Can you believe it? 100 episodes! I am sending a big thank you with digital confetti to each of you for listening to The Purpose Show each week. It is because of you guys that I do this – because I believe in living with purpose, intentionality and in abundance for you!
For the 100th episode of this show, I really wanted to get back to the root of why The Purpose Show exists – to live an abundant life. I want to dive deeper into what living abundantly actually means to Brian and I and what it looks like day-to-day for our family. The Purpose Show is built on John 10:10, which is our family verse, life verse, and business verse. It is all about the abundant life! It is a life that is void of needless excess and void of fluff. You can have this life too!
In This Episode Allie Discusses:
Why they do not pursue the “American Dream”
The power of living simpler so you can focus on the things that actually matter in your life.
How they are focusing on their health in the context of abundant living (and not in the get fit for the beach kind of way).
Ways they choose to focus on abundant living in the day-to-day so they can be ready for whatever comes their way.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Allie’s Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
The Hassle to Harmony video series is open for enrollment right now! This is a FREEBIE I have been working on just for you! If you feel like your days are full of hassle, like the things that need to get done are not getting done, and that is causing you a lot of stress and chaos, I want to help you find harmony. This 5 day video series will help you structure your life, calendar, and daily rhythms and routines.
We are going to talk about boundaries for your phone and other people so that you are focused on what matters and not letting obligations, phone sounds, and beeps, buzes, and alerts constantly pull your attention from where it needs to be day to day. We are going to talk about rhythms and routines. We are going to talk about owning your time and shifting your mindset. We are going to talk about living with intent.
This is a LIVE thing so if you are listening to this episode when it first came out, hear me … this is happening right now! It is a totally free, 5 day video series. So it takes place over 5 days, 1 video each day. The videos are short and pointed! This series is designed by me to help you focus, prioritize, and clear the surface of your life. Don’t miss out of this FREE video series! Enrollment is open now!
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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hey friend! I want to quickly tell you about a free 5 day video series that I have been working super hard on creating just for you for the past couple of months. It is finally ready and free enrollment is open! This video series is called Hassle to Harmony and that is exactly what it is going to take you from and to. Basically, each day there is one short video that is going to redirect your perspective and get you refocused.
So, Day 1 is called “Quiet the Noise” and we talk all about your phone settings and setting yourself up to not be constantly distracted from what is right in front of you. Day 2 and Day 3 are about rhythms; Day 2 is for daily rhythms and routines, Day 3 is for weekly rhythms and routines. Day 4 is all about owning your time and shifting your mindset out of victim mode when it comes to time and how much time we have. Day 5 is all about how to live with intent, because you don’t get to where you want to go by accident, only on purpose. I really want you in here! It is going to be so good!
This is not something that is going to be open for forever, this is a live freebie sort of thing. Enrollment is open now and it is free! The videos will go live on April 8th and only be available for a few days. So after Day 5 is over, they will be gone and off the internet. This is something you will want to partake in while we are going through it together. To get this free video series go to Hassle to Harmony . I can’t wait for you to see this!
Hey guys! Welcome back to The Purpose Show or a welcome here if this is your first time listening. Honestly, if it is the first episode you’ve ever listened to, what a good one to choose. This is our 100th episode.
I want to start this episode off by saying that my husband is here with me. And this podcast, our life, our business, the way we raise our kids, everything that we live and breathe and do is all built on John 10:10, which is a verse that talks about how Jesus came not only to give us life, but that we would live that life abundantly and well.
For the 100th episode of this show, I really wanted to get back to that root and dive deeper into what living abundantly actually means to Brian and I, what it looks like day-to-day. I felt it was fitting for him to be here with me for this one.
ALLIE: Thanks for being here, babe.
BRIAN: No problem.
ALLIE: Okay. So, we want to say that abundant life is something that I think gets misconstrued a lot. People have different opinions and thoughts about what that is and there’s lots of different translations to that scripture even. It’s not about having the scripture translated perfectly accurately. If you’re a theologian and you’re like, “that’s not what this verse is saying,” that’s fine.
But there’s something powerful in taking a scriptural truth and doing amazing things with it. Letting it transform you. Thinking on it. Living with it in your heart and seeing what comes out of it. And that’s what Brian and I have done with John 10:10.
It’s really like our family verse, our life verse, our business verse. And we want to say that the abundant life is not something that we claim to have mastered or perfected by any means. But it is something that we’re always talking about. We’re always coming back to it. Working towards, praying about. It’s a forever project.
BRIAN: I want to spend the rest of my life knowing until the day I die that I’m living an abundant life. I don’t stop doing something one day or retire and then never do anything again. Even if I’m old, and I can’t even move because I’m old, I’ll find a way to live an abundant life with what I can do.
