Category Archives: Make Room for What you Love

Oh the relief…

Last night I attended the monthly Crafts and Coffee event at church…

IMG_2295 - Version 2

although…

now that I think about it, I don’t think they were offering coffee…

ok…sorry…I’m back.

I was a little later, and I mean later than my usual five minutes, so everyone was already busy at work at the small tables in our cafe area when I arrived.

All that activity and creativity was like an adrenaline rush, so I moved around the various groups to admire the different projects and say hi to everyone.

There was a beautiful, three layered shawl emerging from one friend’s circular needles that I may possibly have coveted.

Mint green, rosy pink and magenta all knit into delicate lace ruffles…It was so pretty that I hovered long enough to develop a deep desire to craft one of those babies in the near future.

Then there was the little gal with her bead box open, fashioning her amazing earrings.

Oh that looked fun and I do have a box of beads and the tools to make jewelry, so the seed was planted to drag those out sometime soon as well.

IMG_0381

As my head was spinning with all the plans that were crowding in to an already overpacked to do list of incomplete projects, my eyes rested on the leader of our group as she sat at her spinning WHEEL.

Seriously.

The girl spins yarn…out of fiber she has dyed. Herself.

I asked her if she made the dye, and thank goodness for both of us she doesn’t, because I am not sure I could have handled much more amazement.

She sat there feeding what looked like colorful insulation into this brown, wheeled, gizmo…smiling and pedaling with her cute little feet, chatting with me as nimble fingers fed the fluff into the part that turned it into…I don’t know…yarn? thread?

And all of a sudden I realized the blessed peace of relief that I get when people talk about running a marathon.

Because I have absolutely no desire to do any of that, ever.

Not dye fiber.

Not spin fiber.

Not run a marathon.

Not even a half of desire to do a half of a marathon.

(The only thing I remotely might consider is raising alpacas and sheep FOR the fiber, because I am such a magnet for the animal kingdom…that I think I might actually have a knack for shepherding…plus…great blog material potential in ranching, I would think…)

And so I sank into a chair next to her, laughing and we talked about how great it is when you realize you really don’t care if you ever get good at something.

She acknowledged that she had done the same with the concept of improving her cooking repertoire and has peaceful contentment serving the meals she has mastered up to this point, thank you very much.

In this Pinterest driven, FaceBook….15 minutes of fame…so many great ideas, so little time world…isn’t it grand when we can eliminate some things off our list because we know…good on you if you can do it and I will just applaud you with absolutely no envy or sense of competition or drive to learn this skill; because I am happy to be a spectator in your arena!

IMG_3414

Hallelujah!

So what are your interests that draw you like a moth to a flame?

And what are those things that you love to watch in others, but are quite content to never ever feel pressured to learn?

Isn’t it wonderful that we can appreciate each others gifts and interests, whether they are mutual or wildly different?

AND………..

If you are interested in checking out a little more about my sweet and talented spinning friend, I received permission to share her new website with you….you will find her at ….

//www.andreagrundendesigns.com/

God bless you all in whatever you love to do and cheers for those things you feel free to pass on!

See you tomorrow!

 

 

And the winner is…and a simple thought to start your Monday <3

Thank you for all of your comments. Truly meant a lot to hear from some surprises and some of you all made me laugh out loud.

We held a very scientific drawing whereby I took all the names I had recorded in a notebook and cut them into strips…

swirled the bowl…

held it up so Russ could reach in and then hand me the Golden Ticket for….

(drum roll please…the excitement is palpitating…..)

IMG_3491

TADA!! Congratulations to Suzi Goken!!!!

Your book will be in the mail by the end of the week <3

And now…that simple thought to start your day….

I am halfway through the six weeks post-surgery on my foot. Not that I am counting the hours, I mean days, or anything….(insert that emoji with the severe eye-rolling…)

They removed the stitches and put a smaller cast on last time and the doctor asked me how I was doing.

I said I had only minor discomfort and an occasional twinge of pain, which I assumed was all normal.

He is a man of few words and most are kind of funny…so he said…well…you did have surgery on your foot.

