that he dated his wife before he, uh, proposed. And I was like, Whoa, come on. Like, that's a crazy story in and of itself. Let's go there. Oh my gosh. Wow. There's, there's so much there, but. You know, when you know, you know, and I, we had been friends.
I had known her. She was dating one of my friends. I was dating another girl I thought I was gonna marry, and then it, you know, things lead unto another. And one night it was just romantic. It was. It was the right moment the Lord was doing and stirring so many things in her hearts and, and I just, I couldn't hold back anymore.
So I asked her also interesting fact, actually that is the first time that she told me that she loved me is right after she told me she would marry me. Wow. Cause it wasn't that, that wasn't planned, but I, I had told her I loved her like so quickly. And she said H how can you say that? I think she was nervous.
You know, it was so quick. Sure. And, and I said, um, Hey look, that's great. I get to love you first. And that's what Christ did, right? That he loves, Oh, my us. And we love because he first loved us, so I'll love you first. And so she told me that she loved me right after she told me that she would marry me. Wow, that's incredible.
Meanwhile, I'm like a, a year and a half into my relationship with my husband, who was my, my, uh, dating experience at this time. We're, we're 10 years married now, but I had to put him on a scavenger hunt to tell him I loved him and was just, Praying that there was gonna be, And I love you on the other side, , and that was such a vulnerable space to be the girl.
I, I don't know why we've created in our minds that like we're supposed to have this night and shining armor that comes in to first show us love. But I love your perspective on the fact that like, there's actually a beautiful symmetry and a beautiful element that I get to be that example for Christ.
When you take the, the leap of faith and love first. That's crazy. I. Well, what you just said is, is totally true. I, I don't think there's, and this goes true, I think across the board and, and everyone's journey is that everyone's journey is different and everyone's story is different. I think the Lord is looking to shine his unique, um, the unique aspects of himself through all of those different stories, different personalities and, and strengths and so on and so forth.
So, you know, so often we can start to think that it has to look uniform, it has to look this way, like you just said, a night in Shining armor. Yet, um, God honors our stories and, and where we've come from, and he uses those beautifully. So I'm always thankful for that too. And just hearing different people's stories as you are as.
Yeah, I think it's so fun. So I wanna hear like in the midst of that, where were you as an entrepreneur because as a serial starter and knowing from your list of numbers that you started your first business at 11. Yeah, I wanna hear like that journey, cuz that is super exciting for me as an entrepreneur, but also as a parent who is infusing the concepts of entrepreneurship to my own kiddos who are seven and nine and Cooper's already.
Three businesses at this point made money off of everyone profited on all of 'em. Great. So it's really RA's. He's, I'm trying to teach him, Well, maybe I can just say you can be a serial starter because he, he doesn't like to stick with, He's got a new idea and he wants to do it. So talk me through the serial starter.
Maybe I don't need to change him. Well, that's it. Oh man. There's so much there. I, I love that, that concept though. I. First and foremost, we have to again, press into how is it that we've been made. And so I think as I look back on my life, I can very easily see just this, this pattern of being someone that, um, has ideas and then brings.
uh, it creates something out of nothing, right? Or from some, some former idea. And doing those with people a lot too. I, I believe entrepreneurship is very much a team sport. And so it's been great to just be partnered with some incredible people, uh, uh, over the years. But knowing the fact that I'm a starter and I think everyone.
Falls somewhere within what I call the creation cycle. They're either a starter, a scaler, or a sustainer. So I'm very much a starter. There's nothing wrong with being anywhere on that spectrum or anywhere within that cycle, but for me, I love the zero to four year. Timeline and, um, that's where I thrive and it's where I've spent the most amount of time.
And the reason I prefer that you, the word starter too, is it doesn't have to be a business. I, yes, I've started businesses, I'm an entrepreneur, but it's also been churches and community events and projects and other types of efforts that may or may not have, you know, a bottom line or a profit associated with.
But it's birthing something that then has form and substance and people can get their hands around, get on board with. And so that's been the career and the path that I've been on. Um, but to answer your question about the 11 years old, my grandma had gotten me a book, uh, called Better Than Lemonade Stand 51 Business Ideas for Kids.
