Well, I've decided to take a short hiatus from the home front and am visiting friends at my alma mater - the beautiful Sewanee :-) I definitely needed a break from everything and my mind always clears better and my relaxation level sky rockets whenever I'm here. There's something about the mountains, the Oxford-style stone buildings, the lack of heavy traffic, and the peacefulness that never fails to renew my soul.
Although I'm not in this picture,
it captures the essence of Sewanee unbelievably well,
what with the gorgeous building in the background,
the robes adorning 2 of my older sisters,
and the happiness and contentment
radiating from their faces right after graduation.
I haven't seen them in years, but I've no doubt that
the minute I see them again, whenever that may be,
we'll run to each other with arms wide open
and start talking like no time has passed.
As you've no doubt noticed in the last handful of posts, my cleaning has slowed down a good bit and I really need to ramp it up, seeing as there are only about 4 weeks before school starts. Plus, I'd much rather spend my only free weeks of the summer reading, crafting, and generally relaxing with no organizationally-related stress hanging over my head. So I guess my real goal is to finish organizing by the time I complete my Unstuck study. Now I realize that organizing and cleaning will always be a continual process, but once I get everything where it needs to go and have solid systems in place, the challenge of making the big decisions will be gone and the continual maintenance tasks will be miles easier to handle. With all of this in mind, I think a break from the chaos is just what I need to get me back on track once I get home on Friday.
I'm going to be in this small little town 30 minutes from the nearest Walmart until Friday afternoon - so what am I going to be able to do cleaning-wise?? A surprising amount with relaxation still as my main focus of course... Although I don't have house junk to deal with, this will be a really great time to go through stuff that I ignore when I'm at home and there's so much visible junk assaulting my eyeballs and stress levels.
- My wallet : I'm on Learnvest now which is a fabulous site for organizing your finances. In other words, I thankfully don't need to go through receipts and enter them by hand anymore! But I can't just throw the whole huge receipt chunk away because of 2 things...
1. CVS receipts could be for meds or groceries
2. Coupons lurk in the jumble ;-)
- My car : Ugh I'm SO terrible at keeping my car clean...it's really embarrassing. Although I don't have old food laying around, I do have empty cups (both throw away and not) as well as other junky crap. I think I'll finally get the chance to take care of several things in my car...
1. Throw away the trash!
2. Upload the CDs rattling around in my trunk to my computer
3. Go through the academic folders that were in my old Biology office
4. And I'm sure there's more crap to deal with
- Online bookmarks : While I did get rid of a bunch of these a few months ago, I really think this needs a maintenance session. Plus, now that I'm on Pinterest...
1. I can get rid of all my crafting bookmarks by moving them to my CraftyLove board.
2. upcycling bookmarks to Upcycled Magic
3. greening (my word for living an eco-friendly lifestyle) to Green Cleaning - Home & Body
4. organizing to Mission Organization
5. and products I like to Super Cool Products
- Email : I keep the most ridiculous types of old email. So here are some questions I'm going to ask myself...
1. Do I really need communications with old profs that say, "Okay I'll see you then." - Uh, NO.
2. Is it so extremely old news-wise that it's just not relevant anymore?
3. Can I just pin it instead?
4. Is this the only email in a folder? - Why might that be?
5. Did I already receive this offer in the mail? (free samples and such)
6. These coupons are really outdated...aren't they...
7. Can this information easily be found somewhere else if I really need it?
- Education/Scientific articles : Okay, so we'll see how much time I have left over for these in between all of the above and hanging out with my friends, but it's worth listing. I have saved tons of pdfs and bookmarked tons of online articles about education and scientific research. Problem is, most of them have been sitting on my computer for a long time and still haven't been read. I'm going to make the effort (when I get back) to start reading at least 5 a day - that should really be part of my job as a grad student anyway ;-)
State-of-mind pic of the day.
On our way from Ndarakwai Game Reserve, TZE.
(taken by me)
A couple of quick spiritual notes about Reflecting on God's Word >>
When reading a passage, one should really engage with it. Unfortunately, this word gets a person all excited with abstract ideas of dynamic interaction and digging into the meat of something.
But how do we do this?? Here are some questions that you can ask yourself while reading scripture:
- How do I feel about these verses?
- What is difficult for me mentally/emotionally about these verses?
- What do I not understand?
- Is my way of thinking a stumbling block to God's way of thinking?
- What is He reminding/asking me to do?
- What is He revealing that I had forgotten or never known?
- Is He giving me a promise?
- Is He warning/disciplining me?
- Is He encouraging me?
- What is His message uniquely to me?
- What does this reveal about God's character?
- What is His message to all Christians?
- Is He telling me to slow down and sit with Him like He told Martha?
Many more questions can be asked but these are a great starting point to get us each individually thinking about the best ways we personally can approach not just reading, but engaging with scripture.