ALLIE: Right. And that is a relative term and it changes from season to season. One thing we really want to say too, that we talked about before we hit record, was that abundant life is not about creating a fluffy, easy life that’s good for us. It’s about creating a simplified atmosphere that gives you room to focus on serving other people, showing up well everywhere you’re called to, and living out your God-given purpose.
BRIAN: I’ve got to say for a long time we were living in survival mode (financially and otherwise) so there were a lot of these things that I just could not even think about because I was trying so hard just to basically survive. So, by simplifying like you’re saying and changing our life this way, I’m able to live more abundantly than I would have, you know?
ALLIE: Absolutely. I think it’s about creating a life that’s void of just needless excessiveness. It’s void of excess and it’s actually void of fluff.
A lot of times I’ve gotten messages from people that just don’t understand what I’m saying and what I mean. And they misunderstand me to be saying that we’re looking to create a fluffy, easy life. I think especially in our society, a lot of people, unfortunately a lot of Christians, are doing that. They don’t want to step into a storm on purpose because they’re afraid. They don’t want to step into the foster care system, outreach, ministry, helping other people, reaching out to a neighbor who’s in need, because they’re afraid. They don’t know if it will mess up their family. It’ll mess up their perfect little bubble world.
And I don’t mean that out of judgment, but honestly out of truthfulness of the thoughts that have crossed my own mind before we’ve stepped out into a storm.
Abundant life is not about creating a fluffy, perfect, easy life. It’s actually a life that’s void of that. It’s void of fluff and excess so that we’re spending our minutes on our purpose, not on things that distract from it and we’re able to show up and step into those storms and step into our calling. I hope that’s making sense. Anything to add to that part?
BRIAN: When I think about it, I’m living for a purpose. God made me…I want to serve Him and worship Him and do things this way. That’s why I feel I was created.
So, to spend my life trying to make things easier for myself forever…setting myself up for crazy retirement, or just buying things that only make me happy, and focus on things just for myself and maybe my family or whatever…I just don’t feel I’m called to live that way.
ALLIE: The whole point of this episode and what you’re saying right now is that it’s not about setting up a fluffy, easy life for ourselves and making sure we’re secure without looking outside of our bubble and looking at other people. Our purpose, whether you believe in God or not, I think we can all agree that no matter what religion or background you’re from, that it’s important to look outside of ourselves and be generous and help others.
This is one big reason that you and I have talked so often about how we don’t pursue ‘the American dream’ and we’re not teaching our kids to pursue that either.
When Brian and I are saying that…‘the American dream’ is the old standard of you do good in school, you go to a good college, you get a good job, you work hard, you collect student debt (because you went to a good college,) you buy a house. If you rent, you’re doing it wrong. Just buy a house, invest in property. That’s just what you do. You save all your money for your retirement and when you live this way, when you do those steps, people are getting in debt just because they want to check things off the list.
BRIAN: I feel like you’re just skipping so much of your life to set up your life to be better later that you’ve missed all this time and possibly all of these opportunities that God could have used you in so many ways, yet you were living with your head down just working and being gone all the time.
And honestly, I was doing that for a little bit. I mean we were barely making it. I was gone all day. I was working so much that I missed kid opportunities I made. I missed my family stuff. There were so many opportunities that I wasn’t able to meet with people or have relationships.
ALLIE: There was no white space for living.
BRIAN: I was burning my days. I know a lot of people that do that…older people, my family or friends that have done that…and now they’re retired and they are so much older and there’s so much that they can’t do now because they’re older. I don’t want to live that way.
ALLIE: I think the biggest thing for anybody who’s listening that’s like, “Oh my gosh! That’s where I’m at,” we had that realization as well when we were in that place. We couldn’t take any time off because we had to make ends meet and we were trying so hard and working so hard, burning our candles at both ends to provide for our family.
Brian was working so much and I was at home with the babies just struggling. And it’s not that there’s anything wrong with being there, but maybe this episode could open up your eyes to the reality of the life you’re living, and just realize that that’s not sustainable. That’s not a way to live a sustainable, joyful, abundant life, where you are focused on your relationships. Where you can really, truly connect with people and be available for bigger work.
Maybe create a 3-year plan to advance in the company you work for or get a different job or start your own business. Get out of that barely making it, bottlenecking place in life.
BRIAN: We talked about this from when we were first married, I always saw our life being abundant and used in a certain way and that ‘American dream’ kind of way of life I just felt like didn’t fit with what our purpose or our calling was. And it can look so much different for so many other people, but I felt like this kind of situation wasn’t for me.
