An Old Purse–A New Me!

My sister Jennifer has the gift of organization. She can simplify and beautify anything. Not me. Take our purses, for example. Last week, we went to lunch. I was driving.

“Will you hand me my sunglasses? They’re in my purse.” I cringed.

So much junk, it wouldn’t close. Ahhhhhhh!

“Where are they?” she said.

“They’re there somewhere. Just keep looking.”

My purse was totally out of control. I hated digging through it for my  YMCA pass, my lipstick, a pen–ANYTHING! 

Jennifer dumped out my bulging makeup bag, an empty pack of chewing gum, and a handful of wadded receipts. Her gray leather envelope of a purse lay neatly at her feet.

“How do you get by with such a small purse?”

“Simple. I only carry what I need.”

This idea intrigued me — freeing myself up to only carry what I needed. My shoulders wouldn’t get tired. I wouldn’t get annoyed trying to find my wallet. 

And the word SIMPLE. 

My word for the year. 

Jen said “simple.” 

Perhaps this went deeper than my purse. 

Sometimes I carry thoughts that clutter my peace. I can be too sensitive. Someone says something that hurts my feelings and I hang on to it. 

But could I possibly change? I’d had a messy purse forever. Could I toss unnecessary stuff? And thoughts too?

Maybe a small purse would help me remember to keep life simple.

 I  found a tiny one in the back of my closet.

And said goodbye to my old heavy, burdensome bag.

I got rid of all manner of clutter–cuticle oil, Band-aids, a broken nail file,

And decided to keep only useful things, 

And useful thoughts.

I even found a nifty spot for my YMCA pass. 🙂

The new me! 🙂

With God’s help, daily, I’m being made new!

This song sums it up beautifully, especially the “lay down your burdens” part. If you can’t see the video below, click here.

Do you have a neat purse? I bet so!

Are there any heavy thoughts dragging you down? Lay down your burdens! Let’s get freed up together! 

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

Remembering the Good Stuff–Only the Good Stuff

Saturday night, my sister Jennifer celebrated her 50th birthday. After dinner she said, “As I reflected on turning 50, I realized I didn’t want a big blowout party. I guess there’s something about aging that makes you grateful for your family, your health, your marriage, your children, and your dearest friends.”

Uh-oh. My heart pounded triple time. She planned to say something about each of us. I was the bossy older sister. The tattle-tale. I organized neighborhood plays and always got to be the director.

One night in the tub, I convinced Jennifer to take a bite of Dial soap. I told her everybody ate soap.

I told her if she’d put her Popsicles in my mouth, they wouldn’t melt so fast because my mouth was just like a refrigerator.

I told her to never say the words VENETIAN BLINDS. 

VENETIAN BLINDS  means something dark and scary, and you’re way too young to understand.” Bless her heart. She believed me.

Would she remember all the ugly stuff I’d done? Would she tell everybody at the party?

Flash back to 1968. Mother’s folding diapers. Jen’s twirling her hair. I’m smiling at the camera with my hands on my hips, probably telling Jen to behave and smile too.

Okay, back to Saturday night, Jen’s words…

“As my sister, Julie, you truly know me better than anyone, next to Charlie, Libby, and the Lord! It’s hard to put into words the gratitude I feel for you.” (Charlie’s her hubby. Libby’s their daughter.)

Gratitude? Did she say gratitude?

“From the time I was a little girl to now, I’ve looked up to you and admired you. We had such fun as sisters.”

Me? Fun?

We were both crying, but somehow she continued.

“Playing in the sprinkler in matching bathing suits, groove-ins on Nancy Clutter’s porch, cereal and cartoons on Saturdays, me, jumping in your bed with you at night because I’d heard something and was terrified. You let me put my cold feet on your warm ones. You’ve always been there for me. I know I can confide in you.”

Oh, wow. She only remembers the good stuff.

How can it be? She’s let go of all the mean things I did to her.

(Jen, me, and Mother–44 years later–the night of the party!)

Staring at her 1960’s groovy cake, I thought…

What if I could live like Jennifer?

What if I “kept no record of wrongs?”  1 Corinthians 13:5

And dwelled only on the good stuff.

Help me, Lord.

Love,

Julie~ Was anyone else a bossy child?