Retrospect and Forward Thinking

I don’t usually set New Year’s Resolutions. …. at least not many.  I do give some thought to the past year and the one ahead and consider some area that needs renovation.  But, I’d really like to do more than that this year.  I’d like to look back in December of ’09  and see the change.  The only way to really be able to do that is to document my trip. I want to set a goal or some goals, write them down and then look back at my progress at least monthly.  I’d like to teach my children to do this as well. So, I’m thinking of how to make this year different.

I know what I would like to do differently this year: I would like to keep our “party room”/my stamp table clean.  We have a mother-in-law suite that we have affectionately name “The Party Room.”  I’d like it to be the center of more “parties,” but it’s always in an upheaval.  The mess is often created by two sources:  Joy’s crafts and my books.

The screened porch/breezeway to The Party Room/Mother-in-law suite

Like every other visit over the past few years, when we have company, we scoop up all the mess and take it to the master bedroom. There it sits until I can’t stand the mess in my room any more and then we take it all back out to the party room. Do you see the cycle?  No, it’s not good.

Why so much mess?  Well, I’ve decided that I WILL NOT buy another bookshelf. So, the books that won’t fit on a shelf, don’t have a place.  This is what creates the mess.  I probably have three shelves (three stacks of books about three foot tall) of books that have no home.  Of course, there are other things involved, as well.  But, the mess in the party room is mostly school books.

The other mess is on my stamp table, which is in the bedroom in the mother-in-law suite.  Because I thoroughly enjoy making cards and scrapbooking, I feel selfish when I spend too much time at my table.  So, I tend to let my messes accumulate instead of putting things back in their proper places.  This makes it difficult to go out and quickly make a card…. in other words, it makes it difficult to run outside and quickly create something that would richly bless someone else’s life. My stamp table

It’s time. It’s time to cull and stop procrastinating.

So, I’ve been working on this for the past few days. And I’m coming along pretty quickly. I have six bags (so far) for Goodwill. I have two boxes of things to give to a friend. And I have the beginning of a large stack of books to take to a local second hand store or give away.

Why would keeping this room straight be important? Because I want to be able to tell my kids or my friends – at the drop of a hat’s notice – “YES” when they ask if so-and-so can come over.  I don’t want to have to consider whether the futon offers sitting space.  I want to be more open with our home.  That’s why we bought the home that we did – it offers wonderful space. But, my messes hinder our ministry.

I will say that I’ve been successful in getting my stamp table cleaned up. I was SO convicted as I cleaned through boxes of things that needed to be sorted.  I came across notes that I began but never finished.  I found a stack of about ten notes that I took the time to type out – but never actually put into a card to mail.  gasp.  It kills me.  I intend to bless others, but don’t keep certain parts of my life organized enough to follow through.

So, my goal for the year is to keep my entire living space “livable” so that we can have the freedom to open our doors wide and welcome people in any time without worrying about where they’ll sit!

What’s your goal for 2009?


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