Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday's Fave Five #267

Hello and welcome to this week's Friday's Fave Fives.   It's always a rich time to me as I look back over the week, no matter the ease or the difficulty of it, and look for blessings throughout the day.  Then choosing my five favorites to share with you!  Please join in with me in focusing on the good things in our lives.

1.  The study we are doing at our Ladies Group.  We are doing the study Girls with Swords at our ladie's bible study group.  We started it in the fall and goodness, we were a little shell shocked in the beginning. We were all scratching our heads.  But now that we are really rolling with it we are all so glad we stuck with it.  It is a really great study.  It isn't an easy study.  It really makes you think.  And the questions really have to pondered on before you can answer.  But sometimes the things that are most worth it take work.  Too often we want the easy way out.  We want to get things right away.  But God wants us to seek and pursue Him, it won't always be easy.  It will take effort. And I think that's what I'm finally getting.  There is so much rich things in the study and it's so much fun after the effort of reading and doing the homework to get together with the other ladies and discuss what we've learned and what we've got out of it.

2.  New Program at the gym.  I go to Curves.  Yes, I spend money every month to go to a gym.  We have had all sorts of exercise equipment at home, some very expensive.  And once the initial curiosity and novelty of it passed it sits gathering dust.  But when I am paying monthly it makes me go.  So anyway, they have a new program they have started this month with Jillian Michaels of Biggest Loser fame.  And it is kicking my butt.  And motivating me.  It is tough but it feels so good when I'm finished.  Right at a time when I was starting to lose my motivation this program came in.  I'm thankful I am, at this point, able to get that money together monthly to go.  I was at a point in my life I had to do something.  I was gaining weight, I was stressed and my blood pressure was at the mid high range.  I had to do something.  Something that would keep me going at least 3 times a week and give me enough intensity to make a difference.  While I haven't lost tons of weight, I've become more fit, more toned, stronger and I've brought my blood pressure down to a consistently good range where I don't have to take any meds for it.  That to me is worth the monthly fee.

3.  Texting.  I'm very thankful for this bit of technology.  It keeps me in touch whenever me and my kids need or want to have contact.  With all of them miles away at the moment it's nice to just constantly have contact.  The blessing of kids who keep contact with me is priceless.

4.  Purge, purge and purge.  Every week this month, I've had another bag or box full of things for donating.  It feels so good to just go through closets and storage areas and get tough with myself and get that which I don't use or no longer love out of my spaces.  I get feeling very overwhelmed when things start to crowd in all over in the house.  I'm not a minimalist by any means but I don't like being overtaken by clutter either.  So I'm being tough.  Each day I add to that bag or box and then off it goes before I can change my mind.  My goal is to really get my storage areas scaled down so I can do some painting and sprucing up of them this year.  The blessing of freed up space, less maintenance, less stuff  is what I'm enjoying.

5.  Small bits add up.  Another area I've felt overwhelmed with is the general cleaning upkeep.  It dawned on me that I tend to try and take on the big jobs in one fell swoop.  With life being busy and me working full time, needless to say, certain things just didn't get done because I didn't have the chunk of time to devote to it.  So I've started breaking things down into doable chunks.  I might not be able to clean out all my cupboards in a day.  But I can do a shelf every other day or once a week.  I can't organize the whole craft room at once but I can start one cupboard at a time.  I can't unload my whole closet to sort through.  But I can look at a clothing item or two at a time and decide does it stay or go.  It has felt good doing it this way.  It's getting done.  The blessing is the small chunks of time available to me throughout the day to take those minutes and focus and do that step.

What have been your favorite blessings from the week?  Were they big obvious events or were they more subtle but just as heartwarming and encouraging?


Willow said...

Yes, purging and decluttering is usually best done in little bits or you get overwhelmed. There's the big clean out and then there's the smaller 'keep at it and maintain the momentum' part.

That Bible study sounds interesting. I'm going to look it up.

Have a great weekend!

nikkipolani said...

Yes! Always good to review the week in light of FFF :-) Fun title to your Bible study and a terrific way to learn together.

Congratulations on your progress in the health department! Getting results is a compelling motivation, isn't it?!

I've been slacking this week on Project Away but your "purge purge purge" is encouraging me to keep at it. Happy weekend, Susanne.

Hazel said...

De-cluttering and general cleaning have been on my mind many times since I came home for the holidays (still at home). Willow is right. I tried to have a go at all of it at once and the result was disaster. Always feels great to see things in order.

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

So great that you're enjoying "digging in" to the study! I love cleaning out...just haven't found the time I need to really do it. It feels so good. Kudos to you for going to the gym! Have a great week ahead, Susanne.

Snowbird said...

What a wonderful FFF, you do sound so strong and determined. I'm pleased the gym is going so well, being fitter and lowering the blood pressure is wonderful.Sounds like you are winning with the study group too....yes, sometimes we do have to work at things and you certainly are.I like your approach to housework, a little often sure makes a

Faith said...

Oh I an relate to all of your faves!! Well I don't pay gym fees but Dave does and that has really helped him!! I just got my new indoor bike slim loving it cause I can do it right after work which works for me!! I love texting too and yay for you doing some house purging!! That's on my list for Winter Break.

Kathie said...

Great favourites this week Susanne! Just like Faith, I can relate to them all. So glad my kids stay in touch - we use Whatsapp on our phones and can text and send pictures to Andrew and Hyekoo for free. A great app! Congratulations on your consistent exercise! And I'm very impressed with your de-cluttering. I'm working on that. I tend to overdo and get overwhelmed. Yours is a much better plan.

Happy weekend and thanks again for hosting our wonderful FFF!

Gattina said...

To spend money for your health is never money thrown out of the window ! It keeps the doctor bills low ! I have my aqua gym on Mondays and do Yoga gymnastic each morning, besides a weekly course. And I am very happy with that ! I need some closets to be decluttered too, but every day I tell myself I'll do it tomorrow !

Barbara H. said...

I had to learn to break up bigger jobs into smaller chunks like that when my kids were younger. My preference is to dog into a project and work on it as much as possible til it's done, but life with kids just doesn't provide those opportunities. I learned something from my husband, too, when he was taking care of me after an illness: when he cleaned up the kitchen at night, he would do one "extra" job beyond the dishes, like cleaning the microwave or the burner pans on the stove, etc., so it didn't take a long time one afternoon to get the kitchen totally looking spiffy. Plus there's a sense of accomplishment in getting even one shelf organized at a time.

Good for you for keeping up with the exercise!

It took me a while to get used to texting, but I love it now. I can touch base with my husband and kids off and on through the day, sometimes to ask just a quick question or sometimes to share something funny or make a comment when neither of us could get away for a longer phone call just then.

I did a lot of purging when we moved 3 1/2 years ago, but it's looking like I need to do more. I'm right with you with not being minimalist yet feeling overwhelmed with too much clutter.

ellen b. said...

Good for you for hitting the gym and braving a Jillian workout! :)
I have to start doing workouts instead of just watching workouts on the Biggest Loser!
Breaking things down in chunks to tackle is so wise...
The name of that study is intriguing!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Ann said...

Sigh. I need to get into an exercise program like that.

Brenda said...

Exercising is SO worth while. I've tried equipment at home myself and its just not the same. It works better for me to go to a gym as well. I just go to a regular gym, but I would love it if there were a Curves near me!4589

Anonymous said...

So glad you are getting out to exercise- love Jillian's workouts! Her No More Trouble Zones DVD is my favorite workout. :o)

Glad you are getting to declutter and enjoy the freedom it gives!