I feel like so many things to pursuing to have an abundant life, all these things can help you so much…the simplifying…
ALLIE: Going against the flow, letting go of what everyone else thinks is ‘normal.’
And you’re going to get flack for that.
Going back to the ‘American dream,’ the whole cycle of you go to college, you get a good job, you work hard, you buy a house, renting is bad, you save all your money for your retirement. You’re basically saving up and storing all your possessions and money for this later period of life when you’re not really able to live now. We understand that saving money for when you’re physically unable to work in the future…sure.
BRIAN: Yeah, we’re not saying “don’t do that,” but don’t spend your whole life only working for that time and never doing anything else now because you’re trying so hard to make that point better. It’s like, why can’t I do that? Why can’t I do that now? Why can’t I set myself up to live more freely.
Way back I prayed that I just didn’t have to struggle so hard or that I just wouldn’t be in this place so much so that I was just in a place where things were good enough to where I didn’t have to think about it so much that I could focus on blessing other people, spending time with other people. You know, I love doing things for other people, having people over at our house, and I can’t do that if I’m not freed up in that sense.
ALLIE: Yes, and if you’re acting out of scarcity. If you’re working all the time and money is scarce and it’s to be saved for later…it’s missed opportunities to give and to help and to show up for people.
BRIAN: And on that point, I also do feel that abundant life, living that way, the not being scarce about it, also has a lot to do with trusting in God, having faith, have giving hearts that we want to give and trust that God is going to bless us and the ends will meet.
ALLIE: Again, not confusing this for not preparing for later at all. It’s not that. We actually talk quite a bit about the future and we have things saved and we’re preparing and we’re doing all that, but it’s just that that isn’t supposed to be our only focus.
I think it’s important not to let preparing for later take away from right now. Live your purpose now. Set your life up so that you can live focused on what your purpose is, not worrying or stressing about small things like money. And this doesn’t mean that you have to be wealthy. You know, we showed up and we lived on purpose when we were broke as a joke. We’ll share a story about that in a few minutes. It’s not about that.
Live your life in a way where you know you’re where you’re supposed to be. You know that you’re showing up and living on purpose where you’re at, and you’re not letting small things like worries about the future just suck up your brain, your mental energy, your emotional health and you’re just not even able to live today.
That’s where we were for a long time and that is a place that you absolutely can get out of without any physical circumstances changing, just by creating a 3-year plan to change your circumstances, having that hope, giving that to God, just praying about it and asking Him to help you get there.
BRIAN: I feel like a lot of the hard times…in me…God used those to work on me, change my heart, and have me see things in a certain way that I would have never seen or done if I didn’t go through those things. I feel like God uses hard things for that purpose, you know?
But I also feel like why wouldn’t God want me to live an abundant life now and be able to share, bless people, and do so much for Him now? Why wouldn’t He, you know?
ALLIE: Right, exactly.
It’s a fine line. You talk about having an abundance in finances and people think that you’re preaching the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ and that you’re saying that wealth is God and that’s not it at all. Some people just will never have that. They don’t really care for it. It’s not a part of their purpose. It’s not a part of their calling.
But if you’re strapped so much that you can’t even breathe, you can’t even think clearly, you can’t even enjoy your family, enjoy the present…that is not God’s will for you. It’s just not. It’s not abundant life. It’s not peace and He is a God of peace.
So for us, we were in that really stuck place. We were in a place where, you guys, we had cars repossessed. We lost homes. We had to move not by our choice but because we had to get out. We had embarrassing things happen. If you haven’t listened to episode six of that whole story, I’ll link to it in the show notes for you guys.
But one of the reasons that we even started to pursue what we have today, this business, this powerhouse of an online empire that has been built not by us, but by the Lord, this is His business, not ours, but we knew that we were stuck. We knew we were in a place where we could not help, give and contribute in the way that we felt God calling us to give, help and contribute because our finances took up every bit of our energy, every bit of our thought. And we were stuck.
And that’s why we worked so hard. We studied. We prayed. We googled. We talked. We stayed up late and dreamt together about how to run a business in a way that was passive revenue because that’s what was really important to us.
And so we learned. We found a way. We asked God, “Does this align with Your will for us?” And it sure did. And He led us here to where now we work hard and we learned how to run our business well so that we’re not stressing about how to make ends meet every day.
Our mental and emotional energy is focused on serving and showing up for other people, using our financial, mental, emotional, and physical resources to be Jesus for people who need him.
That is what’s so incredible about our story, and about for us, online business, and passive revenue. Passive revenue is such an annoying term.
It is not exchanging time for money. That’s what we’re saying. That’s what’s given us the financial freedom, freedom to use our resources – money, time and otherwise – to live on purpose.
