In-N-Out and being simple.


I was at In-N-Out the other day and I heard a teenager ask one of the workers for a packet of Ranch dressing, to go with his fries.  The clerk simply said, "We don't offer ranch, I'm sorry."

This small conversation was timely since it seems a large slice of my brain has been sitting on top of thoughts. Thoughts on the journey of life and it's ultimate purpose.  I've been thinking about how we structure our daily preferences and duties and how those choices will ultimately determine the accumulation of meaning, in the end.
Simple thoughts, right?
Actually, yes.  It can be.


I'm not MBA graduate, but I'm going to venture a guess.
Do you want to know what I think the foremost contributing factor is, to In N Out's success?

They keep it simple.

In-N-Out doesn't change their menu. They take care of their employees. They keep the main thing, the main thing.

And I truly believe that (along with knife sharp exec's) is why they are not only a great establishment, but one that thrives when so many other start, hit rough patches and ultimately close.


I began to parallel this with my personal life.
Sure, In-N-Out could offer 19 variations of the cheeseburger but why would they?  They could undermine their employee/employer relationship by mismanaging and underpaying but to the detriment of what?
They could try to be the restaurant that appeals to everyone but along the way they would become everyone else.

In the end, simplicity wins. (see here.)
In business and I believe, in life.


I've never fancied myself a simple person necessarily, but the older I get, the more I am drawn to simplistic ways and a simplistic life.  I have also began seeing the wisdom behind choosing less and doing it well.
I have tried in the past, with best intentions, to do quite a bit.  Sometimes, all at one time.  I really don't think I'm alone in this mean predicament and I'm actually quite surprised that more people haven't caught on to the "you can't do everything" mindset.  I'm sure we have to each arrive at the conclusion on our own time and for me, it has come within the last year.

I/We can't possibly expect to do 12 different things well but we try, don't we?  For myself, I began realizing that if I was doing 12 different things, I can have others PERCEIVE that I'm doing them well, but I know that I'm not.  In the end, suffering seeps in and it starts with forgetting small things, little quarrels with loved ones, missing out on events that I would rather be at and a general feeling that I had failed.
There's always a red herring.

Everyone seems to be doing everything but it is ok if you don't.  In fact, it's better if you don't.  Trust me.

I can't do it all and I'm not going to try to have a business and raise babies and cook and be a great friend and write and be there for my loved ones and be at functions that are important to me and create memories and be peaceful.  It just won't happen.  Balance and peace can't be achieved if your constantly tilting in multiple directions and peace is Biblical. I desire and crave peace and I'm finding it.  Slowly.

Coming to this conclusion has meant giving up things and collateral damage from choosing that I can really only do a few things well.
I can be a good wife.  I can be a good mom and I can be a good friend and loyal to those  special people who the Lord has placed in my life.

That's about all I can handle (and as you can see, I can't even seem to get a post out on a regular basis!)

Simple is good.  And good compounds.

At the end of the journey, I would rather have successfully completed several things then made a substandard attempt at many.

Simple wins.


  1. I agree. Simple does win. I've taken so many steps in the last couple years so simplify our home life, my personal life, and really have seen the benefits of it.

  2. This could have been written just for me today.


    1. I am so happy, friend.
      Also-I would love to see you soon and grab dinner!

  3. had this conversation over the weekend with my godsisters about learning to say 'no' to a lot of things. its been wonderful for my sanity.
    since quitting my "full-time job" I've found I'm finding it easier to let go of other "commitments" that were distracting me from my full time job(wife/mother).
    slowly incorporating the business aspect (makeup artist) but only on my terms and not to the detriment of my family.....simplicity.
    who knew it was so simple?

    1. I think that you nailed it right there-sometimes when we let go of something we love and isn't "wrong" but we need to let go of, we see so many other things that were wrapped up in it and distracting us. I think that we can't fully see all that is stealing our attention until we completely untangle ourselves and step back.

      It is simple, huh? Simple and beautiful!
      Thank you for sharing, Ambs!

  4. Thank you. I've been working on this lately, hoping if I figure out this whole "I can't do everything" lesson now, I'll be rewarded in the end. I do think simplifying sometimes means having thick skin, since not everyone totally "gets it"; I also thinks it means I have to be gentle with people too, since, as you said, so many of us reach this conclusion, just at different times; we have to bestow grace on each other as we begin to figure it out. Anyway, thanks for the reminder. It's one I needed.

    1. Friend-I can tell you and I are in similar places, just by reading your words. I think that is why I love your blog so...your wisdom and words share that you TRULY desire to know what is important in life. And you are striving for it, instead of just paying it lip service.

      Yes...we are all attacking the problem in our own time. If someone would have told me I was doing too much, even about a year ago-running two successful blogs, organizing a conference, staying at home with my kids, being a friend, entertaining, Bible study, church, trying to write, contributing to other sites etcetcetc.....

      I would have thrown up so much defensiveness, but it takes something different, for each of us, to bring about the light.

  5. Absolutely. Keep the main things the main things. Love this, Lady.

  6. i have been thinking on this and agreeing with loud amens in my soul since reading this.

    LOVE you.

  7. I completely agree...simple *is* good! I thrive living my life for simply! :o) Have a lovely Friday (and weekend) ahead!

    Katy :)