Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Simple Life?

 'Living a simple life' is a hot topic among women in our culture who are looking for a way to lessen the stress of their days.  I think we all know what is important in life and that is loving God and others. When life goes spiraling out of control and those priorities get pushed to a back burner then our conscience knows something needs to change.  A simpler way of  life can hold great appeal to a weary and stressed out woman.

White Coconut Cake for Easter
 Simplifying  can also help those who deal with limited strength due to chronic illness. When we can't keep up then it's necessary to find ways to cut back on the non-essentials. This is my current motive for simplifying my days. The old grey mare she ain't what she used to be! 

A dear friend recommended I make a list of my primary daily responsibilities and then another list of occasional responsibilities (grands spending the night, taking mom to a doctor visit, etc.) and a final list of want to's.  I took these lists and then ran it through the grid of Scriptures in my heart to see if my priorities matched God's priorities.

We had our first artichoke for dinner

I'll give you an example. I am an older woman so the Scripture below is a direct command to me (it's also for younger women, too).  I looked at my daily and occasional responsibilities and asked if these priorities were listed. 

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to:
- teach what is good, and so
- train the young women to
- love their husbands
- and children,
- to be self-controlled, pure,
- working at home,
- kind, and
- submissive to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be reviled.  Titus 2:3

You're  never too old to hunt for eggs!

As I look back over last week I began asking myself, "Was my schedule so crammed with my own agenda that it hindered me from teaching these things to younger women...if they asked? (And if I am to teach these things to younger women then I must ask if I am obeying these commands personally). Am I loving (phileo means affection) my husband? Am I practicing self-control (in the way I order my days,etc.) 

How can I change my priorities to obey God's Word?

He will ALWAYS give us enough time to do His will. I've already found some non-essentials that I have set aside so I can use my strength for the essentials.

Ordering my daily schedule around God's commands is the greatest simplifier I know!

Lovely flowers from a sweet friend to brighten my day!


Just a few things to write about this past month...

1. I love THE KITCHN! If you enjoy working in your kitchen (or WANT to enjoy it) then you might like this website. It's a great resource and I have learned quite a few new things. I like to find ways to be encouraged in the kitchen because it's so easy to get in a rut.

2. I try to frequent our local thrift stores because I have found out that they rarely have what I need at the last minute. I keep an ongoing list in my purse which includes every day tops for myself and shirts for my husband. I always check the book section for gifts (I found 2 brand new FOOD NETWORK cookbooks last year that I gave for gifts). I browse games for the grands, small appliances and greeting cards and dishes. This past month I found 3 nice blouses and only paid $8.00. A 25% off coupon comes in our local paper so I cut it out and immediately put it in my purse. I also keep other coupons in the car. I have greater success of using them if I see them in the car while I am shopping. The Goodwill store sends out reminders when they have $1 sales.

3. Our city is on a watering schedule because of the drought. Our public works department gives away a bag full of water conserving items such an hand held spray nozzle to wash the car, low flow shower heads and a faucet attachment that goes on the kitchen or bath faucet to slow water usage! All free! The kitchen sink faucet thingie has a lever to flip that slows down the water so you don't have to turn off your water completely. There were also some pencils, pens and paper tablets. You might want to check and see if your city has similar offers.

My grandson just couldn't wait to swim in APRIL! LOL!!! Poor baby! 

4. I've shared how I save my used tinfoil but sometimes it's not in the greatest shape.  I decided to use the tinfoil to line the drip plate that fits under the stove burner instead of using a new piece of foil. Hard as I try I can never keep those pans looking brand new.

5. I have gone back to checking the library first before I order a book through Amazon. I saved $20 by checking out a desired book through my library. I was glad I did because it wasn't a book I would have wanted to save for my personal library.

A couple new varieties of tomatoes

6. I cooked my turkey the day before Easter since I was baking a ham on Easter morning. I used this tutorial to carve and reheat it! I sure wish I had seen this years ago.

Make Ahead Turkey

7. Spring has sprung in my neck of the woods. I have small flowers popping up all over my yard. I had some sweet violets in a vegetable bed so I transplanted them to the front yard. It didn't cost me a thing except a little time and it's brought joy being able to see them thriving in a new spot. Spring is the perfect time of the year to check with neighbors and friends to see if they have seedlings or cuttings they plan on throwing away. It's free and if your friends are like me they would rather pass the plants on than throw them in the garbage.

My lilac bushes were so pretty this year!
8. Did you know that a fertilized lawn needs less water? I always dread spending the money on fertilizer for our lawns but my husband likes a green lawn. I felt better when a clerk at Home Depot told me that a healthy fertilized lawn uses less water.

9. I throw the change from my purse into a glass jar. Last summer I let my granddaughters use it to go thrift store shopping. A few weeks ago the grands used it to play games at Bass Pro. This is a great way to do something extra without it taxing my pocketbook. One time our saved change added up to $500.

10. My grandchildren love ice cream Blizzards and sundaes but it's hard on my budget at $3 and $4 a pop. So, we made our own. I bought the ice cream on sale and their favorite candy bar. We refrigerated the candy bars and then cut them in pieces and folded them into the ice cream. They loved it and it was a fraction of the cost.


You will still be eating last years harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new.
Lev. 26:10 NIV


Our berry bushes are loaded with blossoms
- Bread wrappers (washed and reused)
- Paper Towel cardboard tube (reused to wrap plastic bags around)
- Rubber bands (from newspapers)
- Newspapers (layered in vegetable garden for composting)
- Black plastic tray from frozen meal (drawer organizer)
- Paper bag from grocery store (reused to ripen fruit)

- 1 roll of garbage bags
- 1 can of chicken and tuna
- 2 gallons of water 
- Toilet Paper 
- Propane tank filled
(This is my 5 week pay period so I don't buy many extras this month)

How about you? What could you eliminate from your daily schedule that would give you more time to obey His commands?

Blessed to be home,