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Monday, April 23, 2012

De-Cluttering Me

Over the past couple of weeks I cleaned out many areas of my home, closets, books shelves, drawers, cabinets, and cupboards.  Clutter has a funny way of creeping up on you, as things come in to the house we find somewhere to keep them, but eventually enough is enough, we have too many things to keep and to be honest a number of things we simply don't use and never will use so for all intent and purpose we are simply storing.  De-cluttering our living environment is freeing and makes daily life easier, in thinking about this I realized that I would probably benefit by de-cluttering me!

What do I mean by de-cluttering me? I want to be conscientious about the things I put into my mind and so I do a number of things, some I have done for a long time, others I am cultivating, but all in all I want my focus to be on God, and to live my life in a way that is pleasing to God.  

Here are some of the things I do:

**News - I have reduced the amount of news/media I consume daily and am more selective in what I consume.  There were many news websites I visited daily, but as time went by I began to feel that they were not so much news sites as sites that always looked for the stories that had the most drama and sex appeal to them, or sites that only reported "human interest" stories telling of the most depraved things.  I am not being an ostrich, sticking my head in the sand and pretending evil does not exist in the world, far from it.  I am just weary of the constant bombardment of depraved human behavior, I prefer to read articles that are edifying. So I have removed many news sites from my "favorites link list".  I have not missed any of the news sites I used to visit.

**Internet - I spend a lot less time online than I used to, and I am picky about what I view, and picky about the blogs visit.  I used to visit many blogs, but some I felt really pushed an agenda that was Christian but very anti-Catholic I  began to wonder why I kept returning to read things that were upsetting and sometimes untrue. It seems in "internet land" people are much more willing to "state their mind" as they have some level of anonymity than they would do if they were to share with you face to face. I limit my time online and again visit sites that are edifying.

**TV/Movies - For a number of years I did not watch  TV, after a while I did take time to watch movies that I borrowed from the library, I am pretty picky about what I watch and I prefer older movies that do not have violence, bad language, explicit scenes, and characters who lack moral fortitude.  I do watch some TV, but not much, and I simply cannot stand to watch any news programming on TV - it is all arguing about opinion and I find it to be a total waste of time.

**Reading - I used to read tons and tons of fiction, I now prefer non-fiction, I like to read books about people with strong faith, ex. the Saints, (I am currently reading St. Faustina's Diary), people who have faced adversity, auto-biographies and biographies. Again I want to read books that are edifying.

**Radio - I listen to our local Catholic station, Redeemer Radio - what a blessing this station is - again it is edifying.

**Conversation - I try to keep conversation with others positive, avoid gossip (this is so hard at times), and share my faith when appropriate. 

**Attitude - I always try to look for the silver lining in all of the storm clouds of life - and you know what? there always, always is a silver lining :)  Adversity makes us stronger, builds our faith, brings us closer to others, teaches us, humbles us, and ultimately makes us a better person.

**Prayer - I continue to cultivate this area of my life, it takes discipline and patience, but incorporating time for daily prayer is possible and gets easier the more you do it.  I am now able to pray four offices of the The Divine Office most days, , , along with the Rosary, and other prayers and scripture reading.  Initially I thought I would never have time to do this, but it has become a habit and fits well into most of my days.  I find that the psalms have a way of sinking into my mind without notice and phrases suddenly come to mind seemingly out of the blue.  The Psalms are so comforting, sometimes they are filled with praise and thanksgiving, other times they are filled with sorrow, they cover the full spectrum of our human emotion and they are timeless in speaking to our human condition.

**Daily Life - My husband and I live a simple life, we are not looking for the latest gadgets/gizmos and technology because they simply don't appeal to us, why we don't even own a coffee maker we simply use a camping stove top percolator and we haven't used our clothes dryer in years :)
 What do we like to do, grow and preserve our own food, my husband makes wine, we keep chickens, on and off we raise a steer. We like to stay home, we love our kids and grand kids and our favorite activity is to have everyone over for a shared meal and time together - we do this a lot.  We attend Mass. We don't go to movies, we don't belong to clubs, we are not over-scheduled - we have time to live in the moment, and we have no debt as we choose to live within our means. Our life has not always been like this, it has been a process that evolved over the past fifteen years, we simply love where we are in our life at this time and because we have lived a frugal life, a prayerful life, and followed God's will in our life, we are able to enjoy our life in a way that would not have been possible if we had followed the call of the world.

I am truly excited to have begun my journey into the Confraternity of Penitents (CFP), last week I submitted my Inquirer application, it was accepted and I am no longer hovering around at the gate, I have opened the gate and started down the path :) !!  I truly know that the Lord has led me to the CFP and I know that the Rule of 1221 is something that I can live because it compliments the life of simplicity I am already living. If you wish to know more about the CFP you can visit the website,  The CFP will help continue my conversion of self and is a way of life that truly focuses on de-cluttering all aspects of  life to remove all barriers to God! How wonderful is that?

Philippians 4:13 Everything is possible in Him who has strengthened me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thankyou. I needed to read that today. I've recently become obsessed with weight-watching. I've lost 56lbs with WeightWatchers and ideally I should lose about 20 more, but I am now at the stage where I am fed-up with rejecting offers of hospitality, cooking the same old things, thinking about food all the time. Really, I just need to eat little and healthily without the obsessing.
Thankyou again.