How To Make Life More Liveable

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Time for a random rambling today ~ pull up a chair and pour a glass of sweet tea – this one just might take awhile. :)

 

As I shared last week, this move has been not-so-easy on our family (or on me.) Thankfully though, this last week things have eased up a bit, and I know with time we’ll find our place here too.  In the midst of it though, there have been things that I’ve noticed have made life a little more liveable each day. The reality is, we all struggle through difficult things in life ~ whether it be a move, an illness, parenting struggles, or the death of someone we love dearly. 

 

Life (at times) is hard. There’s just no way around it. But, choosing to do a few certain things have helped ease a little stress here, and maybe they’ll be helpful for you too.

1. Get dressed, pray, exercise (even if only for a few minutes) and shine your sink, every single day. I don’t know where the magic is in these tricks, but they really do work ~ promise. ;)

 

2. Skype, call, or text a friend. I’ve so missed a few friends from home, but have checked in with them through Skype, by sending a quick text, or calling them while folding laundry. I can’t tell you how much fun I had skyping a friend video of our new home (she even gave me decorating tips while I walked through the house), and just a simple one-sentence text to another friend really brightened my day. It’s amazing what simply connecting with real people who care for you can do to lift your spirits!

 

3.  If you need to, do some tidying. Y’all, last week when I just about lost it, my husband came home and saw me in one mess of an office, and knew something had to be done. I kept telling him that since we didn’t have anywhere for most of the items to go until we had bookshelves, there was no point in tidying so I just needed to live with it. (It may be months or longer before we get those bookshelves as I’m trying to come up with a perfect plan – clearly spending hours each day in an office which is a disaster is not a great plan!)

He enlisted the help of our kids, and in less than 30 minutes the entire room was cleared out to storage in the basement. I had no idea how much the clutter was bothering me, but goodness just having a tidy (albeit empty!) spot to work in has drastically reduced my stress level.  If you’ve got some clutter in your life that’s making a difficult situation even more stressful, determine to take a few hours this weekend to just clean something out. (I promise, you’ll be so glad you did!)

 

4. Watch Facebook less if you need to. Goodness, I love Facebook for keeping up with friends as much as anyone does, but last weekend I realized that watching what my friends were doing in Alabama that our family was missing out on was not helping. More importantly, I realized it was making a challenging situation even more difficult for my kids if they happened to scroll through and see what their friends were up to while we weren’t there.

 

Instead of living the life we’ve been given here in Ohio, Facebook (or Instagram, or Twitter, or whatever it is for you), made us wish for something that couldn’t happen right now. If you’re going through something difficult (especially with a friend), limiting your time on social media and just really living might just change your perspective.

My son took these pictures in our backyard the other night ~ amazing!

5. Find the beauty right where you are. Never (ever) in a million years would we have snapped that picture in the backyard of our home in Alabama, and it truly is beautiful here. We used to walk to Publix (which I miss ~ so much!), but now we can walk to the river. We used to have a back yard full of landscaping, now we have a yard abuzz with thousands of fireflies each night and watch deer from our kitchen window at just about every meal. I’m still praying for grass one of these days (ugh!), but there’s beauty here already, if I just take a moment to open my eyes to see it.

 

If you’re going through something that just hurts so badly, try to find something oh-so-beautiful even in your situation. It might be a special snuggle with a child who’s struggling through a difficult season of their life, or maybe a walk outside to see some flowers in bloom. No matter what your situation, there is something beautiful to be found right where you’re at, so take a second to find it and just drink it in.

 

6. Realize you can’t do it all. I’ve been attending a Bible Study at the church we’ve been visiting here, and the message from Priscilla Schirer last week was on prioritizing. (Yikes!) She shared that a Godly friend encouraged her that she couldn’t do everything during the season of her life when her kids were young, so she needed to focus only on her top priorities.

