Let's start with some good news about cleaning...
In Sarah Mae's Day 9 post, she talks about being a cleaning tornado. In other words, when you put all distractions out of mind out of sight and set your complete focus on cleaning for about 15 minutes. She admits to enjoying mostly leisurely cleaning during which she takes her time, listens to music, thinks about other things, and sentimentalizes (I can't believe that's actually a word!) over all the stuff that needs to be cleaned.
My first reaction to the Martha challenge to tornado clean was (looks like Sarah Mae and I think alike), "Are you kidding me? If I'm going to feel good about getting rid of things then I have to spend time reminiscing and making sure I'm making the right decisions!" Then I realized that there is a time and a place for tornado cleaning and a time and a place for sentimental decluttering. This became painfully obvious when I stepped into my bedroom and thought, "Ya know, that pile of clean hoodies and pillowcases on the bed has been there for over a week now...how long would it really take me to deal with them right here and now if I tornado clean my bedroom?"
Well, I set myself to the task and managed to fold the clean clothes, move a couple things to their proper places in the guest room, put away winter jackets in my lovely woven chest, put clothes hanging on my easy-grab hooks (that were not honestly going to be worn again until washed) into my dirty clothes, folded my blankets and put them away, and more. While I could probably still spend another 15 minutes making it look pristine, I certainly got a lot done. Obviously, tornado cleaning is super useful and I may just have to implement this on a daily basis once I get to the point where I can maintain. By then I should be able to do a fairly decent tornado clean of the whole apartment - oh how wonderful will that day be ;-p
As you probably know by now, I oh so easily get off track and so I wanted to go ahead and mention a couple of other things I'm working on in the decluttering arena:
2. Books - This is the BIG one. Yesterday I even did a Google search for tips on how to declutter bookshelves lol. My eventual goal is to fit all of my books in 2 1/2 book shelves and from there I can spread them out where I want them. Yes, I'm in my mid-20s and have enough books to fill about 4 full size book cases - while this is, in a sense, a good thing, it'll make it so difficult to move in the future. I should know since it made it difficult to move here 3 years ago (and it's not like I quit accumulating)! Progress on this project is going surprisingly well at the moment :-)
[As a side note - check out this AMAZING website...lol...it's bad :-( bookshelfporn.com]
Now on to more spiritual matters:
Jesus says in verses 12 and 13 >>
12 "This is my commandment,
that you love one another
as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this,
that someone lay down his life
for his friends."
While this verse can be taken at face value as actual death to save another person, I think it means SO much more than that. Laying down your life for others can simply mean sacrificially loving them just as Jesus sacrificially loved and loves us. Giving of your time and energy to others is definitely a way of laying down your life for the benefit of others and a way of loving others as you would have them love you.
How many of us intensely desire to have other people care about us enough to expend their time and energy on us in particular? I would venture to guess most everybody. There is no greater way to feel loved than having someone put aside their own concerns for a time to just spend time with you or at least show you that you're on their mind. The love of Christ can definitely be felt when others treat you like you're special, not just in general, but in particular to them.
When I get a Facebook note, text, call, or Skype message from my best friend (she happens to be in Iraq at the moment, why is she sooo far away?!?), I can't help but feel truly loved and thought about. I know that I'm on her mind and that I mean something special to her and that can make all the difference in any bad day :-) [The pics below are some great moments of the 2 of us back in college. She's the blonde and I'm the brunette.]
Hardcore croquet ;-)
Post comps joy!!
I need to remember this feeling as I go throughout each of my days. There are plenty of people that I think about and pray for on a daily basis, but I don't reach out like I should to them so that they know I'm thinking about them and care for them. I guess I'll make my own personal Mary challenge for the next week be to reach out to those I'm thinking about when I'm thinking about them. I will lay down my life to lift up the lives of others.