|So much to enjoy in life...|
Normally I spend time pondering what my Word would be for the coming year but this year it found me. I was thinking of a couple of other words, telling my son's mother-in-law at Thanksgiving that I may choose gratitude again. But something else was nudging at my spirit, much like a word at the tip of one's tongue they know but cannot remember.
I felt God was leading me to simplify even more but that wasn't it. I was frustrated at my ability to be so easily distracted. It had become more difficult to read big books that were of a heavy volume, usually my favorite for getting lost in for a long period of time.
I would start on one project and then go to another before finishing the first. At least baking had a way of keeping my attention for if one does not, one finds they have put salt and not sugar in the canister (you may remember that happened to me last year...).
And that WORD... it kept nudging at that part of my brain where ideas are birthed.
Then one day there was a Eureka! moment and I heard that Still Small Voice tell me... Brenda, you must become more focused. That was it, that was the WORD that had been nudging my thoughts, waiting to be brought forth in this new year... Focus!
Although you will have noticed from the title, I switched it to Focus-ed. For that is what I am becoming this year. It is not so much a goal as a desire to change my thinking and my doing.
So I jotted down a few ideas that will help the progression of becoming a more focused individual. Those which remain after I cover them with prayer and pondering will find a permanent location in the Scrapbook Journal.
So far they are as such:
- Decide what creative activities on which to concentrate.
- Get rid of everything hanging on from past projects I do not want to continue.
- Read bigger books again with a balance of nonfiction and fiction.
- Make the Bible the most important read this next year.
- Continue lessening my time on social media.
- Continue with blogging (I hope you are happy with that one!); however,
- Do not try to be a professional blogger (more on that one later).
- Continue to eat seasonally.
- Continue to remove layers of stuff from the house.
I then once again went through the dishes, most of them located in the dining area, and filled two boxes with items I had been holding on to because I liked them even if I didn't use them. They were boxed up and placed in the van for charity. I still have plenty of dishes.
Along with the dishes, I went through all my different tablecloths and kept four that I knew for certain would get used. I found I used the same one over and over and I kept a couple more that could possibly be used... like the deep red tablecloth I sometimes use on the deck when we have a 4th of July celebration. The remaining items went into a bag for charity and then into the van. I still have plenty of tablecloths.
Then I came to the most difficult project and the reason for my late return into chatting with you. The dresser in the Study. The dresser whose drawers hold over twenty years worth of project materials.
I sorted through all of it. Every drawer was emptied of contents and either set aside for a friend, boxed up for charity, or a decision was made that indeed it was a project I may come to later. The boxes immediately went into the van and yes, I still have enough project stuff.
But I also came away with two empty drawers and a burden the size of Texas off my shoulders. I let the past go. For I made a final decision that I really did not want to do any sewing of quilts or making of snowmen or even have mismatched yarn around, purchased from charity shops.
What did I keep of those items in the drawers? I kept all my cross stitch stuff and the crafting supplies that can be used in general. I gave away almost all my fabric, a couple sacks set aside for friends and the rest to charity. The only fabric I kept were a few items that were tea related and so fill my heart with joy that I will get happy just seeing them there. They will cause no burden of guilt that they must be used for they serve a purpose just being looked upon now and then.
I had been holding on to all the fabric pretty much out of guilt. I had accumulated a lot of fabric back when I was in my quilting phase. Back in the 1990s when Christopher was really little. But sewing after that time was done out of a desire not to waste money on items purchased instead of the joy of the craft.
I was never one who enjoyed the process of sewing as so many of my friends. But then again... they did not always understand how I received so much pleasure from spending an afternoon in the kitchen chopping, stirring, or baking.
Part of that call to focus helped me shed the past and make room for the future (literally). Now I can focus on scrapbook journaling and paper crafting. That is what makes my heart sing these days. I can see a return to doing a cross stitch project as well as making more time to crochet.
What I have learned is that when we are holding on to the past for whatever reason (in this case, thinking of all the money spent on fabric related creative projects in the past), then we also have emotional clutter going on in our lives.
By allowing myself to give away the past, I now have made room for the present... and that will help me do what God is asking me to do in this next year. Focus.
On Friday, Hubby and I had a few errands to run and while in that part of town, stopped by the Salvation Army and gave away the boxes and bags filled with the stuff of the past. They were thrilled. I was deeply relieved.
It will be a fun journey to see how else He uses this word in my life for last year's word... Heirloom... was the center of so much of my pondering.
It is good to be back.