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how do I go from the mentality of buying many things (clothing, gifts) from the deep clearance section...and ending up with nothing that fits right or is buying a few classic, well-made items? i seem to have the quantity versus quality inclination, even though i know it doesn't work. how do i make this change?

Dedra Herod

OHHHH How I wish I could really come! BUT, here is my two cents:

I would really want to come away from the retreat with:

1. How to prioritize my day(s) based on God's Word. Realistic, written down approaches.
2. Strategies to handle the daily stress of raising kiddos. Meal Planning, Recipe ideas, Laundry routines, just how to simplify and stay on top of managing our families.
3. Truly and consistently implementing quiet time and study time with the Lord! (reading Misplacing God right now and LOVING it!MUAH!)

Thanks so much for encouraging me all the time girl! I'll be praying for your preparation.


Kim Feth

I'm w/ Dedra-wish I could be there. From the blogging we've implemented the Google calendar in the protective sleeve on the fridge door. Each family member has their own color. My 8 y/o son now knows to look there for what hours Daddy is working (restaurant mgt). I also took your idea to put each nights meals on there; so, when I'm brain dead, all I have to do is look at tomorrow's meal and figure out what to take out of the freezer or what I can pre-cook while I'm packing lunches. That has changed our life, and I got a teacher at my school doing the same thing.
QT and workout times are the other things I'm trying to schedule in. I remember reading one of your blogs and thinking, wow, she's disciplined to have the exercise time in there. That's my next step.
I think hanging it all on verses helps. I once heard someone say(not sure who) that sometimes, putting on the "full armor of God" means picking out matching clothes the night before. We now try our best to live by the creed.
I've also started ironing all of my stuff and my husband's stuff on the weekend night that he works. That way, there's no ironing through the week. I think that was your idea also. And we re-started w/ using my son's M-thru-F clothes organizer. He's much happier.
Ohh!! Another one of your suggestions was reading at the breakfast table. Wow, that has quieted our mornings. And that lead to praying every time we turn the car on. So peaceful now.
Hmm ... let me ponder anymore things.
Kim Feth
Apex, NC
(hoping secretly that you pick me for a book)

Kim Feth

Oh, now I remember. Is there something you do to organize your space/time in the car? That's where my son does a lot of homework, reading, creating movies in his head, etc. But within a week, it looks like there's a homeless family living in the car. While it seems simple to say, "Bring out everything you put in", we would make so many trips in/out of the car.


Okay, I am totally on board with the three items Dedra listed above. On #1, I keep wondering how the life of the Proverbs 31 woman could ever be described as "simple"? How did she do it without going crazy... and how do we follow her lead?


Wow there are so many great ideas already!

If I was coming to your talk with the topic of Simplify Me I would hope to learn about:

1. Ways to simplify my life by keeping my time precious. Learning how to say no to all those commitments and not feeling terrible about keeping my schedule decluttered.

2. Simplifying my life by learning how to not let energy vampires rob my energy and time.

3. Implementing a daily time with God and not reducing it to another scheduled appointment.

I hope these make sense :)

Blessings~ Angela


how to know when it is better to delegate tasks to someone else or just buck up and do it myself. example - I hate the deep-clean my place requires (as opposed to the day-to-day tidying/cleaning) and was expecting my hubby to pitch in. His way of pitching in is to hire cleaners every other week.

how to release yourself (and husband) from the expectation of how things were *supposed* to be and acceptance of how things are (but not relinquishing responsibility to work at things that need improving). just basically being smarter about where you spend your emotional energy.

oh, and i live in canada so i don't know if that affects my eligibility for gifts from you.....


I would want to leave with:
*renewed purpose
*a challenge
*a new form of accountability

Kim Morgan

How do I simplify my life and still keep everything at home in order, go to work and prioritize ministry opportunities? I want to also be frugal in the simplicity, but not spend endless time in doing so. What to leave in - what to leave out and not feeling guilty at the end of the day/month. And somewhere in there, be able to live out and receive the abundant life that Christ died to give us!

