Tidies of Joy

If you find your life is stuck in a rut, would you consider the remedy might be to…<ahem>…tidy your house?  I might have dismissed the premise of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up myself, had I not been adrift in my own particular doldrums. I leafed through the small and elegant book; its proposal was not exactly modest. Japanese tidying guru, Marie Kondo, claims that her clients (now on a three-month waiting list) not only learn to beat back bulging closets, but unleash untold vivacity and vision in the process. “In this book,” she declares, “I have summed up how to put your space in order in a way that will change your life forever.” (p1)

I could use such a change. My job had recently come to an end, as had a dating relationship; and now that I was slowly sliding into middle age, I was growing rather weary of the “seasons of life” thing. Starting again was not something I wanted at an age when, let’s face it, I’d hoped certain things would be settled by now. But no—it was back to the drawing board. This time, however, I didn’t want to draw up the same old plans with the same old pencils. I needed new tools; I wanted fresh eyes.

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Keepin' It Is-REAL

I feel guilty, really.  Why do I get to travel to spectacular places when I only leave stupider than before?  Alright, take it easy.  But here’s the facts: I had the opportunity to live in Jerusalem for six months right out of college, working at a youth/media ministry, and I still didn’t absorb anything about the history and culture.  That was after already having toured Israel earlier that year, then returning to Jerusalem to live and work.  Twelve years later, I still hadn’t quite pieced together which parts of the Bible went where.  I wanted to start all over as a tourist.  This April, my church took a 10-day tour of Israel, and I hopped on for trip #3.  Three times to Israel, when many folks would jump at the chance to go just once, and could probably recite the history backwards on returning.  Oh well, those folks can probably sing like Mariah Carey and I can’t, so we’re even.

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Wedgies and Hash Browns- Top Ten Things I Think About At Prayer

This month, my church is meeting every morning for 21 days of prayer.  I love praying corporately.  I do not love 6am.  Perhaps you, too, have wanted to come to morning prayer, but you worry that those who gather to pray for their nation and their neighbors are prayer warriors who skip on clouds and are so spiritual they can’t sit down.  Allow me to dispel that myth.  They are human, and they didn’t drink enough coffee at 5:50 to justify this 6:00 gathering.  You know what, I can’t speak for the others—maybe they are angels.  I am not.  I accept it now. 

Top Ten Things in My Head at 6am Prayer:

10. Why is Pastor Ryan so loud?  Calm down, sir.  And no, you don’t get eye contact this morning.  Your face is also being too loud.

9. To the guy sitting in front of me.  Don’t think I don’t know that you just farted. 

This is my best friend at the end of a vacation once.&nbsp; She was done with me and tried to block me out like a baby hiding behind its hands.&nbsp; This is how I feel at 6am prayer.

This is my best friend at the end of a vacation once.  She was done with me and tried to block me out like a baby hiding behind its hands.  This is how I feel at 6am prayer.

8. Why is the music so loud?  It’s not usually this loud.  Holy cow, why is EVERYTHING so loud?  Please, please turn down everything.

7. Ooo, my toenails are pretty.

6. Ha, look—I wouldn’t wear the jeans with gaping holes in them because they weren’t reverent enough for prayer.  But I just noticed these jeans have tiny holes in them.  I must have thought these were “respectful holes.”  <chuckles.  Pastor Ryan thinks he said something funny.  Nod and go with it.>

5. If I grab a McDonald’s hash brown after this, but I make a kale smoothie at home, it cancels out the hash brown, right?

4. Speaking of jeans, if you have to pick a wedgie, pretend you’re adjusting your entire pants, not just that back section.  WIN.

3. Why do chiggers pass up tons of good leg skin just to bite you on your underwear line?  And why am I itching at this moment?  I can’t get a spiritual hall pass from this stuff at 6am? 

2. I’m just going to lie down a bit while I pray.  If I position it right, maybe people will think I’m prostrating reverently, not falling asleep.  DOUBLE WIN.

1. Let's wrap it up with this closing prayer for our nation, Ryan.  The donkeys and elephants can duke it out themselves, I’ve got a hash brown and a day to get to.  And for the love Ryan WHY ARE YOU SO LOUD.

Lest you think that the spiritual life does not inhabit fleshly bodies, well, there you go.  The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. 

Mmmmm.  Flesh.  Now I'm craving steak.

Phantom: There Are Ghosts, and They Are Us

I like to read layman’s books on science and pretend I understand them.  Black holes, quantum physics—I can’t quit perusing the Science shelf at my library.  But no matter the marathon of study, I swear I retain only a tidbit of trivia from each tome.  I’m considering moving down to children’s books—although I did read one about Space, and all I recall is that the first dog the Russians rocketed into space died of a heart attack from abject terror, or something terrible and totally brain-sticking like that.  Yes, I enjoy reading about science and Schrödinger’s cat.  No, I don’t really grasp it.  Can’t be brilliant at everything.  Wouldn’t be fair.

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