It’s not what he says, it’s the way he says it…and it made me laugh.

But it also made me think.

There is a lot of pain here in our country right now, but there is also a lot of pain around the world.

Not to mention there is pain in our homes and pain in our friends’ homes.

And yes, there is much joy and celebration going on as babies are being born and weddings are happening.

But to push away the uncomfortable and difficult parts of today would be as foolish as ignoring when my foot hurts and pretending like nothing happened to it.

So my thought is simply to say that we are living in painful and difficult REVEALING of some ugly stuff that we have been unaware of.

The hatred and conflict around the world and in our midst is not new news, it is just more openly shared.

As a follower of Christ, now more than ever, I am turning to God’s Word…not to hide…but to be guided in how to love God and live His way in the middle of it all.

I am thankful for several teachings that I have been exposed to this summer that I would like to share that are timely words about being Christ-followers and how to do Kingdom work in a way that offers HOPE to a dying world.

http://www.firstdecatur.org/sermons/     The series on Samuel/It’s Complicated and the last two Sundays called “God Thoughts” have been excellent resources

http://grace360.org/th_gallery/thrive/   The series on the book of Daniel has offered great teachings of how Daniel lived gracefully and graciously and faithfully in captivity.

The Living Room Series: No Other Gods by Kelly Minter has been a powerful study that has tied in beautifully with these teachings as it forces me to examine where I have turned to “functional idols” …. things that I have come to rely on instead of God.

Be blessed as you start this week.

Feed yourself on God’s Word so that you can walk in His ways and point others to the only Hope….Jesus Christ <3

And we finish the week….

Hey!

It’s been a challenging and fun week for me to do this series!

I have loved all of your comments and will be doing the OH-ficial drawing on Sunday…and yes…photos will be taken…so check in on Monday to see who won the book!

If you posted a comment, I do post a reply…so check back to your day of posting for my response.

And now without further ado….the final day of….

IMG_0873

Since it’s Friday, I am keeping today’s post short and sweet.

One of the lessons I have learned from reading this book was to identify where my day has an established pattern that keeps me defeated before I ever get myself up and running.

Poised-and-graceful

I realized that having a clean table and a few things that are part of my routine set up when I come downstairs could make to start the day off a little more organized…a little more prepared….and a lot more graceful than running around screaming “I CAN’T BELIEVE I GOT UP AT 6 AM AND I AM GOING TO BE LATE A.G.A.I.N.”

Thanks to some great suggestions from the book, I also identified the place where these adjustments need to take place.

I MADE A DECISION to do some preparations BEFORE I go to bed to ensure that the morning gives me a fighting chance at this grace-filled life…

IMG_2310

I will spare you all the analysis and simply give you the tweaks that I have made to my bedtime routine to set the stage for a successful startup the next day:

<3 Clean off the table and counter and deal with any mail, newspapers, notes, books that have piled up there during the course of the day and PUT THEM WHERE THEY BELONG

<3 Fix the coffee pot and use the timer so it’s already brewing as I am waking up (addiction is an ugly thing, kids)

<3 If I am working the next day, pack my lunch and stick in fridge

<3 Hang an outfit on the bedroom door…and let me tell you, as someone who has always been a “mood” dresser…this one has been a whole new level of spiritual growth for me…

Now…having said all that…I also extend myself grace by not making this a LAW…some nights some or all doesn’t get done, but I certainly am learning that when I do take the few minutes to do these few things, my day goes a whole lot better…and I do respond to positive reinforcement!

Ok…that’s it!

2010 09 04_0564

 

I would have loved to have done a month study with you over coffee and heard your thoughts as well…but it’s been a fun ride this week!

Have a blessed weekend and I will see you on Monday…and may the best man or woman win! <3

************************************************************************************

REMEMBER….If you leave a comment on Facebook or this site today through Friday, your name goes in a drawing to receive a copy of this book.

Stuff you should know:

I will hand deliver it if you live locally or mail it to your home if you do not.

If you already have one, go ahead and comment so you can gift it to someone else.

IF you don’t want your comment published – just tell me that IN the comment. Your name still goes in the drawing…whether the comment is to be posted or not.

