…a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away.
Recently I gave my Organizing Belongings talk (called “You and Your Stuff”) to a lovely church group. During the Q&A I heard many of the usual questions, gave my thoughts, and opened up the floor to hear the thoughts of the other participants.
A lovely young women described how she was keeping boxes and boxes of her deceased mother’s things, and others in the crowd encouraged her to keep some of the most sentimental things and let the rest go. She could still love and honor her mom without keeping all of the stuff.
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God…
By the time we hit the seventh day of the week, going church can feel like a “have to” rather than a “get to.” We’ve all woken up on a Sunday morning wishing we could stay in bed—but shouldn’t going to church be considerably more refreshing than an hour’s extra sleep?
God didn’t call Sunday a day of rest for nothing. The Sabbath isn’t about “not doing work” (at least not entirely—you can check out what I have to say about that in this post), it’s about resting in His presence and care.
For our Thought Shots today, I took some quotes from Building Your House and made them pretty enough to remember and share! Read them through to see which ones speak to you, reaffirming what you believe about faithful home organization.
Then, share your favorites. There are so many people out there swallowing the lies about what it means to “succeed” as a homebuilder—and January’s “get organized” advertising blitz is right around the corner! So, please boldly share how we can truly honor the Lord with our homes by posting, pinning, and tweeting these memes through your favorite social media outlets…
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,
as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
-I Peter 4:10
This fall, I was enjoying the pumpkin farm when a woman reached out and tapped my shoulder. “Mrs. Upton?” she asked. “You used to be my teacher. I’m…”
“Lindsay!” I said. I often wonder about some of my favorite “kids,” and Lindsay is definitely tops on that list. It was so good to see her, and a little strange! I taught high school math right after I graduated from college, and there really isn’t a huge age difference between me and those kids anymore. They’re all grown up, with careers and homes and children of their own.
I met Lindsay’s adorable daughter, and she met my children. She said to them, “Your mom was my teacher! She was such a great teacher.” Then she looked at me and asked, “Are you still teaching?”
I felt bad saying “no.” I only taught high school for four years, then I spent two years tutoring, then we moved and I stopped teaching altogether.
I’m sporting quite a bruise on my shin today. It’s a whopper—yellow in the middle fading into a greenish brown, with a lovely pink and purple bottom edge and a sizable bump. It’s almost pretty actually.
I have no idea how I got it.
You’d think I’d remember this one… did I bark my shin on something? Fall down? Bang it with a weight when I was exercising? (Sadly, I do that a lot.) I don’t know why it’s there.
In the same way, I’ll often bump into spiritual clutter that bruises my soul… worries and anxieties that get me down, even though I don’t know why they’re there.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
I had an interesting dream last week. My little Oliver, who is 5 years old, was at the park down the street. Someone had taped a white “x” on the blacktop underneath the basketball hoop. Oliver was standing on it, holding a basketball, looking up, ready to shoot.
Then suddenly I was looking at a different boy under a different hoop. Think Opie from Mayberry—it was clearly the 1950’s. Someone had marked an “x” in the dirt underneath the hoop (no, I’m not saying they didn’t have blacktop in the 1950’s—this was a dream, people). The boy was standing on it, holding a basketball, looking up, ready to shoot.
And I thought, Basketball hasn’t changed. He’ll either make it, or he won’t.
Today I looked at my five year-old with undisguised admiration. I’d taught him the rules of an “Ages 8 and up” game called Monopoly Empire, and he was quickly picking up its nuances and strategy. In fact, he’d just beaten me fair and square.
Pastor Drew recently told a summer story about avidly watching a thunderstorm roll in at the beach. Key word: avidly.
I thought, He’s crazy. (I’m not a fan of thunderstorms, powerful winds, hail, or anything else along those lines.)
He said his family stayed on the beach as long as possible to watch the storm. Then they moved to the porch of their rented beach house and continued to watch as the storm passed over them and went off to sea. At the height of the storm, they watched for the lightning, anticipated the thunder, and then cheered for every house-shaking “boom.”