Sunday, March 8, 2009

Book Review (Living Simply by Joanne Heim)

As many of you know I love to read. As of today I am reading about 12 books. I know, I know, I should just read one book at time but hey this works for me. A few of the blogs I read daily are written by authors. Many of the books that are currently on my reading wish list are written by the women who's blogs I read. I came across The Simple Wife blog a few months ago and fell in love with the simple way she leads her life. She seems to have something I don't. Peace. So when I was reading about the books she has written I knew I had to read Living Simply. So I ordered it off Amazon for $11.19 and waiting anxiously to receive it in the mail.

I finished it last night and let me tell you I am sad. I wish this book could have continued FOREVER! What an amazing book! I was sad that it ended. I wanted more great ideas on how to enjoy the moment, enjoy my son, and how to start traditions within in my own small family. I LOVED THIS BOOK! Everyone should read this. My book already looks trashed; the spine is all bent, almost every page has underlining, stars, asterisks, circles, and folded corners. Joanne breaks down all the aspects of your life into a neat chapter and details what we should be doing according to God's word.

Joanne doesn't sugar coat the reality of living. She admits that somethings are not easy and that achieving a simple life doesn't just happen over night.

The one thing that totally hooked me is when she was describing her life when she lived in England. My family is from England and I still have a great aunt and uncle that live there. When we were little we used to visit all the time. So everything she was describing brought me back to many of the special memories I have with my family.

I absolutely loved her section on traditions and holidays. This past Christmas, with money being as tight as it was, I knew my family needed a change. I knew I didn't want the day to be about the presents but the reason we were celebrating. Joanne has shown me that you can celebrate the reason for the holiday and take the importance off the presents. I loved her story about Easter and the book Benjamin's Box. I actually am thinking about starting that tradition in my house.

I have learned so much about how God wants us to live our lives, teach our children, and set up our households. I am longing to live that kind of life. (To be honest, I want to be best friends with Joanne and her family.)

Some of my favorite parts are ...

When I think of a simple life, I think of a life that is less complicated, roomier, filled with the meaningful rather than the urgent. I think of a life centered around people rather than things. I think of a life that's focused rather than scattered, grounded and stable rather than pulled in too many different directions at once. I think of knowing what God wants me to do - being sure of it - and doing it.
(pg 37)

Sometimes giving up things - saying no to things that we like, we think are fun, and we want - means we gain much more in the long run. We must make wise choices about the things on which we spend our time, money, energy, and emotions. (pg 62)

As a mother, I want to build a strong family - but I don't want to be the family all on my own. (pg 84)

Along with bedtime, mealtime is a time for teaching my children to pray. It's an obvious place to pause and give thanks for the food on the table. (pg 139)

Celebrations don't have to be overwhelming. By viewing them as opportunities to tell the stories of our families, we can relax from the pressure to do it bigger and better each year. As a result, celebrations can become cherished times for your family to remember those traditions, memories, and event that make your family special and unique. (pg 166)

Ok, now that you have had a little taste of what this book is about go - go run out and buy it right now. Or you can order it online and have it overnighted. It is totally worth it.

Go visit Joanne at her blog


  1. Mindy,

    Hey! I have been reading your blog and I just love you already! LOL!! We seem to have a lot in common....I love to read too. I like to read a lot of biographies and inspirational type books. I was reading about your perfectionism and how you secretly wish you were a lead singer of a band. Ha! Me too!! I read about how you've gotten back into church, which is something I just did yesterday. Anyways, I look forward to reading more. Nice to meet you!!


    P.S. One of my favorite books is 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper. I also love the Twilight series (my friend got me into those). I read 23 Minutes in Hell too and it was really scary, but very eye-opening.

  2. I forgot to say, that song "Hope Now" on your of my very favorites!! I love it so much I did an entire post about it the other day! LOL

  3. Just found your blog and will get this thoughts exactly! Nice to "meet" you! Amanda

  4. 12 Books! Goodness, you MUST love to read! ha!

    The book you spoke of sounds wonderful. I'll have to go and check it out - especially since you speak so highly of it.

    I hope you had fun being a featured blog today. My participating blogging friends haven't been very generous with their comments yet (I think they're still trying to figure it out), but I'm sure you had many visitors and hopefully you will have made some new friends. :)

    Have a beautiful evening.

  5. Hi Mindy...visiting you from "Getting to Know You!" I wish I could say that I share your love of reading, but it takes a lot to get me to start a book. If it's a good one, I won't put it down, though. Thanks for sharing about Joanne's book...I'm heading over to her blog to check it out! Have a wonderful week!

  6. Hi...I'm visiting from Lynette's Getting to Know You. Thanks so much for this great book review. I so long for the "simple life", and the parts of the book you shared sounded so valuable. Sometimes, it seems like I am running around missing the simple moments...the simple joys that God has for my life. Good reminders...I think I need to get this book! I also love to read...when I can squeeze it in (you know in the midst of all the running!). It was lovely to "meet" you.

    Blessings to you,
    Kelly Gerken
    Sufficient Grace Ministries


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