Summer Reminders

We need to stop looking too much into the future! This is not the time to wish our lives away.

Summer is not over! Don’t wish it away either. I believe that many of us have been looking too much towards the fall – whether that’s because of school uncertainty, election issues, or another upcoming shutdown, but we need to stop. We need to stop looking too much into the future! This is not the time to wish our lives away. In Wisconsin, we spent several months in a shutdown and now, instead of enjoying these warm months with our families, we are spending our days worrying about the future – a future that we have absolutely no control over. So, here are a few summertime reminders, because after all we have several weeks to enjoy this glorious weather!

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com
  1. Faith. It’s time to make extra time for God. Let’s dust off those devotional books, put aside some quiet moments for prayer, and place our trust back in God. Bask in the sunshine, enjoy the warmth, and give the control back to God. This isn’t easy, but true freedom.
  2. Family. Family time should be a priority, but sometimes we place this on the back-burner. Yes, we need to earn a living. Yes, we need to provide support to our community. But if our family isn’t coming first, then we are not making progress – we are only treading water with nowhere to swim. Stop treading and start living. It’s okay to stay home all day, clean bedrooms, read books, bake cookies, or watch an old movie with the family. These are the important moments. The down-days will ultimately bring us more joy than the days we spend running around trying to fulfill commitments and barely recognize that our children only want time with us, not big events, but big hugs instead.
  3. It’s Too Short. In the Midwest, summer is too short and winter is too long. Why are we wishing for time to speed up as we await announcements beyond our control? Stop worrying. Yes, that’s easier said than done. But it’s wasting time to dwell on the uncertainty. Thrive on the here and now. Don’t wish summer away, winter brings 9 long months of dark and cold.
  4. Commitments. If you can’t remember what you did last week or if the calendar fills too quickly beyond you’re control – stop! Limit the engagements. Life is not suppose to be a rat race. We tend to say “when things slow down”, but they won’t slow down without intention on our part. Many of us enjoyed the empty calendars, the slow days at home that were brought on by quarantine. There’s no reason our lives need to return back to an unending sea of engagements. Determine what is most important and eliminate the rest.
  5. Conserve. If anything, this time has not only taught me to trust more but that I need to conserve more. Maybe some of these recent events proved our over indulgence is quite unhealthy – whether that’s too many commitments, too many treats, too much shopping, or too much entertainment. I’d have to say that within just a few months, I have learned a lot and have also encountered my flaws. Let’s not fall back into bad habits of giving into our momentary desires. Time with our families is more important than hours on social media or shopping on Zulily. Yes, there’s a time and place for all of those things, but are we doing too many things in excess that should be more controlled?

Organized Simplicity

2020 has started out with a bang. There’s always something deafening about hitting a new decade. I’m not sure if it’s the realization that everything and everyone is aging (for the better) or that it’s another year of uncertainties. The past five years have taught me many valuable lessons, including having complete faith in God. (Easily said than done some days.) But as this year started with several life-altering events, I have taken each one with stride while learning that God desires for me to be in this place and at this time.

With the beginning of a new year and the desire to organize, as organizing tends to be more of a hobby for me than scrap-booking, I decided to jump in on The Organized Simplicity Challenge with Kathryn Whitaker and Stephanie Weinert. (I saved a few of my Instastories if you desire to see me suffer through the challenge.) Yes, I love to organize and this is the third time I undertook the challenge, but this was the first time attempting such a demanding task while homeschooling three children, with two other little ones running around. Let’s just say that my organization times were late into the evenings and into the weekends as our schoolwork always comes first. But it was a good lesson for me. Maybe several good lessons.

I have learned that no matter how much we have become comfortable with a task, there will always be unforeseen circumstances that slow out progress. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Teaching my children, caring for my family, and running people to activities has it’s importance. And as much as I would absolutely love a perfectly organized house that isn’t my season in life right now.

So, I completed the Organized Simplicity Challenge. Maybe not to the level of my person expectations, but I tried my best in my season of life. And it is better to have tried, pushed through the tasks, than not to try at all. Those of you who desire to undertake an intense purging challenge, this is for you! Even if you don’t believe you have the time or energy, you may prove yourself wrong – while potentially teaching yourself a very valuable lesson in the process. Purchase the book, Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider, here!.

Creating a Life for the Common Good

An organized life is a beautiful life – a ripple-effect for the common good. Every now and then we all have those days, or weeks, where everything feels like it’s spinning out of control.  There are just too many things to check off the list, too many appointments in one week and of course this is all equaling to a boat load of stress and tension.  So how can we overcome and get pass this stress, this fast-paced uncontrollable lifestyle.  Well, there is one word to live by that will help organize, de-clutter and slow down this crazy world.  Simplify.

I have learned with life’s experiences that it’s time to simplify and choose priorities.  I know, I know, everyone talks about this, but do we ever actually take a step towards this process?  We are here to give you a few suggestions, steps that have worked for us!  Take what works for you and personalize it for your own lifestyle.

As a mom of four little ones, most of my days feel like this, but then I snuggle with one of those noise-makers at the end of the day and all is right in the world. The craziness truly doesn’t matter, but it’s up to me to find my priorities and create an organized life for myself (as much as possible). When my daily life is organized, I am more at peace, and therefore my family is also happier. It’s a beautiful ripple-effect that will touch every person we com in contact with. It’s time to focus on finding the common good for ourselves, our families, and for the whole of society.

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Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

1. Keep a Schedule.  Day to Day and Month to Month.  This will help you keep track of events, meetings, appointments and day to day tasks.

2. Each day write a small list of your goals.  Keep this list simple and reachable.  If you are able to cross off everything for that day, it will keep you motivated to continue with this the next day and the next day.

3. Keep a cleaning monthly schedule.  This way you won’t forget to wipe the blinds, clean the fans or wash the curtains.  Do one major task each week to spread it out.

4. Remove the clutter and organize your material possessions.  Eliminate what you haven’t used or worn in over a year.  It’s not worth keeping and someone else may be able to use it.\

5. Keep the social events under control, including play-dates, lunch dates with the girls, nights out, happy hours, fundraising events, etc.  Spend more quality time with close friends and family.  Those are the people who matter the most!

6. Admit when your schedule is full and learn to say no.  You can’t do everything and be fabulous at everything, so learn what will fit best into your life and your family’s life.

7. Make family life a priority.  Yes, you may have passions outside of family life and that’s great, but never let those take over your daily schedule.  Your children, husband and close family/friends come first!

8.   Keep your spouse as a top priority and he will do the same for you!

9. Your children are important, as a parent they are your daily gifts and miracles, so take care of them: emotionally and physically.  Not only by clothing them and giving them the daily necessities but providing emotional and loving support.  You are their everything, you are their world!

10. Spend time on yourself.  Whether this means taking a weekly exercise class, fifteen minutes of daily reflection, a walk in the park or a monthly spa date.  Keep a healthy diet, exercise often and drink a lot of water, flush out those toxins.  You need to rejuvenate yourself, often.