Select Page

As we move forward

As we move forward in cleaning, purging, finding a space for peace and quiet, it is good for us to find our ‘comfort’ zone.
What makes us feel more centered? This last week my husband and I have been doing applesauce together.
Washing jars, lids and apples that were given to us free.
In creating a home space part of that is creating ‘healthy’ food and habits for both of us.
As the apples cooked the room filled with warm apple smells, and it was peaceful in the middle of the mess.
We did pickles about six weeks ago and that was a new and different experience.
For over two years we have been purchasing healthy ‘whole foods’ and natural meat.
It is way more healthy to buy from a known farm who treats their animals right than a market.
It takes intentional effort to look up natural resources and stores but in the end it is worth it.
I see part of my job is to find sales and cut our cost in the best way possible.
How is that working for you? Have you tried new resources and new ways of doing things?
As we move forward into our retirement years we are finding what calms us and also what creates ‘chaos’.
I am trying to keep the clutter down and the rooms less messy.
It is a challenge at times but it is also very doable. Calm rooms create calm hearts and peaceful spirits.
It is very important especially now that the holidays will be here soon to create safe and nurturing homes.
Family time is important. Sharing meals with friends and family builds relationships and helps us to get to know each other on a more personal level.
I want to be intentional in relationships.
Taking time for lunch dates, notes in the mail and adding in a quick chat on the text or phone.
As we move forward into fall, let us try our very best to identify what we need to do to make our homes more quiet, peaceful and secure.
Let us encourage one another to make this a new priority.
Family, friends and community groups all play a role in our lives. Let us not give way for neglect or excuses.
What is important is what we invest in.
As we move forward together let’s invest in what really matters.

Restoring a place of quiet

The word quiet is mentioned in the Bible 66 times.
Seems like a pretty significant number to me.
Perhaps it is a desire for us to slow down, and return to the peace that only God can give.
I know I talk a lot about finding peace, quiet and solitude moments.
It is nurturing to our souls.
Some people love to have a hot cup of tea and read a good book wrapped up in a favorite blanket.
Now that it is fall weather and soon winter we will have many opportunities for those ‘restful’ times.
Other people love to knit or crochet, or sew or like me, write.
Could there even be a place just for those moments?
A favorite chair you always sit in, a favorite reading room, a coffee shop or even a library.
I don’t find peace in public places so my spot would always be at home.
Right now I am in our ‘trailer’ looking out at the roaring waves of the ocean.
Whatever it takes for you to create your space. Restore it, and give it value.
[My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.] Isaiah 32:18
I love this promise.
Peaceful habitation and quiet resting places.
In secure dwellings… yes so very important.
When we used to go camping it didn’t feel safe to me to sleep in a tent.
I want a solid wall and a lock on our door.
Especially now that we are older and the world is so crazy and unpredictable.
We can also restore our ‘quiet spirit’ within ourselves.
There are many voices now telling us many things either on the news, or social media.
The test is how we can restore the quiet.
Our Pastor was sharing that social media has been disappointing to him; as it seems that people are talking not only to get their opinions heard but talking over each other and with louder voices.
I think we need to focus on the soft words, the gentle attitudes with the tones that encourage.
It is a great challenge for us to restore a place of quiet.
Are we up for the challenge?
[but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which in God’s sight is very precious.] 1st Peter 3:4

After we have found our center

After we have found our center, what do we have to do to maintain it?
Just like anything we do in our lives; it takes discipline and response on our part in deciding how important a quiet center is for us.
As I have shared I thrive in quiet so it is a normal discipline for me to carve out those moments.
What would it look like for us to make this as much of a priority as any other thing we might do?
Would that mean to find a class that shows you how to focus inward?
Would that mean every day you will carve out some precious time for inward peace?
Would that mean on your calendar you will write down ‘when and where’ this time will fit in?
Come and find… remains as an invitation for us to accept it as a lifestyle.
When we get busy we lose track of important moments.
For me when my spirit feels restless when I don’t take time for rest and quiet.
Sometimes writing will center me back into a calm place.
Sometimes listening to a peaceful music sound track.
Whatever it takes for us we must make it a priority just as we do many other things.
The world will draw us away from inward peace if we allow it.
Oh I can be the worst one for worry, about the safety of my son as an officer, for my daughter as a single mom,
for my six grand children and their future.
I cannot let that over ride my peace for I know who holds their tomorrow’s and I cannot change one day by worrying.
After we have found our center and realize how well it works for us, I think it will be a natural part of our normal routine.
For me personally it is a necessity… a must do, a vitamin for my spirit.
When I am in tune with my center there is not much that will rattle me or shake me.
(unless it’s something that is so catastrophic and catches me off guard)
In our world today I think to have the discipline to create ‘our quiet center’ is the only way we can survive.
After we have found our center, we will be more restful, peaceful and approachable to those looking for the same.
Let’s encourage each other to remember to find our quiet space and allow it’s lesson to teach us.

