Simple Organization: Good Bye Color-Coded Bins, and Multiple Planners... Why I've Gone Back to the Basics

For years I would try every organization method out there...gleaning all I could from blogs, Pinterest, and facebook. I was on the search for creating a more organized home, a more efficient home, filled with order and peace. Chore charts, budget systems, personal planners, meal planners, school planners...you name it. I was searching for it.

Yet it was never about the system.
It was about me. Sure, things could be more organized and helpful, but I was looking for the "be-all-end-all" that would create order and peace in my home. I wanted to feel in control of my life and was constantly searching for the next best way. I wanted the pretty bins, the color coded life, where everything was orderly into neat little boxes. Yet, that isn't life.

I wanted peace and order. And that my friends, is never found on Pinterest.

True peace and order comes from knowing the Lord, reading His word, and following Him. I was looking for more than a method, I was looking for a false sense of order. Constantly striving to have the best system would not give me the true and lasting peace and order that comes only through Him.

Simple is better. I do not need a color coded binder system, or the prettiest planners on the block. I could simply use a binder from the dollar store and some spiral notebooks and have just as much organization in my life. Elaborate doesn't always mean better. Simple is usually the easiest and most efficient anyway.

Think back to our grandmothers. They kept order in their homes without all the fluff. We are creating a world today where even trying to keep order, has created disorder or discontentment. We have made it so complicated.

It's not about how things look on the outside...but where our hearts are on the inside.

I have learned in our new home that less clutter is so freeing. I have less things weighing me down, and more energy and efficiency that way. My desk has simple file folders for important papers, I have a notebook for my work stuff, and a planner for my school stuff.

I  no longer feel the need to search out every method of organization that often ends with me still feeling restless. It also usually ends with me purchasing needless files, binders, colored tabs, etc. It just feeds the continuous cycle of always planning and not doing. Because that is what I was doing...always planning my life, and not doing life. Needless hours online researching how to run my life efficiently....time that would have been well spent in the Word...

So I've gone back to the basics, and realized that my peace and order in life come from Him. When I am steeped in His Word daily, covered in prayers daily, and focused on the bigger things in life, rather than all of the unnecessary details, my sense of order falls into place. Then there is freedom to live...truly live with peace and order.


Life is Complicated. Thankfully, Jesus is Not

Sometimes I just can't write. I sit in front of my computer, and just stare. Nothing. Even though my head is swirling with thoughts, they are all mixed up and nothing comes out...

I had deadlines looming and blogs to run...yet I would just sit and stare.

Knowing that God would give me the words when He was ready, I stopped trying.

And now I sit, and all I can write about is how it is hard to write...

Hard, after a few weeks of so many emotions and circumstances, that they are all jumbled together. They're not ready to be sorted out yet. But in God's time they will.

Life is complicated. But thankfully, Jesus is not. He is so simple. He is right there ready to redeem it all.

And all I can think about to write is the truth that is so needed by so many.

We are all running this crazy race called life, with our eyes on so many things, and our feet running in all different directions. There are emotions and jobs and families and sickness, and stuff...so.much.stuff.

Yet, the most important truth we need to know in life to handle all of those things, is right here. The answers we need are so close. Yet, we strive, and we work, and we try to fix things...

It is so much simpler, if we just stop. Hear the truth, and be free. So free. Oh, so, free.

Life is hard and busy and full of complicated situations. Yet He gives us such a simple message.

The beauty of the gospel is this: We don't have to do one.single.thing. to earn salvation. In fact, we can not. It is impossible. Jesus saves. We do not. Jesus redeems. Jesus changes everything. Jesus is enough.

We don't have to strive, we don't have to earn it or work for it or buy it or anything else...no earthly thing can ever rule over Him. He is enough. Jesus paid the price for us all, so our sins can be covered and we can live in heaven. That is the simple truth. We accept it and repent of our sins, and we are free. We are free from any rules and legalism and any other falsehood that tells us we must DO something in order to earn salvation.

The simple truth is- Jesus earned it for us. We reap the reward for what HE did. Does that blow your mind? It should. And if it does, then, and only then do we work, not out of guilt or hoping to achieve something or be rewarded...but out of love. Pure love. Love that then should spill out of our pores into every crevice of our life...and flow into others lives, until we are just spreading His love wherever we go. Love that grows and grows because we just can't get over the fact that HE died for us. And we will live. We don't deserve it, yet here we are. Face to face with the truth. The beautiful truth.

