Thursday, May 01, 2008

Mitten Strings for God - Chapter 5

Book study with Dawn from By Sun and Candlelight...

Chapter 5 - Simplicity

I'm so far behind in my book study. I am hoping to catch up a little bit by bit. This is such a good book, I don't want to drop it!!

Simplicity!!! I think that has become over the years one of my favorite words!! If I could just have a little more simplicity in my life…

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from this book...

"we are the ones who make our own lives more complicated than they need to be. We set the bar too high, take on too much, turn small doings into big ones."

"it can be a challenge just figuring out where to draw the line."

"In simplicity there is freedom ~ freedom to do less and to enjoy more."

Ways we work towards simplicity in our family...

~ use cash only - if the money isn't there for it, we don't do it :-)

~ pare down and give away - there is always a bag being filled to take to Goodwill to thin down all our "STUFF"

~ have family outings (all or just a few) for presents - Artie, Brian and Troy, all attended their very first professional football game together for Artie and Troy's birthday. That will be remembered long after any toy or game they could have gotten. We've been to tea houses (girls), plays and water slides (celebrating 3 birthdays in our family and 1 in our close friends who went with us). There have been picnics for Mother's Day and circus tickets hanging on the Christmas tree. For Emily and my last birthday, we all went horseback riding. Who really needs more stuff? Many of these memories will last forever.

~ sometimes we combine birthday celebrations. Emily (January) has celebrated with Granny (Granny) and me (November - I waited a while - until the money was there!!). :-) The little boys are all looking forward to an alligator party this summer where they will get their alligator pool - to help those long hot summer days pass by peacefully!!! :-)

~ shop at the Dollar Store. All our children buy or make presents for each other at Christmas and birthdays. It isn't about the cost of an item, but the heart behind it. Brian loved the big, gaudy silver jewelry the twins got him for Christmas. They were so excited; they knew that it would be just the perfect thing for him. They were a little sad because they wanted to find a driver's license for Troy. Terry got him a play cell phone - cause he knew he'd been wanting his own phone. Was it the real phone Troy had been wanting - no, but Troy loved it because it showed Terry's heart was for him and he knew his desires and passions. Each one picked out the perfect potholder or serving spoon for the grandmother. No just throwing something in a buggy, we had to find just the perfect gift for each special child to give the people they love.

~plan your meals and shop once a week - It is such a help during the day when I know what is already planned for dinner and have all the ingredients in the kitchen waiting for me!!! So much money saved from those crazy days where you have to run out and get McDonald's or pizza because you haven't thought ahead about what's for dinner.

~stock a pantry - This is something I have just begun in the last couple of years. It is so helpful to stock up on things when they go on sale. It's nice to know there is a cake and some icing in there if there is an occasion you haven't fully planned for. Yesterday the boys reminded me they needed to take some thing to school for the Children's Home Drive - they had a list of needed items. I was able to go in the pantry and find several packs of diaper wipes that were on the list of needed items. Not only were they there and ready for me, I got them free from Food Lion with coupons. :-)

~ use a crock pot!!! Simplicity at it's best!!!

~ teach your children to wash their own clothes - Everyone over 8 in our home washes their own clothes. It's almost time to teach the twins!!!

~glory in your efforts - If you have to wash clothes anyway, you might as well enjoy your time at the clothesline. Notice the birds, talk with God. Nobody really likes to do laundry (that I know!!!), but I can find satisfaction knowing I'm blessing my family. We try to teach the children the same principle in there schooling. You have to do it, you might as well make the best of it.

~Do the next thing~ I heard a talk given by Elizabeth Elliot several years ago. Her husband had just died (I think it was the second one, not Jim?) and she was trying to figure out what she was gonna do now. She said she went in the bedroom and open the curtains, then made the bed. She just did the next thing she knew needed to be done. Things get crazy around here often!!! Many times since then I have just worked off the same principle - just do the next thing. Load the washer, is it going? Load the dishwasher. Make sure everyone has what they need for the next day. Just doing the next thing.

~Don't worry~~ Matthew 6:25-34 (New International Version)

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

So, how do you all keep things simple??? :-)


grandmajoan said...

Simplicity - that's a great word and I am trying my best to learn the definition!!!!!

Also - the senior center will take donations!

Hope to see you and the girls on the 17th.

ElleBee said...

What a beautiful reminder. I'm on a simplicity quest right now, as I work toward becoming the woman God intended me to be. I love your idea that there's always a full bag of "stuff" for Goodwill.