And I read, I just tore through that book. And I was like, This is it. And so I started, you know, some subscription services. Um, and uh, now with our own kids, it's been great. My daughter's almost 16. My sons are 14 and 11. And, uh, at least in our home, we don't do an allowance. We, my wife and I, we say, Hey, you can identify a problem, present a solution, negotiate a price, and that is birthed.
Yeah, very entrepreneurial spirit in different ways in each of our kids, and it's been fun to see. I love that. What a cool concept. Now I wanna get my hands on that book too, because I'm like, I feel like I do that book as a parent and write it every single day. I'm on the. School with my kids when I take them, because we're looking around, I'm like, Ooh, that could be a business idea.
Ooh, that could be a business idea. And it started super early, like my four year old would be looking outside and he's like, Why is nobody buy buying that land? The sign is always there and I've never said anything about it. Right? I'm like, Okay, now we're talking real estate. Let's go bro. Like I'm in
Let's diversify early. Uh, but it's just, it's such a fun place to be, to be. Start zone. And yet at the same time there's a lot of people who stay in the dream zone and they don't ever actually start. So that taking action to the first thing, there's an element of faith associated to that to say, you know, we're gonna put our hands to this clay and we're gonna see what happens.
And starting doesn't mean that you're a serial finisher, right? So, Let's talk about some of the things that you have started and what has been, you know, like huge learning lessons in the. Oh, that's, that's a great question. I think, you know, in the businesses in in particular, so that idea even of the, the dreaming, but not starting, you know, one of the things that I understand, I understand why a lot of people don't take that first step.
Actually. It's not that they don't want to , it's that they don't know how to, so often they really don't know what's the first step that I need to take. And so one of the things for me is really. Investing into whatever it is that I'm doing. And that could be in a number of different ways. I mean, whatever your motivation is for me, um, I'm a very pure and, and socially motivated person, so again, bringing on some other partners that can help stimulate and just really push you forward.
It could be investing money into something. It could be just having some type of accountability partner. Um, it could be going into an accelerator of some sort, investing your time. So there are so many different ways to get that ball rolling. And also it is something that the more practice that you have at it, the, the easier it becomes to really birth again, something out of nothing and, and not, and, and to be okay with small steps.
I, I think so often. We start dreaming the big pictures and those are great, but how do you get there? It really is baby steps and, and just taking one step in front of the other and plotting forward and, and moving that forward. So, um, the, that's high level, but I'd say from the companies, uh, and, and things that I've started, You know, also we have to discern what it is that we're starting.
Like how I start a business is gonna be very different from I'm starting any type of like ministry or, or effort there, or how is that, that I'm, you know, starting some type of event or other, you know, project. So I think all of those have different aspects and finding people that have done. For and mentors along the way, if you're just getting started, is a, a really helpful process in that.
And I'd say, you know, you mentioned the, the book Do Nothing. I think one of the biggest lessons for me and what I've really learned is, is trying not to get ahead of the Lord. I think as a Christian it's very easy for us to just wanna. To do something. Um, and I think waiting and really being patient and listening and, and doing that in partnership with the Lord rather than trying to get ahead of him and, and drag him along with us, is really essential to starting things in the way that the Lord wants us to start things.
Yeah. And the word that comes to mind that. Speak with and simmer with, honestly, often is pace, right? Mm-hmm. and I, I can keep pace like pretty good, right? And my own pace standards, especially comparative to some friends or bystanders who are like, You're gonna burn out. It's not possible for you to stay at that pace.
There's no way, right? I've gotten all of the, all of the feedback from people around me who are like, I'm really worried for you. And I'm like, But you don't get it. Like, , I have something in me that's different than you, and it's not better or worse. It's just different. Now, the same concept of your book is also learning how to rest.
And association to that. And I'm, I'm working on that one. I'm always becoming, that's the name of my book. Okay. I'm always becoming, I am the Martha, not the Mary, but Mary. Oh, I love her so much. And I wanna be Mary, but I'm Martha. So it's, uh, I think it's just really critical for us to be able to keep pace with the Lord, because every time I've tried to outrun him, essentially, Total no sense when I say it out loud, but where I'm like eager, right?
Or we're expecting for God to do something. It's no different than me. This is a perfect, this is a perfect example that just popped in my brain. I would go to start a garden every year, and I did it many years in a row. I don't have a green thumb, but I'm a, I am going to have a green thumb. Eventually.
