Everyday Spirituality

Posts tagged ‘simple life’

Thrift Store Surprise

The Laced Edged Plate…

When you are living the simple life you learn to also be frugal. You become serious about bargain hunting.

When you are living a ‘temporary’ simple life your decision making processes are different. You are more aware of what is really necessary. You assess the available space for storing each item.

This particular day we decide to locate the nearest Good Will Store. We are on the hunt for old fashioned TV trays. You know the ones with the beautiful painted scenes of still life or the country farm house. Apparently they are now vintage and the monetary equivalent of a collector’s item.

When I was a kid these little trays were handy for using in the living room while watching TV. Duh!

The kitchen was another room back then and there was no television. So someone came out with this new invention…a portable collapsible individual table. They were light weight and could easily be tucked away when not being used.


After looking on line it was clear that we were not going to easily find these little trays on tubular legs. This is when we got the idea for the Good Will Store. We are not frequent thrift store shoppers it just seemed appropriate.

They have nothing close to what we were looking for….but none the less there were some hidden treasures on the shelves.

In life you often stumble upon something of value while you are actively looking for something else. That is exactly what happened as we walked leisurely up and down the aisles.

We have moved across the street to a smaller room now. We have nothing that could be considered appropriate for drinking wine; before we had the cute juice glasses. We used those, just fine.

There were many glasses sitting on the dusty shelf. Some were even engraved with  people’s names. What happened to ‘Dick and Jane’? I wondered. Why did they get rid of these wine glasses bearing their names? Did they get new glasses? Were they stil together? Paused to send blessings to these two people wherever they were…

Eventually we agreed on two plain crystal wine glasses. It was important to my husband that we find matching wine glasses. He finally was able to locate a pair of matching wine glasses.

Just below the shelf of glasses the real surprise lay in hiding…beautiful china dinner plates. These were fine china white with a lace pattern rimming the edge.

The plates in the hotel are; well let’s say dull and boring. These were delicate and beautiful. Even my husband thought they were perfect to go with his wine glasses.

Oh, there was only one question; nothing was marked with a price tag. So we agreed on a certain amount we would be willing to pay and proceeded to the register.


We presented our new found treasures and asked, ‘How much?” To our surprise she said ninety-nine cents each. We were thrilled. Now we had two proper wine glasses and two real china plates for dinner.

Simple does not mean you must sacrifice the finer things in life. You may have to change your attitude about what those finer things truly are.

Sharing a glass of wine together and eating off of these beautiful lace edged plates; today translate to some of our finer things.

Allow yourself to be surprised when you least expect it.

Life can be as wonderful as you want it to be or as miserable as you want it to be.

Which do you choose?





The Simple Life (Part 2)

The Simple life means you only carry the necessities with you. Could you live out of just one suitcase? I admit my makeup is considered a necessity for me. Okay, I am vain when it comes to my appearance.

So what else did I decide to be a necessity? 

My computer so that I can write no matter where I may be sleeping that night…my iPod, music for me is one of the greatest ways to keep inspired…my Magnificat for the prayers…the Kindle for reading.

When you go on vacation you also simplify your life,even if it is only for a couple weeks.

Just as when you are facing a terminal illness you decide that as long as your loved ones are nearby then you can endure much more.

As humans, we draw strength from our loved ones.

My husband and I are here to support one another no matter what life may bring including one bathroom and two feet of kitchen counter space.

Each night we fill our tiny juice tumblers with some of our boxed wine (yes, I did mean boxed wine) and toast to the end of another simple day.

The Simple Life can still be a Quality Life.

You can decide what your attitude will be with any hand dealt to you in life.



I certainly learned from my friend how important your attitude is especially when things are not going to your liking.

I will look for everything I can to make this a positive experience. 

Each new day we have the choice to make it the best day ever no matter what.

We have our love, our God, and as a friend recently reminded me…

we have our Guardian Angels.

Who knows we may come to prefer this Simple Life;

where two forks, two spoons, two burners,

and two feet of counter space may not be that bad after all.

Join me in celebration of the Simple things in life…

God, Family, and Friends.

May each of you be blessed,

as only God knows your real needs.

The Simple Life (pt.1)

 Is the Simple Life the same as Simply  Living?

You can ponder that  question for yourself.

We made the decision that simply living was not going to be good enough in spite of this Simple Life we are now experiencing.


There have been times in my life where things were very simple. My convent days were on e of those times. While in religious life I was not very concerned with the material world. Not sure if that is all good or not.

But there is something to be said about a simple life. When you live in an environment filled up with stuff it is distracting and even stressful.

When a terminal illness takes hold of your life you are almost forced to simplify your life. The deteriorating body forces a certain kind of simplicity. You can no longer physically support all that you were previously doing. I witnessed this happen to my friend. She fought with all of might to keep up with all of her commitments, but in the end she was forced to give up most things.

The last few months she began to give away many of her personal belongs. She may not have been thinking at the time about simplifying her life, but that was the reality. Once she gave something away it was entrusted to that person from then on.

Some people might consider uncluttering your life the same as having a simple one, but I am not sure. The amount of livable space you have is also an example of a simple life. The more space you have the more upkeep it requires.

Maybe that is a better way to measure whether or not you have a simple life. How much space do you actually require? It is true that no matter how much space you have your ‘stuff’ will expand to fill it up.

When you are facing a serious illness your space seems to decrease. Maybe it is due to impaired mobility so your space seems restricted. I think of people in a jail cell their space is very restricted. My one room in the motherhouse was very restricted. Living in a college dorm room is also restricted.

Now I am facing another very restricted space. We have been thrust into a simple lifestyle, at least for now.

Can you imagine living in a small simple room like a hotel for a year?

How does one go from 3400 square feet home to one room and one closet?

We are not living off the land…we are not riding a bike everywhere…

We are sharing one bathroom…one closet (not a walk in), and one desk.

The kitchen is the most simple of all. How can I live without my numerous kitchen gadgets? A two burner stove, no oven, but a large microwave…the things you get excited about change when you live a simple life….just as they do when you are sick.

The most exciting thing is the room gets a really good cleaning once a week. These women are wonderful; they clean everything from top to bottom. I can learn how to be efficient just watching them work together as a team.

The Simple Life usually does not include your own cleaning crew…one of the perks.

The kitchen is the most challenging…one small sink, where do you rinse the dishes? …two burner stove top at least it is flat top…no oven, microwave baked potatoes and hot popcorn will be yummy…and about two feet of counter space, this is a real challenge.

I am learning quickly…The Simple Life means you have out only what you are using. This little kitchen does have two complete place settings of utensils…two dinner plates…two salad plates…two bowls and two coffee cups and glasses. A few cooking utensils…three pots…some plastic storage containers and three small drawers (one housing the three pots)…

Take a moment and look around just your kitchen and see how many things you just expect to be there. Then imagine you have only ten items left…which ones would you really need?

Coming in the second part of this post will be pictures and more on my new Simple Life.

With Love all things are possible…

Even the Simple (One Room) Life!