“New Season Prep”
By Debi Chapman
Ecclesiastes 3 “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven,”
Mothers know seasons well. Preparing for the next season and wrapping up the past is our life’s work. As a new season lies before us, I find the wisdom of Solomon timely. We all want to finish well and enter the next phase of life with grace and perspective.
“a time to keep and a time to throw away”
We live in a world that infringes on our personal space. Preserve your own boundaries by tossing the insignificant. I have learned to be brutal with clutter. To declutter reduces confusion. Declare war on clutter – at the close of each season – I promise you will be glad you did!
“a time to weep and a time to laugh”
We want to move into the next season with clarity and purpose. Preserve the sacred and take time to reflect. To remember is to worship. We see the hand of our faithful Lord intervening in our lives. To remember is to heal.
“a time to tear down and a time to sow”
Envision tomorrow and build for the future. Without the clutter of yesterday we are empowered by perspective. Building gives a place to our creativity and dreams. Dream big! Build strong!
Here are some real life applications to my lofty thoughts and King Solomon’s timeless words…
Moving: Decluttering is a natural precursor of moving. Leave the unwanted and unused behind. Garage sales, charity runs and trash bins are our friends! Once the the clutter is gone we gain perspective. Throughout the move, purposefully make time to remember. Plan a family walkthrough in the old house, one last time before you drive away. I saved the realtor’s panoramic video of the home our kids grew up in and count it a treasure. Remembering helps our hearts catch up with our minds as we move onward and build anew.
When Kids Marry: Declutter what was left behind. Trophies you can’t bear to part with can be stored in the attic, forever, if needed. Savor the memories. Warning: Like infomercials of the past, ‘mom-moments’ visit us at the strangest times. I was pushing a cart through Hobby Lobby with our daughter’s framed bridal portrait in the basket when a flashback of me pushing my little blonde, talkative girl in a similar cart – grocery list in hand – inquisitive toddler in tow. I was not prepared for the flood of emotions. But, savoring this memory brought healing I needed and grace to let her go. Give yourself time to heal. When the wedding is over, repurpose their bedroom. Break out the paint and build for the future. A guest room? Finally a home Office? It’s a new season.
New Baby: Decluttering comes naturally for a nesting mom-to-be. Use the energy to deal with stuff that has creeped into your life, and make way for baby. Emotions run deep as due dates draw near. I remember my last day as a mother of one. Tim and I savored the day with our little boy and wondered how we could love another child in such a way? Once he was tucked in for the night, my bags were packed for the hospital with little girl frillies in place. It was time to build for the future.
Photos – delete or toss the pictures we all despise. Free your devices of endless pictures. I can feel myself breathe as the virtual trash is emptied. Take your time – imprint the memories on your heart. Build places for the best images – in files, scrapbooks, even boxes. Then, make a plan for future pictures – and how to easily access them. I made a Pinterest board of our favorite family photos – we all contribute. Our daughter-in-law printed her Instagram images in a book we treasure. Your options are endless.
Clothing – toss or donate the old, torn, stained and too small or big. For mothers, each item has a story and we hope to fit back into our pre baby clothes. Take time to invasion the past and save what’s most precious. You will be surprised at how fresh the closets and drawers feel once the clutter is gone and how free you feel! Now, it’s easier to build a wardrobe for the next season without the clutter of the past.
Apply the the 3 R’s – Remove, Remember and Rebuild – to each area as the seasons come and go. As you do, I think you’ll find fresh grace for tomorrow and release from the past.
May your next season be void of clutter, rich with memories and full of vision.
Proverbs 31: 25 “Strength and dignity are her clothing and she smiles at the future.”
Debi is convinced that are the battlefields for society. As a college student, she asked the Lord to send her to the front lines of ministry. Armed with a newfound devotion to Christ and Child Development background, she married her college sweetheart. Today they began to dream of what a family could become. Thirty-four years later, Tim and Debi have eleven children, six grandchildren, and lives filled with frontline battle-scars and victories beyond measure.
Presently, they have a house full of teenagers in DFW and four sons in college. Debi’s desire is to leave footprints for those who follow, and to impart grace to mothers of all ages. Debi blogs at Above & Beyond contributes at I Take Joy and Declare , tweets @mother211, and shares life on Instagram and Pinterest – but her favorite place on earth is home.