Is This Season Over Yet?

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
I'm usually over winter about this time of year. A sort of apathy hijacks my creativity, I don't want to see another sickness, and we're in Nebraska, shouldn't we all know how to drive in snow by now?

This winter isn't much different, except that I've found myself complaining a little less. Maybe that has something to do with the winter gear I've slowly collected (leg warmers, slouchy hat, water-proof boots, a down coat), and the fact that our car now hangs out in a garage which means my direct contact with the cold has been cut in half.

I think it also has something to do with learning to stop fighting the seasons. Sure the literal weather-related seasons. Also, the metaphorical seasons of life. Seasons of growth and life are followed by seasons of bitter cold and white washing snow. The unpleasant seasons aren't exactly any easier. There's just something about acceptance that is worshipful and sacred and improves their passing somehow.

I'm in that transition now. Looking forward to spring and summer, but still putting in my time with winter. Remembering the flow of seasons and trying to not miss the beauty of this in-between wait. Below is a devotional thought I wrote on that in-between and shared with a group at the start of fall. I think it's even more fitting now in the dead of winter.

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Have you every struggled with a season of waiting on God? You're praying for "the next big thing," and wonder, Are we done with this season yet?

Perhaps we can at least relate to literal season changes. Some of us (eh hem, me) are reluctant to put away our sandals and say "good-bye" to frozen drinks and summer. While others are anxious to pull out the boots and scarves and say "hello" to fall while sipping a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

season transitions in life

I feel that tension between reluctance and excitement for seasons in my life, too. A constant swinging between Summer's "it's too hot and muggy" and winter's "it's too cold and windy."

Except it's probably more like "these kids are too crazy, will they ever grow up" that ever so slowly becomes "why do kids grow up so fast?!"

Seasons take their sweet time in passing, and when we find ourselves stuck in the middle of an unpleasant one, we wonder, "God are you still there? I'm still down here, struggling, in case you forgot."

It could be the finances that aren't staying in the black no matter how smart we get with our money. The friendships that don't seem to be coming no matter how much we've looked and prayed and invited. The kids that throw tantrums despite our best parenting tricks, the job that's not going anywhere no matter how hard we work at it, the weight that clings, the down mood we can't shake, the car or home with endless repairs... sigh.

Are we done with this season yet?

Jeremiah 29:11 gives often cited hope: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

But we usually miss a key point just before that in verse 10: "For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place."

Why, Lord? Why would You wait 70 years?!

simple winter outfit, waiting for the next season

My kids have a way of giving me a new perspective into my own actions toward God. Like when I tell them to put their shoes and backpacks away. It's something I say every time we walk in the door. If everything's good, they do it quickly no problem.

But if their "season" isn't good--if they're hungry or tired or just plain upset--a new favorite response from the 7-year-old goes something like this: "But that'll take for-ev-er!" And, boy, can she draw out that forever!

Then I sound the same when I'm facing a challenging season in life that doesn't want to leave quickly: "Are we done with this season yet?"

God's message continues in Jeremiah 29:12-13:
Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Do we truly seek with all our hearts if we don't feel the need? When you're on vacation at an all-inclusive resort, do you feel need? I haven't been on one of those, but I've been on a cruise where we ate 6 meals a day. Even basic needs like hunger, thirst, and sleepiness are easily resolved. Because it's all-inclusive.

But that beater of a car, that lonely feeling we can't shake, that self-image issue that keeps creeping up, that frustrating job, whatever is causing a hole in this season is likely God-shaped and drawing us back to Him.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us there is "a season for everything. A time for every purpose under heaven." And it gives the swinging motion of those seasons. Then in verse 11 it says, "He has made everything beautiful in its time."

in-between seasons

The 7-year-old in me says, "But when Lord? Please don't tell me in 70 years! That'll take for-ev-er!"

Then Solomon offers this: Also, He has put eternity in their hearts.

Because of this hope in Jesus, we can know with certainty that it's not going to take forever. It will take our lifetime. There will be good seasons and plenty of hard seasons to keep us coming back to Him.

And we can keep moving forward because we have eternity in our hearts and that all-inclusive resort called Heaven with Jesus is at the end.

The hard seasons will be worth it.