(First time commenting - love your blog)



lol. I got nothin'. Cuz I have your book! So...I KNOW IT ALL! Okay, but I guess I don't since I haven't done ANY OF IT. So that is what I need. How do I (hire someone to) get started?

Love you. Break a leg.


Georgia Jan

I would love to come to this retreat! I love the KISS philosophy - Keep It Simple Sister!

1. Quiet time ideas (journaling, devotional books, reading through the Bible, prayer lists?)
2. Menu/grocery organization.
3. Filtering requests that are not "priority" but are important.

Share your thoughts with us when you get back from the retreat!

Would LOVE a book - heard about your contributions to a book recently on Midday Connection!

Much Love, Blessed Easter,


Oh that sounds like a wonderful theme for a conference/retreat!

What woman couldn't relate to the need to simplify?

I would want to hear about:

1. Daily scheduleing/home management (think includes quiet times help)
2. How to say "no" when I want to say "yes" to everything I'm asked to do. (specifically how our first ministry is to our families at home)

Amy SC Anderson

I enjoyed reading input from the others. . . and I'll add my thought (yes, just one thought--thought it's a bit wordy--hope that counts!):) FOCUS--that's the need for simplification in my mind and life. I so easily lose focus from my intentions, calling, priorities. There's the computer, the phone, the pantry, the tv. . . an endless number of distractions to keep me from truly nourishing my soul and nourishing others. How do we stay focused? It sure takes simplification. Honestly, I think I read your blog so much because I sense that you are focused. You streamline and get things done. I found you because I read your Living Simply book last summer when I was studying how I wanted us to honor and spend our Sabbath each week. Funniest thing, I JUST ordered your Misplaced book this past week--and I am anxiously awaiting its arrival. But oh my do I have friends that would love one too! Thanks for the light you shine! Blessings to you and your family:)

Stacey Lynch

#1 Remind them that they are loved by Jesus and that all they do can come from knowing deeply they are cherished. That thought alone changes the motivation by which we live our day!
#2 Remind them that one womans simplify may look different than anothers. Affirmation tools are great for this because they help us know who we are!
#3 Remind them again that they are loved, and don't have to live in the room of good intentions...but the room of grace where they no longer have to try so hard, but simply trust!

Carolina Mama

Will pray for you as you prepare for this engagement! God Bless and Happy Easter!

Kathleen in TX

*Simplifying my schedule so that I have quiet time with God
*A way to simplify the chaos that seems to invade our home.

Michelle Hammons

When I hear someone speak (keeping in mind that I LOVE Beth Moore) I would like to walk away knowing a little more about Jesus and how much he loves me, how I can keep him at the top of my list-o-things to do and still keep my sanity, and last but certainly not least, I like to walk away feeling refreshed (you know like that feeling when you first step out of the shower). Put a smile on their face before they walk out the door :o) May God bless this event for you!!

Jennifer Cone

If I were to attend a retreat with the theme being "Simplify Me", I would like to come away with:

1. Maybe some simple organizational skills
2. Renewed energy - retreats always have a way of doing this :)
3. How I, a full-time working Mom, actively engaged in her childrens activites (I lead my youngests Daisy troop), and who leads a Bible-Study group at church, can learn how to say "No" without the guilt.

Be blessed this Easter Sunday and I pray that your retreat will be filled with the Spirit!

Lisa P in California

1.How to teach my children to enjoy the benefits of organization/simplifying?
2.How do I make myself a priority in my "to do" list?
3. How can I encourage my children to do daily devotionals when I can't find time to do them myself?


What great ideas everyone has! I'd love to sit in a room with all of you and listen to your ideas and experiences. A few ideas swimming in my head:
1. Why simplicity is important from God's perspective, as opposed to the popular culture's thrust for what it calls "simplicity." Looking at simplicity as a spiritual discipline (Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster).
2. What are the top 5 or 10 ways I can go home today and implement simplicity in my life? What small steps can I begin taking now that will make a big impact today.
3. Top organizational tools for women. Even though we may have heard them before, we need to hear them again and again. Charts, long range planning, meal planning.
4. Since meals are a big part of most women's schedules, how can I prepare now to have a simplified mealtime? It would be fun to come away from the retreat with a booklet of recipes geared toward make-ahead/freezer/quick meals for families.