My point in all of this is, you know, four years ago we were stuck. We were trying to stretch one bowl of cereal into four for our kids. We didn’t know how we were going to make dinner that night. We didn’t know how we were going to make rent. And now we employ 12+ people and families are leaving their 9-5’s and coming to work for us. We’re together and we’re running this company.
And that is because we asked God to use us. We asked Him to show us how can we live more on purpose, how can we get out of this place? Not because we want money and things but because we want to have a home that is nice and we can invite people in for dinner, minister, have Bible studies here. Talk to people, open our home for people. Can you help us get to a place where we can help better?
BRIAN: Or even like where we were at one point. There are people that are in those places that need help, and I always wanted to be someone to help because I’ve been through that and it’s so hard. I remember that. I wanted one day to be able to help someone in that place who needs it.
ALLIE: Now I feel like our energy and our prayers used to go to, “please help us figure out how to get $20 so we can finish paying this bill or get dinner.” It sounds super sad, but that’s where we were at. Now it’s more, “Hey, you know, God, as I’m finishing up at the grocery store, if there’s somebody who needs help with their groceries, make sure I get in line behind them so I can help them.” What a powerful shift. That could not have happened without this shift from scarcity survival mode into a more abundant life.
For us specifically, yes, that involved a money shift, but that’s not everybody’s story.
BRIAN: No. And I feel like going through a lot of those hard lessons and the path that He had us on going through all that stuff really helped me see money in a different way, and learning how to be a good steward of God’s money. I feel like that’s a whole separate other thing. But that was huge as far as God using me, using me with His money and the way that we should live our life.
That goes together with living on purpose, living abundantly. That’s just what I wanted for my life and for our family. And we both wanted that so bad. And I can say that God’s using us in that way now and it just feels like this is where I’m supposed to be. I could say that I’m living my purpose, you know? I feel with the way that we’re living is the purpose and the place that God has us.
ALLIE: For sure. And none of this would have happened if we hadn’t made ourselves available and said, “We’re willing to do crazy things. We just need help. And we want to be in a different place where we’re not having to just focus on ourselves and focus on how to make ends meet for ourselves. But our brains can be freed from that, so that we can use that mental energy to help others and do bigger things than figuring out how to pay bills.”
I want to shift gears a little bit and just talk with you about how from day 1, way before the business happened, way before we even had Emmett, our youngest, that minimalism ties into this story so perfectly and how if you’re not bogged down with overspending, cleaning all the time, and the overwhelm in your day is kept at bay, you know, what you can control of it, that helps you live a purposeful life focused on what matters, even if you don’t have wealth per se.
This is where our story in terms of John 10:10 and abundant life really started was that verse was preached from the pulpit one Sunday. I was like, “Abundant life? I don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning. I’m exhausted. I barely made it to church today because I didn’t have enough money for gas. What a joke.” God showed up for me there and said, “I have something for you in this if you’ll listen.” It’s so crazy, I cry.
This is so important, you guys. Not everyone has money to make themselves okay and financially help others. That’s not what we’re saying. But if your home, your spending, and your lifestyle is simple and just less, it’s streamlined, you’ll have more mental and emotional space, and freedom to be more available to show up for people and help others in being Jesus to them. And you can use minimalism to be intentional about your spending and your stuff and get out of survival mode without a financial shift.
BRIAN: Going back to that ‘American dream’ thing, you’re stuck in this place where you’re constantly working, saving for the next trip or the next thing, and every day working and paying bills, and you’re not doing anything else but just surviving, existing. I feel like God has a purpose for everyone. He didn’t mean for us to just go to work and just make enough to live, pay the bills, eat and never do anything else.
I feel like a lot of us grow up that way and we go through our life that way. I feel like God has so much more for everyone and these things helped us see that, find that and be able to do that.
ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. Without getting super specific, we have somebody in our family that we love very much that is struggling right now because he did that whole routine…go to school, get a good job, get married, have kids, save for retirement…and you know, he’s struggling. He’s struggling with depression and weight gain, this bogged-down lifestyle because he feels listless and lifeless, just pointless. Like what was it all for? His marriage has collapsed, his family is torn apart. And it’s like, what was it all for?
He spent so much time, energy and focus saving for this time in his life that the relationship has failed and he didn’t show up for the people in his life. It’s a tragedy and that is anything but the American dream.
No, the American dream is what is God’s dream. For us to live. Focus on what matters. Showing up for people. Going out on a limb, loving others well, listening for His voice, telling us, “Hey, that person over there needs a little love. Go say ‘hi,’ go buy them dinner, invite them over. Host this thing.” Showing up for people.
BRIAN: I would hate to spend all my time just making money and be saving everything and never doing anything because I’m working so hard to save for later that I were to die and then I never even got to that point. Then my life wasn’t used.