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Our Family's Simple Medicine Cabinet

our go-to natural remedies that seem to actually work
Disclaimer: This post is purely anecdotal and is not meant to diagnose, treat, or prevent any sicknesses or diseases. Always consult a medical professional with your health questions and concerns.

I'm always on the lookout for home remedies that work. Generally I'm looking for the more natural, healthier options. Then, every now and then, one of us will come down with something ugly and I only care that it works.

In efforts to keep those trends that actually work alive on the internet, here's a running list of our go-to "remedies" in our family's medicine cabinet. This is a revolving list that I'll likely edit in the future. Some of it's about relieving symptoms while others seem to help get rid of the bug causing the problem.

Take what sounds good to you and give it a try. Keep using it if it works, or continue searching for another solution if it doesn't. Above all, know that nothing beats an ongoing healthy lifestyle with whole foods, lots of water, good sleep every night, stress-relief, fresh air, and other ongoing healthy habits.

And always always go to a medical professional with questions or concerns about your health.

keeping the medicine cabinet simple with home remedies that work: garlic ear oil, elderberry syrup, essential oils, emergen-c, epsom salt, eczema lotions, tea

Simple Remedies in Our Medicine Cabinet


First, here are some go-to products that we keep on hand for our recurring symptoms and complaints. These are the more natural things we try to turn to first. If needed, we also keep over-the-counter age-appropriate options like ibuprofen and acetaminophen on hand. And we always take our more serious or ongoing concerns to a doctor as needed.

*Affiliate links used. See full note below.

Eczema Lotion

I talk about eczema relief below. The kids and I get some pretty itchy spots especially in the winter, so we keep a lotion specifically for eczema on hand. Eczema lotions usually shouldn't be used more than a week straight, so we keep other lotion on hand for daily use. Aveeno Baby Eczema or Cortizone-10 Eczema have both been effective for quick relief when it's needed most. They're at most drug stores, Target, and Walmart.

Elderberry Syrup

We usually get our Elderberry Syrup at a health food store. We've also found it at Walmart but it has more sugar. You can make your own, but that's usually the last thing I want to do when one of us is sick. We use it when we feel a cold coming on. It has a limited shelf life, so we usually buy it as needed or just have it on hand through the colder, sicker months.

Emergen-C

Emergen-C has a decent amount of sugar, but the extra dose of immune-boosting vitamins always seems worth it. We use it anytime we're dragging or feel any sickness coming on. Sometimes I take it when I just feel blah. We often get the store brand version.

Epsom Salt

An Epsom Salt bath helps sore, achy muscles whether it's related to a sickness, a migraine, or stress. I try to always keep a decent-size bag on hand.

Essential Oils: Lemon, Peppermint, Lavender, Tea Tree, and Blends

We love our essential oils and take care to use them safely--I have a post on that in the works. The main considerations are to check safety for kids (some oils shouldn't be used on or around kids, especially younger ones), we don't ingest them (that should only be done under the guidance of a professional), we almost always dilute them (a drop in a carrier oil like coconut), and I keep a BS detector up for anything I see oil-related online (so many people are just trying to sell them and are not taking the time to be educated on the real safety considerations). More to come on all of that later. Our go-to oils that we keep on hand are lemon, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, and a couple blends including a thieves blend and a muscle-relief blend. They all have so many uses which I'll cover some below and in a future post. We've gotten ours a variety of places. You can check health food stores, there's some options on Amazon, you probably have a friend or two selling the multi-level marketing versions, and I even saw a small selection at our local Walmart. For more information on safety and choosing where to buy from, checkout UsingEOsSafely.com and Lea Harris' post How to Tell if an Essential Oil Company is Worth Purchasing From. She relies heavily on Robert Tisserand's extensive research, and I appreciate how she breaks things down into practical terms.

Garlic Ear Oil

I found Garlic Ear Oil by looking for natural remedies for earaches related to possible ear infections. There were tutorials on making your own, but I felt better using a store-bought option. We have used it a lot over the last few years, and it greatly reduced our visits to the doctor and our prescriptions for antibiotics. More on that below.

Ice Bag

I love that an Ice Bag can be filled with ice or warm water, depending on what it's being used for. Then it can be emptied and easily stored until next use. It can be handy for cramps, swelling, headaches, or even my kids legs with growing pains.

Vitamin D

I've almost always lived where it's dark and cold through the winter months, so I can't believe I'm just now learning the importance of Vitamin D for immunity health. Taking it through the winter has been a game changer for my moods and my overall health through the winter.

