Marie Kondo Made Me Cry: 3 Unexpected Results From Konmarie

While browsing through Netflix one day, I saw one the most feminine and dainty young women that I’ve ever laid eyes on. Her name is Marie Kondo and she is taking the nation by storm with her Netflix show, Tidying Up.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, my house will be officially on the market next week. So tidying my home right now, is a no-brainer. However, there were a few unexpected benefits to Ms. Kondo’s method of sorting through things. I thought I’d share them with you…

Clearing Your Physical Space Clears Your Head Space

  1. Less is more – I’ve always been a believer in less is more. However, because I have often found myself a hair shy of impoverished, I tend to hoard in preparation for a rainy day. Honestly, it’s been fear that has kept me from donating clothes too big/small for me, thinking, “What if I lose/gain a bunch of weight and don’t have the money to buy the required clothing? What if I get rid of that shirt box I received for Christmas and I need one later?” Forget about the fact that styles may change or that boxes are literally less than a dollar at Dollar Tree, I’m afraid that as soon as I let go, that I will need that item…and I often do. However, I forgot how clearly I am able to think when the clutter is gone. And that’s worth something don’t you think? Finding the perfect balance between being prepared and being a hoarder is difficult, but our decision should definitely not be out of fear. After all, we are encouraged in I Tim. 1:7, that we have not been given the spirit of fear, but of love, power and of a sound mind.
  2. Gratitude “Sparks Joy” – As I sorted through my belongings, my level of gratitude began to soar. Marie Kondo asks her clients to hold each item and ask, “Does this spark joy?” As I did this, I was often reminded of the origin of the item. I remembered where I was when I purchased it, or who gave it to me. There were cards and letters others had written. I was becoming not only grateful for the items, but for the people and experiences in my life. At one point, I even found myself placing my hands on the ceiling beams of my attic bedroom and weeping praise and thanksgiving for the privilege of having lived in a house I’ve loved so much. One of my favorite authors, Ann Voskamp, said, “Thanksgiving always proceeds the miracle.” But maybe the miracle is how thanksgiving heals the heart. I have so many changes coming my way right now, and I need to know that I am following God in all that I am doing. I believe that God is able to do much more when we keep a grateful heart, full of appreciation for the blessings He’s already given. We are told that we can enter His gates with thanksgiving.(Psalm 100:4) We are also told that in His presence is fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11) So wouldn’t it suffice to say that thanksgiving brings joy because it puts us in the most joyful place of all which is His presence?
  3. Purging Material Items Brings Healing – I had no idea that a few of my possessions actually brought bad memories and pain to my heart. Holding each item and asking if that item sparked joy, I realized that a few things that I had kept for decades, brought fear, pain and a deep sadness and regret. Donating those items actually brought healing and freedom. Although they were lovely, not having them in my home feels a little like I have cleared away the cobwebs from my mind. I had no idea the negativity they were bringing into my environment.

Overall, the greatest blessing I received from the Konmarie Method is in letting go. We are told to forget those things that are behind and press forward toward the mark.(Phil 3:13) I had things hanging in my closet, trinkets and jewelry, and even books that were unbeknownst to me weighing me down like a beast of burden under too much strain. It was painfully glorious to let go of these things.

One of my key Scriptures as of late, is found in Isaiah and speaks of God doing a new thing, in unexpected places…and I feel Him stirring. But I had no idea He was stirring in my closet, my bookcase and even my junk drawer. But I’m glad He is, because now I am liberated to run faster, farther and freer than ever before without the cumbersome burden of too many things.

“Her Name Was Lolita…”

My son recently adopted a dog who had been rescued from a puppy mill. It is likely that she had been left in her cage for great lengths of time, sitting in her own excrement, filthy and used solely for the gain of another. She had been treated like an object who had now outlived her usefulness; discarded and abandoned; unwanted and unloved. We braced ourselves for severe behavioral problems and extra training. Her foster home wasn’t even sure she was fully potty trained, and said she showed signs of the food anxiety so often exhibited in animals who have been treated inhumanely and have had to fight to be fed.

Even her name seemed to be a sentence to failure. It was Lolita, which means “sexually precocious young girl.” We decided that our first act of love was to change Lolita’s name, therefore cutting off all connections with her past. Her name is now Lola, meaning, “sorrows” or Lolo, meaning “goofball.” My son and I gently trained her to recognize our voices and respond to her new name. We were thrilled when she began to run to find us when we called her.

Our little “goofball”

Within 24 hours of adoption, Lolo surprised us all. From the first full day, her desire to please her new masters drove her to be careful not leave unwanted “packages” in the home. She cuddled and snuggled into our arms whenever we were sitting, and she ran around the house like a kook when one of us came home.

The whole experience has reminded me of when Jesus said that those who have been forgiven much are more grateful than those who believe they are not in need of much forgiveness. And though Lolo’s past wasn’t her fault, she seems to understand the depths of what she has been rescued from, and in response, has become completely and deliriously devoted to her deliverers.

