The Twelve Days of Purpose: Day Four “Cupboard Clean Up”

My first late post. Sorry to all my readers. Yesterday turned very busy and when I got into bed at 11:30 p.m. I could not make myself blog, sleep was all I could do! So here it is first thing this morning. Day Five should still be coming this evening!

Today’s repurposing surrounds cleaning up one of those spots in your house that drive you crazy. Your home might look neat and organized from the outside, or like you have it all together, but we all have those zones full of chaos. I call them “mental breakdown zones” because I literally feel like I’m going crazy when I see how I’ve let it get out of control. One of those spots for us is under our bathroom sink. It is very tiny, I’d say one foot deep by two feet wide. I think I got into the habit of just fitting as much random stuff as I could, and then shutting the door quickly (my baking pans cupboard is like that too, I need to get to all my “zones” soon).

I’m embarrassed, but here come some pictures!

My intentions were good in the beginning with that basket there to hold stuff, but as you can see it got out of control.

I pulled everything out and separated it into three groups.

  1. Garbage
  2. Keep, but put where it actually belongs (example, random make up and hair products go in our bedroom)
  3. Actually to be kept in the bathroom

I wiped the cupboard out. Ahh, it felt good to start right over. We can be obsessive about certain areas of our house or certain closets, but this one really had become a sanity breaker for me. Because of our personalities, some of the best gifts for my husband and I are simply “organizational surprises”. I might come home from something and he’s reorganized the bedroom, or I might have reorganized the fridge. So I knew that this project was going to relieve some of Andrew’s stress and make him happy. I guess we’re organizational nerds (who aren’t always actually organized).

I chose a smaller long and skinny basket and limited all our bottles to fitting into there, besides the mouthwash. I was astonished at how much stuff in there before was not needed in the bathroom or was just simply almost finished and needed to be thrown away!

I was reading in Matthew 23:25-26 after repurposing of this space and read Jesus’ words to the pharisees.

“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.”

More than clean and organized cupboards, we need clean and purified hearts. I know in my life I have zones in my heart that are full of garbage: greed, hate, jealousy. I also have areas of my heart where I have worked on and where God has been changing me. It’s a process we can’t become discouraged in. It’s like our homes, there will always be work to do. We will never have our heart completely cleaned out and Christlike. We’ll need to continue to maintain the secret places of our hearts where only God can see who we truly are.

The good news is we can pray like the psalmist did “create in me a clean heart oh God” and He will do it!

Happy organizing!

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The Twelve Days of Purpose: Day Three “Bath Salts”

Oh baby food jars. With two babies in the house, they are quickly over running the place. With so much potential to dress them up to hold all sort of items, I couldn’t resist using them for this easy homemade Christmas present. The basic recipe for Homemade Bath Salts was taken from Martha Stewart.

For this batch I used:

3 cups kosher sea salt

1 1/2 cups Epsom salt

1/2 cup baking soda

a few drops of essential oils (I used a body shop oil I already had)

a few drops of food colouring

I mixed up the batch and made two separate colours to layer the jars. It’s hard to see the colours, but one is pink with red specks and the other is light green with dark green specks. I wish I would have had peppermint extract because these look like fun crushed candy canes!

I used about 4 teaspoons of each colour per layer.

My photos are not doing the paper justice. There two layers of paper covering the glue part from the baby food layer. The paper is a light green and a pink, that goes with the salts. I used stickers to spell “relax” and decorated the lid with a twisted napkin, some curly ribbon, and a gift bow on top.

I’m really happy with how these turned out. My sister and I churned out about ten of these, most of which still need to be decorated. It is a great use for our baby food jars, and a cute gift to give!

 

The word that came to mind with this project was “refresh”. Taking the time to refresh an object can be rewarding when you see the money you have saved and the beauty of the end result. Taking time to refresh people is also important. There are many ways that you can do this. The key though, is generosity. Being generous isn’t just with your finances, it can be with your words, your time and with little blessings. Proverbs 11:25 says:

The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

Part of everyone’s God-given purpose is to “love your neighbor as yourself”. Take time to pour into someone tomorrow. Maybe it’s giving someone something like these relaxing bath salts. That could be refreshing to them on multiple levels!

The Twelve Days of Purpose: Day Two “Gift Bag”

Today’s project unfortunately got a little rushed. There are so many variations on this though, I hope you won’t let my quick version ruin it for you. I’ll give a bullet point list at the end of some variation ideas on giving a shopping bag greater purpose.

