Monday, January 6, 2014

A Word for 2014.

verb: eliminate; 3rd person present: eliminates; past tense: eliminated; past participle: eliminated; gerund or present participle: eliminating
completely remove or get rid of (something).

The snow is falling in the darkness.

The cat sits there, waiting for somebody to open a sliver of it so he may slip in,
another thing trying to push into my space whether I want him in or not.

I notice the plant in the living room and realize I still haven't replaced the stool my daughter removed from under it: she needed it in her "dance" play.
The plate that broke from her hasty removal of it still sits in  pieces under it.

It calls to me every time I walk by.
"I need to be fixed!  A little bit of water would be appreciated, too!"

The picture on my easel that I started back in the fall still sits unimproved.

Every time I see it, several times a day, I want to stop and add to it,
but that desire never seems to be fulfilled.

The picture of our farm that I started hangs on the wall behind it in the same condition.
They both call to me all day long.

The pictures that my son made for his Christmas thank you cards wait patiently on the copier.
They call to me every time I walk through the office.

The Christmas tree, ornaments removed, sheds more and more of it's fading grace on the floor every time somebody walks by.
"You need to go!" I tell it,
as if reminding it of it's impending removal will make it grow it's own legs and walk out the door.

"Mommy, come see my 'thank you' cards," Lillie calls from her place at the table.
"Can you help me glue them?"

My feet stop beside her and my focus is distracted by the glue stick that is drying without it's cap.

There is a laundry basket full of mending...
it has been sitting in my life for the last several years,
not lessening but building with each passing week.

I am certain there are clothes somewhere on the dark depths of the bottom of it that could very likely be 2 sizes too small for the child it belongs to.

It nags at me every time I walk by it and see it.
I try to deal with it by throwing a vintage table cloth over it,
but I can still sense it under there,
a snarling reminder of things I can't seem to get done.

The windows on the back porch were painted when they were put in to the newly enclosed porch a few years back, but the boards had not been sealed, so the knots yell the same at me:
"When will you repaint us?"

The basement closet my husband built a few weeks ago says the same thing to me
every time I open it to fetch my coat before heading out the door.

There is the box of unfinished Christmas letters, waiting to be written, addressed, and then sent out.

There is my book, written and waiting for illustrations so it can be sent to publishers to consider.

There is Levi, working on his math page, drawing the numbers into imaginative creatures,
even though the 6 and 2 are still being written backwards.

There is the memory verse pages for the kids, waiting for the illustrations to be outlined.

The mountain of laundry never reaches the bottom and it makes me frustrated that I can never conquer that goal.

Life today is not like it was 100 - 200 years ago.
We lacked for "things" back then.
Bare essentials and food were priority, not luxuries.

My life is just the opposite.
Too many things clamber for my attention.
I need to get rid of the things that steal me from those that are most important.

I don't need resolutions and goals of more things to squeeze in.

I need to cut things out.
Who has time for resolutions and goals in a life cluttered by a thousand little things?

My resolution must succumb to what is actually needed in my life:
not more, but less.

I like that idea.
Every day I will chose something to eliminate in that day:
I will take something from the mending pile and throw it away.
If it isn't mended, it will get tossed.

I will reject a food I don't need to eat so I can choose a healthier life and make wiser choices.

I will eliminate one unfinished project at a time,
striving to conquer a little thing and not allowing anything new until this list gets finished.

I will eliminate something every day:
an unworn piece of clothing,
an unneeded tool that gets stuck in the overstuffed kitchen utensil drawer,
an unneeded toy underfoot,
an angry word that doesn't need to be spoken,
an extra 5 minutes on facebook that could be used in a better way,
an evening of no television or unnecessary distractions,
an unnecessary word of unkindness about somebody I am either jealous of or offended at,
a  moment of hasty frustration at the grocery store when my lagging child tempts to make me forget the wisdom of a quiet reproach:

little measures of elimination,
one powerful moment of choice each day.

As I read the Proverbs 31 woman,
that is what sticks out to me this time around:

"She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night."
Proverbs 31:18.

My candle seems to always be lit,
but that measure of good isn't.
I want my life to have content that is good.

Good comes sometimes when there is an empty place for it to fit into.

As the moments become little victories for each day,
those unwritten goals of a better life will unwittingly fall into place.

I think that is a goal I can like for the year...

now if I can just find those scissors and trash cans to start tossing the bad into.

What about you?
Do you have a word for the new year?


  1. Loved this. Yes, my word is" helpful". Let me have that basket of mending and I can be helpful. I am thankful that I am able to be helpful.

    1. Hahaha!!! You are helpful, Mom! :) Thank you for always being so helpful! :)

  2. I didn't do a word this year or make resolutions. Instead, I made plans, and I am in the midst of fulfilling them already. I feel resolute this year of no resolutions.

    I like your word. I have a poem about empty space that you might like...

    ©2003 by Susan Noyes Anderson, His Children, Vantage Point Press
    (Photograph ©2003 by Anita Schiller)

    Beauty cannot enter where we do not leave a friendly space.
    Poems began as empty pages, masterpieces as a trace.

    Every note must stand alone before it makes a lullaby.
    Every tree has greater stature viewed against a naked sky.

    Life is simple; letting go creates a place for hopes and dreams.
    Barren walls and open floors make room for ever-changing themes.

  3. That is so beautiful and meaningful, Sue!!! I loved it. You are an amazing poet. Thankyou for being such a sincere, caring person, even when I have never met you! :)


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