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simple living

What Living A Simple Life Has Taught me

I get to wake up to a rooster crowing every single morning. How amazing is that? Not many people are rewarded that luxury in life. Some would argue that it’s even a luxury at all. But there are many areas and places that don’t even allow backyard chickens anymore. I’m thankful for my rooster, even when he’s crowing at 4 a.m.
I get to wake up and make lunch for my husband, even when I don’t feel like getting up early. I get to send him off to work knowing he’ll have food to eat if he gets stuck on a job site. I make breakfast for my son, get a little work done, clean my home (though I so lack at this), make a hearty farm fresh dinner in the Summertime, and say prayers at night.
I know how to crochet, bake bread, cook from scratch, start a fire in the woodstove, cook over wood heat, put up a chicken run, butcher livestock, plant and preserve a garden, make herbal remedies, and take time to enjoy the good Lord in the quiet moments…coffee not optional.
The simple life. It’s not always so simple, but my goodness, does it teach us things beyond skill-sets and how to cook. It teaches us lifetime character traits and to leave nonsense behind. Here’s what living a simple life has taught me, and is still teaching me.

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The Lost Skill of Serving Your Family

Serving your family—it’s almost an uncommon term new days. My grandmother’s house is always clean, always busy serving her family. Even to this day, when she can’t get around much, it’s clean. She takes granddad’s plate to him, pours him an ice cold glass of milk, and then makes her plate. She was always in the kitchen. When she was in her prime, you wouldn’t see her sit down once during the holidays. She was in the kitchen all day, cleaning up while everyone sat down to eat, and then after almost all of us had left, she’d finally eat her food. She would tell us that she wanted to enjoy our company, so she wanted to clean up quickly and then she would sit down and enjoy her family.

Her household was her sanctuary. It was her priority. It was the one job that she was taught to do well, above all else. And you know what? She loved doing it.

I have to admit, being a housewife is not my greatest accomplishment.  It is a daily learning experience for me. I am constantly learning new things about being a good wife, a good mother, and a good housekeeper. It’s a continuous process, learning to serve your family. I am constantly becoming. And while we seem to have more distractions in today’s world, it’s no excuse.

 

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A Work of Heart | A simple life….

My months have been running together recently. Not just the days, the weeks….but the months.

It seems like just a month ago we were celebrating Christmas, singing in the New Year, and kissing Valentine’s Day goodbye.

But here it is, another month, another day, and more on my plate than I can handle.

These past few months have been trying for me in my spiritual walk with Christ.

Nothing bad has happened. Nothing tragic. Life is all-in-all perfect and blessed and I’m extremely grateful for it. But sometimes there are spiritual battles going on within us that take our focus off God, and place them on frivolous things or emotions.

It’s the fact that sometimes, we see our lives as meaningless. When we don’t have these amazing things that we’re doing, right here…right now…
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I’ve come through that time this past week. God has tediously been working on my heart over the past 6 months, but even more so these past 3 months. God has a lot in store for my little family over the next couple of years, and the overwhelming feeling of “doing it all” has gotten to me.

And I’m so excited about it, because I know that it’s just one step closer to His will, to His beauty, to Him restoring us to glory.

My walk isn’t going to look like your walk. But I do struggle, just like you.

My calling may not look like your calling, and some days, many of us aren’t ok with that.

But when it comes to the heart….

How do you function? How do you allow God to continue His work in you when you just can’t deal with the emotions, the frustration, and the business of life? Life is far more busy than I ever expected it to be.

What we don’t realize is that sometimes, God will use the most simple everyday moments to help you grow, to help you “deal”, and to help change your heart. He has certainly been teaching me this more and more every day.

The key is, you have to allow it.

You have to accept that we do have emotions and stupid moments, that things can annoy us easily and that we aren’t flawless. You have to trust that you’re weak, and He is strong.

You have to realize that you cannot function without leaning on Him every.single.day.

You have to realize that while you’re reading this, I’m talking directly to your soul, not someone else’s.

We often accept the good things people say about us, but what about the bad things…the criticism?

You see, in order to have growth, you must change. But why would you change the good things? Wouldn’t you change the bad things? And if you can’t accept the bad things in your life…the criticism…then how will you ever know what is bad, so that you can grow?

But how do we get to that point, where we’re fully leaning on God in every circumstance, in every little detail of our lives?

We pray.

We spend time with Him, daily.

We realize that we are weak, and that without whispering that little prayer every morning, we are trying to do everything on our own. Without it, it doesn’t work….

…it never works…

This week I’ve decided to schedule my day around God. Every single day.

Chores will be done in the mornings so that my afternoon’s are mostly free.

Homeschool will be done in the mornings or after “rest” time.

Dishes will be washed, laundry will be washed and drying before lunch, vacuuming will be completed.

And when rest time comes, mama’s soul will find rest as well.

Spending at least an hour with my beautiful Savior, every single day.

In order for my day to revolve around Him, my work must get done. The job that He has “called” me to do….being a mother, a wife, a homemaker. Doing it joyfully, and doing it well.

But all after I whisper that silent prayer in the morning…

Jesus.

Sometimes, the sweetest name of all is all that needs mentioned before you begin your day.

You see, I have a lot running around in my mind right now — goals that He has placed on my heart. But I feel that strong compelling feeling that, before I can take on what He wants to give me, I must first be good at the task’s that He’s already set before me.

And then I remember…

First and foremost, I’m a wife. Am I tending to all of my husband’s needs? Is the house clean when he gets home? Am I organized?

I’m a mother. Is my child getting the best of me — the quality and the quantity?
Am I spending enough time with my child each day — am I training him? Not just having fun with him — am.I.training.him?

Is his training one of my highest priorities? Or am I believing the lie that God has something more for me and I should spend more time doing that thing?

It’s one of those lie’s where we get so caught up in believing that God has called us to do something spectacular, that we forget about the biggest calling that’s been placed on our lives….motherhood.

Or am I wasting too much time, neglecting my responsibilities because of distractions? Facebook, email, phone calls….

Where’s God in my daily tasks?

I think the question should be, “why isn’t God in my daily tasks?”

or more so…

“Why am I not allowing God in my daily tasks?”

I got Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, in the mail yesterday. I started reading it as soon as I opened the package…and I haven’t been able to put it down since. It’s good for my soul, it’s what I needed, right here…right now…

Sometimes God uses the simple moments….

And sometimes, God uses the most simple people….mightily.

I have a lot of simple projects on my to-do list this week. And I’m ok with that…

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