It's like yellow at this point, and this particular year I'm like, You know what? I am not gonna plant. I'm gonna go, I'm gonna get the ones that are like already popped above surface, right? Cause that means like it's gonna happen faster. My, I'm gonna yield the fruit and the vegetables faster. So I go, I put 'em in.
I'm so proud of my garden. I'm taking pictures with it. I'm literally nine months pregnant. My son's about to be born and I'm like, Look babe, I have a garden. And he's like, Cool. Good luck. You know, keeping it alive. And I'm like, Oh, it'll be easy. I'll be. Summer the baby will be with me. Yeah. Now it died. So my pace and my plan associated to fruitfulness in like, God's laughing at me.
He's like, I love you, but there's still an everyday thing, everyday touchpoint that has to happen for that to come to fruition, which is why I love when you said it's small steps every day. Yeah. Well there, there are a couple passages that come to mind and, um, Obviously when you talk about fruitfulness, even the, the book, um, I wrote Do Nothing, The Simple Principles of Jesus to accomplish anything really touches on what Jesus was talking about in John 15, where he talks about, uh, where the branches and he's the vine and apart from him, we can do nothing.
So there's, there's that, but there's so many verses that talk about this idea. Of really the, the connectivity. So one of the things when you talk about starting even, there's um, a passage in the Old Testament that says Do not despise the day of small beginnings. Um, but there, there's also Ecclesiastes, and I take comfort in this as a, as a starter is says better as the end of something than it's beginning.
And Solomon, you know, wrote that. So there are all these different, um, uh, you know, sayings and, and pieces within scripture and. that we can look at for wisdom and that's not a formula. I think God works much more often in principles, not in prescription. Cuz like we already talked about, everyone's different, Everyone's story is different.
Everyone's capacity, personality, all of those things. But regardless, we know that rest. And Sabbath and these other aspects are a command. They are not, they're not just a, uh, something that would be nice. Yeah. But it's really necessary. And God's invited us into a way of rest that is not just, um, a vacation every now and again, that's a part of it, but it's really a way of living and it's a way of life, and it's operating by his life rather than our own natural strength.
And that's hard. It's hard for me as a recovering doer for. Really get into that state of saying, Lord, I'm trusting you and I'm resting in what it is that you are doing, rather than me trying to just do it all on my own. Yeah. And I think when we can get to that space, that's when new planting happens.
Right? And I, I love in that element of start, I love when there's a new idea, fresh, something fresh, because I feel like there's that extra surge of energy that we can put behind it. At least for me, I'm like, Oh, this is gonna be awesome. Like, God just dropped this in my spirit. Let's go. And my team is like pulling their hair out in the process like Tamara.
Seven things that we're also doing that you were excited about last week and the month before and last year. Remember those things, you have to bring those to fruition too. So there's that element of visionary and that element of integrator. And I know you've done a ton with like the team dynamics realms and started a company called it's Journey Age.
And so I wanna hear like what your perspective is on that end, because I think it's equally as important from a team dynamic perspective, from a training perspective. All of those. . Yeah. Well, on the training side, I really do believe, um, and, and this gets to, this is a spiritual principle even as much as it really does, uh, function within our businesses.
Um, you know, who are we rather than what are we doing? And, and starting there. So starting with the being rather than the doing as it were. And, um, so for Journey Edge, what we started with was. The culture and the culture of who is it that we want to be, and I think everything else flows out of that. Yes, there was an idea for a business, there was a what that we were chasing, but we started still before building that.
On who is it that we want to be? And so, um, as journey edge and we use a lot of travel metaphors and I'm big on, uh, all of that and building the brand around that. And it's fun stuff. But we have a passport and our passport is really the heartbeat. Of who we are as a company. And so everyone that joins our team, they get a passport.
They also get a unique stamp with, you know, their date that they joined and an emblem and a color and all these fun things. But in the passport, it has our purpose, which we call our North star. It has our hallmarks, which we call our compass. It has our values, which we call our sign posts. And ultimately, it, it gets to a place of, um, also our priorities and the rule.
And. So our purpose as a business is to love and. and, uh, our hallmarks. You know, I could get into all of that, but I, I think that purpose is unique. Now, that's not our mission. Our mission as a company is to deliver irreplaceable training, but that idea of loving and learning is something that you can chase infinitely.
