Monday, September 3, 2018

What I Learned This Summer!

I can't believe we are already through another season just about. Fall is only a few weeks away and as I sit here typing this post I am filled with a mix of emotions. I don't want to say goodbye to Summer, it always go by way too fast, but I am ready for the Fall and all that God has in store. The changing of seasons can be hard sometimes, but I am so grateful that He walks through them with us, guiding us, helping us through the change. As I think about this Summer, I definitely learned so much, and I wanted to take some time to share those things with you. Emily Freeman does a link up at the end of every season and it is fun to read through what everyone has learned each season. Each post has something inspiring and encouraging for me, so I hope to do the same for you!!

1. There were some new habits that I wanted to create for my life and a few bad ones that I wanted to break. I was listening to a podcast one day, and the speaker was talking about creating new habits. She said that she will do/try something for at least 21 days, and see if it sticks. I guess research shows that in order for something to stick, you have to do it for 21 days straight. I made a list in my notebook of things I wanted to do more of and bad habits I wanted to break, and I kept track of each of them for 30 days. I figured doing it for the whole month was just easier. Guess what, it worked and I'm hooked. Some new habits I created were reading 30 minutes a day, taking 3, five minute quiet breaks for myself each day, and family prayer time every morning. Some things I wanted to work on getting better at were, less phone time each day, no work on Sundays, and less road rage (yes, I get easily frustrated in the car). Please don't judge!! If there is something that you want to start doing more of or a bad habit that you want to break, try it for at least 21 days and keep track. It works!

2. I realized in order to keep the peace in my life and at home there are three things that really keep me balanced and in a routine. 

                 A. Morning quiet time with my coffee, praying and reading the Word.
                 B. I write everything down! Anytime something pops into my head I have to write it down 
                      so I don't forget. It really helps me to clear my head & not become so frantic when   
                      I can't remember something.         
                 C. Straightening as I go. My house may not always be the cleanest, but it is tidy, and that is
                      because I clean up as I go. I was taught when I was young that I needed to clean up  
                      after myself instead of letting things pile up. It really does help, because then there is 
                      less stuff to do all at once and more time for me to spend with my fam!

3. Just recently, I took a break from all social media. I also did it this past Winter and last Summer. We have also cut back the amount of screen time (tv, computer, etc.) for all of us. Let me tell you that it has made a huge difference! Taking a break from technology or at least cutting back, can help your overall mood, health, and forces you to do other things, that in my opinion, are better for you. You can spend more time with your family going places together, playing games, and just really being present in the moment. Pick up a book and read. There are so many good books out there. I used to say that "I don't really have much time to read", but when I cut back on my phone time and screen time, I was able to find at least 30 minutes to read. Taking a break from social media is also good, because we tend to get caught up with comparing ourselves to others and feeling the need to keep up and we end up getting overwhelmed and stressed out. I will continue to take these breaks at least 4 times a year!!

4. After reading, The Magnolia Story, I was even more impressed with Chip and Joanna. They are two amazing people and they have such a great story. It was such an easy read and I learned so much. The one thing that she talks about in her book is 'thriving or surviving' and what she had to do to make the switch. It got me thing about my own life and what my motivation is for certain things. Am I thriving or am I just surviving? Am I just getting by everyday, missing out on the joyful moments because I am so focused on getting things done and making my house look perfect or am I making the most of every moment, even the bad ones? I am so glad I read this book and you should too. Below are my three must reads that I finished over the Summer! They were all equally good!!

5. In one of the books I read over the Summer, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, she talks about doing a half day of prayer. At first I was like, wow, that's gotta be tough. I thought about it for awhile, I decided that I really wanted try and do it. I picked a day when I knew that my husband and son would be out the house, so I could be alone. The writer also suggests maybe going away to a quiet place if you can, but I preferred to stay at home. This also gave me the chance to go through every room of my house and pray over it. I have to be honest and tell you that it went way faster then I anticipated. Once you start to pray, you realize that there is so much to pray for, that you just keep going. I should also mention that I didn't sit in one spot the whole time. I moved around and I also wrote stuff down and read scriptures out loud too. I definitely enjoyed it and I think it is a great thing to do especially during the changing of seasons or when something major is coming up. I am going to make it a monthly practice for now!

6. One thing that was on our bucket list this Summer was to plant a vegetable garden. I am no green thumb, but just the thought of growing your own veggies and doing something with my son was enough for me to at least try. My good friend knows a lot about gardening, so I went to him for some advice. It didn't take much to put the whole thing together and my son really enjoyed planting the veggies. We even made some pretty rocks for the garden. We decided to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and zucchini. All of them ended up doing really well, except for the zucchini, which we ended up pulling up half way through. I really enjoyed using all of the veggies in our meals and my son loved when it was time to pick one off. It turned out so well, I think next year I am going to grow some pumpkins!!

7. This Summer I got back into using essential oils again! I had purchased a starter kit almost 2 years ago, but didn't follow up with the research and got overwhelmed. This time, I had a good friend approach me about using them and I was hesitant to start again. The thing that I did differently this time around, was I made sure that I joined a community of other oilers and made sure I had a sponsor  that I knew, so I could message her with any questions I had. I also did some of my own research and even bought a book devoted specifically to essential oils. I am so glad I started up again, because there really are so many benefits when you use them continuously! If you have any questions about essential oils and would like to try them out, feel free to send me a message!! Young Living has the best oils and the biggest selection. It is so easy to get started!!

And that's pretty much it! It was a great Summer. We definitely made the most of every moment and hope you did as well! Many Blessings!

Keep It Simple,


  1. Hi Erin! I discovered your blog through Emily P. Freeman's link up!
    I totally need to do that half day of prayer thing! It sounds so so incredibly good! And I also agree with cutting back on screen time to make time for reading. I don't even think it occurs to most people (at least it doesn't for me) that a lot of the time we say we "don't have enough of" is used looking at social media. When I think about it, I wonder how much time it really adds up to throughout the day that we could spend reading, or even doing other things. And most of the time, when I do make time for reading, I discover that I didn't need my social media for that whole amount of time! Thanks for sharing this post! I'm looking forward to exploring more of your blog!

    Emily Sullivan

    1. I am so glad that you found me and thanks for sharing your thoughts!