31 Days, Day 22 – Everyone Else’s Clutter in the Closet

Now that my closet is under control and I feel less stressed I still have my kids closets to deal with.  This has been an ongoing battle.  I’m blessed with many hand-me-downs from older cousins, but it gets very overwhelming and I keep way too much.  Now I have to figure out how to minimize the kid’s clothes.  Part of the stress at the moment is that Arkansas Autumn is never consistent.  Oh today is 80 we need our shorts and you say tomorrow it will be 50 OK let me drag out the coats.  At the moment I have no solution.  I need a new system.  I guess admitting there is a  problem is my first step:)

How do I minimize the kid clothes?  Who has a good clothes system?

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31 Days, Day 21 – No More Clutter in the Closet

Part of my frustration with being busy and out of control is that my house gets out of control.  There are five of us living in this space and I do the majority of the work in maintaining order.  When the house is a wreck my mind is a wreck and I over exaggerate in my mind the craziness.

This has been an obvious problem for a while but since Thea was born I have pretty much been in survival mode.  Now that all 3 kids are older they can take on more responsibilities when it comes to keeping order in the house. Now I have to work on letting go of control.  Life and issues never end (until it does:).

My first step in restoring some order to the house was to tackle my closet.  The #1 issue in our disorderly crazy house is CLOTHES.  We DO NOT need this much.  Ryan built me a great closet just after Thea was born and it’s just the right size for me to keep all my clothes for every season.  Which means I can’t be a clothes horse.  So, to help ease my craziness I have purged the closet!

This was how I decided what goes and never returns to the closet…
1. Do I have multiples of this?
2. Did I wear it the last season, if yes stay, if NO then GO
3. Is there still a maternity label on it
4. Do I always by pass this piece and move to something else
5. Does it complete an outfit or complicate it

I have never been able to consolidate my wardrobe, but when you’re tired of being out of control you’ll go to great lengths.  I now get a lot of peace when I walk into my office (where my closet is). And instead of being frustrated about what to wear it’s now pretty simple cause there’s less to muddle through.

How do you keep your closet from getting out of control?

31 Days, Day 20 – Digital vs. Paper Planners

Currently I have a battle of digital vs. paper calendars/day planners.  For years I lived by my paper planner.  I looked forward every year to finding the perfect one.  Then comes the iPhone and I’m ruined.  I began to use the calendar app and quit my beloved paper.  For a while I tried to do both but that was a hot mess.  So, for the past 2 years I have strictly used my calendar app.

I’m really missing my paper planner and have had my eye on a couple that look really fabulous, but I know that I’m going to struggle with going back and forth with the fact that my phone is always with me but my planner is not.  I’ve noticed that with my calendar app I don’t do as good of a job of looking ahead at what’s coming and I tend to miss some things that are actually on the calendar.

If I’m going to continue this journey of no more crazy busy I’ve got to make a decision on which tool is going to keep me accountable.

What works for you – paper, digital, or both?

31 Days, Day 17 No Room for Worry

The struggle to have peace in the midst of lots of activity possibilities is very real to me now.  I’m not quite sure why I ignored it for so long.  Worry and anxiety are now issues that are popping up when before it was just stress.

Now instead of piling the schedule full I’ve begun to become anxious when I feel like I’m starting to get over-committed.  This is just as bad as saying yes all the time.  I know quite well the verses in the Bible that specifically address anxiety and worry…

“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life” Matthew 6:27

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is it’s own trouble” Matthew 6:34

My goodness why do I trade one bad habit for another?  When I make wise decisions or when I add too many things too my plate worrying does nothing to help.  If I’m going to continue on this journey of less crazy I have to leave anxiety out of the equation.

31 Days, Day 15 – Prayer

“Pray for me”  “I need prayer”  “I’ve got to pray”
“Pray about it”

These are phrases that can be very cliche and can be empty wishes and promises.  What happens when I really earnestly pray?  What happens when I don’t just say the phrase but I really talk to and have a conversation with God?  When my schedule isn’t reflective of what I want it to be how do I use prayer to make the schedule less crazy?