And, you know, how is it that we show up every day to love? One another, our team members, our customers, our prospects, our even our competitors. How is it that we do that in such a way that is really honoring? Because I believe, like Jesus said, it's the greatest command, um, that we love God and love, um, our neighbors ourselves.
So, How can we do that? How can we be learning in the process, not just living and learning, but loving and learning? And so that's something that's just a really, a cause that we can all get behind that's really exciting. And uh, everything else is a byproduct of that. The, the product that we're building, the team that we're, we're developing, the work that we're doing flows out of who we.
Gosh, there's so many things I wanna touch base on here. So the being element is, is so important to me cuz it was the journey that I had to take and I had the opportunity to take simultaneous with Jesus in what entrepreneurship meant to me. And. Being outside of the striver mentality, outside of the achievement driven society, and really being in tandem with the Lord and the gifts and talents that he's placed in my life, to be able to nurture his kingdom right and nurture the people that he brings into my vicinity.
As a blessing and as a gift. Um, so being brand and then business, it's a three part model that I've built my entire framework off of. And a lot of people, and I'm sure you experience this in the entrepreneurial setting, they always will come with a business idea and they think, This is a great idea, let's go.
And I'm like, Well, hold on. Like that's great, but that's. Only an element. And so one of my favorite parts is to be in that being state, to nurture the person before we nurture the business because the person can fall apart in the midst of building a business. And that's what happened to me. So I'm super connected to that part of my testimony to help other people not face the same outcome.
Um, and so that's one thing I wanted to take note of. So I'll let you speak to that. Cause I'm sure you have a thousand things in the, in the midst. Well, I, I do think. God is kind, , and, and he'll let us, He'll, uh, Also, he is not gonna force us, um, uh, to do something, uh, even though he's always, I believe, inviting and, and whispering and we're not necessarily always taking the time to, to listen, to wait to pause.
Um, and so eventually there will be, if, if we don't , there can come a time and there will be a time in our life, right? Life is unpredictable, even though he's always faithful that there are ups and downs and, and he's using those, those aspects of our life, uh, to really conform us more to the image of his son.
So I think when we believe that, if. If we don't wait, there will be an undoing of breaking as it were. And I, I did reach that point and it was, um, you know, kind of the Lord to really just have me. Undone and I, I, I welcome it and I'm thankful for it, but I also don't wanna forget those lessons. It's easy to then just upstart again.
And I talk a little bit about this in the book. I actually share some stories of, you know, as soon as I rested, I had like a Sabbath year. As it were, and I was still working and doing things, but it was, it was a very different season of my life compared to a lot of the entrepreneur years beforehand, uh, the years of, of Hustle.
Um, but I, I've wanted to get going again and the Lord's like, I have such extravagant rest for you and you don't have space for it in your life. And I needed him to. Really slow me down so I could evaluate what does extravagant rest look like? And I think that's a question we should all ask. If that's the invitation, what does rest look like in our life?
That's so incredible. I love those two words specifically together. I don't think I've ever heard it phrased or coined that way. It brings me to, uh, like a family plan that's kind of connected to your passion for travel and this idea of the passport that you have. I love. So much. I'm like, How can I do that?
That's so fun because I love to travel and I've had the opportunity of taking my team out of the country for two of their first time ever. Awesome. Um, I think it's so valuable to be in different cultures and immersed on different shores and different places and in different, you know, environ. And one of the things that it brings to mind is one of our root family desires is to travel as well.
Our kids have probably been more places than a lot of adults just because the gift of our grandparents and our travel bug that we got bit by. But we're gonna do something that's really out of the norm to, especially people we, we are close with and we're gonna go on a 30 day. Uh, vacation, if you will. Uh, exploration more so because they still have to do school.
And yeah, we still have things to touch base on, but it'll be the first time that we're doing something at this length in December. And, um, our plan is to do 30 this year and then add essentially 10 to 15 every year moving forward. And so I think about extravagant. Associated to that and what that's gonna look like from a family dynamic, what that's gonna do for our marriage, what's that's gonna do from a business perspective.
Um, so I, I like the, I like it. I'm simmering with it today. Well, I can, I can encourage you in that pursuit. My wife and I, we love to travel. We always have as well, and we've taken our kids on some trips. But then, uh, this last year actually, we, we went a little step further. We sold our house, uh, downsized dramatically.
