It is Christmas morning as this post publishes. I’m certain you are probably reading this after-the-fact. And I totally get it. In fact, I expect it.
What does your Christmas morning typically look like? The kids busting out of bed with excitement way earlier than you expected? A messy post-Christmas morning breakfast kitchen? A plethora of wrapping paper on the living room floor? Recipes to prepare for a family Christmas celebration?
So much for a quiet Christmas morning.
Are there any other fans of the Hallmark Channel during this time of the year? I’m not even joking, I could watch the holiday movie extravaganza that is the Hallmark Channel all day long.
It’s actually a good thing we don’t even get the Hallmark Channel because I would not be very productive. Like at all. Instead, I make myself earn a movie break during the holidays and watch online about once a week. I may have a problem, y’all.
I know that not everyone shares my affinity for all things Christmas during this time of the year.
Can you believe there are people that get sick and tired of Christmas music? I can’t even fathom. Though, I’ve been told this is because I’ve never worked in retail.
In the quiet mornings of the Christmas season I often find myself sitting with a hot cup of coffee by the light of our Christmas tree watching the flames of a fireplace flicker.
Ok, full disclosure…so while the picture I’m painting you with my words is all truth, I feel the need to share with you that, said fireplace is actually a DVD. But, if you put a little space heater in front of the T.V. you can fool anyone. 😉
Regardless, the point I’m trying to make is that, for me, Christmas often brings with it a time for introspection. The year is drawing nearer to its end, the stirrings of my faith are awakened with the meaning of Christmas, and the quiet solitude amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays allows me a few moments of reflection.
I’m a terrible multi-tasker. I used to think of myself as skilled in this area. I no longer consider multi-tasking a strength of mine. I’ve even justified my poor abilities with the idea that multi-tasking is over-rated anyway.
Honestly though, when I get emotionally overwhelmed or just have way too many things on my plate at the moment I tend to get one-track minded. Even hyper-focused. So much so that all other things fall by the wayside. Even the basics like eating and drinking water.
Am I crazy?
Well, probably a little. This is who I am. Who I sometimes struggle with.
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…
Wow, I mean, is it just me, or did the past four weeks just fly by? I can’t believe we are here at Week 4 of the Wife on Fire Challenge.
How have you been doing? Are you surprised by the reality of an intentional marriage? Would you claim to be a Wife on Fire by now?
Regardless of whether or not you’ve breezed through the past four weeks or if you’ve struggled to get each week’s task accomplished, you made it. You have reached the final week of the Wife on Fire Challenge. Which, I think, is cause for celebration!
Woot! Woot! If you started with the Wife on Fire Challenge two weeks ago, you have officially made it to the halfway point!
If you are just reading this post and you’re new to Country Wife Chronicles or you have just missed a few weeks of updates, please check out the first two posts of this series here:
In Week 1, I took some time to explain this idea that I hatched about bonding together to be better wives and encouraging one another in the process. It’s all about choosing intentional marriage and making the effort.
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 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.
The next few weeks here at Country Wife Chronicles are all about marriage. I decided to write a whole series on “Strengthening Your Marriage.”
Not because I’m an expert or anything. Not because I know all there is to know about marriage. Not because Wildland Man and I have endured the deepest of depths in a lifelong marriage.
No, I’m not an expert. Or a counselor. I certainly don’t know it all, because I’m constantly trying to figure it out. Over and over again. Day after day. It is an intentional effort on my part to make this marriage not only work, but be great.
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.
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.