How many of us, upon our rescue by Jesus, had been:

  • Found captured in a cage of our own or other’s making?
  • Left to feel dirty and unlovable?
  • Called names that led us to identify with things we were never meant to believe about ourselves? 
  • Discarded after our abusers deemed us no longer a part of their plan? 

Like Lolo, our desire to live in a way pleasing to God should be rooted in response to His great love and enriched by deep gratitude for the extremes that our Master went to in order to rescue us from sin and separation from Him. When He calls, we should be leaping and jumping in excitement for the adventure that awaits us. When we rest, we should be as closely snuggled in His arms as we can get. We should believe in who He says we are, rather than the who we were when He found us.

We all have a choice. We can either allow our past to cause us to be broken and bitter, or broken and better. We can, like Lolo, choose to respond to the love of our Master and become all that He has called us to become. We can allow God to “rename” us from forgotten to begotten; precocious to precious; trashed to treasured. We can allow God to train us as we follow His lead and learn to recognize His voice. Most significantly, we can, for the love that God has shown us, leave our pasts behind and joyfully experience our adoption in Him.

1John.3. [1] Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

How A Book Launch Quilted The Pieces of My Heart Together

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Healing takes time, and time is something I seem to have very little of. So when my father passed away very unexpectantly several years ago, as an only child I shifted into survival mode; checking on mom and making the necessary adjustments.  I gave myself very little time to grieve, and that was probably calculated to some extent.

Reading takes time, and time is something I seem to have very little of. So when my dear Emily asked me to be on her book launch team and read her first piece of fiction, A Promise In Pieces, part of me groaned.  Between running a non-profit, attempting to blog here and there, writing a novel, being a brand new freelance blogger at Family Fire, promoting a children’s picture book and caring for my family, the request seemed like another thing to add to an increasingly long “to-do” list.

But God…He is so good at multi-tasking!  I began reading this novel, and enjoying the strong female characters as I was drawn into their world…but as I continued I couldn’t put the book down.  What was the Holy Spirit doing here?  I wondered.  It seemed as though the last portion of the book so closely mirrored an area of my life that it was uncanny.  Soon I found myself sobbing, something I don’t believe I have ever done while reading, even the most sorrowful of stories.  And I wasn’t sobbing because the story was sad, but because Emily’s words caused me to take a journey where I hadn’t allowed myself to go years ago.  Now that the floodgates were opened, I couldn’t seem to stop the tears from falling.

And isn’t that the way God is? He gives rest to the weary, and in due time He comforts us as we grieve until we are broken. Then he sews up the scraps like the pieces of quilt in Emily’s book and creates a beautiful menagerie of brokenness, patched up and ready to bring warmth and comfort to others.

No matter how bright the light inside you, if everything around you is oppressively dark it begins to leak in through your eyes and eventually you either have to die or find a miracle.  And I found one. – A Promise in Pieces

That’s exactly what this book was for me…a miracle.  I am convinced that it is possible that God had Emily write this book, labor of love, hours of work, just. for. me.  Just so that I could face through another character what I wasn’t willing or able to face through my own character.

Healing takes time.  Reading takes time.  Death is the ultimate time taker. God used the gift He placed in Emily to patch up my heart, and I can not thank Him or her enough.

 

Emily Wierenga’s gook will be available on Amazon, April 15th. Would you consider becoming part of AmazonSmiles and choosing, Love INC of Tinley as your preferred charity? See the side bar for a link.

 

The Gate Called Beautiful

You, my dearest, are hurting, pained and unwhole.

You need healing.

And though He said I can lay hands on the sick,

I haven’t often seen success.

I’m only being honest.

But your suffering…your scars…

It’s too much to bystand –

Too much to spectate

without participation.

What can I do?

I don’t have silver or gold to pay for expensive treatment.

I don’t have a faith healer’s faith.

Not. Yet.

But can I bring you to the Gate called Beautiful?

Because I’ve found that

darkness may be crowding out light

and death may be pushing my hopes under

for the

third time.

But

when I am brought to the Gate called Beautiful

I am soul healed.

For in examining His beauty

I am discovering His goodness.

And when His goodness is revealed

anything, anything might happen.

Will you come?

Counting from the Gate called Beautiful with Ann:

131. Unexpected Valentine from the little girl next door.

132. My Bible Study girls and I getting “tatt-ed” together!

133. A box in the mail!!

134. A gift from Sarah Mae and DaySpring!

135. Daughter’s debut as a paid singer!

136. Happy Statue of Liberty guy. (You can’t tell, but his smile is radiant!)

137. The privilege of making 500 truffles…

138. Coming through to the other side of the flu.

…sharing a playdate with Laura:

….finding heaven with Jen:

…hanging out with L.L.: On In Around button

…sharing with Shandra: