February 15….Being Unique

Being unique….

This morning I read a sentence in Galatians about being an original, in essence being unique.

That is such a freeing concept.  I wish more people understood this.  Each of us is unique and original and we can choose how we respond in all areas of life.

I was thinking of this in particular about school and also about the Spark Joy concept.  The author of Spark Joy lays out a specific plan to go about the process, but I find that I have varied from it quite a bit.  My final outcome seems to be the same, but I am not arriving them in the plan she lays out.

This is true in a lot of my interactions at school.  I don’t tend to follow the process others follow, but I arrived at the destination with the expected and best decision.  I think this is because like all of us I am original; I am unique.

Once we accept this for ourselves we also need to accept it about others and this will encourage us to be more positive in our interactions and in our relationships.

Keep it in mind.  You and I–each of us is an original, we are unique.  We are blessed beyond measure.

Father, thank you for affirming how special and wonderful each of us to you.  What a blessing.  Thank you.  Amen.

Galatians 5:25-26



Unexpected gifts

Today is Valentine’s Day….

And I received a special unexpected gift this morning.

It is a journal with a special elastic closure.It is perfect for keeping track of my plans to Spark Joy in all areas of my life.

I like to MindMap my day and after rereading the MindMap book by Tony Buzan I have come to the conclusion that I need to MindMap each aspect of Sparking Joy and that will help me stay on track as well as get it accomplished.

I tried to do this with the bedroom I just cleaned and it worked pretty well.  I plan to use my new journal to implement my Spark Joy plans. Having them all in one spot will be helpful as I can look back and view my progress. I will be able to see my successes and my lack of success (I don’t want to use the word failure as it is just a setback) and that will help me as I go forward and work on another area of my house and my life.

Father you always send gifts right when I need them.  Help me to use this journal wisely.  Amen.


Sticking to the plan…

My college age grandson is arriving tomorrow and I have been caught up in getting his room ready.

I have gone through the drawers in the chests, worked on the closet and searched for places to put things and also disposed of some things.  At long last, the room is starting to spark joy for me.

It took a little doing and I got sidetracked by other work at home, like making Valentine cookies, but I think it is ready.  I just need to put the welcome sign on the door.

It is interesting how sparking joy works for me.  I try to go through a room and get rid of all the things that do not spark joy, but it seems like there is always something or in this case several “somethings” that I have neglected to deal with.

Actually, there are two things left that do not spark joy for me, but one is too heavy for me to deal with.  I’ll get my grandson to remove it and the other will take some time since I need to go through it and decide what to keep and what to throw away.  It is many magazines that I need to deal with.  Just writing about them makes me want to throw many of them away which I will do today when I get home.  Maybe then I can get through the others in a hurry.

If truth be told, I think speed is helpful in sparking joy.  It seems that the more I deliberate about something, the slower I am to truly deal with it and get rid of it.  I need to remember this as it will help me in the future with other rooms.

I realize I also need bigger trashcans in my cleaning.  I got big boxes for the stuff to give to the Salvation Army, but true trash needs a bigger can to speed things up.

Father, I am so thankful you keep me on track.  Help me to remember to find what sparks joy for me in every situation.  I know you are the giver of all joy and I need to find it in every situation.  Thank you for blessing me.  Amen.

What sparks joy for you?

Going through my house and working on the clutter from the viewpoint of sparking joy has made a difference in many other areas in my life too. Often now as I go through a room my eyes fall on a particular item that sparks joy for me.  Also, seeing how the kitchen counter is clean sparks joy.

It is interesting to me that I even see the idea of what sparks joy for me in the responses of others and in their interactions with me and others.  It has made me much more careful in my decisions and in my own personal interactions.

I like to make baked items and give them to others to encourage and bless them.  I do confess, however, that giving the items away sometimes proves to be a problem for me.  Recently I have brought bread to school, plated it and given it to one of my student helpers to pass out.  Today he told me how much he loves giving these items away and seeing the smile on the faces of the recipients.  He also said, “I love doing this.  It makes me feel so good.”  I was surprised and thankful that he has such a wonderful attitude about helping me in this way.

Philippians is a book about joy.  I have read it often, but I am going to read it again and think about how that joy is sparked by others.  I want to spark joy in others too.

Father, this is such a great concept.  To spark joy and to have joy sparked in me is a blessing.  Thank you so much.  Amen.


A little progress makes a world of difference


Organizing my patterns into a binder, separating my needles into a container and putting my leftover balls of yarn in yet another container made a big difference.  I still have a small container of yarn that I need to sort through and ball up, but these are bits and pieces and are quite tangled up.

Just seeing all the containers and knowing there is a degree of organization there is very calming.  I was able to throw out a lot of papers that had collected in my yarn bin and I can now make heads and tails of the actual balls of leftover yarn and see what is available for other projects.  Before   working on it, there was absolutely no rhyme or reason to any of it.  The whole mess had spilled over to my bins with books and finished projects and was generally a mess.

I also went through all the stuff on my table in this area and found needles, yarn place holders, etc and put them away properly too.

Totally unrelated to the yarn stuff I went through two drawers in my dresser and two baskets in the room and gutted them as well.

I still need to sort through the messy yarn and short pieces and see what needs saving and what can be discarded and then the whole affair will be in good order.  I am hoping this process will rub off on me in other areas in the future and keep me from making such a mess of things.  I definitely need to keep this in mind for the future.

Father, thank you for giving me the desire to spark joy in my life and tidy it up so I truly have more time for others and for your purpose for my life.  Amen.

It takes time….

Discarding properly takes time….

I want to work on my bedroom, specially my knitting and table, as well as two of my dresser drawers.  When it comes to letting these things spark joy there is a definite need to work on my part.

However……I realized this morning that I cannot do it haphazardly.  True, I only needed a few minutes when it came to sorting out two kitchen cupboards, but this seems to be a lot more involved.

I have papers, patterns, needles, yarn, projects crammed in a small space and I need to not only go through them, but sort them as well.  In the brief few minutes I spent on one area with books and some finished projects, I realize that in this area I really need to follow the Spark Joy concept and lay everything out and then go through it.  When I worked on the kitchen, I just took out the pot, pan, glass and either kept it or discarded it.  With all this knitting stuff that technique won’t work.

The author of the Spark Joy and The Magic of Tidying Up Your Home definitely doesn’t advocate my technique in the kitchen.  I am sure her technique of putting it all out will work better, but I will have to do it when I have plenty of time as I think my floor and bed will be covered and I will need to finish the task in one fell swoop if I want to go to bed that day.

My goal is to accomplish it this Saturday.  I’ll keep you posted on my success.

Father, you know what I need and how I need to work.  Help me to stay on task and be thorough and not overly cautious.  Amen.

Accomplishing a lot in 30 minutes

It’s amazing what you can accomplish in a short time…..

I had only 30 minutes left last night before bedtime to finish my kitchen discarding.  I have two corner cupboards that have two shelves.  They are the type of cupboard that you would see a lazy Susan installed if the house had been built in recent times.  These cupboards are very deep and it is interesting how much stuff you can store in them and how hard it is to access.

At any rate, I started to get things out of the cupboards and you guessed it, I was surprised and amazed at all the stuff I had forgotten was on the shelves.  I found a lot to discard and less to save and use.

Best of all I found my big container of cookie cutters that I had been looking for for ages.  I was happy to see it and now it is front and center where I can access it easily.

There was a lot of stuff that did not spark joy in me and I quickly discarded it. My box is now full and overflowing with stuff I have discarded from my kitchen.

I have gone through the cupboards, the drawers and even the counters.  I know the author and a lot of other authors I have read suggest having nothing on the counters, but I think the stuff I use daily like my stand mixer, the toaster, kleenex box can be out because I use them so much.  I do think other stuff needs to be either discarded or stored.  So I am working on that issue.

I am stunned at how much time this process takes and how easy it is in another sense.  I am thankful I am making progress.

Father, I am thankful you are with me every step of the way.  I am blessed by you daily.  Amen.