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How to Have a Simpler Year

A Simpler Year


I think most of us would admit that we’d like to spend more time with family. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to actually stop and notice the sunset? We’d LIKE for our lives to slow down a bit, and a new year is a perfect time to make those commitments. So what can you do differently in 2014 that will simplify your life and allow for more family time? I have a few suggestions, and I imagine you can think of a few more.

* Put dinner in the slow cooker. I know we’re all REAL busy in the morning, but 15 minutes of throwing in chicken and a can of soup can make your evening a lot calmer. I like recipes with only a few ingredients, so this site is perfect for me.

* Teach everyone to do laundry. Yes, your son may end up with some pink socks, but that’s okay. When my son was 10 years old, I was teaching full time and writing full time. I taught him how to use the washer, and he said, “So this is the one the water goes in.” He’s been doing his own laundry since that fateful day.

* Turn off the computer. Okay, finish reading this piece first, but then turn it off! We’re all very distracted by phones and computers. It’s peaceful and restful to have an hour without them.

* Commit to a daily Bible reading plan. You might be surprised how much this helps simplify your day. I’ve listed several on my blog this week.

* Say “no.” This is the single best thing I’ve learned to do that simplifies my life. I don’t want to say no. I want to say yes—to everything. But if I do, I become a crazy person. Now I say yes selectively, and after praying about it for several days. I’ve learned t’s okay to say no when someone asks you to volunteer to do something. You’re giving someone else an opportunity to serve. You’re helping your children to be independent. You’re saying NO to other things and YES to your family.

I hope these things help to simplify your life this year. Try one! And let us know how it goes. Also if you have any additional ideas for ways to slow down and spend time with family, leave a comment.


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Vannetta Chapman (29 Posts)

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her first novel, A Simple Amish Christmas, quickly became a bestseller. She now writes Amish fiction for Abingdon Press, Zondervan, and Harvest House. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.


  1. Great post Vannetta! The slow cooker is a must have in my house. Makes dinner so much easier!

  2. Thank you, Michelle. Especially during the winter, I love slow-cooked meals!

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