Rice Pack

Our Bed Buddy rice pack is similar to the ice bag, except we only use it warm. It works better for cramps or achy muscles, and again for the kids' growing pains.

Sleepytime Throat Tamer Tea

I'm not a tea-drinker, but the Sleepytime Throat Tamer Tea has been so good any time I'm sick. It's helped through a stomach bug (the licorice and ginger are stomach/nausea soothers), and it's felt so good through a cold (chamomile and decaf help with rest). I mix in a teaspoon of honey for sweetness and it's not too bad for this non-tea-fan.


simple, natural home remedies that work

Our Go-To Natural Symptom Relief


Here are some remedies we've used for common symptoms. They're not meant to cure and often simply just relieve symptoms. We always go to the doctor for more serious or ongoing concerns.

Cold Symptoms

When we start coming down with a cold, we hit it hard with anything and everything we've got. We follow the usage on the Elderberry Syrup bottle, take Emergen-C daily, drink Throat Tamer Tea, take an Epsom Salt bath, use garlic ear oil (especially if there's discomfort in the ears and/or throat), take Vitamin D daily, drink double water, limit sugar, and use essential oils (peppermint or lemon for the kids and thieves blend for us adults) in a carrier oil on the chest/throat and diffused. If the cold becomes concerning (i.e., carries on too long, comes with a fever or concerning mucous, etc.), then we schedule an appointment with the doctor.

Earache

Our earaches sometimes come on with cold symptoms, and other times are the singular symptom. We follow the package directions for our Garlic Ear Oil, and use above remedies for any accompanying cold symptoms. The garlic ear oil usually works in the first day or two and we try to follow use through 2-3 days. If pain persists or comes with a fever or other concerning symptoms, we schedule an appointment with the doc. Before ear oil, I felt like we were prescribed antibiotics far too often and they didn't always seem to work on my daughter. After ear oil, we've gone to the doctor far less as possible ear infection was our most common reason for going to the doctor. Ear infections aren't anything to mess around with as missing them can lead to other serious problems, so we are careful. Still, garlic ear oil seems to have helped a lot.

Eczema

I've had eczema off and on since childhood and have sadly passed it on to some extent to all 3 of my kids. Bad outbreaks can usually be minimized by avoiding any known allergens and using gentle lotions and soaps (usually things without scents or dyes). That said, outbreaks seem to hit the worst for them and me during the cold, dry months of winter. What helps the most is keeping baths/showers to 10 minutes or less, then patting skin dry and using a gentle moisturizer immediately after. (I like Aveeno baby lotion and coconut oil for everyday moisturizing). When obvious itchy eczema spots show up, we use an eczema-specific lotion (the ones made by Cortisone-10 and Aveeno baby have worked good for us) for a few days and that usually helps clear it up. Those lotions usually note that they shouldn't be used longer than 7 days in a row. There have been times that their spots get really dry and itchy; during those times I use the eczema lotion then coat over it with something thick and sealing like Aquaphor. We've tried oatmeal baths and lavender and other natural remedies, but the above is the most reliable and effective for us. Their eczema spots can quickly turn large and itchy and eventually bleed if they scratch too much, so I act quick and stick with what I know works. As usual, share your concerns with your family doctor, especially if nothing seems to be helping.

Flu/Stomach Bug Symptoms

When we come down with the flu, we just take the day off and try to be as comfortable as possible. This usually involves an Epsom Salt bath, a heated Rice Pack, ginger ale and/or throat tamer tea, and a cool wash cloth. We also try to only eat soft, lightly flavored foods (apple sauce, smoothie, mild chicken noodle soup) with the idea that it might come back up. So far we haven't experienced any additional concerns that has sent us to the doctor with the flu.

