I’m completely in love with Marie Kondo’s technique for tidying. I’m almost finished. I’ll admit I didn’t quite follow her rule of doing it all in one shot. I have good reasons. It’s intrusive to the therapists to be downstairs while I’m dragging stuff out to see if it brings me joy and they are here for the whole day so it just made sense to work where I was able to when I was able to tidy. Also when you’re reading books like these you really have to make them your own if it’s going to work and so I’ve made it my own.
Anyways I love her general philosophy of keeping only those things which bring you joy and as I’m at the end of my journey I’m really sinking into the hard stuff, the sentimental things. You know what I’m talking about. It’s those cards you’ve kept tucked away from loved ones sent years ago but not forgotten. It’s presents received for birthdays that might’ve lost their shine but have beautiful memories. These are the hard things, the tough choices you have to make while tidying. Do they spark joy or is it the memory of times past? What is it that is necessary to keep and what can one let go of?
These choices, this exercise in declaring who I am now by keeping only those things which bring me joy is both freeing and troubling. It’s bringing to the surface some emotions I had not realized were there. The loss I’ve felt for friendships that have drifted over the years. The joy I’ve found in a small journal lost but now found as it reminds me of times past. The true confusion felt inside as I seek to discover who I am amid what I was. Life is a complex web of memories, experiences and present day living. It’s a phenomenal gift to be alive and I want to know who I am, to discover who it is God is creating me to be. This tidying is helping me to see the need for margins not just in my life physically but perhaps emotionally too. Sure it’s important to set aside time but there needs to be room in your heart to make things really effective.
After this little epiphany I decided to take a suggestion from a friend and pick up a book by Shauna Niequist. Honestly I went to Indigo online, looked at what they had and picked one based entirely on the title that appealed to me. I had no idea what the books were about and was kind of pressed for time so I picked Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are. It sounds good, right? Sounds like a book for people who want to live full lives appreciating the gifts God has given them in the regular moments. It’s great, so far but here’s the funny thing, this book is a 365 day devotional series. It would seem without me even knowing it that God had an idea I might need some help with establishing these margins a little more firmly and nudged me in the right direction. Either that or I just got lucky…
I guess you could say that this Lent as I’ve been trying to make time for God I have realized I need to make space for him too. It’s not enough to set aside time for him, I also have to welcome him in. It’s not enough to carve out 10 minutes in the day if during that 10 minutes I’m reading InStyle instead of reflecting. That said there’s nothing particularly wrong with InStyle or at least I hope there’s not as I do love the glossy pictures.
This week I’m being proactive and inviting God into my presence. Will you join me? It might prove to be life changing or it might affirm what I suspect, that he was there all along. Either way the connection with God is one we cannot take for granted and this week I shall endeavour to remember that.
How is your Lenten journey going? Are you pleased with your reflections or frustrated along the journey?