How I stay grounded

Good Morning sweet friends! Happy Tuesday!
We're home & settled back in the Midwest & it feels good to get back into our routine. I do miss my Tennessee family already, but I'm thankful to have had a safe trip back & be welcomed by our lonely-much needed attention- humble abode. We enjoyed simple & quiet living the last 10 days. When we visit his home there isn't a whole lot of cell signal, so typically most people have a home phone. Something my family quickly learned when I finally received full bars, and they're calling frantically yelling " FINALLY! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!? WE'VE BEEN TRYING TO REACH YOU!" I truly enjoy the farm & hill country. Something I think I'll rant on about in another post, but while I was able to enjoy a lot of quiet, and lounging around outdoors on various porch swings & rocking chairs, I thought about everything I do to try and keep me grounded. What do I try to do to maintain a simple life, and keep me from being sucked into the hustle & bustle, the continual progressive lifestyle of today's society? I thought of a few things.
  • Faith: I really do push myself to be closer to God. To learn to be part of a Christian community. I take my time when I read the bible, I often try to spend my day keeping what I learned from my morning readings at the forefront of my mind so I can practice applying it through my daily living.
  • I read. Instead of spending hours watching reality TV, or scrolling through Facebook, I curl up & read! I silence my phone, I open the windows & I will spend the next hour or so just reading. It's honest fun for me. I don't care about anything else in the world at that moment, except what I'm reading. My sweet cousin works for a publishing company & I explained to her the types of books I enjoy reading. I said: "Anything that takes place in the southern part of the United States, anything around the 1800s/civil war era. I enjoy modern romance novels something similar to Nicolas Sparks. I would like anything around the time of the revolutionary war. I like reading about adventure, and anything that takes place In the 40s & 50s in America. I also wouldn't stray from a great teen fiction novel!" OK talk about hitting the nail on the head! I mean when I came home & saw these books waiting for me, I immediately delved into them! They are exactly the types of books I enjoy reading, and just reading the excerpt on the back of the book aloud, my husband was even like wow these sound like they would be great movies!" haha he's not a reader. A couple of them take place in the 1950's in the south/Midwest & I just know I'm going to get through these fast!

  • I take naps. haha! I mean it. Even when I was working full time, going to school, and making it the gym all in one day, I would still wiggle in a nap. Not a 2-4 hour nap, goodness that's not a nap that's a...i don't know what that is, but sleeping that long makes me feel gross & groggy when I wake up. I mean just a 20-30 minute nap. I feel so refreshed afterwards.
  • I take care of the things I have. We live in such a throw away society, a I don't take pride or care what I have generation, and I really try not to live that way. I think everything I have in my life is a blessing, and what not a greater way to show gratitude & pride for what you have then by taking care of it? Whether it be my car, my home, my electronics, my clothing. I really take care of it. I keep my home clean, I actually do my laundry not just ' throw in a load'. I read the garment tags, I use the delicate cycle almost 90% of the time. If it says dry flat, well I'll dry flat! I keep track of my auto maintenance & every couple of months will take it to really be cleaned & vacuumed out. I make sure my husband mows the lawn, I wash my bed sheets 1x a week. I really have an appreciation for the material possessions in my life. Not to mention, myself. I take care of myself! I go to the gym, I eat healthy. God gave me this body & I want to love it.
  • Handwritten notes. When was the last time you sat down & sent a letter to someone? It's so
    personal, thoughtful, and appreciative. I promise there's nothing like a sweet thank you note, or
    just a letter to remind someone how much you mean to them, or share about new events going on in your life. I know that is soooooo nontraditional nowadays. Why do that when you can text it? but I refuse to give up on it. I think they express more than a text message anyday, and if you're reading this you should send something to your grandma, your best friend, your parents right this minute. They will love it.
  • I call my parents. Often. I think really spending time with my parents & family keeps me grounded. I'm far away from them right now, but I will always set time out of my day to just chat with them. They really help me through life, guide me, send me money every now and then!! haha!
  • I constantly make lists or goals that I have. The more conscious I am about the things I want out of life, the more determined I am to make them happen.
  • I cook & bake. I enjoy it, and I can share what I make with others and that makes me happy more than anything else.
  • I surround myself with those who have similar values. It makes such a positive and profound difference in your life. I have this girlfriend who I honestly believe is my sister-soul mate! Who happens to be my husbands best friends for life- wife. The other day we just sat & talked for several hours. I mean it. several. We shared the most intimate parts of our life, what we believe in, what we don't. When I read I read this excerpt this morning I immediately thought of her: 
" Associate with a religious man who you are sure keeps the commandments; who is like-minded with yourself and will feel for you if you fall." Sirach37:12
She loves God, she believes in many of the same things I do, and that makes life so much sweeter knowing you have that companionship.
  • I am learning to live within my means. Something that I was fairly good at when I was solely responsible for my needs, but now that I am married, it takes adjusting & I recently read this in one of my devotionals and it really had me thinking:
"On a scale of one to ten (with one being "almost never" and ten being "almost always"), how often do you think of God when you are making financial decisions?
I know that if this is something that is a continual thought, I might think twice about some of our financial decisions.
I want to live a full life. A life that is mine, a life that follows Jesus & the bible, a simple life that is full of those that I love. I want to have a kind heart, and a passion to follow God's will. I remind myself daily that I don't need to be like others, I don't need to dress like others, speak like others, I don't need to believe what others believe & pretend I like something because others do. I want to live a fulfilling journey that is pure & honest.
This is how me & I keep my two feet on the ground.
p.s. I've owned this devotional for several years, and I always go back to it. There is so much goodness in this book that I really recommend you get it or at least check it out :)