Headache/Migraine

I treat my headaches and migraines similarly as they seem to have the same cause. What works for your headaches or migraines will depend on their cause. Mine seem to be hereditary and come on with dehydration, stress, and my monthly cycle. Keeping up with lots of water and stress-relieving (especially daily stretching) can go a long way in preventing them. When one starts coming on, I immediately drink a bunch of water, put a little peppermint essential oil at my temples and the base of my neck (where mine usually settle), stretch my neck/back, use a foam roller, and take a break to rest my eyes if I can. If within 20 minutes it's just getting stronger, I usually jump in with ibuprofen or extra strength tylenol depending on how it's feeling and what I've last taken--migraines are miserable and I don't mess around with them. If meds don't seem to help (as they sometimes don't when I've let it go on too long), I keep up the water intake, peppermint essential oil, stretching, and resting my eyes. I also take an Epsom Salt bath with a cool cloth on my neck/head. Headaches can also signify other more serious concerns, so keep your doctor informed if you have ongoing headaches or other symptoms.

Kidney Stones

In Bea Johnson's book Zero Waste Home, she mentions mixing 1/4 cup olive oil with 1/4 cup lemon juice and drinking then follow with a large glass of water for kidney stones. My husband had a kidney stone so was familiar with the initial pain. He started to feel it again and I remembered this home remedy. He did it. He said it tasted awful, but the pain went away and didn't come back. It seemed to have worked, though "we" have only tried it that once. Generally kidney stones just have to be passed on their own, so this little trick is worth a try. Of course, if the pain continued or worsened, we'd visit the doctor.

PMS

I share my two-cents on all things monthly cycle related in >> this post.

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10 Ways I'm Revisiting Simplicity + Refreshing My Life

4-Minute Changes for Simplifying + Reviving Life
This post was originally called "4-Minute Changes," but they're not all 4 minutes. I've needed to mix up some things in my life and with some fatigue and the usual mom-demands, I didn't have much time or energy to do that. So I decided to dive in one small task or one 4-minute chunk at a time.

Glancing at my life, you might think not much has changed. There's always room for growth and improvement. But I actually feel like a lot has gotten checked off my list, I'm finding more energy (at a time of year when I'm usually losing it), and I'm feeling satisfied in areas I was previously discontent and frustrated.

I still have some changes and improvements to go, which I'll likely keep at one small task, or one 4-minute chunk, at a time.

4-Minute Tasks for Simplifying + Reviving Life


Here are ten ways I've been revisiting simplicity and reviving areas of life. Alone, they're not exactly life changing. Together, they've built up momentum and are making a real lasting difference.

1. 4-Minute Workout or 4 Simple Exercises


My husband introduced me to the Tabata Timer app, and thus tabata training or HIIT (high intensity interval training), a few years ago. You can reap a lot of health benefits in one simple 4-minute workout. You do 2 full sets of 4 different high intensity exercises for 20 seconds each with 10 second breaks in between. The app tells you when to start and stop. For example, you'd do as many high knees as you can in 20 seconds, then take a 10 second break, then jumping jacks and break, then jump rope and break, then burpees or whatever exercises you choose. It's hard. And it's all over in 4 minutes so it can fit in even if you're running behind.

I did the 4-minute workout the month of January 2012, and it was a simple way to start an active and healthy lifestyle for the year. In the last few months, I was feeling very lethargic, out of shape, and like 4 minutes of intense exercise was too much. (I know, that's bad.) So I jumped in with 4 exercises everyday. Things like squats, calf raises, standing crunches, lunges, planks, etc. I started with 10 of each and kept moving it up. Sure, it's not a full workout, but it was the perfect no-excuse solution to start everyday with a little movement. I could do them in the bathroom in just a couple minutes before jumping into the shower.

The "Life-Changing" Result: It's amazing how a little intentional movement every day can influence other choices like how much water I drink, what I eat for breakfast, and how much I move the rest of the day. We're currently getting back into a 3x/week gym habit, but I plan to also maintain a few exercises every morning and stretching every evening.

4-Minute Exercise + Other Simple Life Changes

2. One Quick Home Fix


I learned in the book Apartment Therapy about starting home projects with listing repairs that need to be made, and quickly fixing at least one thing from the list. It can be anything from marks on the wall to a leaky faucet or a burned out light. Our house needed simplifying, so I started with noticing areas that needed addressed, and top of the list was burned out lights. I knew we had a couple--the boys' closet and the base of the stairs were the obvious and most inconvenient.

I had to buy light bulbs, so I went throughout the house and counted how many we needed. The grand total was six. We were slowly starting to live in darkness and my mood and energy level was showing it. I picked up the bulbs we needed the next time I was at the store, and it took a few minutes to replace them all. What a difference extra light makes!

