Authentic Simplicity

Carmen Shenk

Today I’m talking about various aspects of Simplicity that I’ve found surprising and helpful over the last few years. This video ends with the challenge to think about what you can do to focus on what you actually need, and how you can meet those needs with less. Letting go and downsizing isn’t a fun process to consider, but it does have a way of setting us free.

And with so many people in financial crisis right now, it’s important that we really take the time to consider our lives in very proactive and practical terms. We can make short term sacrifices to make it more possible to meet long term goals. We really can. And let’s not forget that we are in this together! Sending all my love to you as you consider ways to simplify your life!

This video is longer than my usual podcast videos, but since we’re all stuck at home, I hope you don’t mind the extra ten minutes in this conversation. I do try to keep these to 20-26 minutes as a rule.


Watch the entire video here:

Or listen to the podcast here:

022 Authentic Simplicity

A decade ago I would have defined simplicity as having an orderly organized home and life, but that’s not how I view it today.  Now I see it as a path to freedom.


Where is God?

Episode 21 of the Faith, Art & Tiny Houses Podcast

The moment that Gideon says “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all His wonders that our fathers told us about?” is the moment the Lord was standing right beside Gideon. His gut-level grief-stricken honest longing for God’s nearness was precisely what drew God in, and God was present to answer that prayer in ways Gideon could not see coming. We have only to turn the page of the text to read the victory story that played out in Gideon’s life, so hang in there. Perhaps God is writing our victory story as well. He is for you.


Watch the entire video here:

Or listen to the podcast here:

021 Where is God in all this Mess? Presence & Peace

Gideon asked “If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all His wonders that our fathers told us about…” not realizing he was talking to the Lord…


Brenda Mason Part 2

Brenda Mason moved from her 3100 sq ft home in Utah to her 310 sq ft tiny house in Virginia, and she did her dramatic downsizing (including an estate sale) all in 31 days! Can you imagine? Find Brenda at SmallerLivingHugeLife.com and check out her “Downsizing in 31 days” class where she will show you how. If you’ve been looking for a systematic approach that will help you simply Get. It. Done… Brenda’s class and her supportive Facebook community will help you do exactly that!


Watch the video of our conversation here:

This is the second of two podcast episodes with Brenda, and we ended up talking about where to begin when you’re feeling overwhelmed. She suggested starting in the closet, and I completely agree. Changes in the closet may seem overwhelming, but it’s one of the most rewarding parts of the home to tackle. Now that we’re all at home more than usual thanks to Covid-19, here’s your opportunity to tackle a project that will really make a big difference!

Listen to the podcast here:

020 Overwhelmed? Tiny Starts Here with Brenda Mason

I asked Brenda where she recommends we start, and she said start in the closet, so we offer some helpful thoughts on how to begin and get a big success under your belt that will fuel your transformation.


The Blessing

A new song from Elevation Worship has undone me this week.
Carmen Shenk

I’ve been listening to a brand new song this week. It’s very simple: “The Lord bless you and keep you, make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” I wondered why something so positive and affirming would undo me to the extent that it has. This episode became a conversation about the marriage of truth and grace in the person of Jesus. I pray that this episode blesses you.

Please scroll down to experience the song that started this conversation… May His favor be upon you!


Watch the podcast video here:

Or listen to the podcast here:

019 The Lord Bless You And Keep You

I’ve been undone by a new song on YouTube this week called “The Blessing” with Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes, and I wanted to share a few thoughts about why I think it hit me so hard.  I think some of this may resonate with you.  And remember, He is for you! 

Today I’m talking about a song that has undone me this week. I listen and weep and soak up the grace of “The Blessing” straight from the heart of Father. God bless the amazing folks over at Elevation Worship, LOVE them!

We’ve gotten a lot of truth without grace in our culture, and it’s done a lot of damage. It’s time to understand the nature of the Word so that when we apply it – we apply it with both truth and grace… for without grace, truth can be weaponized. And when that happens, it takes people down, and that breaks God’s heart. Far too much of that has happened in recent years (ANY of that happening it too much!). If that’s happened to you, I simply want to stand in for the person or persons who have hurt you and ask you to please forgive me. I’m so sorry you experienced the dark side of the truth – truth that was leveled at you like you were a baseball and the truth was the bat. I’m sorry. Father is present and wants you to know that it’s time that you felt The Blessing again… it’s time you knew that it wasn’t God that knocked you out of the park. That was religion, and I’m sorry. You’re ready to come to God, not to religion. You’re ready to experience the favor of God who loves you. You’ve been told He’s condemning. You’ve even seen those signs “God hates (fill in the blank)” but I just want you to know that sign didn’t speak for God. God did not send His Son in the the world to condemn… that’s just not what Jesus was sent to do! And if Jesus wasn’t sent to do that, then neither am I! That’s the good news! You are loved my friend. Soak in this powerful song and be blessed.

