If It Doesn’t Matter…Get Rid Of It

“If it doesn’t matter…get rid of it.” This resonates with me so much right now. You? 

As a teacher, I’ve asked myself this. In the past, I’ve asked my students to do some things that (yikes!) just don’t matter.  Well, enough! If it’s not important, why on earth am I wasting our precious time? We must fill our days with meaningful activities that stretch and grow my kiddos. 

As a wife, I’ve focused on dumb things that JUST DON’T MATTER. Does it matter HOW Hubby loads the dishwasher? Umm, no. It matters that he DID it! Is it important that he is smart, kind, works hard, loves me unconditionally, and makes me laugh? Yes!! Does it matter that he bought the wrong toilet paper or makes a mess when he cooks? No! Does it matter that he thanks me for those rare occasions I cook? Yes! (And he does!)

As a consumer, I ask myself this…kind of. I had so little for so long…when my debt was finally paid and I had some discretionary income I went a little nuts. And I ended up with a lot of stuff. Not surprisingly,  I ended up throwing and giving much of it away. My rule is: if you (I’m talking to you, Julie!) don’t need it or absolutely love it, don’t buy it. And it doesn’t matter if it’s 80% off if it does not the meet the need or adore criteria!!! 

I see implications everywhere….

So, how do we apply this? Well, I’m going through my home the last month or so of vacation. Drawer by drawer and closet by closet, I am asking  myself if things matter.  Do I use this? Does it bring me joy? Am I holding on to the past or feeling guilty about getting rid of something? Am I hoping I’ll fit into it eventually? You can read about my process here.  I’m definitely a work in progress.  

I’m asking myself some tough questions about how I spend my time. I find this more difficult than dealing with my stuff. A new question I’m wrestling with is who I spend time with. Oh my. Obviously, I need to prioritize and protect time with the Lord, my husband, my family…. I’m seeing that some of my relationships need to be reprioritized. Ouch! We (hopefully!) all have friends who lift us up, encourage us, and help us grow. But we also may have friends who just…don’t. Hmmmm. I’m not advocating being unkind to anyone. Ever. Perhaps, though, I (we!) need to rethink who we do life with. I can think of people in my past who, unknowingly, encouraged me to sin and grow apart from The Lord. If an activity or person is keeping me from the will of God it’s time to let it or them go. 

This is something I’m pondering, doing, struggling with today. What are you letting go of in this season of life? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

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Ridiculously, Obsessively Grateful 

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 

1 Thessalonians  5:18 (KJV)

What a relief it was when I (finally!) understood this scripture didn’t say for all things, but in all things….. One word = big difference.  

Years ago, I worked for a difficult boss. No one liked this guy. He was just a miserable human being. And it became hard to go to work. I struggled. We all did. I was putting myself through college and quitting wasn’t an option. A sermon on 1 Thessalonians 5:18 changed things for me. No, I wasn’t grateful for the boss, but I started to realize I was grateful for my coworkers, my paycheck, my personal life, for hope that he’d leave or improve (he left), for the bright, funny, and sweet moments. The more I “noticed” the happier I became. I stopped dreading going to work. And this process became part of me. Turns out, I am grateful today for that long ago lesson. In, not for. Oh, I’m human and I still go through rough patches and times of mumbling, grumbling, and complaining, but I’m getting better at this gratitude thing. In fact, it’s become a game of sorts to practice ridiculous, obsessive gratitude.  

I’ve found when I intentionally express gratitude for the myriad blessings in my life I am happier, calmer, more efficient and productive, and even more blessings seem to come my way. 

Start today. Start anywhere. Here are a few things I’ve done to kickstart my attitude of gratitude. You get the idea. Please share your tips! 

  • Notice the beauty in your daily commute. I have a specific route I take to work because of one beautiful street. 
  • Be still and notice the beauty of the day. Birds chirping, puffy clouds, snowflakes falling, flowers blooming, autumn leaves…there is beauty all around us. 
  • Notice the “take it for granted” stuff (home, health, family, comfy bed, spouse…).
  • Start expressing gratitude to those around you. I love noticing, thanking, and praising others. 
  • Put on praise music and express your gratitude to The Lord. This is key for me. 

As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

Got TWITTER? Tweet with me! @julielclarke

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