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  • Writer's picturewhimsygalsco

Simple Strategies

So you want to say “yes” to less and live a life of simplicity.  You want to live a life full of MORE of the things you truly desire. MORE time with your family, MORE availability to fulfill the dream tugging at your heart, and MORE peace.  You’re excited! We’re excited! Except for one thing. When you’re about to say “yes” to less, fear and doubt have a way of creeping in, and you may question if this is even attainable.  You might feel a little lost.  Since the simple road is less traveled in our society, you might feel like you’re headed down a dark and lonely road with no map.  We know, and we’re here. We promise it is possible and beneficial. You will be thankful you did the work, put in the time, and walked down that scary path that ended up not so scary.  You will be rewarded and filled with unexpected beauty. 

We don’t have all the answers, and there are no two paths that will look the same. However, in the last several years, we have noticed some similar strategies that have worked for us to bring simplicity and calm to our lives and homes. So, we want to share some of those simple strategies with you.

Saying YES to Saying NO!

Not long ago, we realized that every time we said “yes” to someone or something, we had to say “no” to someone or something else. When we said “yes” to the needs and requests of others, it meant that we were saying no to personal things. No to our kids, no to date night, no to resetting our homes.  Even though what we were saying “yes” to were excellent and admirable uses of our time and attention, that didn’t mean they were commitments we should have said “yes” to.  We had to step back and look at every opportunity we had said “yes” to and ask ourselves a few questions. How is this affecting my family and home? If, as a mom, I say “yes” to things outside my home, it may mean that my children or husband are the ones feeling the effects of what I’m doing.  Not to say that we can’t say “yes” to things outside of our homes.  We absolutely can and do!  Still, we are first and foremost called to the care and concern of our families, which we believe God has chosen, designed, and given us specifically. The question we now ask ourselves before committing to something that will require our time and attention is, “If I say yes to this, what will I need to say no to?” It's okay to pause before saying “yes” to anyone or anything.  If we feel rushed or pressured into a decision, we have learned just to say “no.”  Someone who respects you and your time will not try to coerce, manipulate, or disrupt your decision-making.  Another straightforward rule we both adopted was to always check with our spouse and give it 24 hours before committing to that specific yes. And remember, it is okay to SAY NO! It is okay to do or try something and then decide it is not working for the peace of your family!  You do not have to keep doing it or do it again!  

Your Home is Your Sanctuary 

We understand seasons. Boy, oh Boy, do we!!! Currently, one of us is in a season with 4 boys ages 14-10, which means SPORTS, SPORTS, and MORE SPORTS. This also means stop, drop, and GO! We have a lot of quick dinners, crockpot meals, dirty clothes…dirty dishes….dirty clothes….dirty dishes…. and lots of undone chores that need to be done. These are seasons; they come, and they go. However, one thing I, Beth, have learned this season is to make my home function for US! This means decluttering, getting rid of, and simplifying.  I do not have a house cleaner.  I take that back: I do. It's me, and “me” is not always doing her job well.  A few months ago, with the help of someone dear to me, I went through every drawer, every closet, every cabinet, nook, and cranny and decluttered my life. I threw out and donated.  I simplified my home so that it would flow better.  

We live in simple homes that are not grand, massive, or vast. While we love our modest homes, we have to be creative with the space we do have.  We ensure our homes work for us and bring peace to our families when we walk in the door. This will take some work, time, and effort, but the payoff is worth it. 

I have lived in a world where my home did not bring peace. I had said yes to many things I did not need; they took up real estate in my home.  They were filling up the space I desperately needed. I began wondering if I needed a bigger house.  One with a walk-in closet, a huge 3-stall garage, and a fully finished basement.  I once had that, you know. But we traded the grand for the simple, and you know, I wasn’t content there either.  I had all the space in the world, but just as easily as I did in my smaller home, I filled all that space up. The reality was space was not what I needed; I needed to access the space I had and be intentional.

We are NOT the norm……or are we?

In a world flooded with perfect pictures and vibrant videos of everyone else's homes, social media can be a wonderland of deceit. You see images on Instagram and TikTok that have been edited and polished.  They are only a snapshot of someone’s life.  They get to show you their highlight reel.  However, real life isn’t a highlight reel.  It is full of slides and still frames that we sometimes wish we could cut out.  But based on what we see, we begin to think everyone has the bright and shiny, brand new, 5,000 square foot home, with grand features and custom everything. We naturally drool at the new kitchen our former 1st-grade teacher’s daughter's neighbor put in…am I RIGHT?! It's exhausting to constantly compare and feel like our homes will never measure up.  So, we need a reality check, a bring it back to truth moment, a reminder that not everything you see is the true reality of someone's life.  Don’t let the bright and shiny of someone else's highlight reel be the filter of which you see your own home and life. Be careful when you open that Instagram app, jump into that wonderland hole, and edit perfection.  Remember to look up into your own life and remember to find the simple joys and truths that are lying right in front of you.  Also, remember there are others on the journey of simplicity and that this community is growing, you are not alone! 

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