Where’s My Simple Summer?

How can I find simplicity during hectic times?

I’m writing this during the final stages of preparing to leave town for a nice, long vacation. Problem is, I’m not a details person. So sifting through the to-do lists and the what-ifs and the oh-nos is a big, big stretch. (It’s a good thing this is for vacation, otherwise, I’d really need one!)

It’s summer time, and all I really want to do is kick back into maximum chillaximum mode. My body is here, but my mind has already departed! If you’re in a similar situation, just surviving until you can reach your break, here’s what I’m trying to keep front and center today:

Be still and know…

Want instant blood-pressure-lowering, pulse-calming relief? Just say those words. You can even reword them into a mantra: “I’m still, knowing that You are God.” Yeah! What daunting day can stand in the face of this truth? And really, doesn’t it quench the fiery urgency of all the things that pick and prod us?

No condemnation…

I listened to a great podcast this week about the myth of balance. The host spoke about mom guilt, how we feel like terrible failures if we miss the mark in any area: tidy house, organic/whole/homemade food for our families, career goals, regular date nights, a formal exercise routine, volunteering at church or school, and on and on.

We live in a time of incredible freedom to chase our dreams. But no one can chase all of them at the same time. Just take a breath and really listen. Where is the feeling of condemnation coming from? Society? Phooey. Most likely, there’s a hefty dose of condemnation originating in our own heart. We want to have the house we see on Pinterest. We want to be the fun mom who has it all together. And we want to burst into our potential today, instead of blossoming into it a little at a time.

Take a hard look at that condemnation and then throw it away… No really, imagine a wastebasket in your mind, and envision yourself literally stuffing the condemnation into it. Do this every time it feels like you’re smothering under the weight. A little silly? Maybe. But I need a little distraction like this to snap out of it sometimes. Try it!

There’s sweetness in the work…

Ecclesiastes 17:24-25 says, “A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?”

And this is coming from the wisest man in history, ya’ll. Some days I need to remind myself to be thankful for the health and ability to work through the times I’m wishing for simplicity. We know that without meaningful work, people suffer terribly. So this time of scrubbing, mowing, and helping my family get ready for quality, purpose-filled days is precious, too. (Even though I. Hate. Packing.)

If you’re navigating a week of complications, remember: most of this stuff doesn’t actually matter. Give yourself the grace to think of simple truths and purposes. And if you need to hum “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” I say go for it. I will be today, too.

Are you in a hectic time? How do you remember to keep it simple?



Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Cole Smith
Latest posts by Cole Smith (see all)


  1. Diane Tarantini on July 30, 2018 at 12:22 PM

    Cole, I really loved this post. Cole, I really needed this post. Thanks so much for your wisdom, friend! You are so right, with regards to me, anyway; the condemnation is coming from me, not others.

    Walks away from computer humming, “Leaning… oh, I’m leaannnnning…. Leaning on the everlasting arms….”

  2. Sarah Robinson on July 30, 2018 at 12:43 PM

    “Be still and know…” helps me with my mindset, keeps me in my rightful place, and helps me to deal with life on life’s terms.
    Thanks for sharing. And have a great vacation.
    My family surprised me with a 5 day visit, and I find myself rolling with it, not overwhelmed. So grateful.

  3. Cole // Cole Smith Writes on July 30, 2018 at 10:17 PM

    Thanks, ladies! Vacation was great, only a couple of minor glitches 🙂

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.