“To the illuminated mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light.” I love the idea that constantly being in a position of learning can add light to my world.
It is this quote and many others that offer encouragement, ideas, and little nuggets of wisdom to help me along my Simple Life Journey. And to keep them in mind, I keep them written down where I can see them. I call it Chalkboard Wisdom.
Find out more about how you can add nuggets of wisdom, encouragement, and support along your journey - just by having a simple Chalkboard!
The Farm Wife
Living a Simple Life with a Back Porch View Resource Page
Episode 24 – Chalkboard Wisdom
Welcome to the porch. I’m just sitting here thinking about what little pieces of wisdom I need to add to my chalkboard.
Several years ago, my super talented cousins, Steve and Rose, gifted me with a framed chalkboard for my kitchen. Instead of lists and menus, I write down quotes or ideas I can use as food for thought, encouragement, and reminders of the importance of living a Simple Life.
The one I have up right now is a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. It says, “To the illuminated mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light.” I love the idea that constantly being in a position of learning can add light to my world.
Another quote that follows closely behind that one is “Man's mind, stretched to a new idea, never goes back to its original dimension”. Oliver Wendell Holmes offered that little nugget of wisdom. It is a reminder with every idea I have, I am giving my mind a workout. It is stretching, which in turn allows more ideas to come into focus. With each new idea comes growth. And as I grow, I gain wisdom through learning the difference of which ideas are feasible, and which ones need to be left behind.
But my chalkboard doesn’t just have quotes offering food for thought. There are days when I just want to give up. Life gets hard. Darkness settles over my heart, and rather than get up and get moving, I would rather just be like a kid and throw a blanket over my head. That way, troubles can’t see me. And if troubles can’t see me, that means I can be happy again. Isn’t that the way it works?
Sorry to burst your balloon, but no, it just isn’t that easy. Instead, I get up, put one foot in front of the other, and make my way through the day. But it is those tough days I find at least a little encouragement by pondering the quote on my chalkboard.
Anne Frank defined it well when she said, "Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!"
This piece of wisdom helps me to shake off the blues and remember I have plenty of blessings to act as that blanket I want to hide under. It helps to make my steps lighter, and my outlook on the day brighter.
We all need reminders and encouragement from time to time. Living a Simple Life isn’t easy. Society has a bad habit of belittling a homemaker. It tries to tell us our ‘jobs’ of caring for our home and family has no true value, when in reality, homemaking is one of the most valuable and worthwhile positions to have.
We often can’t see the forest for the trees – which, by the way, is a modern twist on John Heywood’s quote “Ye cannot see the wood for the trees.” Our simple lives are filled with housework, growing food for our family, helping our neighbors, managing our finances, and so much, much, more. With all that work, it’s difficult to see the progress we are making, or the value to our lives and the lives of others to which we are contributing.
Having a spot in your home to put inspirational quotes is a great way to help you see the benefits and value of our life. It helps to keep you moving forward on your own Simple Life.
If you are ready to put up your own chalkboard, then let’s explore some ways you can.
There are several ways you can do this. The simplest way is to just write out a quote and stick it on the refrigerator. Every time you open the door, you will see it.
If you prefer, you can type it up on the computer. If you do it this way, you can take it a step further and use a graphics program, such as Canva, to add a bit of fun images. Once your finished, just print it out and hang it up.
Another way is to purchase a small chalkboard that can hang on the wall. With this, you can use colorful chalk to draw your own graphics, and a different color to write out the quote. And it doesn’t have to be a true chalkboard. A white board works just as well. Or you can get creative and make your own. If you don’t have an old chalkboard or can’t find one at a thrift shop, then paint a board with chalkboard paint. Add a frame and hang it up.
If you don’t have enough wall space, consider a smaller version, and set it on an easel. If possible, just set it in a place that is visible, and where you can see it several times a day.
Another one of my favorite ways to see these quotes is to use sticky notes. I place them on the wall next to my bed where I can see it as soon as I wake up, and when I lay my head on the pillow at night. They are stuck to the bathroom wall, next to the mirror. Here’s the thing about sticky notes. You can put them most anywhere.
On a couple of really hard days, I stuck them to the back door. I had to see them when I walked outside. And I have also been known to stick them on the dashboard of my car.
I remember one particular day that I felt about as low as I could get. It had been a hard few months, nothing seemed to go right, and I was facing obstacles I had no clue how to overcome. So, I wrote out a few quotes of encouragement, placed them all over the house, and then decided that wasn’t enough.
So, that evening, as I closed things up for the night, I placed a few in the chicken coop and the barn. The next morning, I was still hurting but I knew the animals needed to be cared for. I headed to the barn to milk Bossy. As I was getting things ready, I noticed her studying the sticky note I placed on the wall. Before I could blink, she seemed to read it, find it amusing, and then proceeded to try and eat it!
I jumped and pulled it out of her mouth before it was too late. As I looked at that soggy sticky note, I realized my Jersey cow had just offered me a bit of advice, whether I wanted it or not. Her advice? There isn’t a problem so big you can’t fix it by just eating it.
I started laughing. Bossy just shook her head and headed into the stanchion. But she was right. Things had been building up for so long, my perspective was wonky. I took Bossy’s wisdom to heart and began to readjust my attitude. It still took a while for things to right themselves, but at least I was able to see them for what they were – problems with a solution.
One thing that is also helpful is to keep a notebook for your collection of quotes and reminders. When you feel you need a certain type of inspiration, you can just look over what you have written down and choose one that will help.
And it doesn’t just have to be quotes from famous people. While visiting with my friends, family, and neighbors, there are often times they will say something that sticks with me. The Country Boy is forever spouting a few words of wisdom, and I have often quoted him in posts, podcasts, or added them to my Chalkboard Wisdom list.
WE just need to remember. Life can be tough some days. Just because we live a Simple Life doesn’t mean we won’t face hardships. It doesn’t mean we get a hall pass from doing the work. Instead, we stick to our garden hoes and vacuum cleaners and get the job done.
And from time to time, we find a little bit of encouragement or a timely reminder just by pondering our Chalkboard Wisdom. With those few words of encouragement, we are reminded we are tough, smart, skilled, and more than capable of getting the job done. From there, we can more easily see that the hard side of life doesn’t have the strength to hold us back.
And if that doesn’t work, here’s another quote from Mr. Emerson - "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." If you are going through a dark season in life, just use it as an excuse to sit outside and look up. After all, that’s where all the strength we will ever need comes from – the Creator Himself.
If you want to learn more about the topic at hand, or get a transcript for this episode, just visit my website at www.thefarmwife.com/podcast. That is the Resource page for this podcast and I have it set up by episodes to make things easier to find. To help you out, this is Episode 24.
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Thanks again for stopping in. I will see you next week on Living a Simple Life with a Back Porch View. And while you are waiting on the next episode, grab that glass of refreshment, pull up a rocker, and sit back for a while. It’s time to relax and enjoy.