Sunday, March 14, 2010

Project Simplify: Paper Clutter

 {okay, I am going to participate in this weeks Project Simplify challenge but I am reposting this to remind myself about a system the does work great for me long as I stay on top of it!}

A huge area of stress and clutter in my house is paper!

I just finished cleaning off my desk ..which was a pile of ridiculousness that I have been putting off for forEVER. I had piles everywhere and only I knew what to do with any of them.

I was forced to resurrect a great system that I used awhile back. I am now remembering how much easier it was than going through a pile of paper clutter for a couple of hours every few months. Like so many things, it is a matter of taking care of the clutter on the front side ..before it becomes clutter.

Having a place to put everything, just like in my house otherwise, is the secret to keeping the clutter down.

I found this file folder holder about a year or so ago at Sam's Club, of all places. They have all sorts of file keepers on sale right now,  so it would be a great to get what you need for this tool.  It came with some really cute file folders (cute makes everything easier). I think I bought the whole thing for $ works great for me!

It is in my kitchen, where I bring the mail ...the ROOT OF ALL PAPER CLUTTER!  I have each file folder labeled:  Current Bills, Finances, Current Projects, Receipts, Pending Business and Important Stuff (genius, I know).

As I open my mail, everything goes into one of these places or the trash.  I open it all right at the file folder so I open, file or throw away. No putting the filing off til later.

I have found that this keeps everything I need right at my finger tips when I need it (like, the bills), helps me keep track of small pieces of paper (invitations, receipts, gift certificates, etc.) and important information (like eye prescriptions, drs excuses, etc.). I do still have to file into my larger filing system at some point, but only every couple of months and then it is already sorted and organized.

Another great use of it is keeping track of receipts for tax purposes ..last year was our first year to itemize, so this year I am having to keep a close track on all my receipts. I am filing them straight to this file box so I know exactly where the money receipts are!  I will love myself next April :)

What type of paper clutter system do you use? Does it work for you??!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

All that we Need ..really

I have considered this idea of resources for awhile. I have thought about how God has provided us with time, homes, finances, physical energy, emotions, relationships ..these I ponder and consider on a regular basis and have written quite a bit about using.

I have realized of late, though, that there are even MORE things he has given us aside from these more obvious resources. Some of these are very distinguishing, and very personal to us and specific for our tasks assigned.

Personality ...our individual personality has SO much to do with how well equipped you are for certain tasks! I realize just looking around to my circle of girlfriends that we all have such unique abilities to serve God by way of what comes so natural to us. While some of us are naturally quiet, some are more naturally bold and willing to speak up when there is something to be said! Those quiet girls, well they are much better equipped to remind us to rest and just be quiet sometimes.

Our different personalities can serve as a wonderful resource when pooled together with other woman who have the desire to do God's will also. The more color used in the tapestry, the more beautiful the work.

What about YOUR personality is a unique resource? Are you bold, confident, secure and optimistic by default? Is your spirit more calm, thoughtful, empathetic and considerate? Do you have a sense of humor that stands out, an inclination toward order, or a great knack for focus and determination?

Our background ...I have come to realize that our backgrounds are a wonderful resources in the hands of God to those around us. Whether it is one of having been raised in a Christian home (so you know how it should be done), or you have struggled with drinking/drugs and other addictions (so you can relate to those who struggle with that).

I have had moments in my life when Satan tried to use my wonderful childhood against me. He tried to convince me that I had nothing to offer those who had struggled much more than I. In the same way, I know of many who feel they have been through so many struggles that they couldnt possibly be of use to God.

Consider for a moment how your background could be of use to God you bask in the love of family? ..then you know how to show others love. Have you been neglected and abused? ..then you know how to value a relationship with God that never fails or falters. Do you come from a background of addiction, whether your own or someone else's? ...then you can share with others the power of your God through overcoming those things.

Our personalities are directly linked to our background, certainly. We can often track why we are the way we are to the homes we were raised in, the choices we made based on mistakes of others or our own. Our personality is not free of those things.

How wonderful that God can use those things for His glory! He can mold us into unique wives, mothers and friends because of all those individual experiences and thus create a beautiful tapestry of his work in our lives!

Our passions ... certainly linked closely with our personalities and our backgrounds, we all have those things that drive us. Our passions are linked to where have been before, but are also God given and God-used. While one of us feels passionate about teaching our children, another of us is passionate about her home. While one of us may been inspired to write, another to play music ..both for the glory of God and for the encouragement of the other.

Passion is something that makes you desire to do something more than just because it needs to be done. Your heart needs and wants to do it. I am so thankful for people around me who do not share my passions! I need people who need to teach my children, who naturally love the elderly, the sick or the hurting. What a powerful tool in teh hands of God!

What are YOU passionate about? Can you see how God can use that, properly directed and supplied? I hope so!

Considering how God made each of us so different, how he has supplied us so uniquely, how he has outfitted us for our own tasks ...I for one, feel that I have to be careful about a couple of things...

Being judgmental towards others regarding their tasks and assignments. It could be that because God has given them such unique resources, he has also given them unique tasks. Their tasks are not ours, and ours are theirs. Also, somethings that come so easy to us because of our personalities, backgrounds and passions, are much more of a struggle for others who dont have those things.

Comparing myself to others ...I struggle with this more to the detriment of how I see myself more than being judgmental to others (not that that is not a struggle at all) . I often see myself being down on me for not being more like those women who seem to be way more proficient at the things I wish I was better at. Again, my resources are not the same as theirs. We have different tools, different tasks.

Remember ..."as iron sharpens iron, so one [woman] sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17

We are so much better a body of Christ for our differences, our different resources, our different tools, and our different tasks. We can neither judge others or judge ourselves based on the measure of those around us.

I pray for both of us, that God will show us the things that are unique to each other! Ask that God shows you how those ways that you are specifically outfitted for His work in the world that surrounds you!

"From one man he made every nation of man, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so taht men could seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him,
though he is not far from each one of us."
Acts 17:26-27

Bottom line: He made you who he made you, gave you the tools he gave you, has assigned you the tasks he has assigned you ..on purpose so that you and other may know him better!

What a great promise! Now ..what has he given you? What does your "everything you need" look like?

All that we Need

A favorite verse that I find much comfort in these crazy days, is in 2 Peter 1:3.

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by tho own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of the world, caused by evil desires. "

I am so comforted and driven by the idea that for all the things I feel so necessary to be and do, in order to be the wife, mom, friend, sister and daughter I feel like GOD wants me to be, he has given me EVERYTHING I NEED to do those things.

I think that we get so overwhelmed filling all these roles, that we often are left feeling less than provided for in these areas. We know we desire to be all those things, but feel like we just dont have enough of us to go around.

I have contemplated this for a while, and here is what I have determined ...

1. God HAS given us everything we need! (brilliant, I know)
2. I am not always aware of what He has given me to accomplish His tasks
3. I often misuse those things he has given me to accomplish those tasks

For me, as I have asked God to open my eyes to how he has fulfilled that particular promise in my life, I have seen amazing ways he has already prepared me for my tasks at hand. I have realized that I really do have a pretty full toolbox of resources that He uses specifically in my life to accomplish all these worthy things I desire in my heart.

Over the next few posts, I would like to look at a couple of things ..namely, what are our resources? and how am I misusing them?

I have written on these topics before ..but as God continues to teach me and open my eyes, I have been so encouraged by these new thoughts and I hope I can share them in such a way to do the same for you!
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Related Posts with Thumbnails