So take your eyes off the world for a bit...because truth is....this world is fading and it's fading fast. The only thing eternal is HIM. Take your eyes off the stuff, the busyness, the clutter, the complications, the work, the details of life...whatever it is that is keeping you from staring truth in the face. Come face to face with truth...hear it. Believe it. Be free.

So simple. So, so simple. Amidst the complications of life, I cling to the most simple but important truth there is.

Jesus is enough.


Let Me Go

I just wanted to share this beautiful sentiment from my husband. He wrote it following his dad's passing last week. I pray it blesses you all. God is good. All the time.

We need only look to Jesus for our hope and our eternal future. There is nothing more than recognizing our own sinful nature, repenting of it, and trusting that His death is payment. We will then be reconciled with God and will spend eternal glory with Him. Nothing else needs to be done. Nothing mere man can do, will ever earn heaven- only what Jesus did. So cease striving. Rest in Him. He is enough.

Love to you all...

“Let me go" 
By Steve DeBeus

First, I just want to thank everyone for all the prayers, love and support over the past couple weeks. It has meant so much to our family during this time of loss.

After my Dad had passed my mom asked me if I wanted to say anything at His funeral. Thinking I would not be able to get through it without breaking down I declined.
While I’m glad I spared everyone from having to see me struggle through telling them all the great things about my Dad they all probably experienced in their own ways, I did have something I wanted to share, and it was something I gave a lot of thought to on my drives back and forth from home to the hospital to see him.

When I was young one of the things I looked forward to the most was, on Saturday afternoons my Dad and I would Lay on the couch together and watch some kind of Clint Eastwood western. During commercials we would play a game where we would pretend we were on top of a mountain on the edge of a cliff. I would roll off the edge of the couch and yell
“Dad don’t let me fall”
and He would grab my hand and say
“I got you”.
I would pretend to slip and say
“Don’t let me go!”
to which he would reply
“I’ll Never let you go. “
and He would pull me back onto the couch.
We would laugh and I do it over and over again.

The night before my Dad died I went to visit him in the hospital(he was in and out of consciousness at this point), and as I sat next to his bed I could not help think how I wanted to just lay next to him and hold him and say
“I got you and I won’t let you go”
and I kept playing those memories of the game we would play over and over in my mind. At one point he reached into the air and I asked
"what are you doing?"
and he told me “Let me go”

Whenever I would go to visit my Dad leaving the hospital was always the most difficult part of the visit, because I felt so bad leaving him alone. That night when I left I had a peace about leaving. You see the week before God gave me the opportunity and gift to talk to my Dad about his salvation, and he confirmed that he put his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and that His death was a sufficient sacrifice for his sins and all our sins.

I knew as I left the Hospital that day I could
“Let him go”, because He would be falling into the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Again, thank you all so much for you prayers and love, it has truly been a blessing to my entire family during this time.


A Heartfelt Thank You and Where I Have Been

It has been a roller coaster four weeks, and yesterday was my father-in-law's funeral. I have a ton of emails unanswered, blog posts to write, and work to do. Plus a speaking season to prepare for! (Yay!!) Promise to get back in the swing of things in the next week and posting more. Thank you all for your love and prayers-it is appreciated more than you know. Hey, this blogging thing is pretty cool sometimes- sisters praying for me all over the world . Our family thanks you from the bottom of my heart.


No Apologies for a Simple Life

Sometimes we feel we need to justify our reasons for a simpler life. I offer no apologies for my choices.  Today, and always, I will choose simple.

Because we do that sometimes...we feel we need to justify our choices, and why aren't doing this or that...but no, I choose to follow where God leads, and not people.

Our life has been anything but calm lately. Family emergencies and illness remind us though just how precious life is, and we only get one shot at it. God has given us this gift, however many years long it will be, and I don't want to take it for granted.

That is why more than ever, I am holding onto our simple days.  Yet, simple doesn't mean we aren't productive and bearing fruit. We haven't been running around this year with a too full schedule; running to things that we think we need to do, in order to have a "fulfilled life. " Or things we think we need to do, in order to keep up with the world around us. We have not been getting too distracted with busyness or extras. We have been focused.  Time at home has been fruitful. Homeschool has been somewhat smooth, and we are trying to keep our eyes where they belong, and not on things of the world.

Lately our simple days have looked like this: Bible time first. Then we do our history readings together and any other discussions. Next is indivual work. I'm loving the time with my kindergartner. I know he is the last little one, so each milestone is that much sweeter. I take so much delight in our little lessons together.