ALLIE: The point you were saving for never came.
BRIAN: Yeah, cause that can even happen.
ALLIE: And again, it’s a balancing act. “Don’t save,” we’re not saying that. We love learning about balancing our money well and it is something that we’ve struggled with, coming from such a scarce place, but we’re always reading, learning, talking to financial advisors. It’s something that you need to do, but not putting all of your eggs in that basket.
Going back to minimalism, you can use minimalism and being intentional about your stuff and your spending to get out of survival mode and change your financial reality.
I think it’s important to focus on how you might be able to do that because how are you going to live your purpose if you’re constantly worried about maintaining your house or paying that bill?
Hey girl! Ok, I am interrupting what I was talking about because I want to tell you about this one more time. I feel like when you are listening to a podcast, they are talking about stuff and most people have ads and sponsorships from other companies and stuff like that. But this is important and I don’t want you to tune it out!
The Hassle to Harmony video series is open for enrollment right now! This is a LIVE thing so if you are listening to this episode when it first came out, hear me … this is happening right now! It is a totally free, 5 day video series. So it takes place over 5 days, 1 video each day. The videos are short and pointed! This series is designed by me to help you focus, prioritize, and clear the surface of your life.
I help a lot of women in my course, Your Uncluttered Home, clear the surfaces in their homes, declutter, and implement minimalism but this is for your life, calendar, and structure of your days. I am going to help you set up a few rhythms that are going to help you function really well. It is called Hassle to Harmony for that very reason: because if your days are feeling really hassled, the things that need to get done are not getting done, there is a lot of stress and chaos.
We can help harmonize that, and sync it up to where it needs to be.
We are going to talk about boundaries for your phone and other people so that you are focused on what matters and not letting obligations, phone sounds, and beeps, buzes, and alerts constantly pull your attention from where it needs to be day to day. We are going to talk about rhythms and routines. We are going to talk about owning your time and shifting your mindset. We are going to talk about living with intent. This is legit stuff! We are dealing with big issues here! I really want you in there.
Again, this is something that is happening LIVE. So you can’t listen to this episode in the future and go back and get this. It is happening live right now! The opening for free enrollment is right now – again, totally free! You can go to Hassle to Harmony and sign up for free! You will get 1 video for each. After Day 5, these videos are going to be removed. So you want to not only sign up live, take part in the videos, open those emails, watch the videos when they come to you so that you can take in this content while it is here. Once again, that link to sign up for FREE is Hassle to Harmony .
ALLIE: If you live simpler, you can focus on what actually matters. And that’s what this is all about. And that’s my problem with a lot of other ‘minimalist teachers’ is while they mention that this is what it’s really about, what they’re actually doing is giving you a list of rules on how to be a good minimalist, and how many items they have is a goal for you to try to attain. And it’s just all BS. It’s baseless and lifeless.
It’s about getting out of survival mode. We were so stuck in survival mode in our life years ago before minimalism, before the business, before all of this, that we couldn’t even…I remember somebody said to me once, “Hey, this is going on in my life. Could you pray for me?” I remember being so annoyed, like you just asked me to pray for you in this small problem. You don’t even know that I’m afraid to go home because I’m afraid there’s going to be an eviction notice on my door. I’m not okay. I feel like I can’t talk to anybody. I’m really scared and really stressed. It’s taking up all my mental energy and you’re asking me to pray for this small, ridiculous-to-me problem. I couldn’t even pray for people and be a good friend. I couldn’t show up for people at all because we were constantly having to figure out how to get enough gas money to get Brian to work and how to eat dinner that night.
The point is not putting yourself in that position so that you’re living on purpose. Again, this word ‘purpose’ is showing up a lot, but you’re never going to be able to do that if you’re stuck in survival mode, constantly thinking, “How am I going to survive today?” You just can’t show up in that place.
Let’s shift gears a little bit and talk a little bit more about a specific part of that American dream we’ve been talking about. I want to address this because it’s so funny to me. We move a lot. Up until recently, we’ve enjoyed moving a lot. We’ve moved to different states. We moved to different houses. We like to live ‘tiny’, so we’ve literally lived in a camper for a year almost. It was a 27-foot camper with no slide outs. It was so small. It was like a hallway, and it was awesome and terrible at the same time. We’ve lived in tiny houses, larger houses.
Every time we have moved, especially this last house, I think, because it was more of what we wanted, and we were like, you know, we plan on settling here for a while. But I think people saw it and they were like, “Oh, did you buy or rent?” People were asking, the questions were flooding in. And it was funny to me because these people were strangers to me, like their followers, I don’t know them in real life. And it’s like, why does it matter? What? Who Cares? It was asked in a way…you know when you can tell the undertone is if somebody’s asking you something? You’re not just asking cause it’s like, “Oh, I was just wanting to know?” It means something to you. It defines me in some way to you if I buy or rent.
