Simplifying Summer

We are entering week two of summer vacation, and I have already had to run away from home once because the kids were driving me (and each other) crazy. Thank God I have a teenager who can cover for me in moments like these! Overall, though, it has been a good first week, and I am looking forward to what this summer will bring. Did you catch that? I don’t have this summer all planned out; I have left a[Read more]

Discover the Quiet Joy of January

(This piece was originally published in Cedarburg Bridge.) Stark, solemn trees stand sentinel along our streets.  The earth is barren, cold and hard beneath our feet.  In January, winter settles into our bones like a bear into his cave. Gone is the joyous ringing of bells, shining lights, and shimmering splendor of the holidays.  The explosion of fireworks ushering in the New Year fades and flickers into deep winter stillness. And yet, there is comfort in the slowing, as we[Read more]

Building a Blessings Budget

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 Last week, we attended family camp at Fort Wilderness.  Our speaker for the week was Pastor Brian Kluth, speaker and writer on generosity, God’s provision, and legacy living.  He spoke on many topics during the week that resonated with and challenged me, but there is one takeaway that I am especially excited[Read more]

How I’m Not Letting 10 lbs. Keep Me from Enjoying Summer

Summer weather has finally graced the northern tundra!  A couple of weeks ago, I eagerly pulled out my small bin of summer clothes, ready for my first day of wearing shorts.  I have a relatively limited wardrobe, so I was thankful to have inherited a few, timeless golf skorts from my aunt last year, which fit well and are very comfortable (no, I don’t play golf, but my fantasy self wishes I did).  I selected one and put it on,[Read more]

The Importance of “Us”: How to Find a Shared Hobby with Your Spouse (Part 1)

Over the years, I have conducted an informal poll of couples married ten years or more, asking the following question:  Do you and your spouse have any hobbies or interests that you enjoy doing together?  A handful of these couples have responded affirmatively, listing traveling, golfing, backpacking, and bird watching as some of their shared interests.  The majority, though, have looked at me blankly, as if the idea was completely foreign to them.  I find this concerning, because I believe[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Zoe (Life)

As I close out this Blogging from A to Z series, I want to encourage you to experience Zoe, which is the Greek word for “life.”  It refers to both the vitality of living beings, but more importantly, it is “the uncreated, eternal life of God, the divine life uniquely possessed by God.”* I once owned a red, VW Quantum station wagon, which I hopefully named Zoe (yes, I name all of my vehicles).  I loved that car.  She carried[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Yes!

How often do you say “no” in a day?  If you’re a mom like me, too much.  My no’s often sound like, “In a little while,” “After I finish ____,” “Maybe later.” After eXamining your life yesterday, did you find that you have more free time on your hands because of simplifying?  If so, then it is time to start saying “Yes!” again. Contrary to popular thought, simplicity (or minimalism) isn’t about saying no to everything.  It’s about saying yes[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: eXamine

Here we are, two days from the end of the A to Z Blogging Challenge: 26 Steps to Simplicity series.  Thanks for sticking with me! How did you do this month?  Have you decluttered at least one room or one closet or one set of something? We have a huge pile of discards on the side of our house waiting for a dumpster (bookcases, chairs, tables, the remains of a chimney and a stone planter) and more already in the[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Work (A Story About Finding Work You Love to Do)

Do you love the work you do? Does it bring you joy? Or, do you live for the weekends, and wish you could be doing something else for those 40 hours each week? Last week, I attended my oldest son’s music ensemble performance. I sat next a couple I had never met, whose daughter was in the ensemble with my son. The wife and I struck up a conversation about our children and the school, and at some point I[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Visualize (9 Shareable Images of Simplicity)

Several people have declared the value of simplicity throughout history.  Today, I offer some of their thoughts in a pictorial view of simplicity.  All of the images are free for you to use and share as you like. Let’s spread the beauty of simplicity around the world:)             Less is more. Be content. Show gratitude. Live simply.  Enjoy the journey.