Come and find the quiet center

After the latest news events of our world I think it’s really important for us all to lean into what calms our spirit deep inside.
The invitation to come and find the quiet center is very inviting.
We were at a high school choir concert and the choir had on their robes and they sat down on the stage and sang this very quiet spiritual melody and I was immediately pulled into the thought.
One of my quiet centers is at the beach where the waves lull me into a peace that is deep and restful.
In fact I am at the beach right now, watching the waves from a window.
Soon I will go outside and meditate on it’s beauty, breathe in the fresh air, and pause with deep breathes.
Come and find the quiet center.
What is your place of restoration and quiet?
Do you faithfully allow yourself that time to renew and restore your ‘inner peace’?
I know my husband loves to go to a central Oregon lake to fish.
The water is peaceful and even though it could be dangerous, it is not the focus when restoring a spirit.
Come and find… it’s an invitation. A calling out, to those who are busy and worn out.
Come and find; what you are missing, what you are needing, what is healing for your soul and spirit.
It requires some movement from us and also an anticipation of hope restored.
The bible mentions rest 623 times.
[28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.] Matthew 11:28-29
Come to me, come and find…the quiet center.
I personally thrive better in silence.
I like music and I like some noise, but not in the morning when my mind is slowly engaging with waking up.
The other day we purchased peaches and as I look at that fruit, there is an inside that one cannot see from the outside, very similar to a seed of an avocado. The seed is the center, not seen.
Our inner peace is like that.
Perhaps our outside looks ‘great’ but only the inside ‘core’ of who we really are tells the truth.
Come and find the quiet center is an invitation for us to look inward.
Are you ready for the challenge?

The beginning of Fall

Today is the last day of September.
So hard for me to believe we are entering into the fall months and then winter will come.
Fall has always been my favorite time of year.
I love how it represents change and colors and letting go… and reminds me to pause.
Not only am I still cleaning and managing the ‘task of removing and re-purposing’ items from our home, I am also decorating for the change of season.
Today I purchased three hand made wooden pumpkins for outside our front door.
Couldn’t figure out an outside plant to match so I purchased yellow and orange pansies.
I hope it will look welcoming and nice.
I am not generally one to decorate outside our home since we had a nice nativity stolen.
It is discouraging to try to make it look nice only to find someone else liked it too.
The fall is also a season of remembering as our anniversary is in November.
We had fall colors in the ceremony and it was a remembering of the beauty outside.
Today was a combination of a fall rain, and then sunshine, then rain again.
In Oregon one must have a rain coat, and boots and an umbrella too.
What are your thoughts about the fall season?
Soon everything will be changing colors and looking amazing.
The beginning of fall is arriving and I am loving the cool air and soon the fires in the fireplace, along with the soup on the stove and biscuits in the oven.
Fall is a time for sweaters and books and hot cups of tea.
I hope you find time for a slow ‘sipping from your favorite cup’… as you enjoy this season of change.

Another process finished and wow

Following my desire for more order in our home; I decided to work on my sock drawers in the bedroom.
After realizing that three dresser drawers were full of socks it was time to go through them and decide what stays and what gets repurposed.
Really how many socks can one person wear?
I wanted to get to my favorites.
Each drawer will have favorite warm socks, and short socks. If there is no comfort, they leave, I don’t need to keep them if they are not helpful for my feet.
In the last year the doctor has given me a diagnosis of pre-diabetes.
Which basically means socks and shoes are very important since neuropathy is a also a part of my new ‘set of issues’ with my feet. They have lost some feeling in them and they ache a lot.
It is important to have good socks that don’t bind or feel too tight or are too light weight for the comfort level that is needed.
I sorted and sorted. Kept my emotions far away from the decision to cut the numbers down.
In the end of the process so far, I have 85 pair of socks that can be sent somewhere.
They are all in good shape and all can be repurposed for other use for others who are in need.
I need to do this process with shoes and even the abundant supply of sweaters in the closet.
How many do you need? It is a great question and even a greater question when moving into the coat closet.
How many ‘good coats’ do we need, how many rain coats even in Oregon, do we need.
It all boils down to realizing how much stuff we have that we really do not need or use anymore.
I hope this mini series has been both encouraging and challenging because we all have work to do.
We all can help others in many ways; we just have to be creative and figure out how.
Are you ready for this challenge to?

After we have worked hard

After we have worked hard on this task of cleaning and purging it is important to take the time to re-evaluate what we learned in the process and how can we not repeat it.
If it was too much clothing, then we must master the ability to say “I don’t it need anymore.”
If it was books, same story, how many can you read?
Keep the very special ones and send the others to a different place of residence.
My husband will often say, “what are you getting rid of?”
It puts me on a ‘defense’ because I am not getting rid of something; I am hopefully blessing someone with what I had and liked.
It is all a matter of perspective and wording.
The other thing that is really important to me is ‘let me do this on my schedule.’
Do not tell me what to do, in fact don’t really even suggest what I need to work on.
Just let me work on it.
When I get done with this major process I might reward myself with something special.
For instance if I give away four pairs of shoes that I marginally liked, then I can find ONE pair I really love.
It is a reward system that works. Minimize to maximize your goal.
I am really liking comfort clothing. Removing the old jeans that ‘bug’ me when I wear them.
Also the petite short length tops. Yes they used to be favorites of mine but if I do not feel covered when I raise my hands up then it is time for them to move on.
It takes a lot of ‘determination’ when doing all this.
But in the end it is so worth it.
Allow yourself time to deal with the ‘list’, then also allow yourself time to deal with how to re-center or re-do the space that is now open.
Try really hard to not fill it up with other ‘stuff’, empty space is freeing.
September is a great time for starting new routines and thoughts.
Then when it’s all done you can move into the holiday season feeling refreshed and ready.
Are we going to encourage each other in this process? I hope so.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and get it done. With a smile and with a sense of accomplishment.