 

This summer, the only things I can really tackle are making our move as painless for my family as possible, and keeping up (somewhat!) here on PPP. I’ve been convicted that I so often put my business ahead of my family, and right now they need to be first. School will be here before you know it, and I’ll never get back today with my family. I hate that in many ways (because I really do enjoy what I do here so much!), but until at least mid-August, they need a wee bit more attention right now.

 

What that means also is that there are lots of things I’m saying no to. This isn’t a season when I’m going to run 20 miles every week, I’m not going to bake homemade bread for dinner all that often, most of my penny pinching will be done just by shopping Aldi, and my house isn’t going to be perfectly clean even once. If you’re in a stressful season, really consider what your big priorities are, and then give yourself grace for the stuff you just can’t manage.

From my old office  ~ we waited years for that room and I can’t wait to figure out what we’ll do here!
 

7. Dream. Big. Taking the time to dream has undoubtedly been the thing that has helped me to just feel some peace this last week (and even a little excitement as we’re here.)  We’ve always put some effort into dreaming big in our homes, and I think in the midst of the move I’d forgotten how precious it is just to imagine something new for our future, even if we can’t have it all today.

 

Last week my (wise) husband encouraged me to really start thinking about my new office specifically and in general about our home, and to start dreaming about what I really wanted it to be. I hemmed and hawed, and generally felt like I’d come up with the simplest way to tackle what we have, just settling for something that would work.

 

He encouraged me instead to really dream about how I could make this space absolutely perfect – no holding back. Now, we may never get that big ole’ dream I’ve started thinking up, but since my dreams are free, I might just as well imagine ~ and maybe one day those dreams will become a possibility.  We’ve walked around our yard and started planning what we’d like to see in each spot one day. In our last home we did the same thing, even staking out trees that didn’t get planted for years, just to start dreaming. Eventually, much of what we dreamed really did happened, but we would never have gotten there if we didn’t dream big to start with! 

 

If you’re struggling through something that just feels overwhelming, try to look past the mountain in your life right now, and dream of where you may be in a year, two years, or even five years down the road. Dream of what you really want, not just what you’ll settle for. Work towards your dream even in the midst of your struggles, and know that those dreams might just become real for you one day too.

There are seasons of life that just come with so many overwhelming things it’s hard to even see outside right where you are. This week as I’ve struggled to find peace here it hasn’t all been easy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. (And it sure doesn’t mean God doesn’t have a plan right here!) If you’re struggling too, be encouraged that you are not alone, and that God has a perfect plan only for you. 

 

And on a very short side note, I cannot thank you all enough for your kind words, emails, and texts encouraging me through our move after last week’s post (or on this one.) I feel so very blessed to have such kind people cheering for me along the way, and am so very thankful for each of you! If you have any other tips on how to get through something difficult, I’d love for you to share those too. (I really do love hearing from you!) 

 

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Comments

  1. Kristy Sheffield Elders says:

    Laurie,
    Thank you so much for this beautiful post! This is exactly what I needed to read as I am like many seeing the big mountains right now instead of beyond the mountain. You're so right that life can be hard at times for many of us for various reasons! This article allowed me to breathe a little deeper and think about all these things. I LOVE PPP and what you do everyday to help give us all inspiration, encouragement, ways to save money and spend more time with our families among many many more invaluable things! We appreciate your time and commitment! Wishing you and your family a smooth transition during this season of your lives!!!

    • You are so welcome Kristy – thank you so much for your kind words! I think the mountains in front of us sometimes just seem so big and it’s hard to even see forward, so I’ll be praying you can see around those mountains too right now!

      Thank you so much for your encouragement -I’m sooooo glad you enjoy PPP!

