In case you haven’t heard, there’s a book out with a funky new strategy to keep your place tidy. The premise behind throwing out stuff you don’t need? Ask yourself if it makes you happy. Ha! I’ll admit, I thought this was super corny when I read that line. But I couldn’t stop watching (video above) until I learned further how this kooky woman wanted me to reorganize my life. And you know what? It’s kind of brilliant. She suggests organizing by category, not room. Throw all related items in a huge pile – like all your clothes on the bed. Then go through each item and ask yourself it makes you happy. When I thought about this, I first pictured my favorite pair of jeans. I love the way they fit, the way they look. In fact, I wish nearly all my jeans were this pair! Then it suddenly became easy to picture the pairs leaving. Of course, other logic weighed in better too: I haven’t worn these in a year, and let’s be honest – I’m not going to in the next. But somehow, my reaction to the joy the jeans didn’t give me, suddenly made it much easier to let them go.
And then I thought: this is so Recovering Martha-like! I get to accomplish a task – but it’s a task where I get to feel joy! Woot woot! And then I stopped. Wait – am I allowed to find joy in a Martha-task? For some reason, I had this strange pull that the task accomplishment was pulling me from God, and that my joy was not appropriate. And then I had a snap-back come-to-Jesus moment when I realized that was SO not true. And the little learner in me sought out Bible verses – about joy.
Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
God wants me to be filled with joy! And I get joy from organizing! (I realize that is sick and twisted to many of you, but He makes us all unique.) So now it’s like I have permission to be joyful in organizing. And I’m connected to God through my organizing because I’m reminded of the joy he gives me. I am so pumped about this connection that I seriously feel (warning: educator moment) a flow chart coming on where I can visually share this connection with everyone! (I know, sick and twisted again.) I feel…free. Like a weight is lifted when I consider this joy. I feel that same joy when Baby O smiles at me, my husband puts his arm around my waist, a stain actually comes out of the laundry, and I don’t burn a batch of chocolate chip cookies.
So here’s to purging many outfits that don’t fit right, are worn out, or just look terrible. Here’s to purging kitchen cups and bowls that I never use. And here’s to feeling joy – because of purging.
Lord, thank you for joy. It’s such a simple gift that we’ve been given. But it means so much more when I realize it’s from you. Thank you for making me a unique individual who can experience joy from a variety of sources. I pray that when I get my feeling of joy, I’d be reminded of its source: Your love for me.