Live in constant service of the Lord. Continue to learn to do that by quiet time, prayer etc. If it is not in line with him it goes.

Simplify my relationships, yep that means some of them have to go.

Learn to accept where I am right now and be grateful. Knowing that I am loved no matter what by him and no matter what society says about any subject. Have a great Easter.


Simply Me

1) Boundaries for saying yes and saying no to people, family, and church stuff.
2) There are many good things to spend time on how to decern the best. Not specifics on things but guidelines for decerning this personally what is best for one might not be best for another.
3)I think a big part of simplify me is being spiritually and emotionally to get there and get there again after a bad day.
4)Decerning the season of life we are in and not comparing our limitations or gifts to another persons.
5)Finding our callings as Moms

Bethany Peters

Ooh! Your "Misplacing God" book is at the top of my wishlist so I'd love to win a free copy! :)

I'd like to hear:

1) How making time for God first thing each day makes you more focused and able to choose which activities that day are worth my time

2)Big time wasters and how to get rid of them

3) Organizational tools (charts, menus, planners, picking out clothes)--practical tools for making the daily tasks less overwhelming and more like second nature so I can concentrate on more important things

Erin A.

I've been reading your blog for a little while and recently picked up Misplacing God - love it!
For me, the most pressing issue I'm having these days is realizing that I need to dedicate a part of each day to self care. That's quiet time with God... but it is also time to excercise and look after myself. And as a mom who works full time, that is a hard thing to do! Someone "else" always needs me - or I get caught up in a complicated meal, sewing project for someone's Brownie unit etc... How can I simplify what's around me to create a daily self nurturing time? I like what Bethany said about "big time wasters" and what others have said about tool-kits for organization.
Hope this helps with your talk!

Kim Feth

Another thought came to me - when my husband and I were looking for his work shoes at 3:30 a.m. when he was trying to leave for work. How do you organize your spouse's space, or help your spouse keep their stuff organized, without becoming his proverbial "Mom", I would much rather be his wife? My husband has adult ADHD that's unmedicated. And before people say that's no big deal. Believe me, if affects your marriage. The concept of things go back where they came from doesn't wrap with the way his brain is wired. No, he's not lazy or manipulating the situation. I still want to be his helpmate and submit. Maybe the submission part of organizing the house without being the household boss is part of my question?
Kim Feth
Apex, NC


1) How to decide about the "wants". Sometimes, it's difficult to resist temptation. It seems easier to just cave in and get that flashy iPhone although you don't need it. So how do you decide when it comes to "wants"? How do you resist that temptation and simplify?

2) Sometimes, you feel as if you're overloaded with school work and other commitments. So how do you simplify things for yourself without getting too overwhelmed?

Hope my questions have not confused you! (:


I agree with a lot of the above posters about how to take time for me for quiet time and exercise.
But I would like to have you address clinging to God when things aren't great, my husband is totally disconnected from our family, and I know I'm not alone, so how do you deal with the hard times and not let it hurt your relationship with God and with others?
Also along with others, how to get rid of time wasters.


Great comments above... all of the suggestions would make for a wonderful retreat.

My top 3 are...
1. Introduce 'quiet time' books to guide people that are just beginning this time... give suggestions for people.
2. Time with family and saying no to things that, although may be important, have to take a back seat for awhile...
3. Having just finished Easter, giving ideas, craft ideas to help focus the attention on the holidays for what they really are... we are doing a smidge better with this, but still struggle.


I'd want to come away with a renewed sense of commitment and excitement to grow in my walk with the Lord; I'd want to hear motivating testimony about what a simple life means and how that looks in real life; I'd want to come away with new friendships. I am reading "Misplacing God.." right now and will post a review very soon on my blog. If your blog and your book are any indication of your ability to say something relevant and uplifting to a group of women, I'd say you will knock it out of the park!

Holly @ Crownlaiddown

1) enrichment for my mind--something to take away from the Word that I daily think upon
2) refreshment for my soul--connection with other sisters in Christ in a way that marks my life
3) equipping for my walk--practical wisdom and truth to change how I approach each day

I hope that was both vague and specific enough to help! Praying over your talk, too!


