Today’s FROG Blog comes from my book Unthawed: Lessons from a Frozen Lily Pad. Unthawed was written with 13 other authors who stepped out of hibernation to expose a vulnerable situation from their lives. In 500 words or less, we courageously wrote what we discovered from uncomfortable, often daring decisions.  

I recalled conversations from New Year’s weekend. I frequently heard people use the words, “just,” “simply,” and “only” when they talked about what they hoped for the coming year.

For example, someone talked about their fitness goal and said, “I just need to….”

Or, “I’d like to downsize my house if I simply…” or “if only I, (or he/she) did…. “

Before I follow that rabbit trail, I’ll “just” read an excerpt from my book, Unthawed: Lessons from a Frozen Lily Pad.

In the New American Bible, Mark described Jesus’s response after Jairus’s daughter died. He said, “Do not be afraid; just have faith. In the New King James version, Jesus said, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”

Just. Only.

Remember that popular Staples slogan, “That was easy?” They had large red buttons had, “That was Easy” written in bright white letters. Staples’ marketing campaign seemed to spark a hot button to cash in on the rewards of simple living.  

Countless books, videos and articles invite us to assess our clutter. Many people discovered that by minimalizing their possessions and activities, they maximized what they defined as quality of life.  

Some of my friends who implemented the “less is more” lifestyle expressed how much effort it took to initially create simplicity. Their common challenges included a hesitation to get rid of something because of sentimental value. They feared they might need or want that item back. They also talked about the time it takes to streamline what they consider valuable.

My threshold for needs is low, so when friends ask how I consistently live this way, I find myself using the word “just,” “only,” and “simply” when I offer suggestions about downsizing.

I catch myself saying, “just” clean one drawer at a time” or “set a timer for 5 minutes and “simply” clear as much as you can before the timer beeps.”  If only. If only life was that simple.

Inadvertently, my use of “just” and “simply” minimized the struggle some people face when they release their possessions or stop a habit that once supported them. I need to respect someone’s process and not push my “that was easy” button onto them! Instead of helping, my casual “just” may “simply” push someone else’s hot button.

As the Creator of the universe, Jesus came equipped with Divine faith. I wonder if the synagogue officials or people of Jesus’s time cringed when they heard Him say, “just have faith” or “if only you believe?”

I finish this essay with a prayer:

“Jesus, help me just have faith, only in You. I live in a culture that promotes ease and comfort. Guide me to recognize that strength and courage do not happen at the simple touch of a button. Teach me that instead of wishing for fewer problems, I’m to ask You to help me develop strength and perseverance. Thank you for reminding me not to fear, to just believe in Your best.”

Friends, there you have it. If one of your yearly goals is to read more, yes! There’s a plethora of book choices. For now, I encourage you to “just” go to your library or bookstore and peruse your options. Trust the process. Be gentle with yourself and others while we learn what best supports each other for now.

With support for your adventure,


Lover of snail mail, Hobby Lobby yarn, and Wal-Mart gift cards

For an audio version of this FROG Blog, you can go to ( A Slice Of Pie With Christina Mae |

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