  2. Aaaaaand I cried.

    • :) Lydia! I’m not one to usually get too weepy, but I’ve definitely been there a bit more these last few weeks ~ I’m right there with you ;)

  3. Mary Helen Ingram says:

    I would love to know the name of the bible study. That would be perfect for myself and all my young mom friends!!! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Sweet Laurie,
    Like you, our family is in a period of extreme hardship. I’ve been thinking a LOT about how important that it is to cast a WIDE net of gratitude. My teen has been spending a great deal of time in doctor’s offices and hospitals. Not much fun in that! However, in the midst of that we have had some amazing, deep, meaningful, heart-to-heart conversations. For that I am truly grateful. His doc is one of the good guys. My Mom had my babe for a few days- precious time for Grandma. Our awesome God works most of His amazing miracles in the hard places. Just ask Jacob’s son, Joseph. I’m glad to see you “casting a wide net,” too! Your love and gratitude bless me! Hugs to you my sister, Julie

    • I’ll be praying for your son in the midst of this of these doctor’s appointments as they figure out what’s going on – I think having a child who’s struggle might be the most difficult thing for anyone to face! Thank you so very much for your encouragement and kind words – they’re appreciated so much more than you know. ;)

  5. Adversity causes some people to break, other people to break records! Praying you break all kinds of records in your new home :)

  6. Lea Ann says:

    Laurie,
    Your words helped me so much today. I’ve been struggling with MANY life changes & I’ve been making myself & everyone around me miserable! Just reading your words opened my eyes, I will do better starting right now!
    I know how hard this is for children. Growing up, because my step dad was in the Navy, I went to 13 different schools in 6 years! I hate moving as a result. I know your children will find their place. By the time school starts things will be much better. Believe me, I know.
    So back to my task at hand, getting rid of clutter/mess that I have ignored for way to long :)
    Blessings on you & yours as you adjust to the “new”.
    Lea Ann

    • Thank you for your kind words of encouragement Lea Ann! I think de-cluttering is something we so often put off and think it just doesn’t matter, but it does. It’s amazing how that alone improved my attitude! Thank you for encouraging us in the move – moving is HARD, but I know we’ll get through. ;)

  7. Alisa Kee says:

    I soooooo needed this today, this week, this month. Thank you! You are so right!

  8. Thank you so much for your wise words of wisdom. As any of us know whom know The Lord. He does have that master plan. We don’t always understand his plan, but remember it’s always a good plan.

  9. Debbie Pagan Robinson says:

    You have just helped me tremendously with your wonderful words. We never know what the other is facing. Our paths cross for a reason at just the right time. Keeping you and your family in my prayers!

  10. Aimee Lombard says:

    Perfect encouragement I needed today. Thank you!

  11. This really hit home for me. And as I read this and identified with everything you were saying I saw you said you moved to ohio! We just moved to ohio a couple weeks ago leaving my lifelong hometown 6 hours away. I am not sure where you are but I am in the Cleveland area. I just haven't found my neighborhood very welcoming and without a job or anyplace to go it sure is hard to meet people. Feeling kinda crappy about it all.

    • I’m so sorry Andrea – it is soooo hard (and we’ve been fortunate because so many people have been nice here (we’re near Columbus) – not the sugary sweet kind of people we knew in Alabama but they have at least been kind!)

      I’ve got you in my prayers tonight and I know (really!) that things will change for you soon too. It’s HARD to move into a new neighborhood (I’d forgotten that before moving), so I’ll pray specifically that you meet a few of the right people soon. Hang in there – and definitely know that you’re not alone – change is just difficult for most of us I think!

  12. Laurie,

    Thank you so much for that honest post! I hope and pray God will continue to bring those blessings and open doors for you and your family soon. Thank you for what you do and for the reminders for all of us to receive the grace that God freely gives us when things aren’t “perfect”

  13. It is sometimes the littlest things that make the biggest difference in our perspective. Great tips for living for today while dreaming for tomorrow! Enjoy your summer with your kids : )

  14. Rachel Holland says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I certainly needed to hear it right now. Blessings on your new house and new period in your life. And God bless your wise husband! Dream big and let God handle the rest (and I'll try to follow my own advice too). Thanks again for sharing!

    • Thanks Rachel so much for your kind words – I’ve been reminding myself of my own advice all weekend (sometimes it’s hard to learn things even when we know they’re the right things to do!) Hoping you dream big too right now. ;)

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