I love all the simple ideas for making traditions in the family during different holidays to keep kids focused on the right reasons (like the oh-so-swell Good Friday hand marking...loved it! No cost! Less than 5 minutes! Huge impact!)

I am always hunting ways to streamline our daily schedule for greater sanity. Maybe others at the retreat would appreciate some discussion of how to add rest to our days, a little Sabbath discussion.

And on the home front, I guess I would most appreciate hearing a little more about how to inexpensively make my home beautiful and personal and a sanctuary from the world. That's one of my constant quests.

Thanks for inviting our input, Joanne! I do so love reading your thoughts!


Totally bummed that I cannot possibly get there...of course! Retreat thoughts...I love coming home with a "mantra" from the retreat that I can repeat to myself or remember during the "not so simple" moments...I'd like to come away with the feeling that I'm not alone in my struggles...that there's hope...comfort...Humor would be good too!

Lisa @ The PW

1. A Do-able schedule so I can not feel guilty about down time. I never let myself have fun because I think about all I should be doing instead.

2. How to create a comfortable writing/devotion space in a small home that has absolutely not once square inch currently available! :)

3. How to organize one project at a time without getting overwhelmed and quitting.

Courtney Anderson

1. I work full time and am pregnant with our first child (due in 6 weeks). Since I am planning on returning to work full time (more like have to since I am active duty military), I struggle with balancing my priorities with regards to maintaining a Christian centered household in modern to be a Biblical wife/mother with today's responsibilities.

2. How you started your faith journey and how that contributed to your desire to simplify your life....I feel I learn a lot from other peoples journeys.

3. How to raise kids (especially daughters) in todays society which focuses on material things, peer pressure, etc...sometimes I wish I could raise our daughter 15 years ago!


I would have to agree with the one gal above...getting rid of time wasters! In fact, I am really thinking through whether or not to replace this old computer once it goes. I believe this is one biggie that sometimes we do not want to admit. No help perhaps, but I LOVED your newest book and it has actually encouraged me on towards some of this thinking...I also ordered your simplify simple woman to the simple wife :-)) we are simple girls I think loving things simple! smile! As soon as I gather my thoughts and catch my breath from this jewel I will review. Also, I just added tabbies to my Bible! Anyhow, hugs to you friend!


What I would love to hear in regards to Simplify Me -- one session: directed primarily to the overall vision & overall arching principles about the need to simplify & why, garnering principles & examples from God's Word. And I would definitely want a session on some practical, concerte how-to tips with specific examples: how-to get rid of clutter; how to keep clutter from getting in my home & how-to get away from feeling like I HAVE to DO so many activities -- simplifying the extra curriculuar activities. I would love a recommended book list for on-going inspiration as well.


If I went to a retreat I would love to get some info on juggling/balancing "everything". Work, Marriage, Quiet Time, Me Time, Family Time, Housework, Extracurriculars (Girl Scouts, PTA, Church activities) how to put it all together and still keep everyone happy. Or maybe the goal shouldn't be to keep everyone happy? his is where I get confused! ;) Loved your Living Simply book - I need to reread & start implementing!


I think it is amazing that with all your studies and activities you still find time to hang out with your girls and hubby and make them feel important. I find this hard because I when I get stressed, I dwell on that and find it hard to push it to one side and focus on other (more important) things. I need to sit down and honestly (and more importantly, bluntly) prioritise what is the most important things in my life and let go of the other things that aren't.

Tammy S.

1. To be challenged to go back and put into practice all that I had heard that weekend. When a challenge is given to me, it stays with me. I can come back with a notebook full of notes about what was said, but somehow when the person speaking gives that verbal means something to me and I tend to go home and do it.

2. I would be interested in hearing about how to prioritize the stuff that fills up my day. What should be done first, what can wait, what should I delegate to someone else...things like that.

3. What benefits(maybe that's not the right word, but all that I can think of right now)are there in my relationship with Christ because I have simplified my life. What can I expect to see in my own spiritual life as a result of decluttering my day-to-day life.


