Category Archives: Housekeeping

Making Space

simplespace

Today is March 20th, the first day of spring.  I discovered my first daffodil in the yard a few minutes ago and thought that I’ve got to hurry up and get outside to deal with my yard!  There is work to do and miracles to watch as everything comes back to life.

I was scanning one of my Pinterest boards a few months ago, noticing that many of the home decor pictures I’m drawn to in the last year or so are more sparsely decorated than my own home is.  It made me wonder if my style is changing, or if the craziness of my family made these really simple spaces seem calming to me.  The question has been floating around in my mind for a while and I concluded that it’s time to act.

I set aside the month of March to go through everything we have in storage in our house and get rid of as much as possible.  Keeping my commitment to myself has meant zero sewing (yet still my brain is scheming) and lots of 15 minute time segments going through another box or pile.  I want our family to learn a simpler way of living, one that leaves margin in every area.  I want more space for people, for things that matter, for spontaneity, for reading and writing and dreaming and talking.  I know I’ve said this before, and I realize that it’s probably an ideal I’ll always chase with varying degrees of success, but this month my goal has been creating margin in our living space.  Less, less, less.    While I know that getting rid of “stuff” won’t solve the larger challenges we’re facing, it’s my first step in trying to tell the Lord that I’m willing to do whatever He wants.  In having less “stuff” to take care of/clean/store I’m hoping I’ll also make space in my mind for more important things and room in my schedule for more service.

And then my husband went snowboarding and crashed on his head.  We were grateful – very grateful – that no serious injury was sustained.  His ribs were bruised but not cracked and his neck and spine seemed fine.  Until 4 days later when suddenly his legs had no strength.  Today, 10 days later, everything seems to be ok.  He’s banged up but fine, but it took a toll on me emotionally.   A new (and dreaded) assignment at Church came his way and all of a sudden I felt like I’d been pushed off the emotional cliff I’d been so carefully backing away from.  The irony of it all is that lately I’ve been studying the life of Abraham and particularly his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac.  I’d taught a lesson on the subject and had prayed for the ability to be like him.  And then there I was, facing something I had no inkling belonged on the table and I did not want it.  At all.  Now that I’ve had several days to process it (and feel certain that his health is fine), I’m sure things will work out, likely for our good, but I’d be lying if I said this chapter began with a willing heart.   Oh well.  I’m obviously no Abraham.  Thank goodness for repentance!

Today I feel trapped because the next steps in my mission to make more space for life require another set of strong arms, and they are all at school.  I keep walking into my sewing room, wanting to start something but not knowing what to work on.  So here I am, blogging!

I’m not sure I’ll accomplish all the tasks on my list for the month, but it’s been a great experience.  I sort of informally started the 40 bags in 40 days thing, and have already said goodbye to more than 40 full bags.  That’s a good thing, because I have no intention of taking a 40 day break from sewing!   I chose to start in all the areas where I have primary stewardship (plus the basement) and make sure I’m setting the right example for my children, who will be asked to do the same thing in their spaces when I’m done with all the other rooms in the house.   I’ve had a clarity of thought that makes my heart sing.   I find myself lingering in the areas where I’ve accomplished my goal because I love how they feel.  I think it’s working.  I’m making more space for the life I want.

Jennifer