I never include emails or last names (unless YOU have a website you would like people to know about).

Also you should know…giveaways and such are a method bloggers/websites use to gauge how big their audience is and to capture emails for future promotions. (GASP…it’s true…even the most godly freebies are often used to measure readership…it’s not wrong but I want to be up front with you <3)

IMG_0873

The one I don’t want to write…but have to

If you are stopping by for the first time, we are in a series this week about a great book called Make Room for What you Love by Melissa Michaels…check out more here //theinspiredroom.net/make-room-for-what-you-love/

***Also…pssssst…..if you also get the Thursday email, it’s different from the post today…so check it out too =0)

IMG_2712

When I started this series, I mentioned that the book represents more to me than just another book on how to declutter and organize your home.

It doesn’t take a lot of time reading my posts to figure out that, to me, most everything in life really points us to what God is showing us about Him and how He wants to relate to us in our everyday walk.

IMG_4253

One of the reasons I have trouble digging through our old stuff is that it represents more than stuff to me.

As I open a random cardboard box and start pulling out little league ball caps and a poodle skirt from the 50’s birthday party; a giant penny that my parents got one of the kids and the cheap trinket gifts they bought each other at the Santa Shop held at school each year…the tears start to well up.

Suddenly this empty house is echoing with funny things they said and squabbles to be broken up.

The phone is ringing and the back door is slamming, yet again, and one kiddo is yelling ‘MOM!!!’  from the basement while another is yelling ‘MOMMMMMM!!!!’ from the front porch.

And I fold the box flaps back together and leave because I don’t want to lose those precious memories.

So I go to another place and I start to sort through some things and suddenly I am hit with vivid reminders of changes that have painted  broad strokes of pain over memories that used to bring me joy.

Now the memories of what made me happy are laced with sorrow and loss and so again…. I push it all back in the box because it is too hard to face.

And here is where Melissa’s book yet again speaks to me like a wise and understanding friend.

Unwelcome-things-trying-to-take-control

In the book she is addressing the challenge of facing the mess of treasures that have been tucked away because we didn’t deal with these possessions in a timely way when they were no longer useful.

She refers to the things that we hold on to as “baggage” if it is keeping us from moving into embracing what we have right now.

The attachment that I feel to these memory-holding objects is, in reality,  stealing the joy of what the heart of this HOME is right now in THIS season of our life.

But it goes deeper for a Christ-follower to realize the ugly truth about what is going on here.

As I read her thoughts revealing the bondage all of our stored items represent, I was reminded of the repeated message of idolatry that keeps popping up in my studies…

how idols may not be the things we worship, but they might very well be the things we serve…with our time and thoughts and attention. (Kelly Minter, No Other Gods)

So I take to heart these words:

“…we have to sometimes face good or painful memories…and sometimes even say goodbye to things from chapters of our life because they are no longer serving us.

It’s messy but so worth it to live more fully right now. You have to enter right into the mess, bring it all out into the open and own it.”  page 170 Make Room for What you Love, Melissa Michaels; Harvest House Publishers

I confess to you, I don’t know how to enter into the mess, whether the mess is clutter in closets or clutter in my heart….

IMG_4491

It scares me to think of bringing it all out in the open…and owning the way things have turned out…to say goodbye to chapters of our life….and to let go of things that are no more.

I fear I will finally shatter into fine dust if I bring it all out and look it right in the face.

And then I realize…I am fearing and thus “serving” an idol by allowing all of these THINGS to take up room in our home and my heart.

I don’t want to miss serving God  and I don’t want to miss what He has for this home right now because I was clinging to the good and afraid to face the pain.

By allowing the thoughts and emotions, both good and bad, to control my actions…I have lifted them up above my God and that…is not okay.

So with God’s help…one decision at a time…one box at a time…

letting go of fear that I won’t do it perfectly…

I will loose my grip on the temporal.

And all the while, I will be so thankful for the One who will guide me through.

So I want to move forward serving HIM…

not our memories of the past or our hopes for the future…

I want to cling to the One who is the same…

IMG_1137

yesterday…

today…

forever.