We have never been worried about buying a house. It’s been very recently, in the last few months, something that we’ve talked about like, “Hmm, I think that we might…” We have different, various reasons that are just between us that we’re like, “Okay, I think that this makes sense now.
But before that, not just because we used to be super poor, but even when after the business was successful, we never even had a desire to buy a house. I wanted to dive into that a little bit because I think it’s this big misconception that buying a house is the end-all, be-all and people are going into crazy debt to get ownership of property and it’s not for any other reason a lot of the time than to reach this ‘status symbol’ and it’s insane because it’s breaking people.
Let’s just talk a little bit about why we haven’t been worried about buying a house, what we love about renting and the simplicity thing.
BRIAN: It’s funny how, first of all, God used us and had us go through all these things and had us go in different places like to Arkansas and traveling and whatever. Honestly, we wouldn’t have been able to do those things as easily if we had owned the house we lived in before.
ALLIE: He’s called us to pick up and go so many times, and not in a way where it’s like we’re doing something wrong or inconveniencing anybody, breaking leases, but just like, oh, we rent and we can do this, so let’s talk to the landlord and work it out and let’s go. We’ve moved. We’ve taken opportunities.
Living in the camper was really cool because it taught us the beauty in nonpermanent living. I think it’s a stability thing and people, especially certain personality types, they crave that stability and it equals success to them. But for us, we’ve just never felt that way. And living in the camper was so cool because one of my best friends went through a really difficult time and we were able to pick up, get the camper ready and drive across the country to Florida and stay with them for a month.
BRIAN: Well the funny thing too is we really had to cut back. We could only have what we absolutely needed. What can I not live without, pretty much. And we lived for a good while with four kids with hardly anything and realized you can do that. You can live great without all of this stuff. You know, it works. And it was kind of fun to not have to have all that stuff for a chunk of time.
ALLIE: It put everything underneath a certain light of simple really is the best way. And we lived a very minimalist life before that. I remember after we did the camper, that’s when we came back and we lived in an apartment while we looked for a house. Then we found this house and when we were moving in it was like, okay, everything goes under a different light. Do we need this? Everything we bought, the furniture we bought, we thought, okay, wait, what’s like the most intentional piece of furniture? We had learned so much. We had seen the beauty in being temporary and how we could show up for people when we weren’t tied down. It was such a beautiful time.
But it was funny because we came out of that and then all of a sudden everybody was like, “Oh, you have to buy a house. Congrats on your business going so well. When are you going to buy a house? When are you going to settle down? When are you gonna buy a house?”
And it’s so funny because who cares if we rent our whole lives? There’s loads of benefits to renting. We won’t get into all of those now, but there’s so many even financial benefits to renting and not owning a house. It’s not the end-all, be-all. If it makes sense for you, great. But oh my gosh guys, there’s nothing wrong with owning a house, but what’s the motive? If you’re going for a status or to impress a parent or something, hold up and question it because there’s so much beauty in not being tied down in that way.
We’ve learned so much about that. It’s a ridiculous status symbol that people want to attain.
I’ve felt that pull too. I felt like a ‘little bit less than’ in certain conversations with certain successful people that have asked, “Oh, did you buy that house?” And I want to lie and be like, “Yup.” Because it’s a success symbol. But I’m always like, “You know what? No, we didn’t. We didn’t. We waited because we wanted to rent a house again and we wanted to rent that house.” And now we may buy soon and we’re talking about that with different reasons and plans. And it makes sense for us now, so we’re looking at that. But I just think it’s funny that it’s all part of the ‘American dream’ and this ‘scam’ I feel like we’ve all bought into, that’s just empty for a lot of people. Not everyone, but a lot of people because it’s under the wrong motives.
ALLIE: Okay. Let’s shift gears a little bit and talk about abundant life when it comes to physical health because you and I have both been really honest and open on the podcast about…or I have, I have an episode about my emotional eating and weight issues, body issues.
BRIAN: Yeah, I have that stuff too.
ALLIE: Yeah, that’s a big part of your personal testimony and your story.
But I want to talk about why we’ve focused so much in the last year or so on our health and how it has nothing to do with how we look. This is where you shine.
BRIAN: Sure, well I feel like part of this purpose and part of this abundant life is me being able to do anything that I possibly can and do it at my best. At one point I felt like physically I know I can be better than this. I wasn’t at my best. I want God to be able to use me in any way that He can ask because I’m able. I want to be able.