The "Life-Changing" Result: That quick fix was just the beginning of addressing issues in our home. I proceeded through the next few weeks to address my main concerns in each of our main living areas. Having our entire home simplified and organized has been on my lifelong Wish List. This is the closest I've gotten yet, and it has been amazing.

3. Empty a Cluttered Cupboard


After that quick repair, I kept going. There was a cupboard in our kitchen that was overflowing with uselessness. It took me a few minutes to empty it out all over our kitchen counters and remained there for a day or two. But I slowly started addressing it. Put the items that I felt "iffy" about in a paper bag, put the items that didn't belong away, and slowly started putting the items I was sure of back into the cupboard. By the end of the week what resulted was all of my kitchen cupboards cleaned-up and simplified.

The overall change took a lot of time and energy. But emptying out the cupboard was the initial commitment that only took a few minutes.

The "Life-Changing" Result: I go through a whole cycle when I do this simplifying process. I get excited about the potential, then I get overwhelmed once the stuff is everywhere, and slowly, excruciatingly I make progress and feel it was all worth it. And the cycle continues with every space I clean up. Within 4 weeks I had some major problem areas in every room of our home cleaned up, simplified, and organized--our master closet, all kitchen cupboards, the kids' rooms and toys, and the basement storage area. This was progress that built on previous progress, which hopefully leads to more progress to come. Simplifying is ongoing and I'm learning to appreciate that process.

4. Empty Outbox


I usually have at least one, and sometimes several, "outboxes" going throughout our home. The outbox is simply a way to coral items while deciding whether or not to keep them. (Some of us might be able to call a lot of our extra closets, rooms, garages, basements an outbox.)

If I go through areas of our home, I'll usually have a tub or two or a few brown paper bags full of stuff that we're likely not keeping. This stuff grows and eventually needs to be dealt with. So, I finally did. I passed the paper bags of kids clothes on to friends with younger kids. I put things in the trash and recycling that shouldn't be donated. I offered maternity and baby stuff to our mom's group. And I loaded the car with the rest to drop off at a donation center.

The "Life-Changing" Result: Each task took time, but the initial momentum started with posting on our mom's group Facebook page to list what I had to offer, taking kids' clothes to playdates with friends, and loading the car. I love using the idea of the outbox to make quick decisions when going through our stuff. And the longer the stuff sits in the outbox, the more I'm sure I can get rid of it. Once I do, that feels like the simplifying is complete. No obscure tubs or bags or boxes of unknown things lying around. It's so freeing!

how do we want to live today?

5. Unsubscribe Emails


A while ago I learned about Unroll.me and signed up. It's a free email service that lets you roll up your subscriptions (from any email list you're on) into one daily email. This has helped tremendously, because I was losing important emails in the mix of promotions and ads. Now I just open up Unroll.me emails (no more than one daily), and can see emails from my subscriptions in one spot. Usually I don't even need to open them, because they show the screenshot of the first page of the email so I can tell if there's a coupon I need or if it can just be deleted.

This, as you can imagine, has it's drawbacks if you stay subscribed to emails you don't need, because you still have to sort through all those emails within an email from Unroll.me. I noticed I was still getting too many emails, so I spent a few minutes unsubscribing to emails I no longer needed or found weren't all that valuable. Some subscriptions let you say how often you want updates, so on those I changed the settings to monthly updates and no more than weekly. If anyone or any company sends emails more than that, I unsubscribed because they simply weren't that valuable to take up that much of my time.

The "Life-Changing" Result: I save the Unroll.me emails until I have time, and I don't lose the more important emails that are actually to me from a real person. I also don't feel so overwhelmed about the whole email situation. Since email is usually connected with other tasks I do on my computer/online, it's helped me have clarity for those other tasks.

6. Intentional Retail Therapy


Shopping gets a bad rap when it's done on a whim. Unplanned purchases cause problems for finances, keeping the house clean, and does a poor job of numbing deeper pains. That said, buying a needed item can actually help in simplifying the home and saving some sanity.

Over the last couple months I've done some intentional retail therapy. A few items have been on our running wish list. The fact that they've remained on the list for longer than a couple weeks was a clue that they were worth purchasing. It included a rug to put on the cement floor in front of the washer/dryer, a soap dispenser to replace the cruddy disposable one we kept reusing, and metal shelves to organize our seasonal items like camping gear and Christmas decorations.

