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Dine Without Whine - A Family 

Friendly Weekly Menu Plan
Simplify Your Life Month is Coming!

Last century, the biggest problem most families faced was money. How were they going to get food on the table? People were struggling to get by.

Today our problem is abundance. I don't necessarily mean abundance of money; I know many of you are hurting. But we have an abundance of everything: an abundance of choices about how to spend our time; an abundance of ads clamouring for us to buy something; an abundance of media squabbling among themselves for our attention; an abundance of activities that we should be doing at church, at school, at work.

And it leaves us exhausted.

Our society is running ragged. And because of that, we have lost the joy of the little things that families, even if they were struggling to eat, often shared in the last century. Read Huckleberry Finn or Tom Sawyer and you see the joy the boys made for themselves, without video games, without television, just with the great outdoors. Read Little House on the Prairie and you'll see a family of little girls making their own dolls and games, exploring nature, taking delight in reading new things, and loving to dance and sing.

When's the last time you sang as a family?

I don't mean to romanticize the nineteenth century, because it was not a uniformly good family time at all. Alcoholism was rampant, poverty was rampant, and all kinds of social ills often accompanied these things. But though we may have defeated some of their problems, we have replaced them with others of our own making. And many of us are sitting in the midst of a busy life, wondering how to climb out from under all the demands, all the laundry, all the chores, all the to-do lists.

I want to help. I've been feeling overwhelmed lately, as I often do in the fall when my year stretches before me, and I know all my speaking engagements are coming. If it were just real life, I think I could handle it, but it's my work life that impedes on my family life, and trying to find that balance is hard.

I know you're all in the same boat, though maybe for different reasons. You're stressed about money. You're stressed about your children's homework. You're stressed about how to maintain a marriage when your husband is unemployed or maybe he's working shift work. And I want to talk about it.

So for the month of October, I'm going to do a Simplify Your Life challenge. Every day I'll post a new post with some new ideas to simplify something specific in your life, whether it's laundry and menu planning or finding romance time with your spouse. We'll have some periodic challenges that you can participate in to win a prize, and I'll be recording a radio show to talk about it, too!

I'm introducing the whole concept on my BlogTalkRadio show this Thursday, at 12:00 EST. More here, where you can also sign up for a reminder to know when it's starting! And if you can't listen live, you can always listen after the fact to the recording!

Here's what I'd like you to do now for me: tell me the biggest source of stress and "busy-ness" in your life. I want to make sure I focus on the right things in October! So leave a comment, and share this on Facebook to let others know it's coming! Thanks so much!

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6 Comments:

At 11:47 AM , Blogger Megan said…

Two words: House Work. Okay, maybe it's just one word. But it feels like two.

Honestly, I know what I need to do to simplify housework. But I need some storage containers to do it. And before I get storage containers, I need to paint my bookshelves. And before I paint my bookshelves I need to refinish my dining table and paint it. Which is going to require some coats of polyurethane, which means I need to clear out space in the garage (which is full of boxes of books waiting to go on my painted bookshelves). Before I do that, I need to spend an evening finishing up the final little details on my awesomely cute coffee table-turned chalkboard activity table. I might be able to do that part on Thursday night.

 

At 3:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

I really need to go through everything my family owns and organize it. Then I can see what we actually have, what we still need and what we can get rid of once and for all!!!!!!! I can then infom all well intentioned grandparents what exactly the children need and what they DO NOT need. (like we don't need any glow in the dark bracelets, at all) :) I am really looking forward to this series of posts as this is an issue that I have been stressing over for about 6 months now. Thanks!!!
Jessica

 

At 3:53 PM , Blogger Tessa said…

Keeping things clean. I feel like there's dirt everywhere. And I already have low standards because of the farm dirt and sandbox dirt in my house. Plus I have so much stuff (and keep getting more) and don't know what to do with it. Like I would love more craft stuff for my son but I have no idea where I would even put it. Plus I had put all the "baby" toys away since he doesn't play with teething toys and stuff like that anymroe but now the new baby is coming and I'll have the ride-on toys mixed right in with the jumperoo and playpen. Yikes!

 

At 10:18 PM , Anonymous Bonnie said…

LAUNDRY!!!!

 

At 9:15 AM , Blogger The Happy Domestic said…

The biggest source of stress and busyness for me is the neverending piles of dishes. With 6 of us eating meals every day and me cooking everything from scratch (thank goodness I love to cook) there are always more dishes than can be done in one dishwasher load. And with two toddlers and a newborn I often don't get one meal's dishes cleaned up before the next, so the problem snowballs. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one doing dishes at all, even with 2 teenagers and a husband around the house... and I really hate coming downstairs in the morning to counters full of dishes and food scraps! I really think I need to work dish duty into the big girls' "to do before I get my allowance" lists, along with cleaning their bedrooms and bathroom.

 

At 8:58 AM , Blogger Lisa Marie - The Canadian Homeschooler said…

Only 1?! haha.

Finances - how to make the (not enough) money make ends meet.

Balance - how to balance the challenges of housework, working, homeschooling, playing, cooking, etc. Maybe that's a more general just needing to simplify my life so that it all works more efficiently! idk.

 
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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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