Learning to slow down and simplify isn’t a lesson that I have learned easily, or one that I am finished learning, but it’s certainly one worth pursuing.
Over the past 2 years or so, there have been several blogs and ebooks that have spurred me on towards the goal of cutting back on the non-essentials, in order to free up time and space for the things that matter most.
These four books have been particularly inspirational and helpful for me on this journey of simplifying.
As a blogger, it is unbelievably easy to consistently buy into the lie that you have to add more tasks, more work, more expertise, more social media, to what you already do, in order to be a "good enough" blogger.
I’ve been blogging for 5 ½ years, but about 2 years ago I reached a point of physical, emotional and spiritual burnout where something had to change, or I would have to give up blogging for good.
It was a breath of fresh air, and it lifted a heavy chain of obligation off of me. Rachel tells how not only is it possible to blog in a simpler and less consuming way, but how to continue blogging with excellence even while cutting back on all the things you “should” or could do (and there are many).
This is the book I recommend most highly to other bloggers who are feeling overwhelmed, and want to know how to better balance blogging while keeping their more important priorities in order.
I actually first read 1-2-3-Stop (which is no longer available), by the same author as Simple Living, Lorilee Lippincott, as well as spending some time reading her blog Loving Simple Living. Both books have a similar message—that by having less, we can actual have more, and spend our lives on the things that matter most, rather than wasting time on maintaining our stuff, cleaning large homes, etc.
Simple Living actually walks you step-by-step through the process of downsizing your physical possessions, something that my husband and I did in earnest this past year.
As we were preparing to pack up our home, and travel around the world for one year with our children (which we are currently doing), we sought to get rid of anything that we didn’t truly love, need, use on a regular basis, or find particularly beautiful or meaningful.
That process was extremely freeing for us and liberated us of multiple van-fulls of stuff. All that stuff? Well, it apparently wasn’t adding anything to our lives, because we haven't missed any of it. You can read more about our journey to less here.
The No Brainer Wardrobe
I’m no fashionista. I’ve always been one of those people that struggles with figuring out my style, buying the wrong things in the wrong color because they happen to be on sale and then finding myself with a closet full of clothes that I hate to wear and that make me feel ugly.
I bought this book, The No Brainer Wardrobe, during our season of purging our belongings. I was eager to figure out how I could simplify my wardrobe, and have less clothes that looked better on me and that I enjoyed wearing more. Could it really be possible?
The practical examples and pictures in this book were so helpful to a visual person like me. I began to really understand the type of pieces that I could use to pull together a versatile, functional and yet beautiful wardrobe. It gave me particular confidence in planning out a very small travel wardrobe for our one year on the road.
I wouldn’t say that my wardrobe has gone from discouraging to diva overnight, BUT I have gained more confidence in which things do look good on me, knowing which items will help to stretch my wardrobe further, when it’s better to buy more classic or trendier items, how to stick to colors that look good on me and that work well together, etc.
I’m wasting less money on things that I’ll ultimately never want to wear, and becoming a bit braver and bolder with finding my own style in the process. If you battle with your closet as I did, this book may be just the thing you need.
Honoring the Rhythms of Rest
Daniele sent me this short, but refreshing ebook last winter, when I knew that I had learned a lot about cutting down and mastering my schedule, but was still sometimes struggling with the implementation of it all.
More than anything, I find it hard to rest. Resting makes me feel guilty, or sometimes lazy. What is supposed to be a gift, and something necessary to give us the strength and renewal we need to carry on with the rigors of daily life, sometimes has felt like a burden to me.
Why is it so hard to let ourselves truly rest? We’ve been taught in our go-go-go society that we need to be ever efficient, multi-tasking, productive, and busy. Those things aren’t all bad, but we were also hard-wired by our Creator to require genuine times of rest.
This is still a regular struggle for me. I often push myself so hard that I find it difficult to rest when opportunities arise, and there are many seasons of life when I do not create space or give myself permission to rest adequately.
This is never a good thing, and always shows itself in my life through exhaustion, anger, discouragement, spiritual dryness, struggling relationships, and even (ironically enough) inefficiency, because my body, mind and spirit are simply too worn out to function as they ought to.
This is a book that I need to read again. And again. Learning to implement a rhythm of rest into my daily, weekly and yearly routines is a crucial skill that I need to continually be encouraged to work at.
Do these sound like ebooks you would like to read?
Note- This sale has now ended. Hopefully we'll be doing it again next year! :)
All of these books are a part of The Ultimate Homemaking eBook Bundle sale, which is happening this week, from now until Saturday. This is just a small snapshot of the types of books that make up this comprehensive library of 97 eBooks and eCourses!
In fact, these four books alone have a retail value of $21.97. When you think about it that way, if you regularly buy eBooks (as I do), it really doesn't take many purchases to make it worth it to spend the $29.97 to get a whopping 97 to add to your eLibrary (not to mention that there are $140 in bonuses on top of that)!
I don't know about you, but I love getting good deals on things that I'll use and enjoy. :)