Finding the Treasure

You might not have realized this about me yet, but I march to the beat of my own drummer. And my Spring Cleaning Drummer often drums in the winter.

I’ve been itching to clear out a ton of few Things that have accumulated inside these four walls. As winter sets in, up here in New England, I’m bent on getting rid of All The Things that are taking up space in my house. Things have begun to fill up spaces that were meant to be filled with other things like hospitality and laughter and love.

Friends, who I now consider to be brilliant and best, introduced me to the world of local online yard sales.  You know the old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”?  Yeah. That. Oh, what I have been missing! Not for all that can be bought and found, but for all that can be sold and lost. I don’t have to set up a table and drag things out and wait for 5 hours while people kick tires and pick through things and haggle over prices. Oh, no I don’t! I can do it all from the comfort of my couch while wrapped up in a warm blanket and sipping hot chocolate. BOOM!

It makes me seven kinds of happy to clear out shelf after shelf of toys that no longer hold appeal, and gadgets that are no longer used, and clothing that I might fit into again “someday”.

As I take picture after picture of some Thing that needs to go, I’m made painfully aware of just how many Things we’ve collected over the years.  The books alone… mercy! In fact, the more books I go through, the more I realize just how bad our book addiction is. We’ve held on to more than our fair share of books because, well… BOOKS!

If you do the math (and I think we all know that I try not to, whenever possible), it adds up to a Whole Lotta Stuff.

Stuff that we don’t need anymore.

Or want anymore.

Or use anymore.

Here is where the spiritual boom really gets dropped on this thick-head of mine: the more I clear out of our home, the clearer my mind has become about priorities. I’m discovering that with less stuff to maintain, the more time I have for maintaining relationships.  I’m finding that the more I give away, the less I feel the need to hang on to.  And, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that emptied out is a much more comfortable feeling, for me, than filled up.

I’m embracing The Empty because this is where I find the treasure has been all along.


I can’t help but wonder if this is how we’re really meant to live – pared down and thankful for all the we do indeed have. As I chuck the stuff, I find the real treasure is more time to spend with The One and the ones I love. And, maybe this is why those who are wise encourage us to accumulate people, not things?

Because, that’s where I want to be.  I want to be with The One who created me and those He’s given me to love.

Treasure indeed.

One For the Curators Among Us

Recently, a sweet bloggy friend posted before and after pics of completely realistic and doable DIY projects for each room (YES – there IS such a thing!) So inspirational, that one.  When you get a minute, go check her out over at The Domestic Fringe.

Anyhoo, my friend spoke of needing her kitchen to be a happy place.  This made complete sense to me.  And, it inspired me to show you a picture of the one happy place in my own kitchen – the window above the sink. Your happy place might be in the bedroom, or bathroom, or office.  I choose to make my “happy place” in my kitchen, because what I have to do in there does not –no, it does not- make me happy. Also, it’s the only part of my kitchen that is decorated in any way, shape, or form.

The day that the cooking and decorating genes were handed out?  I was totally absent. The only thing that I do in the kitchen that makes me “happy”, is when I get to clean.  Not. Even. Kidding.  And, while I love a good cleaning bender as much as the next obsessive-compulsive person, I honestly abhor cooking. To be quite frank, I only cook because people in my home, whom I cherish, must eat to live..

But, there is grace. God did see fit to bless me with an amazing mother-in-law. She received both of those genes, and the decorating sense, in spades; and, thank goodness.  Without her near constant help influence, my house would be a hot mess of white walls! And I’m about 101% certain that it’s difficult to turn white walls into a hot mess.

When we moved in, she encouraged me to pick out a fabric so that she could make cute little curtains for each window. She told me where I might consider hanging them. (I must admit, right here and right now, that I had no idea that curtains could be hung at different places within a window!)

After I chose a fabric (seriously people, that, in and of itself was a harrowing enough experience!), my mother-in-love took pity on me and made the curtains, bought the rods, and showed me exactly where to hang them.  She also provided the idea for the little lights above the window in the kitchen. But, I did actually go hunting for, and string up, the rice lights all by my self.  True story.

The rest of the stuff (I like to use terribly complex decorating terminology) along the windowsill, though, is all me.  Maybe I shouldn’t state that so arrogantly.  Especially as I eyeball the pictures I’m about to share with you.  Maybe I should say,  um… I did the best I could with the decorating skills God gave me?

Okay, one more thing before “unveiling” the pictures that I am about positive all of you can wait for.

Is it just me, or does every decorating expert, article, or show seem to have an obsession for the word “curate”?  What happened to the word “organize”?  Is that word now completely defunct? Where was I when “organize” morphed into “curate”?  Oh, the questions I have…

Alrighty then.  Let’s play show and tell.

Here is my happy place.

In the kitchen.

Go easy on me.

Stalling much?



That long painted beach scene board I picked up at an arts & crafts fair on Long Beach Island, one summer.  I made the “Be Intentional” print and put it into a picture frame to remind me of my One Word for 2013.  That lovely baby poop brown “sculpture” to the left of the white frame was lovingly handcrafted by my Sweetboy.  We are attempting to grow a carrot.  In a very small pot.  I’m not sure how that logically will work.  But, I’m rolling with it.  Then, over there on the right, I have my treasures.  My fishy bowl of dark chocolates, mason jar of favorite shells, and my Journey monthly devotional magazine.

Seriously, what else could a girl want in her corner to bring her contentment?

So, tell me! Where’s your happy place?