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Living a Simple Life

Crystal Miller

 

     Living the simple life is not always an easy task. In

today's world of hustle, bustle and busy lives, the simple

life can be hard to find. It seems that the home can often

become a rest stop to refresh a moment and then move onto

the next activity. Life can become too busy.  Perhaps in

your heart you would like life to be a little simpler.  You

would like time to just "stop and smell the roses" but can't

quite figure out how to get to that point.  Another down

side to a life that is too busy is that I believe it can rob

us of some of the greater joys of being a homemaker.  I

believe that as we live this "life in the fast lane" we can

become discontent.  

 

     How does a busy life make us discontent you may ask? 

Well when life is too busy we find that that the home and

family will suffer.  Things in the home won't run as we

would like them to.  The house may be more chaotic then we

would like, household tasks are not being attended to, 

meals may lack nutritional value, too much money is spent on

convenience foods due to lack of time, laundry piles up, we

may not be able to get to some of the projects we have been

putting off, and so the list goes.  So we end up feeling

discontent because things are not as we would desire them to

be.  Our homes are not functioning as though we are in

control of our domain.  

 

     So we set out to make some changes. We have an idea of

what we might like our homes to be and begin to figure our

ways to achieve this.  As we desire to make changes we start

looking for ways to make our lives easier.  We think that

easy and simple go hand-in-hand. 

 

     We have countless appliances that will do every task

imaginable.  We seek out the latest convenience foods so we

can spend less time in the kitchen; we stream line so we can

accomplish more and more each day.  Not all of this is

undesirable or without merit, but is this the answer to a

simple life?       

 

     To me simplicity is not dinner from a box; it is a home

cooked pot of soup and homemade bread.  To me simplicity is

not a cake mix, but a cake made from scratch with whole

wheat flour I grind myself.  To me simplicity is not

permapress clothing but a little time at the ironing board

to think, pray, and learn to be content with my role in

life.  To me simplicity is not always wanting more stuff,

but learning how to enjoy and appreciate what I have.  To me

simplicity is not sticking a DVD in for the kids to keep

them occupied; it is spending an afternoon in the garden

working side-by-side with them.  To me simplicity is not

buying my milk from the grocery store, but milking my own

goats.  Simple living is not always easy living.  Simple

living, to me, is taking a slower walk in life and

appreciating the things that go to making our lives as

homemakers complete and fulfilling. 

 

      The satisfaction and joy we can get from so many

homemaking tasks can easily be lost unless we intend in our

heats to live a simple life.   But a simple life can take

more time.  If we can't slow down enough to enjoy some of

the basic fundamentals of homemaking then perhaps we are

missing some of the very things that make a simple life an

enjoyable life.  A simple life is something one learns to

love if it is a life that they desire to have.

 

     Many simple living tasks have a multitude of blessing

that go with them. When our dryer went out last summer we

were learning how to enjoy the simple living task of hanging

out laundry.  We learned that sometimes working harder at a

job has its own merits.  I pointed out to my children that

we saved money by not running the dryer and that in turn

meant Dad's hard earned dollars could be put towards other

needs in the family, we also learned that putting clothes on

the line at 6:30 in the morning is a perfect time to enjoy

the quiet sounds of summer on our homestead.  There is a

peace in this that is hard to find in the middle of the day.

 We also learned that sheets that have been drying in the

sun have the best smell! 

 

     The kitchen seems to be another room that abounds with

simple living tasks.  I think food and preparation of meals

is something very important to a family.  It is easy to be

frustrated at the time spent in the kitchen, however it is

an opportunity to look beyond the mundane and see the bigger

goal being accomplished when you spend time preparing home

cooked meals for your family.  The health benefits alone

that are received from home cooking can give us as

homemakers much satisfaction. I love knowing that I am

feeding my husband and children good quality foods that will

assist them in living a healthy life.  There are also

financial benefits from it.  Every frugal meal that is

cooked from scratch for my family means my husband does not

have to be working for boxes of Hamburger Helper or packages

of Rice-a-Roni or any other costly packaged convenience

food.!   These types of realizations can hopefully be

positive reinforcements on the value of simple living.  Most

of all, when your family sits down to eat at the end of a

long day who could deny the absolute joy of setting down to

meal of homemade, made with love from the heart, food? 

 

      Living a simple life may require changes to the way we

live. I don't have a busy life outside my home.  I have it

this way on purpose.  I am happiest when my life is simple

and serene.  Well as serene as life gets with a houseful of

children! ~smile~  I am the most content when I live a life

in my home, doing the things that make my home run smooth

and giving my family a quality of life that is fulfilling.  

 

     I am also passing on to my children the value of a

simple life by my example.  If I am always busy, busy I fear

I may end up teaching them the message of discontentment. 

The message states that I can only be happy and satisfied if

I am going and doing all the time.  I have learned over the

years that the two ways of life just do not mix.  The

dividing line for outside busyness and living a simple life

at home will be drawn in a different place for each of us. 

I am not saying that all outside activity needs to stop,

that would unrealistic. But rather when life has too much

going on, it is impossible to live a simple life.  I had to

make very different choices in my life in order to achieve

the goal of simple living.  But I am more content and more

satisfied today as a homemaker than every before.  

 

     I pray today that anyone desiring a simpler

way of life will be able to achieve this and be able to find

great joy in your life as a homemaker!  

 

 

Copyright: Crystal Miller, 2005 

 

About the Author:

Crystal Miller ( mailto:crystal@thefamilyhomestead.com ) is

a mother of 8 children and enjoys her God given role as

wife, homemaker and mother! She has a homemaking and country

living web site called The Family Homestead

http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com

<http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/> and has a free

monthly newsletter called Homestead Happenings. You will

find sign up information on her website.  

 

 

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