And we lived this summer in South Africa. See? Yes, Jonathan, you get it. We lived there for two months with our kids and it was an amazing experience. It truly was. Next year, we're gonna be living in Thailand. Um, and, uh, so, you know, there, there's a lot of benefit to that and I think those, you know, people say, Hey, I want to do that.
One of the things that I've learned in that process over the last year in particular is, you know, so often we make decisions. Based within the constraints of how our life has already been designed, rather than saying what is it that we're being invited into, uh, from the Lord or maybe even something that we really want to pursue that we have the value for, and how do I design for that and, and make the decisions to get there.
And so, um, it takes some time and it takes a little bit of sacrifice potentially. But it's well worth it. And um, we're, we're already seeing the fruit of that so quickly and we can't wait to see more. Oh my goodness. I love it. I'm like, Oh my gosh, I wanna hug you. I'm like, See, we're not the only crazy ones.
We're actually normal. I think the societal structure is kind of what's crazy because that's what you're saying. Like we. Stick in these confines. One of the biggest elements, especially when you have kids associated to that, it's like, well, they have school. And we had a really like out the gate discussion about what does that look like for us and our kids and what does school really mean, connected to what we want them to have as an experience and an outcome for their childhood.
And so we've chosen. School that allows us and is open to that, like, you know, most schools are like, If you miss more than 10 days, you are not moving on to the next grade. And we're like, Well that's not an option. Let me tell you about our family and how we operate and how and what we wanna bring to the school.
So our kiddos now get to have like, Their own video, you know, experiences, their photography experiences that are infused into the classroom as a part of the curriculum that they're doing. Yeah. And so it's like thinking outside of the box and how can that open the eyes and the minds of the kids that they're connected to.
Just as when we are connected to Jesus in the way that we are, we get so passionate, excited to share how Jesus affected our lives and how and what he looks like and feels like. Speaks to us. There needs to be that same fervor in all of these other realms of life. Yeah, it's, it's totally true. Um, there's so much excitement and adventure awaiting us, and I really do feel like we're just sitting back waiting for it to happen or waiting for some event to occur for us to get there.
And there's just always an invitation. There's always an invitation to getting there. There's actually a passage. I really love this passage in Hebrews when it says, um, Uh, that we have so great. A weight, uh, or, uh, so great a, um, Uh, pardon me. Um, just, uh, uh, slip of the tongue so it talks about, um, let us lay aside every weight and sin that so easily entangle us and let us run the race.
There you go. Um, uh, and so this idea of. Weights though, you know, we talk often about sin within, um, Christian circles. Mm-hmm. , let's talk about the weights. What are the weights? What are the impedances? What are the things that are, um, hindering us from running well to being unhindered? Untethered to really pursue the liberation that, um, God has for us.
And, and that isn't just our whims, it's liberation in obviously every area of our lives. But I think that there's a lot more, um, awaiting us. That isn't normal, quote unquote, That doesn't look like a lot of the systems out there. You, One thing I've been thinking as an example, and this isn't to say it's a condemnation of anyone that goes, Sure, sure, sure.
But like, would Jesus have a mortgage? No, would the Apostle Paul have a mortgage? And I'm not saying that it's wrong, uh, to have a mortgage because, you know, I've, I've had a mortgage I really appreciated, um, uh, and love and value hospitality. Our family loves to host people, so we've done that and there's a big value for that in scripture, but, I still question like, is it something that we have to do?
And you know, we so often look at the rich young ruler when Jesus says, Sell all your possessions. And we caveat that more than almost any other scripture. Yeah. And I've heard it taught and yet, I think there's a, an element of truth of that. And by the way, I'm not telling everyone all their possessions, but, but maybe, maybe that's something that the Lord has for you.
Like be open to it rather than just completely negating that invitation because what could that create in your life? That's massive. Honestly, I went through a big minimization process during the same season where God just wrecked me in the space of entrepreneurship, and it was with tangibles and from the outside looking in, I'm like, I'm throwing away mementos from my childhood.
I'm throwing away figurines that. Spent money to give me, right? And picture frames that housed images of things that I love and adore, and moments that I cherish. And we were simultaneously doing a renovation in our home. And so we were knocking down all the walls and making that open concept space. And when it was time for us to come back into decorating, even some of the things I had salvaged as, I'm gonna put this back up.
