Finally there is a slight chill in the air, even if it only lasts a few moments. I decided to dig into my linen closet to make some space and pass along unneeded blankets to those who do need them. I also found a few baby blankets as well. I even discovered the liners for the crib to keep the baby’s full diaper from leaking onto the sheets. I now can get sheets and blankets in and out of the closet with ease. No more moving around unused items when I want to make a bed. I encourage you to look through your linen closet too. The chill in the air will continue and lengthen in duration. Those that have little can truly use our extra blankets.
This past week was less about clearing out than moving forward. Apart from this blog, I am a writer of devotionals, fiction, presentations, and more. I love to write. As I reenter this season of writing, I am slowly being reminded of how much I love it and the world of writers. I had an opportunity to attend a luncheon for Chicken Soup for the Soul contributers. I had the pleasure of being published in their book for the Bride’s Soul a few years ago. The luncheon was in Marina Del Rey. The people were awesome. What’s cool is that I don’t feel nervous in those settings, just inspired and invigorated. I talked with the owners of Chicken Soup – a lovely husband and wife team. They are incredibly friendly and approachable people. When I reconnected with the VP of Chicken Soup, she asked me why she hadn’t seen any submissions lately. Wow. Not only did he remember me she wanted stories from me. I thought about why I hadn’t written for awhile. Part of it is that I had submitted a few stories that weren’t accepted. I figured it was a one time thing to get in a Soup book. However, I need to press on though because even the senior editor remembered me from a previous luncheon.
I write this to encourage you to see the opportunities before you. God has great plans for us. We need to step through the open doors He provides. I don’t have any guarantees that I will get another story in Chicken Soup, but I need to try. Saturday reminded me that I am a writer and thrive in that world. To not embrace that is, to me, shutting an open door. The outcome of writing isn’t as important as the process and the people I meet along the way. I am grateful that God gave me a nudge this weekend. If the weather in California truly begins to turn to fall, know that I will be cozied up with a cup of tea in front of my ipad embracing the process of writing. What does fall have in store for you? Look for your open door.
As you can see in the opening picture, our family has too many balls. I asked our kids to go through this huge box that was full of balls. I ended up keeping the laundry hamper to now be the keeper of the balls. The kids quickly got through our huge stash of balls. The 100 degree heat in the garage motivated a fast sorting system.
I realized this literal clutter of balls is nothing compared to my figurative collection of balls I keep in the air daily. Soccer practice, school drop off and pickup, worship ministry, speaking ministry, writing, being a friend, being a daughter, being a wife, being a mother, helping music club, helping PTA, girl scouts, boy scouts, meal planning, grocery shopping, ….. My list isn’t even close to done. This juggling act women perform daily is crazy and amazing. Lately, I am ready to toss a few more of my balls into my Goodwill basket. I have cut back, said no, and even quit a few things this year. However, I still have too many balls. My decluttering of stuff is also encouraging me to declutter my activities. I need space to breath and breath in God’s goodness. I shared with a friend the other day how I am having these great moments with God but they are just moments. They don’t sustain me. I need a deep breath with God not just a quick gasp for air. It’s time I juggle a few less balls. Step by step, they will find their way into the Goodwill bin. I honor commitments but won’t add more. I will support my kids’ activities, but they aren’t adding more either. It’s a process that takes time. Time is a gift I plan to cherish more. I hope you find space in your day for a big breath of God.
P.S. I also got rid of the table below. It is from my parent’s home. I am so glad it is finally gone. It went from a cluttered office to the garage. It took me a year or so but I finally got it out the door too. Huge milestone.
My kids are back in school. The first few weeks we are all tired. Alarms are set. Bedtime is enforced again. Summer is over. The heat isn’t over but the no schedule part is. This summer I kept our schedule very loose. I truly overscheduled last school year. This year, I have said no to more opportunities and kept those items on my list that I enjoy, or my kids enjoy. Yet, after a summer of freedom, even those few tasks can seem overwhelming. As I slowly enter back into the world of alarm clocks and schedules, I will also reenter my blog.
I have been cleaning. Mostly kids clothes since we needed to make room for new school clothes. On that topic of clothes, I am finally getting rid of my wicker hamper. I have been done with this for quite some time but couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it. There isn’t anything wrong with this other than it’s not my style anymore and it takes up too much room. I have searched high and low for a new one that appealed to me. I finally found it and this one is headed out the door. I did realize I could use it for storage in the garage. However, I quickly pushed that idea aside because a) I’m done with it and b) I’m sure scary spiders would love to live in the bottom of this basket in the garage. Ick.
Summer gave us plenty of times to play games and enjoy the many board games in our familiy room. I struggled each time we pulled out a game and fifty other games fell out. Ugh. So, we did a bit of purging there too. These are games we have outgrown. Someone else can enjoy them now. I loved Hungry, Hungry Hipppos but no one will play with me anymore. Besides, one of the hippos always gets stuck then one of the kids gets mad their hippo is stuck. So, bye bye hippos.
Lastly, our divided plates. We love pancakes and french toast and waffles and … anything with syrup. These plates seemed awesome since they had dividers so you could put syrup in one of the compartments. They were fun for a short time. They are a pain to wash. Each tiny corner of each tiny compartment needed to be scrubbed. Plus, the compartments were too small to hold a pancake so everything overlapped. Practicality won out and these are off to be enjoyed for a year by someone else who will tire of washing the tiny corners too. Speaking of waffles, I think I will make some for breakfast. I need to start my day and get my kids moving forward. Thanks for your patience with me as always. I look forward to connecting more as the schedule settles into place.