Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Refine, V.2

I haven't posted lately (umm.. since the end of JANUARY!) how I've been doing with my one little word for the year. But I have been keeping up with it. Here's a little recap:

I was in the exhaustion phase of being pregnant. It was seriously all I could do to keep up with Harvey and the basic things going on in my life. I decided to refine the focus on myself. Gosh, that sounds selfish. But it was good for me. I know, at least with myself, it is so hard to say "No." Especially when it's something good, but just not the right time, or I just didn't have the energy to pull it off.

But since I was refining my focus, I allowed myself to say - without guilt - that I needed a nap more than those dishes needed to be cleaned. That it was perfectly okay for me to tell a neighbor that I just wouldn't be able to do a favor that they had asked me. That I needed to accept my mother's offer to clean around my house a bit. I learned that sometimes, it's essential and healthy to put your needs above others.

Sometime around the end of March, I stumbled upon a blog that has seriously inspired me. Shannon from The Red Headed Hostess, is a Seminary Teacher (teaching religion to high school students), and has spoken for the (awesome) LDS program Especially For Youth, among many other things. Please - check out her blog.

My favorite idea on her blog are her Scripture Journals. From a young age, I have kept "church notebooks" - notes and handouts from youth classes, notes from speeches at EFY, inspiration I've received at church, and all of my notes from classes while attending BYU-Nauvoo. Now that I'm a church teacher for the young women ages 14-17 in my church... I've learned the value of having written all of that down. But there was a major problem with my system. Every time I remembered some specific tidbit of info, I have to hunt it down. Literally sift through a pile of notebooks until I found what I was looking for.

Sharron solved my problem with her system. I took the month of April to refine all of my notes, handouts and inspiration. I made myself a new scripture journal, set up her system inside, and transferred a TON of info from some of my notebooks. In fact, I have already merged all of my youth notebooks into my new journal. I'm still working on all of my Nauvoo stuff, but it will take a while. And the best part? I actually look forward to studying the scriptures, and relearning all of the amazing doctrine I wrote down!

Last month, we were in the final stages of finishing our basement. And for the last 2 and a half years, our basement has been the catch-all for junk. Yikes! I decided to refine our home, and get rid of anything and everything we didn't absolutely cherish or weren't currently using. *Phew!* It took a LOT of patience, work, and WILLPOWER to go through it all. And I was brutal. My mom's neighborhood is having a yard sale (she lives in a gated community) and I'm participating this Saturday. Anything that doesn't sell, is going straight to Goodwill. I am seriously LOVING the space. It just feels lighter.

As I told my mom: "If I haven't used it in 5 years, then why keep it? When I buy something that I really will use... but have no room for it, I just have to go through and reorganize all of the junk that I'm not using to make room. I spend too much time sorting and moving all the junk - or worse - searching through the junk for the stuff I love and need. I'm over it."

Okay. I'm going to admit something embarrassing: I'm not great with money. In the past I've blamed it on all sorts of things, but I'm done with that. What I do with my (our) money is completely my (our) responsibility. No more blaming. Just change. I have been blessed with the knowledge of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover for 5 years now, and it's about time I put it into practice. I'll let you know how refining my money habits goes..


  1. What great progress! Can't wait to see pics of your basement.

    On the money front -- Joe and I identified the biggest culprits for extra spending and implemented a cash policy for those. At the beginning of the month I pulled enough cash for all that month's groceries, eating out, date night, and "extras". Handing over those precious bills helps me be more aware of what I'm spending and how much I have left for the month. We haven't been perfect it it, but it has helped soo much. I recommend it highly if you're trying to get a handle on your finances.

  2. I learned about the getting rid of superfluous stuff when we moved the last time. It really is an amazing feeling, isn't it? Especially for a life long pack rat like myself.


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