After lunch we all read together. This week is Hans Christian Anderson.  Then there's lots of free time after work is done, and time for exploring individual interests. This week has also been lots of time in the snow! One day a week we are out for the whole day, but the rest are much more relaxed. Some days we go to the library, errands, and visits with friends.

I take my time to work on my writing and my blogs, and my business tasks. I don't yearn for the busyness or the hub bub. Nope, when things of life and death are going on around you, suddenly the things that seemed big, fall away until you see clearly what matters most. People, love, relationships, God. Eternal things matter. Temporal things fade quickly.

Right now I focus daily on my family. I am focusing on the connections and people I will meet at my speaking engagments this spring. I am focusing on my work at home and in the community. I am spending time with the Lord.

Why does it take a tragedy to remind us of the truly important? I pray to live like each moment is my last, and be bold. I want my life to scream JESUS! When people remember me they will not say, "She was so busy. She was always running around. She was always stressed." NO. I want them to say, "She loved the Lord and served Him well with the time she had." That is a race run well.

So, I bask in the beauty of each simple day that allows me to focus on those things and running that race well. Storing up treasures where they belong.

New podcast episode! 

Thanks to Farmhaus Studios, I'm rockin' the new podcast equipmen! Come and listen to the latest episode."With family opposition, my own pride and insecurities, the odds were stacked against me…but GOD prevailed! I sought out on this journey for “just one year.” Now, I haven’t looked back, and couldn’t imagine doing anything else."


What We've Been Up To- In Homeschool and In Life. Still Keeping It Simple

This isn't one of those "deep thoughts posts"- just a little bit about what we've been up to lately in homeschool and in life...

We are still enjoying our new home immensely. It serves daily to remind me of waiting patiently on the Lord to reveal His plan, in His time. It was like this house was built for us, and it is where we are truly meant to be. I feel so at home. I am anticipating all we will do here...for His glory.

For years, I dreamed of seeing beautiful sunrises and sunsets from my windows- and now this. This is my view each night as I prepare dinner. He truly has been faithful and given me more than I ever deserve.

We have been having a good few weeks of school. With some upcoming trips planned this Spring for my speaking engagements, I have made sure to buckle down now. We are persevering through Algebra, and daily the Lord is teaching me so much about myself through those school lessons.

We are studying Romans in our family Bible study. We don't do anything too fancy. As always, simple for us works best. We read through the book together, a little bit each day, and discuss. We read commentaries and try to dig in to understand who wrote the book, when, and why. We learn what was going on in the world when it was written. I love our studies together.

Together, we are also studying history with The Mystery of History. We are on Volume II. Sometimes we add in the extra activities if time allows, especially for the younger ones. We also incorporate geography in together. Each child also has various reading assignments, writing assignments, copywork, etc. for language lessons.

The youngest is learning to read, and I truly feel such joy in my heart when I see him "getting it." He is writing words, and today made some sentences on his own. We use many, many real life lessons and lots of play to teach him.

Today, he even made his own "letter book." Future writer? ;)

My younger boys are working through Apologia science, using Exploring Creation with Physics and Chemistry. We are almost finished with the book. My daughter uses a middle school course on her own. We also daily learn science through nature outdoors, robotics, Lego building, house projects, lots of documentaries, and just everyday life. We love watching birds, and this week enjoyed two pileated woodpeckers. We also have two red-tailed hawks that visit our property daily.

Real life learning is house construction projects, photography, graphic design, art, sewing, cooking,music, fixing things, budgeting, and lots and lots of outdoors. 

We are preparing my eigth grader to learn how to start her own business. We have decided part of high school learning will be entrepreneurship and real life skills. What a perfect time to start a business in her life- she has nothing to lose! She lives at home and is not relying on the income to support herself. At the end she may decide this is the path she will take, or God will lead her elsewhere. But for now, we are starting to prepare for teaching her all the ins and outs and to actually have her start a business. Right now she practices and learns photography daily. Next, she will learn the business aspects-from marketing to bookkeeping. She even has some clients lined up! My husband has "added her" to his staff and I even use her quite a bit for blog photos.

We firmly believe the best way to prepare for life these days is not some standardized test, but to get out in the real world and learn how to live in it. This is an exciting venture for her (and us!)

One of her photos:

So, as you can see we are keeping things simple.  Simple can be just as fruitful as all the bells and whistles, in fact maybe even moreso. We are trying not to be distracted by all the fluff and focus on bearing fruit. Preparing for life. We have weeded out so many things that were not necessary, and are learning to enjoy the everyday things.


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