I can’t believe it’s over! I’m so glad I decided to be a part of the #write31days challenge. It’s been tough and revealing and heart-tilling.
Why is decluttering even important? I first discussed this back at the very beginning of this writing challenge, which you can read here. Aren’t we taught to value “more”? How often do we stop to evaluate whether or not constantly seeking more is serving us, the people we care about, and our God?
It’s worth taking an appraisal of.
1. Decluttering reveals. It unearths the state of our home, our hearts, and everything that lies between. You can’t continue in ignorance once you’ve confronted the truth. You’re forced to put everything in it’s rightful place, or remove it from your life. This is the hard part, the fire.
2. Decluttering leaves behind only valuables, both material and intangible. I do enjoy having a simple closet and I can appreciate an organized space, but even more so, I treasure newfound freedom, joy, and purpose. The invisible – this is where the beauty is found.
Those treasures can’t be defined until we have first worked through the reveal. They are equally important and necessary.
I hope you take the time to find what you truly value, and let it take it’s proper place in your life.
James 1:2-4, The Message: Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
These past twenty-eight days were not intended for instruction or even motivation, although those would be wonderful byproducts. These posts were my confessional.
Things are feeling lighter. There are less distractions. I can breathe deeper.
This process of writing and editing and praying and pondering is always a mirror. It helps me see more clearly, reflecting everything back in truthful light.
Thank you for helping me hold the mirror by simply reading and providing this safe space for me to declutter in pursuit of Him.
If you’ve missed my previous posts in this series, you can click here.
Wow. Posting every day for 31 days straight is no joke! It has been tough. It hasn’t been perfect, and I’ve missed a couple of days here and there because, life. So many of these posts I had to publish despite wanting to edit them more or sit with them longer. But what an awesome challenge it has been not only for my writing, but even more for my heart. I’ve had to wade through some heavy topics (and some not so heavy) in “real time.” Each day I have prayerfully considered what God would have me to share, to ponder, to declutter. Although this was a kind of crash course in simplifying, it has been transformative for me. I am so hopeful that the Lord will continue this sanctifying work in me, long after October 31 passes.
I plan to use these last few days to recap some of my greatest takeaways from this challenge.
With all of my “relationship” posts, I’ve noticed a clear thread in how I want to approach them. It really does come down to the themes of love, grace, and truth. When I remind myself to go “back to the basics,” those are the words that fill my mind. I am so grateful to the Lord for allowing me to see these precious pieces of my life with new eyes. Relationships need re-evaluating from time to time, and I’ve discovered how valuable it is to focus on improving myself, not the counterpart in the relationship. I will always have much to refine. Much too much to focus on how others need polishing.
I should just be the friend, partner, mother, and daughter that I want to have.
The Lord is sweet in his relentless patience with me as I learn to be more filled with him and less with myself. This is dying daily, and it’s not an easy practice. I want to see my friends and family with eyes of grace, a heart of love, and thoughts of truth. Always.
If you missed my relationship posts earlier in the series, you can read them by clicking here, here, or here.
There are about one million ways I could think of to improve my parenting. One million ways I fail and mess up, and one million times when I’ve said or done the wrong thing. I’m sure the people around me would gladly dispense advice and there are books full of checklists to make sure I’m doing everything just right, all the time.
It’s so much pressure.
But God doesn’t put pressure on me to be a more perfect mom. His approach is much different, gentler. He picks my tired self up off the hot seat, and then he doesn’t just leave the seat empty for me to find my way back again. He sits in my place.
He sees me in the monotony of my days, at my best and my worst, and he’s pleased. He tells me I’m a good mom (sometimes more than once, when I really need convincing).
That’s because the Lord looks past my mom “failures” and “wins” and peers deep into my mama heart.
He knows the soaring love I have for this baby of mine, because he sees with the eyes of a Father. A kind Father. A good Father.
When I feel all caught up in my constant striving to do better and more, I need to remember who he says I am. That is, already enough.
Right where I am – I’m enough. You’re enough.
I’m my best mama-self when I see myself how he sees me. When I parent out of that place, I’m not relying on techniques or methods, I’m just relying on the One who made me a mom in the first place. And He’s enough.
I am nearing the end of my Write 31 Days Challenge! If you want to read through some of the other posts in this series, click here.
Carrying two mortgages will make you rethink your finances, mainly because you have no other choice. That’s the position we found ourselves in this past summer when we randomly (divinely?) found the “just right” house for us, before our old home was even listed on the market. It was a good practice for us to pay close attention to the money leaving our accounts every month.
I don’t want to just streamline my finances for simplicity’s sake. I want to be a good steward of my blessings and resources, and make it a priority in life.
I would love to hear any tips you guys may have! This is an area where I always have something to learn. Please leave your ideas in the comments. 🙂
After just completely missing yesterday in the #write31days challenge, I’m back. Sorry ’bout that.
All too often, I expect too much from the people in my life.
Because of my unrealistic expectations, I set them up for failure. This is detrimental to the relationship — it can cultivate dissatisfaction, resentment, defeat, hurt feelings, and most definitely disappointment.
By choosing to withhold grace, I am allowing our relationship to be damaged. The responsibility actually falls on me. (Ouch.)
When what I want is perfection, I should anticipate shortcomings. Not because people want to let me down, but because people are people. Just broken people in a broken world.
Naturally, for myself, I want fair standards. I want grace and compassion extended to me. So, why am I hesitant to offer this same grace to others?
When I find myself in a place of expecting the impossible for my husband, my friend, my daughter — here’s my heart check:
1. What do I know to be true? As I evaluate a scenario that’s left me feeling hurt, I ask myself what do I know to be true of that person and my relationship with them: Are their intentions bad? Do they love me? Would they ever purposely let me down? When I consider the facts instead of just my feelings, I can see more clearly.
And, 2. Who is my hope really in? Only the Lord. Everyone else will fail me at some point. But there is only one who is always faithful and always trustworthy because He knows no other way.
Lets learn to let others, and ourselves, off the hook. Grant abundant grace. And let’s tuck our hope away in the proper holding place that’s safe from all the let downs this world has to offer, in Christ alone.
::Truths for your heart::
My hope is in You all day long. Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love. Psalm 25:5-6
The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:11
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. Psalm 62:5