 

I started out by taking a David’s Tea bag I got at the mall. There are many stores in malls that give you nicer bags like these. This is the season where you’ll be receiving lots of them, and you’ll be needing gift bags too!

Using my decorative scissors, I cut out some scrap-book paper to cover the words of David’s Tea and glued it on.

I wanted to use these cool letters I had since they had a blue tinge that went with the blue of the bag. Unfortunately I didn’t have many letters left, so I spelt “live”. This is where the variations and ideas become endless on personalizing these bags.

My scrap-book paper was patterned with tiny versions of those paper flower punch outs, so I accented the bag with the paper punch outs. In my picture the glue is still drying so you can see a glare. My glue dried clear.

I’m not thrilled with the end result, just because I ran out time during my son’s nap and I had to get ready for the Christmas party at our house. I threw some tissue paper in to see what it would look like. I think it’s cute simple, or as dressed up as you want it to be. You also could turn a large bag (say from American Eagle) into a personalized reusable shopping bag for your mall excursions!

Here is my list of variations:

  • Incorporate a photo into the design
  • Personalize the words depending on the occasion (birthday, anniversary, Christmas)
  • Write a fun message or a Bible verse right on the bag to the person receiving it
  • Hole punch the top near the handles and add ribbon to curl or a bow to tie
  • Use stickers, letters, patterns, paper cut outs and punches to make this your very own!

 

So on this day two of purpose I’ve been thinking about outward appearances. We can be so quick to judge someone or disregard the potential in them. I might cast them off as something that has already served it’s purpose (like a shopping bag), but all they need is love, encouragement and someone to believe they are worth more.

1 Samuel 16:7b says

“The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

God isn’t finished with anyone. Until we die, we are still a body holding an immeasurable amount of purpose and potential that the Lord is just begging us to allow Him to unleash. If we’ll be a willing vessel, the Lord will not hesitate to use us!

 

What is your purpose? If you know, comment below and encourage others. If you don’t, why don’t you take this twelve day journey with me to ask the Lord what His purposes for your life are? Your life is worth far more than anything else. If we can take random objects, clean them up and use them for more “noble” purposes that what they were intended, imagine how much more God can do that with you!

The Twelve Days of Purpose: Day One “Cookie Cups”

My last post really got me thinking about how what we do in our everyday “natural” lives transfers to the spiritual. I’m going to go on a twelve day journey (yes a spin on the classic “Twelve Days of Christmas”) of adding value and renewing purpose to random things in my house. I hope that through this God will show us together not only hidden treasures He has given us in the natural, but also to hidden treasures in the spiritual.

DAY ONE: Cookie Cups

I was doing up some gifts for some people in our lives that help us out a lot in a special way, the medical team that work with Caleb. One is our physiotherapist and the other our health nurse. Both go above and beyond their jobs to invest into us and our boy. I needed a little decorative container to put half a dozen of my White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies into. I went into my disposable dishes cupboard and got this “Solo” cup. Any transparent large-sized cup will work.

Next I covered the cup with plastic wrap to keep the cookies fresh.

I took one of my winter napkins that I had bought at Superstore and cut it into four pieces. I only use one piece per cookie cup. You also will see the ribbon I used in the background.

Taking one of the napkin squares, I placed it on the cup and secured it with an elastic. The elastic is only on temporarily to hold the napkin still while you are tying the ribbon.

I then tied the ribbon around the cup, curled it and removed the elastic. You will have to do some rearranging to get the ribbon and napkin level.

Using stickers that I had in my scrapbook collection I covered the word “Solo” on the back of the cup. This is maybe where you could write the type of cookies you made.

I put stickers of the initials of the type of cookies on top. You could do anything with this, the person’s name, etc.

Finally, I place a snowflake on for the finishing touch. In this photo you can still see the “o” in “Solo”, I couldn’t see it before just sitting on the table. If it was noticeable I would use something else, another sticker, label or border to hide it.

So there you have a beautified plastic cup to hold cookies, or whatever you may want to put in it (this would work for candies as well, although they might put more weight on the plastic wrap and napkin than cookies would).

My verse for today is Ephesians 4:22 – 24

Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.  Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
(emphasis mine)

Perhaps you feel as lifeless as a plastic cup! You simply serve your main purpose and that is all. Not only does God want to cleanse you of the unrighteousness in your life, but He also wants to beautify you, fill you with dreams and see you start walking towards your destiny. He will clean you up and use you for many wonderful things!

Join me tomorrow for Day Two in this series!