Sunday, July 31, 2011

Start Fresh Monday

From the book "Organized Simplicity" in Chapter 3, the author's FAMILY PURPOSE statement:
As a family, we want to glorify God in all we say, do and are.
We will….
1. Put each other first;
2. Cultivate deep relationships with one another;
3. Extend love to those around us;
4. Live simply;
5. Be true to who God made us;
6. Take care of our health;
7. Be good stewards of creation;
8. Be lifelong learners;

Isn't that lovely? And inspiring! I am eternally optimistic and want to make some changes in my life.  I want to fire up a "Start Fresh Monday" with a linky list to see and share with others ways to be inspired to "start fresh" or "begin anew".  I would love to see your thoughts, inspiration points, read about your challenges and successes in making changes in your life and the life of your family. 

I'm new to blogging so don't have many followers yet. But I am still hoping to get this off the ground, however slowly that happens. I hope you will enjoy participating. I so very much look forward to what you have to share (see my first entry, below), thanks.

I am home, listening to a new album from the thrift store (Progressive Pickin’)…never heard of it but am enjoying it, the piano reminds me of my Grandma “chording” for my Grandpa’s old-time fiddling. Joaquin is playing happily in the playroom with our puppy for company. I am working away at the dining room table and feeling, for a few precious (fleeting?) moments, that all is as it should be. I am on chapter 3 of Organized Simplicity, thinking hard about our family purpose statement. I have been thinking about it on and off for weeks. Really seeing what our intense love of “stuff”, “things”, or “crap” has cost us. Author Tsh Oxenreider points out that “stuff” can:
1. Erode my family’s purpose;
2. Water down the potency of our life choices;
3. Reduce finances and abundance;
4. Cause stress;
5. Prevent us from living life to the fullest;
6. Damage the environment;

In light of what I am working toward, I am bemused by the fact that we just bought an outdoor garden gazebo. Do you find yourself acting in a way that is so at odds with your life goals? I find it stunningly perplexing; especially since I am known for my keen analytical abilities and logical thinking in the business world. Why am I so “out there” in my personal life and personal choices? Logic doesn’t just fly out the window…it zooms to the stratosphere. As I write this, I realize I don’t actually know what a “stratosphere” is?? Wow! An internet search reveals that it is a resort in Las Vegas…Who knew?

Anyhow…Back to the family purpose statement…I am reading samples in the book and wondering how I got so far off course in my life and for so long. Some remnants of some of Jesus’ teachings come to my mind, so I look them up…turns out it’s from Matthew 6, starting with verse 19:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I feel sad because I know in my heart my treasures have been God, Jesus, my family and friends, but certainly my actions have shown that I value things and success much more. I am not here to lie to myself. I am here to be honest and confront where I am so I can, hopefully, move toward where I wish to be. I have started down this path so many times before and always, always lose my way. Can I really believe that this will be any different? I do! I have such hope that it will be…I have hopes to be helped and supported by others, perhaps you, dear reader. And also to offer support and help, in return.

Thanks...wishing for you an organized, simple, lovely day!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Yarn Along

Joining Ginny’s Yarn Along today.   I have started knitting a Baby Squash Hat for my newborn nephew and am in a bit of a bungle due to flubbing the first row of decreases.   Had to pull out a lot of rows to recover so am still working to get all the stitches back on the needles so I can go forth and conquer!  I hope I finish before he grows too much. 

As a newbie knitter, I love having the book with this pattern because there are a lot of inspiring choices and, with just one skein per, I can get a lot of varying experience in a shorter period of time.  Or was that more frustrating moments faster?  I forget…
As part of my grand scheme to get organized, I started  crocheting a drawer organizer.  I have been crocheting since I was a child so it’s my confidence builder when knitting gets too humiliating.  I often laugh when I think of how I try to avoid the feeling of being humbled and then, in turn, I ask God to teach me to be humble.  I am super excited about all the great patterns that are in this little booklet  and I ordered the cone of yarn to make lots of things.  I wanted the Ecru cone too, but it was out of stock.  Patience, my dear…
I am shocked to find myself reading this book:

Why did I choose it?  I don’t really know.  Do you ever watch yourself do something and think "Huh?  I wonder why I did that?"  I did read a review that made it sound really interesting and it so happens that it was on a shelf at Target when I was in a buying mood.  But really... I don’t get the appeal of the rock-n-roll drug lifestyle.  All that traveling around...not being able to be out in the world without being bothered by people who think they know you...but really don't.  Yuck.  The thing is,  I love reading memoirs because I get a chance to see the world through another's viewfinder.  So why not someone who is so far from my little world?  I am curious as to how much of the bewildering experience of being human is truly shared, regardless of culture and life experiences.  As a bonus, it tickles my funny-bone to see his book on my homey dining table!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Organized Simplicity: Part 1

I grab my new book “Organized Simplicity” from a stack of books because TODAY is the day I am really going to GET GOING on organizing my ENTIRE life, and…well…the bottom of the book is really sticky.  EW! Covered with dried orange juice?  Yuck!  How long has it been like that?  Are ALL the books in the stack covered in goo? 

As I’m marching into the kitchen grunting with frustration, it pops into my head that this sticky book represents a little picture of my life.  I have sticky messes everywhere.  I can’t help but laugh at myself.  Do you have a funny story about getting organized?

The stack.  Providing a glimpse of the chaos that is about to be organized.

Not all messiness is a bad thing.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Yarn Along

Knitting is a newly acquired skill for me and I am still amazed and so very pleased with myself when I finish knitting anything.  I feel like a proud kindergartner holding up my finger painting.  Even if I'm by myself when I finish, I just keep smiling and feel like clapping for myself!  My stitches are still uneven but I kind of like that as everything really has that homey look to it.  This is a hat for my son, Joaquin.  He's 2 and everytime he see's me knitting he asks "knitting blanket?".  So he was really happy to learn that I was knitting a hat for him and is always eager to "try it on" as it progresses. I love the softness of this yarn.  The pattern is from "60 Quick Baby Knits" but I am altering the top of the hat to look like this.  I still have a lot of problems dropping stiches when working with the dp needles, but then am ridiculously proud of myself when I can fix it.  It used to be a complete mystery to me.  My friend, Almut, who taught me to knit would just look at my mistake and go "oh you just ..." and then quickly fix it and I would sit there and wonder "how can she possibly tell what is going on with those stitches?"  They just looked like this really mysterious jumble.  But now I can see the stitches and see the difference between a purl and a knit stitch!  It's such a little joyful feeling to gain a new skill.  And when I finish a project, all the little frustrations and struggles are forgotten in the pleasure of finishing and the full feeling of accomplishment. 

The book I am reading, "The Life Organizer" is part of my little project to try to get more organized and  purposeful and spend my very precious time on what really matters.  That is such a challenge for me, and as the days go by it has really sunk in that my body, my skin and bones, won't always be alive in this world.  And I find living to be such a gift.  I want to make the most of it and milk the joy and love out of every little bit.

I forgot to mention the lovely Yarn Along from this really, truly, lovely blog.