The Holy Shift

The Holy Shift

There you are! I’ve missed you. I’ve been away so long and I can’t even give you a good reason why.

L.I.F.E. – and I know you get it.

It’s spring here in Central Florida and the lake is alive with wildlife. Two pelicans have traveled from the coast to take residence here for awhile and we love watching them dive for their breakfast. Fish seem to be plentiful this year and one morning there were two otters, a great white heron, six ibises and two limpkins.

This is a limpkin.

 

Tri-colored heron

The waves softly lap on the shore this morning and the air is cool. It’s been an exceptional winter and spring with temps similar to San Francisco’s climate. We Sunshine State people have loved every chilly morning. A fresh peace washes over me and I am grateful for the life that’s been appointed to me in this sweet spot.

 

Shifting to Another Direction

I’m no longer trying to “build a platform,” or find an online presence, or seek a huge subscriber list. And all of you on my mailing list are just my friends. Mostly women, but a few faithful men also read these blogs.

You’ve hung in there for years now and I can’t tell you how that makes me smile and feel all warm inside. I’ve tried to give up blogging, but after 12 years, this kind of writing is just part of Cathee Poulsen and I feel such a loss when I’m not writing. Besides, it’s mostly how I process life and find out what’s going on. Funny, huh?

So here’s the thing. I’d like to write a little more eclectically and share an abundance of things that cross my desk and heart between posts. Books, other blog posts I read that may bless you too, things to make, along with the topics I’ve always written about. My struggles, high points from the Word of God, photos, aging, and how to find joy no matter what’s coming at you today.

For instance…

My Easter Project

I’ve been following Yvonne at Stone Gable for several years now. Her decor is simple and well-planned and I always feel peaceful when I see her room arrangements. These little cuties are called Book Page Eggs. Being a word person myself, I was instantly drawn to them and decided to make some for friends. It’s a bit time-consuming, but I’ve loved pasting the strips of words on the eggs and then arranging them in different nests or wire containers, or just an egg on some green moss. After all, Jesus is both The Word and the new life an egg represents.

Cozy Minimalist Home

Myquillyn Smith wrote this book about more style with less stuff. I mentioned it in my last blog. She’s another blogger I’ve followed on and off for several years. She calls herself “The Nester” and you can find her at Nesting Place where her byline is it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. 

I’ll bet, like me, you’ve been downsizing, simplifying, and even crying. It’s not easy to part with things we’ve loved, or that are attached to people who were precious to us. But the resulting angst of hanging on to all the stuff calls for a trade-off.

Trade-Offs

A funny thing happened when I was making those Book Page Eggs. I needed a book I didn’t mind losing so I could tear the pages out and cut them in strips to glue on the eggs. I chose a book I read several years ago titled Essentialism – the disciplined pursuit of less. (I’ve been working at this a long time, folks!)

As I ripped out the pages and began to read the strips, the powerful truths of this book began to stir me all over again. After about six pages, I thought What in the heck are you doing? This book is way too important to use for a craft project. Find another book. Now every morning I’m reading another chapter out of Greg McKeown’s fantastic book. And I’m discovering all over again why we have to make a choice between being a nonessentialist or an essentialist.

Nonessentialist                                Essentialist

Thinks, “I can do both.                    Asks, “What is the trade-off I want to make?”

Asks, “How can I do it all?”             Asks, “What can I go big on?”

 

Every time I say Yes to one thing, I’m saying No to something else. It’s always a trade-off. If I decide to spend an hour tomorrow morning reading, praying and journaling in order to settle myself down after a hectic week, and you call me to go to breakfast, I have a choice. Will I trade off some much needed soul care for a social outing (as much as I love that and love YOU), or will I say Yes to my priority, to what’s essential for me at the moment?

Here’s the thing…

The hourglass is running out of sand. I can see the train coming to pick me up and I’ve been telling myself far too long that things have to shift. I don’t want so many things to care for. I don’t want to micro-manage what doesn’t matter. Life is far too precious and beautiful to waste it on non-essential living.

That doesn’t mean I’m in Monk Mode and I want a house with a chair, a table, a lamp and a bed. I love cozy, and beauty is an important reflection of God’s nature and character. But an abundance of “stuff,” and the idea that busyness is godly, has been a whip driving me far too long.