There's nowhere to put this . And so people would come into our house and they're like, Wow, it's so open. Wow. It's so airy. Wow. Are you gonna put anything on the walls ? Like, what's happening? Right. My mom specifically, who just, she's an amazing at decor, but she had a wall for. Thing. And that's where I kind of gained that influence.
And it was such a process like the Marie Condo, like thank the thing that brought you value, put it to the side. And what it really showed me more than anything was I was also housing my identity in those things. And it wasn't until I. Them and that my husband and I were able to coexist in a space without walls.
And I mean this both physically, relationally, spiritually. And our children were actually being raised in a home where I got to see them all day every day, and their toys were in the miss. And I didn't care about like a playroom and it was. Such a transformational journey that I've brought into every aspect of moving, every aspect of relationships.
Like, Hey, I don't, I actually don't really want a gift. I want that quality time element. Mm-hmm. my love language shift. And so I just think that people write those things off. Because it's different or it seems woo woo , but I've just found so much, um, so much of Jesus exists in those spaces where we get to get truly alone and we'll go back to your nudist perspective.
get nude before the Lord, right? Like without shame, which is different than at what I think a lot of people see or. Yeah, I, I think that's so good. As you were talking, it made me think about just the, the process and the practice of writing down and, and actually con contemplating with, with the Lord in prayer with those that we love, um, who are near us, what our values are.
And you know, we talked about the passport as a business, but I think that extends into every. What's, how, how is it that you operate? What are the principles of friendship by which you operate? What are the principles or the values that you operate by in your home, in your marriage, so on and so forth. And really taking the time to contemplate those.
You know, one of the things that I was specifically thinking about is my family and I wrote down the values and, and the ways in which we're gonna spend money and, and how is it that we, we value and. Operate with the gift of whatever it is that the Lord has given us. And so thinking through those things rather than just letting them happen to us is so important.
Yeah. And the specific element of how like our finances are associated to that is, Uh, a massive conversation. I mean, we could have a podcast just about that, and I think when I am processing businesses and exits from business and these other elements that you've experienced through your journey is people are often looking through the lens of finances or even as they're listening to you, having taken your family to places for two months at a time, and what I think a lot of people.
Is because we value travel so much because we are invested in other cultures, I am able to live a more minimal life because those places don't value the same things that America values because those places. Minimalism isn't a thing because they don't have access to that stuff. They just already live in a minimal mentality and it is so rejuvenating.
I mean, we were on our, we did a second honeymoon for our 10 years, just a couple of months ago, and we were in Mexico. It was amazing. And uh, we spent less money there than we would've definitely spent if we were at our home, living our everyday life and saved right on top of it and got to. So many people who are our waitresses, our waiters, our service people in a way that they, they're literally jumping up and down with glee and we're giving them a fraction of what an hour would cost us to do any sort of labor here in, in Virginia specifically.
So I just. I hope that as people are listening to us, they're thinking a little bit outside of the box in what are my values and how are my values being tainted by a system or by a structure because I'm expected to check this box or I'm expected to have a mortgage or, you know, there's this guilt almost around people when they rent.
Right. If they're a renter and not a homeowner, and it's like there's value in having the conversation, but why? Right. Yeah. Really understanding. What does that mean to you and is there value to you being able to be nomadic? Perhaps there is. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. My, and again, not to harp too much on the mortgage thing, but my wife and I we're, we're Openhanded, we're not saying that we won't ever own a home again, but we're also.
Open to the idea that we never do. And yeah. And that keeping us just more flexible and, and giving us opportunity to really go wherever the Lord might have us, but also to see and ex explore more of the world that God has created and to experience more of. The breadth of the kingdom of God. I mean, being in South Africa in particular this last summer was really incredible to see, um, how that impacted our kids.
Uh, especially, you know, we've gone to Mexico to build homes, um, with them before and things of that nature. But the wealth in equality in, um, South Africa in particular is worse in the world. And so you have. Townships that are just struggling and um, the level of poverty and the living conditions there are just so terrible.
And across the highway, literally across the highway, there are mansions or very, very nice homes and communities, um, that are completely different. And so, um, seeing that one thing that my daughter mentioned when we came back, she was at Target with my. and she heard these kids complaining, um, about not getting a toy of some sort.
And my daughter said, You know, I didn't hear one of the kids in South Africa, even in those conditions complain. And there was such a joy, um, and such a, an element of life that was still there in them. And we come back to this place where we have everything. And there's not, um, gratitude and, and um, that was just amazing to hear her process that and see that.