I’m a firm believer that when I have a conversation with God He listens, He hears, and He has an answer.  In regards to over packing my schedule I have some choices to make.  I can pray BEFORE I put activities on my calendar or I can pray in desperation AFTER they’re on the calendar and I’m freaking out cause there’s NO TIME!

I don’t like the freaking out- out of control- what am I gonna do now feeling.  It’s not how God wants me to feel or react.  I much prefer the calm – collected – and cool approach.  Praying BEFORE the activity is scheduled in gives me the opportunity to be calm and not crazy.  Praying before I commit to the activity gives me time to listen to God’s direction.  Praying after the fact only leads to the prayers of desperation – GET ME OUT OF THIS MESS!

I’m very tired of the prayers of desperation. I don’t want to spend all my conversations with God being in desperation.  My conversations with my Creator should be WAY more than the talk of I can’t do this – I’m too tired – How do I get out of this.

Prayer before I commit has changed my ability to make wise and informed decisions. It’s also reminded me that I don’t have to give immediate answers to everybody.  If an immediate answer is needed it will have to be NO until I can pray about it.  This response is perfectly acceptable.  America’s demand of immediacy doesn’t have to rule my calendar.

How do you use prayer to determine what you do and what you don’t do with your tiime?

31 Days, Day 14 – Wisdom

“Wisdom is either displayed or betrayed by our actions.” -Lysa TerKeurst The Best Yes

Matthew 11:19 “Wisdom is proved right by her deeds”.

The word Wisdom has been popping up all over the place lately. That’s a sign I need to listen. Wisdom doesn’t come easily for me.  I have continually ask for it and I have to continually practice what it looks like.  I can’t be wise if I don’t practice wise things.  I want to be consistent with de-stressing and unstuffing my schedule. To do this I have to practice making wise choices with my time.

I have to know when to add activities not to.  Sometimes I’m going to need to say yes even when I feel like it’s packing the schedule.  Sometimes God is going to use a packed schedule to work through me or teach me. Hopefully more times than not He will use me through a de-cluttered schedule.

This is where the wisdom comes in to play.  If I’m practicing the wise choices I’m going to see when it’s wise to add more things in, even if it feels uncomfortable.  If I’m practicing wisdom I’m going to protect my time and schedule to honor Christ first not wear me and the rest of my house slap out!  My actions are going to show if I’m wise.

Does wisdom come easily for you?  How does wisdom play into your schedule making?

31 Days, Day 13 – Time and Technology

Today would have been another birthday for my PaPaw, Joe Hughes.  He went home in 2002 and I’ve missed him so much since.  When I look back through my childhood he was one of the most influential people in my life.  He was a Borden Milk Man, Gardener, pig and cattle farmer, Jesus follower, and so much more.  He was a busy man in an era with no digital technology.  No matter how busy he was with work (before sun up to after sundown) he made time for the things important to him.  Activities like visiting friends in the nursing home, visiting friends sick at home, gardening, playing with his grandkids, spending time with extended family, giving people work when they were in need, and I could go on and on.

I have the same amount of hours in the day as Papaw did, so why do I feel so out of control and overwhelmed some days?   When I’m evaluating my over-worked schedule I’ve got to be honest with myself and realize part of the issue is the time wasted with my iPhone, computer, and TV.  Oh technology…you’re so good yet so bad!  Do I want to waste my minutes and hours with mindless activity and then fuss when I feel overwhelmed?  Or do I want to be a good steward of the hours in a day God has given me?

I believe today is another day of adjustment.  Today is another day of commitment.  Today I work at not wasting my time on mindless activities.  Today I can look at my schedule and be grateful for the less stressed life God has helped me work towards and continue to use the time he’s given me wisely.

Honesty again…I’m not making hard stands on I will not look at social media, I will not turn on the TV, I will not waste time trying to figure out how to navigate these blog tools.  I’m going to pray that God helps me use my 24 hours wisely and when I want to stop and use technology I have to think about what I’m sacrificing in order to see the online world that too many times I want to be too much of my reality world.  Is it worth the cost? Is it going to make me feel crazy busy again at the end of the day?

How do you manage your schedule with life responsibilities and the temptations of technology?  Do you have an influential person who has shown you how to live a fulfilling less stressed life?