So I’ve made a holy shift to

  • find out what’s essential
  • give up being a “stuff manager”
  • be led by the Spirit more than my draw to what surfaces in the moment
  • choose what brings me peace and joy
  • let go of what brings stress and anxiety

In the next post, I’d like to share some thoughts and ideas about observing the Sabbath. Not in a hyper-religious setting, but in a way that refreshes and restores you at the end of a week. About what God meant when He said, “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.”

After all, we still observe all nine of the other commandments. Why not that one?

See you next time.

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Comments

  1. “After all, we still observe all nine of the other commandments. Why not that one?” Good question. Because like the other nine, they are all fulfilled in Jesus Christ in the new covenant. We now enter into a sabbath rest which is 24/7 365 in Jesus. There is no one day. It is every day all the time.

    Matthew 22:37-40 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
    NKJV

  2. Wow…this was good,Cath…I’m not sure if it’s the coming of age or the age that’s coming that’s putting things into perspective…and it sounds like your priorities are right where they should be…love those eggs!!! I made ornaments like that one year and I used an old hymn book ..sure do miss you…thank you for sending this to me! Love,Deb Knight

  3. I am fortunate to be the recipient of a little nest of those eggs, I’ve even spent considerable time turning those little slips of wisdom over and over to receive those messages. You are correct in that there is a major shift that comes to us all at times……these little gifts are heartfelt and filled with meaning when the recipient relieves the gift with love. Therein lies the shift, not just a gift for the moment but treasures we need to share. Love.

  4. As you know, we are downsizing. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined how extraordinarily freeing this is! We’re going room by room, cleaning out. What an estate sale this is going to be! But knowing that the things we’re parting with were at one time blessings to us doesn’t mean they are in this season of life. Hopefully, many of these treasures will bless others.

    I had to chuckle when I imagined you tearing out pages of a book for a craft and realizing how rich the message of that book was. The hardest room for us to downsize is our den…hundreds of books. As I pack them up, I peruse each one and think “I’ve got to read that again” but there just isn’t enough time and so we will pass them on. Downsizing and de-cluttering is a bittersweet task.

    Great blog CatWoman!

  5. Still love reading anything you write xo

  6. Loved your post. I have had to accept that the next generation is not interested in the things I treasure and use from my
    great-great grandmother, great grandmother, grandmother, mother….looks like my family will have the privilege of decluttering when I change addresses from Hood Road to Heavens Boulevard.

    I am sure that decluttering brings many precious memories with smiles and tears. These past life events shared, can bring much encouragement to others. Bittersweet …yes…just thinking about the subject.

  7. Wonderful blog Tiff. It helped me so much put things in perspective with what we are going through. I need to wait and be still in the Lord and not be anxious. Bless you and can’t wait to read your next blog. Love you

  8. Missed you too, Cathee! This was a really good post and, like you, I am working at determining what is crucial and what is just extra. Look forward to the next entry in this journey! Love and hugs~

  9. When I load up the boxes of stuff and get ready to take them to different places, I realize we have collected way more than we can store in our house. Getting rid of them is a reminder of the past and all the things we’ve enjoyed for a lifetime. Thank you for stepping up to the plate and being ruthless in getting rid of things you have held close. Maybe I should consider taking a harder look at all the “stuff” I have in the garage! I love you always.

  10. I always think fondly of you, Cathee, when I drive by Lake Placid and wonder how your life has changed now that Texas is doing so well. I so enjoyed your blog. It speaks to all of us as we draw ever closer to the time we will leave all our stuff behind. I am having such a hard time going through all the papers I pile on my desk, but you are so right that we can’t do it all and must make decisions about how best to spend the time we have left. I have just finished writing another novel and another child’s picture book. I know it is time to restart my blog which has been dormant for years. You inspire me to get on with it.

  11. I’m sooo glad you’re blogging again, Catnip. Bring it on, Baby! Wooohooooo!!!!!

  12. Love, love, love this! Enjoy this new season. It looks great on you ?

  13. I love your blog posts and have missed them. Such true words. Yesterday I recalled a book we’ve had for years and thought I’d browse through it. Too late! We’d given most of our library away as we cull through so much we love. Oh well. I can always look in the church library. Time is more precious than things. Friend time and alone time are precious but soul-renewal can entail both. As you so wisely said, it’s finding that balance in a decluttered space that is so freeing. Can’t wait for your next blog!

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