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Is it spring yet?

I’m not sure when I became such a wimp about winter weather. It might have been the year when my kids were in grade school and we had 14 ice storms over the course of one winter. (We lived in New Jersey at the time, the land of the “wintery mix” one day, and a howling blizzard the next.) I remember kids ice skating down the street. Seriously. Or maybe it was before that, when…

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Simple Abundance Readings

Simply…enough?

  As I write this, it’s actually Day 23 of the Simple Abundance devotional, and I’ve decided to put a pause on the blogging. The readings are beginning to seem too similar to me. I’m having a hard time picking up on the nuances from day to day, and I’m having an even harder time finding something fresh and interesting to say to readers. My other concern is that, in my opinion, the book is…

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Simple Abundance Readings

Day 19 – Choose joy

  Today’s message from “Simple Abundance” is all about choosing joy in each moment–a nuanced take on thinking like an optimist. Author Sarah Ban Breathnach theorizes that by “cultivating gratitude,” we begin to experience a paradigm shift in our expectations. But it takes practice. “Many of us unconsciously create dramas in our minds, expecting the worst from a situation only to have our expectations become a self-fulfilling prophecy. … And so we struggle from day…

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Simple Abundance Readings

Day 18 – Where do you find beauty?

  I feel like I’ve read today’s message before, about opening our eyes to the beauty in our worlds. Breathnach’s theory is that as we learn to simplify our existence (mentally and physically), we crave beauty more than ever. We don’t need to create this beauty because it already exists — we simply need to open our eyes and savor the beauty around us. And Breathnach’s focus seems to be on the physical beauty, things…

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Simple Abundance Readings

Day 17 – Family harmony

  The message for Jan. 17 is about finding a balance in your life which Breathnach calls “harmony.” We each need to find the balance between the demands of outside forces–family, work, social obligations–and the inner “me” who needs peace and relaxation. Breathnach likens the journey for achieving harmony to that of the pianist learning not just the notes of a composition, but the timing, the cadence–knowing where to pause for effect. I get that.…

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Simple Abundance Readings

Day 16 – Clutter-a-holic?

  Hello, my name is Leah, and I’m a clutter-a-holic. I’m not sure that’s an actual word, but I do believe it’s an actual condition which could be applied to those who are surrounded by clutter. Just look at the TV shows that try to tackle this malady:  Hoarders, Clean Sweep, Extreme Clutter, to name a few. The University of California even produced a series about how our modern culture looks at and uses space,…

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Simple Abundance Readings

Day 15 – Simply simplicity?

  Breathnach says once we begin to identify our blessings, “we feel the urge to pare down, get back to basics, and learn what is essential for happiness.” As an example she says, “Visualize a bouquet of bright yellow daffodils in a white milk jug on a pine mantel, sunlight streaming through sparking clean windows, the shine of beautifully varnished wooden floors, the shimmering glow and fragrance of pure beeswax candles.” Uh….all of that to…

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Simple Abundance Readings

Day 14 – Chronicling Gratitude

Today’s reading suggests keeping a gratitude journal. Breathnach says to write down five good things that happened to you at the end of every day, the idea being if you document the good stuff, your perception will begin to change. You’ll begin to be more aware of your blessings. It is a great idea, one I started when I first began the book in November. Unfortunately I only lasted 15 days. My daily “thanks” ended…

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Day 13 – Are you grateful for what you have?

  I’m starting to really dislike this book. Today’s message is about awakening the gratitude in your heart for your many blessings. That’s not what’s causing the downward spiral of my enjoyment of the book. That’s a wonderful message, one I try to adhere to. What’s bothering me is my impression that the author was writing from a place of if not elitism, then certainly a position of comfort so extreme she can’t even understand…

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