The next area to deal with

Have you ever really looked in your kitchen cabinets and wondered when you last used something?
I can think of at least two drawers and three parts of the cabinets that could be purged and cleaned.
When I did daycare I had kid cups and spoons and plates. Don’t need those anymore.
How many coffee cups do we like or love?
What about the utensil drawer? we have been married 42 years and some of the items have been with us that long.
How many serving dishes does one really use on a weekly basis?
That electric fry pan you store in the garage? like it or love it, your answer will tell you if you should send it to another ‘person’s home’.
I am trying to de-clutter as much as I can this fall. It needs to be done.
It is necessary just as the clothing and or the shoes.
Get it processed and focus on what you really want to keep.
At some point in time we are going to redo my den-office room.
In this journey of redoing and purging it is going to take time to go through drawers and or closets of all kinds.
I have even thought of coats and sweaters. How many does one need and how often do we wear them? I have favorites. What about the heavy winter coat, yes keep.
What about the multiple kinds of sweatshirts?
In this process of cleaning it is almost always going to bring you back to the question,
“do I like it or love it, does it serve a purpose.”
The fall and winter season will be upon us soon and then we will drag out the Thanksgiving decorations and Christmas too.
How much of those do we need to keep?
As we move through this process let us keep in mind the whole purpose of removing the items we don’t want or need; is re-purposing them for others to enjoy.
Keep focused and stay on track.
YOU can do it… you can manage this task. Be proud of yourself as you do it.

The process continues for us

My husband and I have a saying about keeping things in our home.
Do we like it or do we love it.
Does it have a purpose or is it a sentimental part of our lives?
Could we live in peace if it was gone or should we make room for it always?
These are very good questions for all of us to consider when purging and cleaning.
Remember the goal and reasons of simplifying our lives; to maintain a more peaceful environment.
That can mean to ask the same question for many areas or rooms.
Do we like it or do we love it.
Last year my husband cleaned out his three tool boxes and kept his favorites; then gave the left overs to our grandsons who loved having their own hammers and tools.
It is so simple sometimes.
One day I found myself going through old magazines and tearing off our address then sending the rest into a recycle box to be recycled.
They don’t serve a purpose after awhile unless you can take them to a doctor’s office where they mostly have outdated and boring things to read.
I know in the den I have many books that serve little purpose for me now, so they will go away too.
In our room there are more assorted books and items that really could leave and not be missed.
It will be both fun and freeing to get this project done.
Does it take energy? yes because when one is a sentimental messy it is an internal shift to ‘give away’.
Just like any project we have to have a purpose, and a goal so we can visualize the end result.
One year I cleaned out my closet and gave away over 15 sweatshirts. How many can one person wear?
It freed up space and it went to a good cause.
That is what this message is about. Repurposing our ‘things’ to bless others in the process.
Are we ready to continue this process?

The next step in moving forward

When we are talking about moving forward with intention it brings to us a stirring.
The first question that might stir feelings around our ‘plans’ of getting organized; is discovering the ‘why’ you want to change.
Change always requires effort and a stepping forward in a new direction.
Knowing the ‘why’ behind the movement is critical to your success.
It is really helpful when we can either write it down or verbally say out loud.
The reason I want to organize is: to get rid of clutter and simplify my living space.
That is our ‘why’.
We make this a new goal and we focus on change and new agenda’s.
In order for me to feel motivated I have to see progress, I have to know visually I can do this by myself and feel empowered because I did it.
The other question to ask is who is the battle for? if you are married is it a mutual goal?
If you are single is it to be on track better and more efficiently?
Someone said this week in order to accomplish anything well, we have to dig deep within ourselves to find our purpose and peace.
If we are struggling with this process of moving forward with intention, ask ‘why’.
The struggle is real, and has a sabotaging power so we must stop if this happens and regroup our intention and our focus.
It is ok to give yourself permission to take a break before returning to the tasks.
When we so return to our process of intentional cleaning we will know what gets us frustrated and what takes our mind off of the intended goal.
Motivation to change and do better is an inside job, it is not just ‘cleaning a room’.
It is allowing yourself a new day to breathe better.
It is a focusing on a new day for simpler living.
Simplicity is clearing space in our heads and in our homes for positive energy and hope.
Are we ready to move forward with a purpose?
Let’s encourage each other as we do this together.