FYI: Simplifying

Following is a collection of links that may be of interest to you related to our current topic. Note, listing does not imply endorsement. Please evaluate for your own situation.

Simply Does It — using resources wisely sometimes means not using them up

Pruning — there comes a time when this would benefit every one of us

How to say “No” — it can be difficult, but there are alternatives

Simplifying your calendar — helpful tips and templates

History — some background on the concept of a simple life

Consider: Refresh

Recently a new book came out, Refresh: Embracing a Grace-Paced Life in a World of Endless Demands by Shona & David Murray, that is an excellent resource for women feeling overwhelmed by responsibility and constant demands on their time and energy. The book discusses a visit to “Refresh Gym” for those facing or in the midst of burnout.

…there is a pace of running that will obtain the prize and a pace that won’t. A sprint pace will not win a long-distance race, although that’s what many of us try (and fail at). We try to run as fast as we can and even try to run everyone else’s race for them too. What miserable bondage! Now, having passed through Refresh Gym, many of us have learned that we must follow God’s race plan, a much more deliberate, grace-paced race, if we want to finish well.

There will be times when we have to run faster and push ourselves harder, but these times will be less frequent as we remind ourselves of the distance we have yet to run. These bursts of busyness and stress will be more frequently interspersed with refreshing recovery strategies, so that we will be much less likely to crash and burn as before. The occasional, sudden, immediate demands of our energy will not deplete us as before, because we have left margin in our lives.

If you feel the need for more intention and balance in your life, or are simply desperate to get your head above water, the book offers many practical insights across multiple areas of life. It’s also designed to walk through the gym one chapter (station) at a time, so you can take it at your own pace.

If you have read or do read this book, we’d love to hear your comments below.

A Little Bit Better

Today’s the day — the first day of the new year! Whether you are a dedicated resolution maker or just enjoy a fresh start, it’s a milestone day for all of us.

My challenge for you this year: Get a little better at something of value. You don’t need to become an expert this month, just improve a bit. Take some time to look at your areas of responsibility, list your strengths and weaknesses, and tackle one weakness. Just one.

Remember, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.elephant-1598359__340

Looking at the Proverbs 31 description is usually intimidating and overwhelming. The breadth of knowledge and skill used there is impressive. But take a deep breath, step back, and think of all the things you already do. There is a wide variety there! If you continue that trend, adding a little more each year, learning something new, sharpening your tool set — think of how much more skill you will have in a few years. You are capable and are able to become even better.

This can be a brand new skill that would be useful but you’ve never tried before (like bread-making or book-keeping) or just getting a little better at what you already do (cleaning the house or studying or calendaring). Either way is progress.

Take advantage of the resources available to you, whether that be through people you know or online or at the library. We are blessed with so much to use for learning. A friend holding you accountable helps a ton (and keeps you from settling for less out of laziness or discouragement).

Sharing what you are learning to encourage others is a fringe benefit of these efforts. We’d love to hear what you will tackle and your plan to do it. Comment below or on social media. We’re in this together.

Happy New Year!

 

Consider: Radical Womanhood

See words on household management below from Radical Womanhood by Carolyn McCulley:

Homemaking is simply the collection of tasks that keep a home running. These tasks are no more the ultimate definition of “looking well to the ways of a household” than cleaning out electronic files, deleting email, answering the phone, and booking travel reservations are to the actual definition of office work. Every sphere has its repetitive tasks that contribute to the larger goal of productivity.

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Though the marketplace does not value the home beyond what goods can be purchased for it, the ministry to be found there is of immense worth to the Lord. The stability of family relationships, the care of elderly or disabled family members, the discipling and training of children, the warm reception of guests, the making of a lifetime of memories, the daily modeling of biblical instruction, the fresh nourishment in an age of processed foods that contribute to our general ill health, the joy of a Christ-centered marriage — all of these things have long-lasting, if not eternal, effects… If we are wise, we will recognize this fact and consider whether the choices we are making are either actively building up or tearing down our homes (Proverbs 14:1 NIV)…

 

These books are only set here as possibilities for you to explore. Posts and links are not endorsements or paid publicity.

Consider: How Should I Manage Time?

The short booklet How Should I Manage Time? by Ryan M. McGraw has this to say about intentional living:

Now that we understand the biblical principles of the value of time, we can consider how to manage our time in a God-honoring way. We must distinguish between principles derived from Scripture, the fact that we must apply them, and the varied ways in which we may apply them. For example, we must meditate daily on the Word of God (Ps. 1:2). we may do this by prayerfully reading through the entire Bible in a year or through some other method. We may read at different times of the day and more at some times than others. Similarly, using time well means being intentional with how we use time.

If our wise priorities show up in what we do all day and each day, we are living with intention.

These books are only set here as possibilities for you to explore. Posts and links are not endorsements or paid publicity.