Monday, October 11, 2010

Challenges Update!

After a very busy week visiting family and celebrating the life of my dear Grandfather who went to glory last week, I am back into the swing of things. 

I am working on Courtney's challenge to create a harmonious home.  This week, the focus is on music. I thought I'd break our usual habit of sitting on the lounge and eating over the coffee table (yes, I know), and set the 'big' table, complete with my week 1 challenge candle. I popped on my ipod for some quiet background music.

We said grace.

We started to eat.

There was a sense of peace in the house

and then...

"Hun, do you mind if I put the news on?"

I stopped myself from laughing out loud!  Oh well, I tried!  Maybe tomorrow!

Do you ever plan something to benefit your spouse or family and then realise it might not be something that they value? 

I had a little more luck with my declutter challenges this week.  I started with my bookshelf. Here is the 'before':

Yes, there are books stacked on the floor. And everywhere else!  I pulled out everything and wiped it down, one shelf at a time. I have a large number of children's books that I use for work that have been in the wrong spot for years. I wanted them lower so the books I use all the time (my Christian books, exercise books and reference books) were at a more logical height. Doing one shelf at a time (that is, taking out what didn't belong and stacking in what I wanted there before moving on) made it a much easier process than pulling everything off and getting overwhelmed!

I was surprised how many bible study books and devotionals I had multiple copies of. Here are a few other surprises I found: 

  • A folder (that I thought was long gone) containing every bank statement I had ever received for an account from kindergarten to the end of university!!
  • Three years worth of sermon notes from university bible lectures. I thought I would look at them again some day, but I realised that without the sermon context most of my notes don't make any sense! They also had pictures of birds and elephants and stars drawn all over them... to help me concentrate I guess... The whole folder went in the bin!
  • 4 years worth of subscriptions to a Christian apologetics and theology magazine. While this might 'one day' be useful to me, it will 'right now' be more useful to people who borrow them from our church library. 
  • 20 or so Bible study leader books (copies!) which would be far more useful to our churches current youth and children's ministry than to my book shelf... 
  • 4 bibles that don't belong to us!  Going back to their rightful owners!
I also found 6 items that would be useful for other people I know so they have been bagged up to be passed on as gifts too. 

So.... 50 mins later (yes, I was astonished how quick it really was!)

Oh how I love challenges that make me focus on getting things done! 
The second week of the challenge (I'm a bit behind) is to look at the master bedroom. I have only recently reorganised the bedroom, however this week is our churches annual spring clothing collection for Anglicare. So I took the opportunity to go through my cupboards, and despite having only recently sorted my clothes I still found some items I no longer need. Mr. Awesome has agreed to go through his clothes later this week. I will report on his progress! 

It is wonderful not to be so tied to our things that we hoard them. Giving things away to be used by someone else (rather than just sitting around!) is a great feeling! 

What 'one day' things could be more useful to someone you know right now?


  1. Heheheh for something really silly, right click on each photo and select 'open in a new tab', then flick between the two tabs... I'm so happy I actually got around to this - what a difference!

  2. I absolutely have tried things that haven't worked with F and Sophie. This music thing is tough. I typically prefer music that includes singing. I am going to try some mainstream Christian music. Let me know if you find something really good!

  3. Hi G,
    Speaking of things that didn't work.... I had candles on the other evening during dinner, and while we were reading in the evening. Michael ended up having a huge fit of hay fever all evening, we thought it was the cat but turned out to be one of the candles :(

    And I always love to have a bunch of flowers freshly picked from the garden to brighten up the dinner table. Unfortunately my most favourite ones (including jasmine) have become a no-no due to afore mentioned hay fever. So very very sad for me. I've had to start taking all my vases outside just before hubby arrives home from work, and blowing out any scented candle.

    They have now become something for me and Alex to enjoy during the day.

  4. Ps I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather passing.... but very happy to hear he has gone to glory!! :)

    PPS Love that you have Enid Blyton, and A Tangled Web,and Pollyanna :) Me too!!

  5. Hi Brittany - I'll keep you posted - it is definately tough!

    Mim - hayfever is SO annoying! That is really sad about the candles :( At least its a good reason to use the cheap unscented ones and save the scented ones for those whose sinuses appreciate them! Oh and I think we are secretly book twins!

  6. I'M not surprised that you found the folder with all your bank statements in it from over TWO DECADES AGO! So what did you do with it?? The suspense is killing me!!

    Loved the work that you did on your bookshelf, looks amazing! I find that I dump things on bookshelves to get rid of them for a while. Not helpful.

    Best wishes decluttering and bringing more peace to your household!

  7. we need to get out of the habit of sitting at the lounge/coffee table for tea too! our couch doesnt help us - the middle seat folds down into a table complete with cup holders!

    hope you guys are both well :)

    Dave L