************************************************************************************

REMEMBER….If you leave a comment on Facebook or this site today through Friday, your name goes in a drawing to receive a copy of this book.

Stuff you should know:

I will hand deliver it if you live locally or mail it to your home if you do not.

If you already have one, go ahead and comment so you can gift it to someone else.

IF you don’t want your comment published – just tell me that IN the comment. Your name still goes in the drawing…whether the comment is to be posted or not.

I never include emails or last names (unless YOU have a website you would like people to know about).

Also you should know…giveaways and such are a method bloggers/websites use to gauge how big their audience is and to capture emails for future promotions. (GASP…it’s true…even the most godly freebies are often used to measure readership…it’s not wrong but I want to be up front with you <3)

IMG_0873

 

Building on those small decisions….

If you are just joining us, I am spending a week sharing insights gleaned from reading Make Room for What you Love by Melissa Michaels. 

13051657_10153499271735911_6366853598706980646_n

Yesterday we covered the interconnection between Chronic Indecision leading to Procrastination which leads to Paralysis….all because of Perfectionism.

As we pull all of that baggage out into the open and see it for what it is, we can start making even just ONE decision…

and it is amazing how ONE decision can open the door to the next and the next…

and well…

it’s a beautiful thing.

IMG_4037

Applying it over the course of an average day has proved doable and I am experiencing some growth in this area.

Until I go to look for something that involves opening certain closets or entering the labyrinth of memories stowed in tubs and boxes and piled on top of shelves in the basement and then…

Little Miss “Can’t make up her mind to save her life…” shows up and I am standing in the kitchen with a handful of dark chocolate contemplating a trip to Hobby Lobby to buy some yarn…don’t ask….

IMG_3345

This is where Melissa’s chapter explaining how to break the overwhelming down into the manageable gave me a tool that actually works.

She calls it SMART goals…an acronym for

S – specific

M – measurable

A – achievable

R – realistic

T – time limited

The basic principle is to choose a closet or project or corner that needs some de-cluttering/ TLC or completion and then break the task down into a manageable work plan.

The book has a great application of how this works gleaned from Melissa’s desire to pare down her Christmas trim that had grown over the years.

I was able to apply the same principle to rein in my out-of-control supplies for card making.

Using the SMART goals, I was able to scale down from taking up the entire wall of one of our bedrooms. Now all of the supplies are organized into one desk and a couple of dresser drawers.

I set a goal on the amount of materials I had room to store, the amount of time I had to work on it and what I wanted the finished area to look like.

I gave myself  a two day limit and used other suggestions in the book…

like pulling everything out and grouping like items together and then putting back only what was in good shape and would fit in the available space.

And as a result, I actually have made a few cards since the purge; because guess what?

IMG_0517_2

I actually feel creative when I am in an orderly, if not perfect, environment.

The weblink for the book //theinspiredroom.net/make-room-for-what-you-love/ even has nifty printable worksheets including one for your SMART goals to help you get started.

Tomorrow I want to look at another issue about memories that can stall me and keep me paralyzed in ineffectiveness, but for now I hope you are enjoying a taste of why my lovely book ended up looking like this….

IMG_3429

I hope these tidbits are giving you some insights and encouragement…and I hope you are beginning to recognize the way clutter in the home often can be linked to clutter in US….

May God bless you as you sort through both <3

************************************************************************************

REMEMBER….If you leave a comment on Facebook or this site today through Friday, your name goes in a drawing to receive a copy of this book.

Stuff you should know:

I will hand deliver it if you live locally or mail it to your home if you do not.

If you already have one, go ahead and comment so you can gift it to someone else.

IF you don’t want your comment published – just tell me that IN the comment. Your name still goes in the drawing…whether the comment is to be posted or not.

I never include emails or last names (unless YOU have a website you would like people to know about).

Also you should know…giveaways and such are a method bloggers/websites use to gauge how big their audience is and to capture emails for future promotions. (GASP…it’s true…even the most godly freebies are often used to measure readership…it’s not wrong but I want to be up front with you <3)

IMG_0873