The older I get the more I think I may be transitioning into becoming a minimalist. I feel like I’ve always had a love for simplicity and stillness, but today, in my mid-thirties, I feel like I am truly living it. Simplicity with intentionality.
There is a balance that comes when you are able to slow down and simplify your life. There is a freeing sense of contentment and joy that lies in just being still and knowing that God will take care of everything. I have experienced this joy. And, so I am sharing these tips with you today in hopes that you may experience that same joy in your life as well.
I know, I know, most of you are so busy right now, what with a new school year underway and all. The last thing you are thinking about is simplification of your life. Slowing down? That’s what summer was for.
But I have to disagree. If you are seeking a simpler way of living, a more relaxing way of life, then that is something you want year-round. And there is no better time to start that lifestyle shift than the present.
But, I get it. A major lifestyle shift is big. Profound even. And it won’t happen in a day, but starting with something small…that can happen today.
Not so long ago, here on Country Wife Chronicles, I shared with you my journey to becoming a bit more self-sufficient. And one of the tips I shared with you was to “Learn to preserve.”
Today’s post is a prime example of doing just that. Preserving the yummy, juicy, summery goodness of fresh peaches to enjoy all year long.
And even better, preserving these gorgeous, plump, uber-ripe peaches without any added sugar. Simply natural fresh frozen peaches can’t be beat…
Have you ever thought about what era you would have enjoyed living in had you not been born when you were?
Am I alone in this pondering?
Gosh, I hope not. That would just be weird.
Well, I’ve always pictured myself in the days of the pioneer. Maybe it was the joys of playing The Oregon Trail in my childhood, but I could always picture myself as a prairie wife. You know, a real Sarah, Plain & Tall in a Little House on the Prairie setting.
I’ve been on a bit of a daydream vacation over the last couple of weeks. I sort of get in these dreamy mindsets whenever Wildland Man is away on a fire. It must be a coping mechanism. And it surely isn’t coincidental that my dreaming of the future almost always involves us being together, not separated during a fire season.
Maybe I should talk to a therapist about these daydreams.
Nah, I’ll just share them with the entire world. Maybe y’all can help me make sense of them 😉
I’ve always been a planner and list maker. It’s a problem really. I pretty much have an addiction to the satisfactory feeling of crossing things off a list. I’m working on it, I promise.
Add in the fact that I’m the Country Wife here at Country Wife Chronicles and my work-at-home lifestyle and rural living pretty much requires organization and planning ahead.
The past two weeks here at CWC have been all about Planning Ahead.
I can’t seem to remember what our meals were like prior to learning how to meal plan. I’m sure it was a black hole of Hamburger Helpers, mac and cheese, and hot dogs.
I do, however, vividly remember my first experience with meal planning.
We had recently left our professional careers for something new, and in so doing had to drastically revise our financial spending and budget. We lived 20 miles away from town and it no longer made financial sense to run into town on a whim. Every trip and gas expense was accounted for and needed to be worth their while.
I chose the country life. It’s true. I made the conscious decision to live outside the definition of urban life on purpose.
And in so choosing the country life, there are some lessons to be learned. One of which is today’s topic: Planning Ahead.
I was sort of forced into planning ahead when it came to meals and groceries, simply by the sheer distance between me and the store.
But I can honestly say that if I were ever to live within city limits again, I think I’d do my very best to maintain this system of planning our meals that I’ve perfected over the past few years.
Are you craving a little something warm and comforting? Because these warm, melt-in-your-mouth moist banana muffins will surely satisfy your craving!
I’m not sure if banana muffins technically qualify as a comfort food, but they sure do in my book! I love piping hot sweet bread taken straight from the oven and slathered with a copious amount of high quality salty butter. Mmmm… The immediately melting butter seeps into all the nooks and crannies and enhances the overall flavor with every single bite. It’s quite divine.
There is just something about the warm aroma that banana bread emits as it is baking. It brightens moods, eases anxiety, and just smells of happiness.
I almost named this blog Chronicles of a Provincial Wife. It’s true. I just kinda liked the sound of provincial wife over country wife. Not to mention the nod to my very favorite Disney princess, Belle, who sang of her provincial life in the movie Beauty and the Beast.
Google defines provincial as “of or concerning a province of a country or empire” and lists several synonyms for the word, including: small-town, rural, country, rustic, backwoods. I feel like provincial is a more sophisticated way to say country. Though I’m not sure why I’m intrigued by a title that sounds more sophisticated, I’m about as plain-Jane as you can get. I mean, I am the Country Wife, folks. Let’s be real.
Country Wife Chronicles is a blog that documents the journey of a country wife seeking to savor the stillness of a simple country life…but who exactly is the Country Wife?
Ok, that statement sounds a little like “How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?” But I think you get where I’m going here…
So, grab yourself some coffee and peruse the pages of this blog and you’ll find out just who the Country Wife is.
In an attempt to try out some gluten-free (GF) baking recipes, I’ve been exploring GF flour blends. Ok, if I’m being honest, after reading a bit about some digestive issues I was suffering from I decided that maybe gluten was having an impact on my intestinal tract. So, in a confident, “I’m going to get healthy” moment I splurged and bought a gigantic bag of coconut flour from Sam’s Club…thinking it would work for a straight up 1-to-1 switch out for all-purpose flour. No, nope, not really. Unless you are going for super-flat and sawdust grit in your recipes. Just sayin’.
Needless to say this massive fail on my part definitely got me thinking that maybe eating healthy sweets just isn’t meant to taste good. So I shoved the coconut flour to the back of my cabinet after a few disappointing recipe attempts and went back to my usual ingredients.
Stillness is absolutely a choice. I know, that can be hard to hear. But it’s true. Stillness is a choice that can seem obstinate and far away, even unattainable and it is definitely easier said than done, like for real. But still a choice nonetheless. I can say this, because I’ve been on the crazy train of hectic schedules and full calendars and I’ve made the choice to get off and be still. I did it, and you can too.
Perhaps, stillness is appealing to you…foreign and new, enticing you to try to figure it out. There was a time when I was absolutely overcome by my overloaded commitments and my soul sincerely yearned for stillness. Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you are there. Trust me, coming from the other side, stillness is achievable and oh, so worth the effort.
Let me just state it bluntly: I had to get used to frugality. Saving instead of spending was a fairly natural mindset for me, but in a career that paid me well and increased my salary with each consecutive year, convenience buys were worth it and price tags weren’t all that important.
And then the shift…
Well, in Part 1 of this post, I filled you in on a bit of my backstory. I shared how I felt I got a little swept up in the motion of things during my college years and ended up in a career I never envisioned for myself. And how, ultimately, remaining in that unfulfilling career led to much misery and unrest on my part.
That brings us to today’s post, Part 2 of How to Walk Away from a Career…in Search of Your True Calling.