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Fresh Starts -- Second Chances

February 2016


I've been on an organizing binge the last few weeks--to the extent that I have my hubby worried I might be pregnant and nesting. Poor man is terrified!! ;)

When this urge to purge closets and drawers comes over me, I can be a little difficult to live with because I'm obsessed with doing it ALL NOW. I want everything in nice, neat labeled boxes TODAY. Add to that the fact it isn't just my junk I want to donate to the Salvation Army, and you have a recipe for marital tension. 

When the obsession takes over, I have to have a "Let's be rational" talk with myself. Let's make a list, prioritize, and break it up into small, doable chunks. Let's decide not to exhaust ourself . . . or our husband's patience! The all-or-nothing part of my brain argues with the (teeny-tiny) logical part and then I give in and make the list. 

It's far more rewarding to get out the red pen and cross off "organize top shelf" than to spew the contents of your closet into a pile and only make a dent in it by the end of the day. 

This approach also works well for someone like me who is a slug when it comes to exercise. Years ago, a friend gave me a guest pass to Curves. I loved their system of half a minute at one station or machine, a brief rest, then half a minute on the next. What a breakthrough. I can do anything for 30 seconds! At home, I can spread it out over the whole day. Set the time for every two hours and exercise for five minutes. Repeat 6 times throughout the day and you've moved your body for 30 minutes.

I started using the "circuit" idea even for daily chores. Did you know you don't have to clean a whole bathroom all at once? Did you know you can clean the toilet in the morning and the sink in the afternoon? If you're really radical, you can spread it out over the whole week--one task a day--and start the cycle over again on Monday. Everything gets cleaned once a week and it never seems like a time-consuming chore. What a revelation to an All-or-Nothing! 

I'm trying to apply the "break it up" method to my entire life. I had an ironic insight recently while trying to memorize Romans 12. When I read "Be transformed by the renewing of your minds," I want that--and I want it NOW! Change those thoughts. Now! But the only way I can memorize that whole chapter is in small chunks--a verse or two a day. Exactly the way I should be working on my thoughts. Today, I'm going to focus on letting no unwholesome (impatient, sarcastic) words set up camp in my head. Tomorrow I may work on selfish or judgmental thoughts. In approximately 30 years I should be close to a totally renewed mind!

This works for that Guilt List of all the people I haven't written to or called in way too long. One email or card a day is doable. One "let's do lunch" call a week is more than doable. 


  • Where are you on this continuum? 
  • What are you facing that you need to break up into doable chunks? 
  • Any tips for a reforming gotta-get-it-done-now person?  

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Find Your Joy Bubble

I was in a strange place, surrounded by people I didn’t know. I didn’t want to be there. And then a memory flashed–-my mom, talking about her joy bubble . . .

Chatting about abiding in Christ and keeping joy in the midst of turmoil at Putting on the New today. 
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