Ahhh! Summer!

Summer, for me, is a time to regroup from the normal routine of work. I am fortunate that I have shorter work days in the summer and a more flexible schedule. I am able to close my office for two weeks in July to give all the staff a well deserved break.

What I find myself doing, especially on those hot humid days when you want to stay in air conditioning, is purging.

Cleaning closets, desk drawer, cabinets, the pantry or the garage.
Well, you got me there, actually my husband and son did the garage. But they will tell you, I came out and gave direction on want I would like donated or tossed. 🙂 So glad they love me so much!!

Cleaning is so good for our souls and our minds.
It helps us to really look at what we have accumulated over the year (or years).
I love to help others in need, so St. Vincent DePaul Society, Morningstar Mission and Amvets rejoice…donations coming at you!

I have paid notice lately of the garbage families throw away. I don’t mean I sift through their garbage, but as I drive through neighborhoods on my way to work, the mounds of stuff amazes me. How do we stop these piles? I know the lighter feeling I have when I clean out my home, motivates me to not bring more clutter in. And why are we a throw away society, when others are in such need?

I know you feel overwhelmed sometimes…so do I.
Maybe it’s because my children are young adults that we have less stuff around the house. But know we just accumulate paperwork, books, computer gadgets and work stuff. I remember when both my children were away at college during the same year and when they came home they would say “You cleaned for me!” or “It’s always so clean when I come home” – well, it was not that I cleaned more, it just stayed cleaner with only two people in the house!  (Yes, we missed the bustle of children in the house too)

And it felt WONDERFUL!! To walk into a home that was clean and clutter free.

One day I caught one of those hoarder shows on cable. I was mesmerized. I could not believe people could let their homes get that
bad. I could understand how you feel depressed and not motivated to clean, but I could not understand why they would bring more clothes and items into the house.  Certainly a sad addiction.

There are so many people in need; emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually, we need to help in whatever way we can.

I remember two stories the Deacon’s wife told years ago and I have never forgotten them.
She worked with the poor of the parish, giving love and aid where she could.
One family would come looking for clothes for her five children. She was humble and grateful for anything that she received. The Deacon’s wife told me, “what I really wished I could give them was gift cards to buy new underwear.” I thought that an odd statement. But she went on to explain, when you can’t afford clothes, you don’t spend money on underwear. It’s enough to put food on the table, a roof over their heads and clothes on their back.  I certainly can do with one less pair of slacks so someone else can have clothes.
Then she also shared about a mother and her daughter. They lived in a one bedroom apartment together and would come to the pantry for food supplies. The Deacon’s wife would consistently have a need for cleaning supplies and personal products for these women.  Food stamps don’t cover things other than food. She said “they work with one light bulb, going from room to room and putting the bulb at the table to eat and do homework, then moving it to the bedroom or kitchen as needed.” I realized how blessed I am. I flip a switch without even thinking about the gift it is to have electricity. I began donating gift cards and items other than food. She also expressed the sadness of when having a food drive, how many people give away the food they bought, never opened because no one liked it, even if it’s expired. People in need like to have Lucky Charms and something other than Baked Beans.

What a grace experience to really peer into another life. Talk about humbling…

Cleaning out homes and donating under used or unused items can be a tremendous help for others and cause me little suffrage.
Cleaning helps us to release those things that are holding us back. Releasing and letting go of our “stuff” physically can help us to let go of our emotional stuff too.

I find this task that others may dread…a cleansing and refreshing experience!

So during these days of “too hot to be outside” ~ CLEAN and be CLEANSED!!

Categories: Balance, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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