Tag: #decluttering

Practice the Always

Always holds big meaning to only have six letters.

I have a few things that I always do, like I’ll always drink in house cold brew, and always brush my teeth before leaving the house. If you don’t, you’ll run into someone you haven’t seen in years, and they’ll want to hug and stand around and laugh, so it’s best to have clean teeth.

I’m becoming more comfortable with empty spaces. What works for me is looking at an area full of stuff, and emptying it out completely. Wipe the surface down and only put back the meaningful. It’s funny but even after putting back what was meaningful one day, they begin to lose some of their meaning the next. I’m excited to see what our house looks like by the end of the year, or better yet, one year from now.

After framing some art and having a wall of it in my room, I removed one painting and put it in the kitchen where it belongs. That’s where it was originally, but I used it to fill an empty space. I’ve been looking at that empty space along my bedroom wall all week, and knew what I wanted to put there. It’s a page from a magazine that was in another frame, but I utilized that frame and laid this clipping aside.

When people see it, they scream, “Is that Justin Bieber?!!” He was just a kid in this photo, and you can’t see his face, but his name is underneath the quote. I have signs hanging throughout our home as reminders of what’s important, and this is of the utmost importance.

It says, “I always thank God for giving me this opportunity and blessing me with this talent.” ~ Justin Bieber

I bought a frame for it and filled in the empty space. This frame looked lighter in the store, so it’s probably going to be exchanged for another one, but it works for now. The word ‘always’ is what jumps out at me from this quote. We have all been given at least one gift and should be on the lookout for ample opportunity to use it. I’m guilty of not thanking God nearly enough for the opportunities He’s given me, but I’m willing to practice.

I see this photo as soon as I wake up in the morning, so at first light, let’s practice the always.

Feed Your Soul

It’s hard for me to disappoint people and be okay with it. I felt the need to step away from one of my jobs for the weekend, but that means the weekly newsletter won’t go out. Of course I could sit here and push through to get it composed and scheduled, but my thought all week has been, “What condition is your soul in, Barb?”

Over the years I’ve often remembered a song by TobyMac where he sings, “I don’t wanna gain the whole world and lose my soul.” I’ve always wanted to impact people’s lives in a positive way, but what they don’t tell you as you’re pouring into other people’s lives, there’s a balance. To all my world changers out there, take time to pour into your own world.

A photo shared with my daughter last night.

Reading Simple Abundance this week has fed my soul. What she’s writing about is precisely where I am. Examining every piece that makes up my world and asking it, “Are you pretty and useful, or just pretty useful?” As there’s almost another decade in the rearview, there’s still purpose burning deep inside.

I’m going through items in my home room by room with that question in mind. I moved a large piece of art I’ve had for years from my bedroom to the kitchen and it’s like it has new life. I’ve learned that plants love light, but aren’t happy sitting on the window sill in the heat, so, why do I still have one sitting by me on the sill looking miserable?

Because I like it there. The container it’s in is a gorgeous deep jade, but there’s not enough energy for it here where I sit and type, so we’ll move it to another room until we find the balance of light and energy it needs. I moved it to the kitchen near the window, but now I have an empty space beside my desk. I’m learning to be good with spaces.

I followed the words of Simple Abundance and am listening to the soundtrack of Out of Africa, and it feeds my soul. I refuse to look at any work related apps until Monday, and am pondering how I want my coffee this a.m. Will it be a pour over, or Chemex?

When my daughter asks, “What are your plans for the weekend?”, I’ll swiftly respond…”Whatever feeds my soul.”

The Warning Signs

In previous years, my path has been altered for me by an increase in rent. If I couldn’t afford the increase that was a sign, it was time to move on. God has blessed me with two jobs I’ve grown to love, so I’m grateful that’s not the case today. With new construction popping up all over our neighborhood, I came to a crossroad and it looks something like this.

Do I want to stay? If so, for how long?

You see, you have to take note of the warning signs, and there have been quite a few! I was talking with my friend on Marco Polo and she began recounting the signs we’ve seen since last year. When I told her my rent increased she said, “Just in case you need one more sign Barb, here it is!”

Last year one of my favorite neighbors moved back home to Kentucky. I’ve written about her in She’s That Neighbor, but we keep in touch and remain close to this day. Right after she moved, a builder removed the woods next to our houses, which was mentioned in A Moment’s Notice.

I paid attention, but to really drive it home, the washing machine flooded onto the floor, and right after we got that fixed, the dryer broke. (These appliances are less than 4 years old) The most recent thing that happened was a puff of smoke emitted from behind the stove while it was preheating.

I was listening in the stillness when these words rose up. “Start where you are and with what you have.” Looking at the items we’ve accumulated over the years, I began asking myself, “Do I love it and is it useful?” I can begin by blessing others, and keep my eyes open for more of the warning signs.

The Draft Folder

I’m being drawn toward the draft folder, so I’ve dedicated the month of December to cleaning out drafts. If you see a random post that doesn’t quite go with the flow, you’ll know Barb finished a draft. 🙂

A full draft folder used to feel overwhelming. There are no stacks of paper piled up on my desk because it feels like clutter, but the draft folder felt like stacks of paper, so once it piled up, it was sorted through.

Some were trashed, but most were published. There were posts sitting in there for years, but that’s when the old rule that works in all areas of my life came into play. “If it hasn’t been used in a year, it’s probably not gonna be used.” December is a good month to declutter.

Think of drafts as stories waiting for their Writer to return. There are six drafts in my draft folder, but if you’re reading this, it went down to five.

What’s waiting for you in your draft folder?

Feel the Music

It was in March of 2017 I posted the first Feel the Music. God probably put it on my heart before then, but that is when I obeyed. 🙂

A couple of weeks ago, I did some deep cleaning. You know those areas we walk by, look at and smirk? This particular area was behind the stereo. Jumbled up wires covered in dog hair. There comes a point you’re just tired of walking by it.

I borrowed some zip ties from my neighbor and unplugged all of the equipment. Then I heard a noise. The sub woofer was making a clicking sound, but didn’t think much of it.  I untangled each cord and folded it into an organized bundle. Zip tied it and plugged everything back in.

I pulled up a song that has really good bass.

I was a little concerned about the clicking noise, but I think what happened was, the sub woofer reset itself to factory settings. My daughter had changed the settings at some point and dialed back the bass. Well darlings, after that little clean up expedition, my house is thumping again!

You can most definitely feel the music.

Under the Bed

Sunday mornings feel good. It’s the day I look back at what’s been accomplished for the week. A good bit got done, but there’s more to do.

This week I worked on my bedroom.

It had become a place to sleep and not a place to dwell. I was laying in bed one night and all I could think about was what was under my bed.

When was the last time I looked under my bed? What was being stored there? When was the last time it was thoroughly cleaned?

The next morning, I found the answers.

My daughter had a guitar case and a couple of plastic bins of clothing under my bed. She has a platform bed and cannot store anything underneath, so I offered my space. It was a collection of dust and dog hair under there, so this had to change. The top of her wardrobe was empty, so I placed the bins up there. The guitar case is by the back door awaiting storage.

I moved the bed to another location in the room and cleaned the floor during it’s move.

Also, as I was laying in bed that night, I found myself staring at an empty wall wondering what time it was. I rolled over and grabbed my phone from the bedside table, but the light hurt my eyes. I wanted a clock on that wall.

clock
Kensington Station, London.

“Go big, or go home,” is my thinking.

I see God working in the details of my life.

The really good stuff is in the details my darling, and sometimes that begins by looking under the bed.