I know God will use you in so many ways, no matter what, because there’s people that don’t have legs or have disabilities or certain things physically to where they’re not like everyone else in that way.
But I know that this is something I did to myself and I have really had an addiction. And it was causing me to be not my best, not as physical and strong as I could be. And you know, I honestly want to be able to do things with my kids and not have physical limitations because of my bad habits and my weight.
ALLIE: Yeah. I want to interject real quick and say something about that physical limitations. This is again talking about things that you do to yourself. For me and a brief thing about my story with this, it’s like we both felt so sick all the time from eating junk and it came from being broke. Eating convenience food that was cheap.
BRIAN: I used food as a way to cope. Eating because it felt good and that’s what I could do when things were so stressful and so crazy.
ALLIE: Food became like this pacifier. And for me, even after we could afford better food, I just used it to cope and I emotionally ate and I became addicted to food. The problem with a food addiction is that it’s unlike basically every other addiction where you can’t just cut it off cold turkey and stop smoking and stop drinking, stop going to bars, stop looking at pornography. You have to eat multiple times a day and your addiction is put in front of you multiple times a day and you have a choice to make. And it’s so hard to overcome that.
But for me, I did this to myself, like you said, and my physical limitations were that I was eating junk food and I was getting stomach issues from that. Then my stomach ruled my life. It got so bad that I would get sick. Anytime I ate, I would have diarrhea or feel like I was going to throw up and get stomach cramps, feel like I swallowed a brick and then that gave me anxiety. And again, I got anxiety around eating.
I didn’t want to leave the house. I was just feeling sick and nervous and anxious all the time.
So then when my business did take off, I was turning down speaking engagements because I was afraid. I was afraid to leave. I was afraid to get sick. I made myself sick all the time. I had adrenal fatigue. I had leaky gut syndrome, which is super awful to live with. God showed me that I was giving my life over to my food and that the enemy was using that to hold me back from His purpose for me.
ALLIE: Yeah. I didn’t even realize how serious it was. We want to have the energy we need to do the things that we’re called to do. And that can be done a lot easier when we’re not purposely handicapping ourselves. When we feel good enough to actually get up and go out and do God’s work. “You do it.” We have a calling and we need to show up for that.
For me, a big lesson I learned is that abundant life looks like showing up in the area of health and making choices. Of course, we’ll have pizza and beer every once in a while. We’ll go out. We’re normal people. But in general, checking myself, putting my food under the light of what is good here? What’s the motive?
Same with the American dream and the financial thing. What’s the motive behind me eating this? Am I binge eating? Am I pacifying my emotions in some way?
Abundant life often looks like showing up well in each area. Even in what you’re putting in your mouth, what you’re putting in your body, what you’re eating and how you’re exercising, how you’re moving. If we can fuel ourselves and do something to make what we have to do easier, feeling energized and feeling good then I think we have a responsibility to do it and I think abundant life has a lot to do with that.
So. Okay. Talk about a little bit about…we don’t have to talk specifically about Crossfit, that’s just what has inspired you, but just talk about like in Crossfit, not even Crossfit, forget that…even in the exercise industry it’s all about the ‘beach body’ and this ‘six-pack’ and the ‘tight butt’ and all of these surface things that are really just a side note benefit to that.
We were just talking yesterday about if we were told, “Oh, you have a thyroid issue. You have this health issue. You’re never going to lose a pound again.” We would still show up, work out, show up for that because of how it makes us feel.
So, I just wanted you to talk a little about what you’ve come to terms with, about why you exercise, and why you’ve learned to grow in that area when you used to be like, “I’m never going to exercise. Who cares?” Like, you know, how you came to this place.
BRIAN: I honestly had some situations where there were things that I physically couldn’t do that were normal life things. Lifting things. Moving things. Being able to stretch for this or do this, reach for this or do that, or I wasn’t strong enough to do certain things and I hated that. I just hated that.
I knew I could be better than this. God physically made one’s body to be able to do things. And I kind of messed that up for myself. I found that Crossfit gave me…I just really, I really do it. I do it because all of these things are all functional movements and they’re all things that I’m working out to do because I’m doing this for my life. I want to be able to move, be strong, protect my family, take care of my kids, and do things for them. I don’t want to be limited in what I can do physically.
ALLIE: We’ve talked a lot about how we have a lot going on and it requires a lot of energy frankly. Four kids that are all young, homeschooling, running the business, running errands, running our house. All we do all day is ‘talk it out’ and make decisions and put out fires. Our life is crazy. Exercising, no matter what form it is…we simply won’t have what it takes if we don’t take good care of ourselves.