Hey girl....don't even know why I'm putting something up here...totally blown away by all the awesome stuff. I'm down with Holly...loved her 3 pointers!
Loved the thought of the "mantra" and also "bathing" the women in the love of Jesus and affirming that over and over...not in the quality or quantity of "to do's" as women tend to be the do-ers". Guess it all falls back to the ol' Martha/Mary dilemma. Yes...all of life's details and "housekeeping" are good and well-but they are to enrich, not replace His place in our lives...but Mary chose the BETTER His feet, learning, being loved on, knowing her Lord matter the distractions. No tyrany of the urgent...just Him. Set off any day in that mindset and prayfully focus on being aware of Him hour by hour and girl...I'm telling comes together! Amen. (Of couse, have to be honest here...had waaaay too many of the other kinda days...uggh!) Simplifying my life has come down to...did God call me to this xyz, and if so, am I giving Him all the glory? (and not myself) Whether it be parenting crisis kids, leading bible study, signing up for the 1st grade class party, saying "no" 50 times more than a single "yes"...and giving Him the glory slaps me out of the "supermom" of the year award category that only destroys me and my family. (And I'd never win anyways! Hee hee!) Ok...too much writing...time for and Jesus are gonna ROCK!!! :)


This may come way outta left field...I have bipolar 2 disorder, so organization is a major challenge. I can set up calendars & implement cool ideas but I have so much trouble keeping up with them when I get depressed. Maybe you have some ideas that have helped Toben?
Some creative ideas on spending time with God.
Not sure if this fits in your scope but it is on my heart..reaching out to neighbors.


-find peace [simplicity] out of life when life is not full of peace

-bring light to the fact that most of our busy-ness and crazy schedules are just us running from God, running from pain, or running from life

-practical tips on spending time with God in simple ways that help slow us down


I'm sure some of this is a repeat... I would love to come away with tips for discerning what things fill up my time that shouldn't be priorities (but may be 'good' things...) and saying 'no' when necessary. How to encourage my husband to simplify without him feeling deprived or that I'm some kind of 'hippie' =). Also some simple techniques for Bible study that aren't book/devotional driven.


My favorite piece of wisdom from "Living SImply" is the advice to be intentional and thoughtful about how you spend your time. From chores to "extracurricular" activities, being purposeful with our time and resources. I've gotten a lot of contentment from this idea. Now, when I'm picking up toys (again!) I'm remembering that I'm doing it so that we will enjoy our evening more in a tidy family room instead of begrudging the fact that I'm doing it again!

Diana Arnold

I would love,love,love to know where to start! I lack the energy and motivation that I used to have,and am desperatly seeking my lost life! lol I was diagnosed 2 years ago with Crohn's Disease and things have gone downhill severly in my life. Last January my ex-husband commit suicide. I have lost what I "used to have", and would like to know where I start to get it back. I feel like I am starting my life at square one.
Basicly a good starting point is what I would like to come away with at the retreat.
Prayers for you!


i may be way off here, i only read a few comments. 1.simply be the woman god has called me to be rather than be defined by my culture, society, you name it. 2. to live out that only gods love defines who i am. period. (to me that epitomizes living simply. though easier said than done.) 3. how to hang on to god and learn to "default" if you will to the fruits of the spirit instead of my nature when dealing with life.


i'm not sure if this is applicable to "simplifying" but i have found it hard but useful to be careful about who my confidantes are. i know that there are certain aspects of my life - motherhood, being a wife, etc - that i shouldn't talk about with certain friends/aquaintances because their advice and input does not help me but rather makes things more complicated and often distracts me from the root of what i know the problem is. if this is too vague a comment, email me and i can get more specific.


Sounds like a great retreat 3 things I'd like to learn about...
1. The importance of my role in my home, how God has designed me and what makes me tick (like my personality, temperment and how that influences how I am in my home)
2. How to bite off pieces of tasks that seem to be overwhelming in my life.
3. Practical application (charts, how-to's, ideas...) for running a smoother home.

I hope you have lots of fun and I hope you can post some of the things you end up talking about! :)

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