And I think for all of us being in those places, you're right, it doesn't cost that much to actually be in those places. It's really just the cost of getting there more than Yeah, exactly. The flight. Yes. But beyond that, Yeah, it's so true. Gosh, Jonathan, I feel like I have so many more questions I wanna ask and there's so many more caveats to your journey.
Uh, and I know that we're limited on time here. Is there anything that's like still pressing on your heart, one that you wanna share or any, um, opportunities for people? Obviously we've gotta get your hands on this. Book, Um, I can do nothing. Dot com makes it very easy. I'm already thinking about how I can process this and, and turn it into a book club with my mastermind in my community.
Cause I know it's a for now conversation. Well, I appreciate that. And yeah, there are, there are some group study guides even on the website once purchase if you, Awesome. Completely free. And uh, for anyone that's interested in doing that with others. Do nothing together. , yes, I love it. Great way to do that.
But I think more than anything, you know, in that it's really, for me it's just wrestling with, well, what is it I can do apart from, from Jesus and I, I think so often we think of that as. Um, you know, the things that maybe are, are spiritual in nature, and we have to ask those questions rather than just saying no.
I mean, the very breath that I have in this moment and the very words that I'm speaking, that I'm held together. Um, by Christ and he, it says he holds all things together. What is it that we have that has not been given from him? And if that's the case, if all is a gift, well, how is it that we go through this life?
How is it that we operate? And I look, the, a book title is a book title. The book is not about doing nothing, but it is very, Um, about what is the, something that God would have us do with him, and he's inviting us to do that together. And that's such a beautiful invitation. It's something that I, I hope everyone really comes to find and treasure because.
It's so much better to do things with and to really be conscious of that awareness or, uh, aware of, of his presence, um, in all of our activities. And, and so that's, that's my hope is that people learn how to peacefully rest better, discern and calmly walk forward in the completed work of Jesus. Mm. Come on.
That was a prayer in and of itself. Thank you. Amen. To that. And I, I am like, just simmering with our entire conversation and, and processing to the importance of the revelation that it's not about the not doing, but it's about what? Can you do connected to everything that he's already gifted you. And that's where our gifts and talents are meant to thrive.
And there is, you know, if I was to, to sit alongside Jesus in that planting season, like I mentioned as a, an experience earlier and actually been a part of the doing with him, I would've seen. Come to fruition. And so when I think about it parallel to book writing or starting a podcast or starting a business or whatever it is that God is leading you to do, I encourage people to, to one, sit in it long enough for God to show off for you.
because he wants to and he will. And when our eyes are open to that, connected to our action, associated to the faith of, Okay, if I water these every day, tomatoes will come. Right? Right. And so I have faith connected to my business because of how God has continually seeded me. So when you have a vision, He gives you a seed in that moment and he's saying, This is where I want you to go.
The tiny steps is the daily watering and the seed's not popping above surface. And you're like, What is happening? But you have already seen, right? And so that's the element of activation. And it's sometimes done in a toiling way that you're like, Okay, God, any time now, but he'll, and he can, and you're living proof of that and so I'm grateful for just all the stories today and so excited to stay connected and learn more from you.
Oh, likewise. Thanks so much, Tamara. Yeah. I think, you know, Jesus invites us to a way of living that he lived it. Too. You know, it says apart. He said, I can do nothing except that which I see my father doing. I can speak nothing that except which my father's speaking. So this isn't a way of life that he just said, Well, you have to rely on me.
And he was some solo lone wolf, right for eternity. Um, it was an US and, um, father, son spirit, and he's invited us into the same way of living that we can operate by his indwelling life. And wow, what a gift, What a gift that he's given us that opportunity. And you're absolutely right. He's patient. Um, we're not, uh, , but, uh, I'm so glad that he is, he's patient with me for sure.
And, um, sometimes I want things to move faster, but he really does have an eternal purpose, an eternal plan, and he has that same plan with us, and he will be faithful to complete it, and that is a beautiful thing. Hm, Yes and amen. That's all I can say, y'all. I hope you go back and listen to this show. I feel such an element of peace, uh, connected to how you show up, and it's surely an element of who he is.
And so thanks for stewarding his presence here today. Thank you, sister. Appreciate it. Have a blessed day. You too.