Prayer, Creativity & Faith

Keep it simple (guest post by Stephanie Alton)

Stephanie AltonWhen I found out that not only did I get to write a new book, but that it had to be done by the end of the summer, I alternated between excited and totally freaked out. One day I posted in the Facebook group set up for all of my agent’s clients, asking for volunteers to guest post, and so many people graciously responded. I’m so grateful. Today I am welcoming Stephanie Alton. She is the Blog Resource Manager for my agent’s company and blog network and she’s been lovely to work with. Hope you enjoy! Here’s what she had to say…

Many years ago, I had a math teacher who taught me about the KISS principle. The Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) principle was used to help me, and my classmates, remember to simplify the equations we worked on. I have since forgotten many of the formulas that I learned in this class, but for some reason the Keep It Simple Stupid phrase stuck with me. And now I have found a new way to use this concept.

Since school let out over a month ago I have had a hard time with what to do with my boys. We go out and have fun from time to time, but we have not done anything super special. Because of the lack of summer excitement, I have been comparing myself to other mothers who have done so much with their children already, and this makes me feel like I am failing (which stresses-me-out!).

With so much filling our calendar (that isn’t always summer break kind of stuff) I don’t even remember exactly when I had this thought, but one afternoon I sought advice from The Lord on what to do to make our summer special because I was: 1) overwhelmed by the thought of summer activity planning, and 2) I was/am tired.

As petty as my personal conflict was, it still wore me down. It was a big burden on my heart. I felt like I had disappointed my children by not doing something grand this summer. What better time to reflect on Matthew 11:28-29 than when we are overwhelmed with anything.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” 

GRAPHIC let me teach you

After I went to The Lord in prayer with the burden that laid heavy on my heart, the words of my math teacher from long ago came drifting back to mind, “Keep It Simple Stupid.” An aha moment happened as I reflected on the words: Keep. It. Simple.

Perhaps The Lord is reminding me of the advice that my math teacher offered long ago because I am looking for a solution to the equation of how to raise my children, balance it all, and still create fun summer memories. I am just supposed to apply the principle in a different manner than the way I was originally taught.

Keep it simple does not mean keeping up with the Jones’ and fill every minute of the day with extravagant activities (sigh of relief). Keep it simple does not mean stressing over what we have not done, but helping my children learn to be grateful for what we have done (wipe the sweat of my brow). Keep it simple does mean making sure my boys know I love them (no matter what we do).

So with new peace within me, our simple summer is just that. Simple. We are spending time together. We are working. We are taking care of business. That’s about it, and I am ok with it.

Has your summer been filled with fun so far? Or are you like me and have to keep it simple this year?

Stephanie Alton is the Blog Resource Manager at The Blythe Daniel Agency and blogs at Connect with Stephanie on Facebook or on Twitter.

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