Oh Hey 2018!
I see you there with all your promise and possibility. Shiny new journals and healthy new habits and bold resolutions. You temptress, you.
I’m not ready.
Nope. And, I’m not going to fight it either. As my friend Lara Casey says, “There’s nothing magical about January 1.”
I have a celebration chaos hangover.
Maybe you feel this way, too?
Nesting Isn’t Just for the Birds
I don’t have a perfect answer, but I do have a practical solution. I’m housekeeping. Housekeeping! Doesn’t that sound all June-Cleaver-1950s?
Perhaps a more modern term is nesting. I’m simply taking care of the place that matters most to me and my people: home.
When I nest, I’m less of a task-master and more of a place-maker.
While work, goals and my never-ending-to-do-list are forming a thin layer of dust, I’m learning to count simple place-making gestures as small victories. Remember, loving our families, friends, and neighbors doesn’t require perfection. But some old-fashioned organization and preparation helps.
Hospitality is about place-making. Creating a welcome place for others to gather and belong. Before we can welcome others into our homes and lives, a little tending is necessary. Especially after a long holiday season. Here are a few tips that I’ve found helpful as I slowly ease into the new year.
- Reclaim the Fridge! I dedicated some serious elbow grease to cleaning the fridge this week. Not just a simple wipe down of the spilled messes, but a full-on turbo clean. We have plenty of food, but my kids will open the fridge door and stare aimlessly muttering, “there’s nothing to eat.” Probably because everything is shoved and disorganized. I splurged on a few freezer and refrigerator organizers and y’all. . . the fridge is like heaven. Every one of my people has commented about all the yummy food. Let it be our little secret: same food, just organized. Promise me you’ll try this one hospitality hack!
- Go through your pantry and dump the junk. Be ruthless. Even at its best, Karo syrup is a sticky mess and won’t last until next Thanksgiving anyway. Especially if you are on year 2 of the same bottle! Go ahead and clear out all the holiday madness. While you’re at it, check your spices & condiments. Spices should have a scent when you open them. If they don’t, toss ‘em. Get Shipt to help you restock! I went through my pantry with my iPhone in hand, adding each spice and condiment that was old or running low. Shipt had it to me in an hour and I could declare that task DONE.
- Nothing makes me want to turn around and run out of the kitchen faster than the mess of mismatched Tupperware and storage containers. The same goes for lids for sippy cups, Swell bottles, and Yeti tumblers. Gather all the parts together and play a little game of match-up. Let go of the hope that that missing lid will one day reappear to be reunited with its mate! When you toss the mismatches, you’ll say goodbye to one of the biggest frustrations in the kitchen – at least for a few weeks. I’m obsessed with Weck Jars and Anchor Hocking (in turquoise, of course!) for keeping food fresh and organized.
Heart of the Matter
Hospitality begins in the heart. My favorite part of place-making is soul care. After all, a calm home and a restless soul is not a good match! Here are two of my favorite tools to make sure I keep the main thing the main thing. Remember, I’m the one who’s word for 2018 is God.
- One of my favorite morning rituals starts with my Write the Word journal. Every morning a new verse awaits to be prayed, studied, and written. Don’t let the simplicity of this journal fool you– it’s one of the most beautiful and fruitful ways to learn and listen. What’s better than your Bible, a journal, and a pen?
- I’ve chosen New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp as my devotional this year. Tripp’s daily messages are convicting, powerful, and leave me with much to ponder and pray. My Write the Word journal has become a repository for these meditations.
What about you? Are you ready for 2018 or still lingering in the space between? I’m praying we all take the time to tend our nests and hearts as we prepare for a year of place-making at the Turquoise Table.