Look Up

 

Fan

You walk in and the house looks great… then you lie on the couch and look up notice the cobwebs hanging from the ceiling and dust on the ceiling fan. I hate when that happens. Cleaning takes awareness of more than what’s in front of your nose.

In the same way we often limit our vision to what’s at eye level. We’ve all encounters drivers who seem to only focus on where they’re going… and almost run into others because they didn’t look around. We need to look beyond ourselves to see the entire picture. Looking up helps. It reminds us how small we are. Small is humble. Small doesn’t think more of itself than it ought.

You can read all the Life Lessons here.

Get Down on All Fours

 

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Here’s a challenge: Clean your bathroom. Now get down on the floor and look up at the sink, toilet, walls…  If you only look at something from one angle, you’re bound to miss a few spots.
Perspective is everything. The most complete picture comes from looking at things from every angle. 

Whether you’re dealing with a relational issue, trying to solve a problem or creating a piece of art, it always helps to move around and examine things from more than one perspective. Your a-ha moment is probably right under your nose just waiting to be discovered!

You can read all the Life Lessons here.

Pick Up the Doilies

 

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Cleaning around things doesn’t get the job done. You have to pick up the doilies and get all the dust that can collect there. There’s always something underneath.
Under the chair, under the table, under the rugs even… dirt has a way of collecting in unseen places.

What we do and say on the surface directly reflects what’s going on underneath.  When we’re focused on the truth of God’s word, joy, peace and compassion bubble up. When we’re impatient, irritable or easily agitated it’s like the red light on the car’s dash, indicating something’s funky under the hood. By paying attention to what’s going on inside our heads and hearts we’re more likely to present our best selves.

You can read all the Life Lessons here.

Pace Yourself

 

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There are some chores that need to be done regularly: sweeping, making the bed, cleaning the kitchen counters. And there are other chores that can be done once a month or less: Dusting the ceiling fans, washing the light globes, wiping down the top of the refrigerator. Cleaning the house would take a week if you tried to do every thing every single time… it just isn’t necessary. Your time can be spent on things more valuable.

Sometimes I want to do everything at once. Make changes in my daily life. Begin new projects. Sign on for volunteer positions. Try all the recipes in a new book. We have things we want to do. Good things. But no one can do everything at once, and we burn out quickly when we try. Life becomes a blur and activities we once enjoyed become have-tos instead of want-tos. We need to pick and choose depending on our current season of life. I must decide what’s important today. I don’t want to miss out on what’s best for my life today because I settled for what’s good.

You can read all the Life Lessons here.

Clean The Glass

 

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I love what a little spit and polish to the glass surfaces of a home can do, making magic everywhere the light touches. Dirty glass and mirrors dull what you’re looking at.

Polishing the glass reminds us to be transparent. Let the real you shine through. 

I’ll never forget being sent to the corner of a classroom, because I was overly excited about an experiment that worked. I was only 6. Maybe my continued leeriness of science class wasn’t completely a result of that encounter, but I know for sure it didn’t help. I learned much too early to cage my enthusiasm, and I became quite good at it. I learned how to over-think every reaction and give people what I thought they wanted from me instead of how to be honest in my responses. Fortunately, I’ve since learned that being anyone other than myself denies the world of my unique contribution, however small. When we are transparent, it gives others permission to do the same.

BeYourself

You can read all the Life Lessons here.

{Rest} Take A Break

 

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Cleaning is hard work. If I want to give my best to the job I need to pace myself to keep from pooping out before I’m finished. For all day jobs I need to schedule a break. Just a few minutes to to rest makes the difference between feeling accomplished or feeling wrung out at the end of the day.

In our crazy, fast-paced, instant-everything, plugged-in world it’s more important than ever to know when and how to take a break. Give yourself permission to kick back with friends. Watch some football. Take a Sunday nap. Read a book. We live better when we’re not running on empty.

You can read all the Life Lessons here.

Let It Soak

 

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You just spilled chocolate on your favorite shirt. After you lick off the extra (What? You don’t?) it’s time to treat the stain and let it soak a little while to give the miracle product time to absorb into the fibers.  When cleaning the tub and tile it helps to spray it then let it sit to give the cleaner time to work its magic on the dirt. Same for the kitchen sink – sprinkle and let it sit.

There’s a time for action and a time for absorbing. Sometimes you need to give truth time to settle into the crevices of your soul. Really good stuff can pass us by when we don’t stop to ruminate. (Sounds like marinate… same thing, only for people instead of meat.) Give yourself the gift of time to let seeds of truth take root in your heart.

You can read all the Life Lessons here.

Open the Windows

 

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When a room feels or smells stale, we all know the quickest fix is to open a window and let in some fresh air. Fresh air works on people, too.

It’s open-window season here in coastal Virginia. Fall’s crisp breezes have a magical effect on me… I’m super motivated, super productive and super happy.
When life feels stale it’s time to let in some fresh air of a different variety – perspective.  Whether it’s a problem you face or growth your’e trying to achieve, getting a different perspective into the situation from a trusted friend can make a world of difference. It’s that whole forest for the trees dynamic. If you feel stuck, welcome some new ideas from a different source.  Open a window and breathe deeply. Ahhhhh……

You can read all the Life Lessons here.

Take Out the Trash

Trash

The Hunk and I have an understanding. When I’m in all-out production mode he doesn’t empty the studio trash can without checking with me. Why? Trash is a sign of progress, and I like looking over there every now and then to see how full it’s getting. A can overflowing with bits of colored bliss, thread and paper makes me giddy. Silly, I know, but whatever works to keep the motivation going, right? It’s the little things…
When I clean house, the first thing I do is go room to room and collect all the trash and dirty laundry. What a difference – it’s sure-fire way to see progress immediately.

If the goal is mental and spiritual growth, trash is going to be stirred up.  When trash reveals itself, we’re making progress. It means our minds, beliefs, and emotions are being pushed to the extent that unnecessary, damaging stuff rises to the surface.
Too often our knee-jerk reaction is to try and shove it back down where it’s out of sight and out of mind. That’s the worst thing we can do. The junk under the surface needs to be exposed so we can take care of it once and for all.

You can read all the Life Lessons here.

Make the Bed

 

Bed

A super clean room will still look a mess if the bed is in shambles. There’s something about making the bed that makes the entire bedroom look better.   I once heard a decorator say,  “Make the bed you want to fall into. ” Some people like to be surrounded by pillows, others like to share with lots of stuffed friends, others prefer just a sheet. Look at your bed. Is it hard to resist?

We’ve all heard the idiom, “You made your bed, now lie in it,” which means to take responsibility for our choices.  How about making the life “bed” we want to fall into? Who do you want to be to the world? Do what it takes to be that person. 

Don’t settle for, “Well… this is who I am and there’s no changing it. ”  That’s baloney. Want to be more compassionate? Serve on a mission trip and make friends with people who have far less than you do. Volunteer with the homeless in your community and really get to know someone’s story.  Want to be giving? Look for opportunities to give, and do it. Want to be more upbeat? Rally a good friend or two to lovingly point out when you’re being overly negative.

The up side is you have all the power to be who you would like to be. The down side is you have all the power. No one can do it for you. It takes time and effort to develop new habits and break old ones. Don’t be the only person stopping you.

You can read all the Life Lessons here.