The "Life-Changing" Result: Okay, so stuff isn't generally life-changing. I usually get a bigger kick out of getting rid of it. But checking off a few items from our wish list was therapeutic and worthwhile in the value they added to our home.

7. Get Help


I don't think I'm the only one that downplays self-care in ways that matter. Sure, we talk about making sure we take care of ourselves and we welcome time to refresh. But when things get out of balance, my health is the first to be neglected and I'm tempted to downplay the side effects. I call it bad moods or rough days and assume it will get better.

There comes a point when it's time to admit areas of struggle out loud to someone that can help. Sure, on a smaller daily basis this is telling my husband when I need help or need a break. Then, there's times when telling someone is harder. Because it means I might sound like a hypochondriac (or so I fear). A couple months ago I finally had to admit the fatigue I felt wasn't going away on its own. I took that concern with other minor symptoms to the doctor to find out what was going on.

The "Life-Changing" Result: For a culture and generation that values independence and self-reliance, getting help can be an actual challenge. But making that appointment to see a doctor, talk to a counselor, get a massage, or whatever the symptoms point to, is important. This time I was able to find and correct a Vitamin D deficiency; in the past it's been an iron deficiency, or depression. Scheduling that appointment took less than four minutes and was a vital step to become myself again. It was also the swinging motion to revive my energy for the other things on this list.

essentialism - the disciplined pursuit of less

8. Intentional Yeses + Nos


The welcome freebie on this blog is a printable journal for simplifying focus. It goes through 5 steps and corresponding questions I use to make sure I'm focusing on the yeses in life that truly matter. Because a life overflowing with good things can distract from focusing on the truly great.

I recently read Essentialism and The Best Yes which both reinforced this process for me. I've been following through on saying yes where I really want, and saying no when I'm not sure. There's a phrase something along the lines of, "If it's not a hell yes, then it's a no." That way of thinking has come in handy.

The "Life-Changing" Result: The follow through is hard because I want to be helpful to others and I want to use my skills and abilities for good. Learning to say no has put boundaries in place so I can keep my family a priority and use my limited "free" time and energy on tasks I really want to pursue. The little bit of turmoil over saying some nos is easier and quicker to deal with than the ongoing turmoil of having to follow through on too many yeses.

9. Intentional Planning


There are so many reasons it's all too easy for me to close myself alone at home too many days in a row--bad weather, sick family members, laziness, too much tech time, introversion. Spending a few minutes at the start of each week to intentionally plan ahead has helped a lot. If not much is planned for the week, I can text a friend right then to plan a get-together. Or I can talk to my husband about inviting a family over during the weekend. Or I can think up a couple ways to spend time with the kids or get us out of the house to the library or the gym or the park.

Fresh air, Friends, Family. The 3 vital Fs of life. Intentional planning helps me keep them a priority.

The "Life-Changing" Result: I can usually pinpoint feelings of loneliness or just plain feeling down to too much tech and not enough life. Even a few minutes of planning can be enough to be sure I'm spending some time intentionally living--interacting in meaningful ways with our family, making deeper connections with friends, and getting a breath of fresh air that actually keeps me alive.

10. One Small Change


None of the above could have happened if I tackled it all at once. I didn't make a list of all the ways I needed to improve and dive into them all at once. (Although, I've definitely tried and failed at that approach a time or two.) Instead, I took it one small change at a time.

I made that appointment with a doctor to figure out why I was feeling tired and down so much. At a different time I decided to start 4 simple daily exercises. When that was already part of my routine, I decided to address issues in our home with one quick fix (the light bulbs).

You get the idea. One change at a time. Something small, quick, doable. Fit it into your routine. When it's a natural rhythm, then go onto the next thing.

The "Life-Changing" Result: Everyday I have 4 minutes to spare. Maybe not 60 or 30 or even 10. But I can definitely get off my butt and be productive for 4 minutes. Some are one task and done for a while (like changing light bulbs or scheduling a doctor's appointment), other tasks take persistence to make them habit (like simple exercise or learning when to say yes or no). And still others are a few minutes to get up momentum for a bigger project (like decluttering or emptying the outbox). Overall, these simple changes have been just the mix-up I've needed to revisit simplicity and revive my life.

Here's to more simple 4-minute changes to come!

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monthly dose of simple