Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Plain Living

I started reading a book I found on the library sale rack last night I wanted to share some quotes from the first chapter. The book is called Plain Living A Quaker Path To Simplicity by Catherine Whitmire.

There is no fixed standard of simplicity.
What is very simple for one person often seem
very complex and extravagant for another.
There is no known calculus of simplicity.
Rufus Jones, 1940

Simplicity does not mean drabness or narrowness but is essentially positive, being the capacity for selectivety in one who holds attention on the goal. Thus simplicity is an appreciation of all that is helpful towards living as children of the living God.
North Carolina Yearly Meeting, 1983

Creative simplicity involves developing our own tastes, rather than letting them be formed by advertising and other social pressures which stunt imagination and discourage self-expression. Simple Living is a rediscovery of our creative and imaginative energies.
The Simple Living Collective, 1974

So far I like this book throughout the chapters there are questions for you to think inwardly about yourself and why you choose to do the things you do. Here's an example of one: What criteria do I use to determine what constitutes simplicity to me?

I of course answered the question right in the book since I am a notorious highlighter of things that catch my eye in books. I take notes right in the book or I'll forget why I wrote something down and where I got it from.

Simple living is different for all and the choices we make will be different from all others. Hubby and I decided soon after we married almost 19 years ago that I would be a stay at home mom when the time came. I have worked one job since then and that was driving a school bus, I could take my toddlers with me and it was only 4 hours a day, free insurance, and I could still be at home. Well that turned into a nightmare and lasted 4 months.

We have learned to live simple to keep this goal going, but our choice and the choices we have made to keep this going are different from others. Some may look at us as poor people and they can think that all they want. Our house is paid for, our vehicles are paid for, we have no debt at all; we have been blessed beyond measure because we have stuck to a path we knew was the right one.

But our choices are ours, my choosing to sew a lot of my clothing, or wear skirts 95% of the time, not having a stylish hairstyle but having long hair, cooking from scratch, raising animals for food, gardening, not having cable TV, yard saleing and thrift storing, making do with what I have, keeping my decorating to practical and basic, making cheese,making laundry soap, washing my hair with baking soda, making my own soap, using a clothesline, etc, etc I am following the path I know to be mine this is my simplicity.

What is Yours?

Have a very blessed day.




  1. Those were wonderful quotes! I think a lot of people have the perception that living simply means living an almost monastic sort of life. And for some that may be true. For me, living simply means enjoying and being grateful for the gifts that God has given me and eliminating outside influences that distract me from what it means to be a child of God. Having the outside reflect the joy that comes from within. In other words not hiding my light under a basket.

    1. Jane
      So true! Living like you know you should and being happy and showing that to others.


  2. Oh I love this! I am going to add this book to my wishlist. I love what Jane said - it is so true that everyone's simplicity is different!! Love this post!

    1. Emily,
      I found the book on for 75 cents with shipping it would be 3.75, I put a link to it in my post. I found my copy for 30 cents and it has been sitting in my to read basket for a few months now. I felt the urge last night to open and read and I am so glad I did. I will post quotes from it while I'm reading it.


  3. Dear Erika,

    I have this book and I am still reading it slowly. There is a great deal of wisdom there and it is good to read a bit at a time and meditate on what has been read.

    My simple life is not so different from yours, but like you it is Our Life. One that I don't mind living and don't mind talking about.

    Thank you so much for sharing my friend.


  4. Erika,

    That sounds like a great book. I am going to add it to my to-read list. My idea of simplicity is very similar to yours. I love haunting thrift shops. Everything was once loved and has potential to be loved again!



  5. I'm going to have to add this book to my wish list. I loved the quotes, as they give you much wisdom to think about.

    As I live in what I call Suburbia Land, it's not always easy to maintain the simple life-style we desire. However, my husband and I do the best we can to be frugal with our way of life, which is seen as "odd" to some of our family members. However, we are happy with our choices, and so we don't let them sway our opinion.


    P.S. BTW, my blog has moved to:


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