“I have been unexpectedly catapulted into menopause because of the chemo I was on last year” wrote a friend who is recovering from cancer. “This is a fairly common side affect for women my age. In my effort to ‘get back to normal’ I have been trying to go full throttle with everything. Wondering why I keep crying. Anyway, I think the hormonal changes have a lot to do with it. I am making an effort to simplify and look for a ‘new normal’ in this season. Thank you all so much. You have really encouraged me.”
My friend is right. We often need to find a “new normal” in these seasons of our lives. We need to adjust our lifestyle to keep the most important things most important. We brainstormed and came up with just a few “strategies to simplify.” These can all be useful for the week of PMS, the months of postpartum depression, the years of menopause, or any other unusually busy or difficult season.
To feed your soul:
Do whatever is necessary to spend time in God’s Word each day. If you are unable to do so in the morning (the ideal time), carve out space in the afternoon or evening. And if you don’t already, make sure to have a good Bible-reading plan to feed your soul. We highly recommend DA Carson’s For the Love of God, Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon, and Spurgeon’s commentaries on the Psalms.
Create a list of verses and gospel-focused quotes that can feed your soul. You could write them on index cards or even make a little booklet. Often, in these difficult seasons, we need simple, bite-sized truths from God’s Word to sustain us.
Have worship music or hymns, Bible readingor the Valley of Vision audio, or even good sermons around the house and in the car. Turn on a soundtrack of truth to replace the lies of your conscience and the enemy.
To serve your family/roommates:
Focus on food and laundry (and not much else!). And keep it basic. No gourmet meals or new recipes! Go paper plates. Freeze meals ahead of time. Buy already prepared food. Do cereal if you have to! And simplify laundry by sending dress shirts to the dry cleaners or getting the kids to help sort.
My mom always said: “If you make your bed and do the dishes in the sink the house will feel a whole lot cleaner!” Don’t worry about the toys on the floor or the baseboards that need scrubbing. Just set simple, achievable goals like getting the bed made every day.
We told you these were simple ideas. Although they may seem elementary, we often ignore them in favor of more complicated strategies designed to stuff our lives as full as possible. Instead, during these seasons, we should look to make extra space to meet with God and serve our families. And if we’re more peaceful in the process, then we’ll be a blessing to all around us.