I feel like that kind of forced us into exercise because neither of us were exercisers before or people that were passionate about that at all. And now it’s like I can’t show up well, I don’t have the energy, if I don’t fuel my body.
BRIAN: Yeah, because we have four kids and we are busy and doing all these things. I want to be able to wake up and do anything, any task that comes up in my day and have the energy to live this and do this abundant life. I don’t want to have this opportunity to have an abundant life, but I’m sick or exhausted. I was sick at one point from the way I was eating. I don’t want to be sick and not be able to live that abundant life.
I feel like all of these things go together.
ALLIE: Absolutely. And showing up for what God tells you to do.
BRIAN: God can have me do so many different things. And you know, what if, I don’t know, He asked me to travel through the desert and save girls from sex trafficking and I couldn’t even walk on a hiking trail or through the desert for more than a mile, you know?
ALLIE: If you’re 350 pounds and you’re worried about paying your electric bill, you can’t focus on that. You want to show up for what God’s calling you to do.
BRIAN: Right. I don’t want to physically limit my life or the things that God can use me for.
ALLIE: Yeah, exactly. It’s not that like, “Oh, I’m just going to be ready for anything. And your psycho making sure that you have no responsibilities, no stress, no extra baggage physically or financially and you’re just waiting.
But if you can do something to make yourself more available to grow the kingdom and live on purpose, why wouldn’t you?
And just like you said, what if God called you to that? What if He literally was like, “I want you to travel through this region and rescue girls from sex trafficking.” That’s amazing. And like you said, if you’re overweight, tired, addicted to sugar, out of shape and worried about how you’re going to make an extra 20 bucks to pay your bill, you are not going to be able to do that.
It’s about getting that perspective and putting yourself in a position of readiness. And I think that’s amazing. What a cool perspective. I love that about you so much. You have taken that on. You apply that in every area. It’s so amazing and inspiring to me that you see the world in that way. I want to be like you in that way, that you’re ready. It’s still a journey. You still struggle with your weight and we’re still working through this and it’s a long journey, but you’re doing it because you want to be the most ready, the most helpful and the most available for what matters.
BRIAN: Exactly. Because you know, at one point I remember I had the motive of wanting to do this just so that I can make it to the Crossfit games or be the best Crossfit athlete. I want to be the best at everything that I do. I want to do that and live my life that way, but that’s not what I’m going to make my only focus on with health. I want to be ready for any circumstance in my life. If I can be ready with my health, I want to do that. I’m pursuing that and trying to be better every day. And that’s why I love Crossfit.
ALLIE: That’s the abundant life when it comes to the area of health. Yeah, I love that.
Okay, so to wrap this episode up, I wanted to go over a couple of things that God has called us to and put in our paths ever since we made ourselves ready and able and that has nothing to do with the success of the business and that has nothing to do with money. It had to do with our hearts being ready.
The message that I want you guys to take from this is what can you do to set yourself up to live a more abundant life? If you’re not right now, can you come up with a 3-year plan? Can you bring it to God and ask Him to help you come up with that? Can you put your life under that light of John 10:10 and ask God, what can I do differently here and get ready and able? How can I get ready?
BRIAN: If you’re willing, God will use you.
ALLIE: Yes! He does not just use the rich and fit. That’s not what we’re saying. He’ll use the broke, the poor, the chubby.
BRIAN: It’s not, “You only have to get to this point, and then God can use you.” This was just our story. This is the stuff that with the way that I am, the way that you are, I had to go through this stuff to learn these lessons, to be set up in this place where I could be abundant in the way that God wanted to use me, and it can look so different for so many people.
It doesn’t have to look just like this. It doesn’t have to be until you’ve made millions and millions and millions of dollars and then you’re in a ready position.
ALLIE: We were used way before this. When we were at our brokest, we offered to adopt a friend’s baby. We opened up our home and let her stay with us. We gave money we didn’t have to people. We also hoarded money and acted out of scarcity and made huge mistakes.
But when we have shown up for God, when we were broke, when we were struggling with obesity and food addiction, when we were doing really well and thriving financially…at all the different seasons, when we’ve shown up, God has shown up and used us. He just needs you to be ready and willing.
If you put your life under the light of John 10:10 and look at it in terms of abundant life, how much more can you do when you’re focused on using your money, your energy, your time to be ready to take action on God’s Kingdom building, and you have a lot more of both of those things?
So, I think what we are trying to say and what the point of this is, is that it’s not about how much more usable you are if you’re loaded or you’re fit, but about how much more usable you are if your heart is open and you’re ready and willing.
By being ready and willing, God shows up and pours His resources out on you and that leads to great change, powerful Kingdom work and abundant life and that’s what it’s all about.
This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.
Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.
I am always rooting for you, friend!
See ya next time!