If you’ve enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more of my Women of the Cloth series, then please join in this Facebook group where we can create community together. Please know that you are loved and I pray for you often!


Brenda Mason

Author Brenda Mason

Brenda Mason’s great new book: “The 31-day Guide to Creating Your Clutter Free Home Oasis”

Brenda Mason moved from her 3100 sq ft home in Utah to her 310 sq ft tiny house in Virginia, and she did her dramatic downsizing (including an estate sale) all in 31 days! Can you imagine? Find Brenda at SmallerLivingHugeLife.com and check out her “Downsizing in 31 days” class where she will show you how. If you’ve been looking for a systematic approach that will help you simply Get. It. Done… Brenda’s class and her supportive Facebook community will help you do exactly that!


Watch the video of our conversation here:

Or listen to the podcast here:

018 Downsizing in 31 Days with Brenda Mason Part 1

Brenda Mason of SmallerLivingHugeLife.com joins me to talk about the things she learned as she downsized her 3100 sq ft home to move across the country to a 310 sq ft tiny house.  She was a collector, and now she enjoys the liberation of living in a tiny house.  What a transformation!


Jill Kanto

Episode 17 with Jill Kanto

Jill was newly divorced single mom of two, who was falling through the cracks, and her health was failing. Resourceful, she borrowed money from family and built a DIY tiny house on wheels and found a backyard intentional community. Then Jill founded a not-for-profit website with a detailed Village Finder to help people address that central tiny house question: “Where do I park my home?” SearchTinyHouseVillages.com


Watch the video here:

Or listen to the podcast here:

017 Tiny House Parking & Community with Jill Kanto

Jill Kanto of SearchTinyHouseVillages.com joins me for a conversation about Community and the ways living tiny in community has improved her life.  This is a portion of an interview we did for the virtual summit: ‘Simplify My Life’, for our whole conversation please visit SimplifyMy.Life.


Be Not Conformed…

Episode 16 by Carmen Shenk

Conformity is powerful, but stepping outside of conformity and living an authentic life beyond the prescriptions of culture is both powerful and liberating.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers

In a world marked by greed, envy, lust and gluttony, Fred Rogers did more than notice people who were helping, he became a helper. We can too.


Watch the podcast video here:

And follow it up with this powerful song by singer-songwriter Jonathan McReynolds:

Or listen to the podcast here:

016 Be Not Conformed/Defined… Be a Helper

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers Fred Rogers did more than look for the helpers, he became a helper, and an inspiration for us all.


Alexis Stephens

Alexis Stephens, co-founder of TinyHouseExpedition.com

Alexis Stephens & Christian Parsons are documentary filmmakers, educators and advocates on an extraordinary journey with the world’s most traveled tiny home on wheels. As co-founders of Tiny House Expedition, they inspire others to redefine home and rethink housing through thought-provoking story telling, resource sharing, and educational events…

TinyHouseExpedition.com


Watch the podcast video here:

Or listen to the podcast here:

015 Living Tiny Legally with Alexis Stephens

Alexis Stephens of Tiny House Expedition, with some tips on simplifying your home and living tiny legally.


Simple Living Right Now

Brynn Burger TheMamaOnTheRocks.com

After living in what she thought was her dream farmhouse, but secretly feeling out of control, Brynn and her family decided to make a change. Having now lived tiny with her family of four for nearly two years, she talks with raw vulnerability about how simple living has given her her life back. Brynn is able to capture the candor of extreme parenting and teach you how simple living can:

  • benefit mental health and anxiety
  • decrease behavior disorder meltdowns in children
  • increase intentional time as a family
  • and help you regain your sanity when life feels out of control.

Watch the video here:

Or listen to the podcast here:

https://oembed.libsyn.com/embed?item_id=13184588

Joan of Arc

Today we’ll be talking about warrior Joan of Arc from the 15th century who helped unify France under Charles VII.

Today’s episode comes with another homework assignment: Look over what you’ve learned so far and purpose in your heart to face what is ahead with courage – no matter what. It’s not that you won’t feel fear, it’s that you won’t allow it to stop you. It’s time to become the warrior you already are – it’s time to grow into yourself and your calling and live a life of courage.


Watch the entire video here:

Or listen to the podcast here:

013 Joan of Arc: 4/4 Tiny on Purpose

4th in the series challenges us to face our purpose like a warrior would.  How can you approach your life as Joan of Arc would?