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I need to organize, like Norma Rae. That’s just a saying I made up, and I say it to myself as I attempt to sort through closets and drawers, vainly looking for:

  • The spatula with the melted handle that got too close to the flame on the stove
  • The meat tenderizer/hammer-looking-thingie I’m going to repurpose into an ice cracker
  • A copy of that screenplay I wrote about Amazon warrior women in space, submitted cheekily to Amazon via their Storywriter submission tool two years ago that they rejected instantly (uploaded – 11 AM, “declined” – 12 PM)
  • An energy booster like you see in video games to beat the late afternoon drowsies
  • Another hour of daylight
  • That other sock

Yep, I really need to organize. Heck, I need a union! A union of one. A one-ion, if you will. I really need to talk to whoever’s in charge of getting these closets in order, because they’ve got some explaining to do! Who’s in charge here? Bring ‘em out. Huh? Oh. That would be me.

Like so many people, I’m fascinated by the existence of someone such as Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizing guru who suggests discarding all items in your home that don’t “spark joy.” I do think she’s on to something, but then how do you flip a pancake? My spatula (referenced above, semi-melted) doesn’t spark joy. It’s merely functional.

Now, when it comes to clearing out a memory of past pain from our soul’s storage, the only way to eliminate it is to remind yourself you did the best you could at the time. Remember all you’ve got to be thankful for nowadays. This might be the key to optimal mental health. De-clutter the space in your soul and make room for the better things coming your way.


There was a time when I was queen of the coupon clippers. Whenever I’d go to the gas station, I’d use my grocery store’s gas points card, which rewarded points based on groceries bought. Once while filling up my tank, I realized my gas points had earned me a dollar off of every gallon in my tank and I’d saved ten dollars! I was so happy, I gave the gas station attendant a five dollar tip.

Well, if I thought I was happy, I had no idea what happy looked like until the young man held that tip in his hands. You’d have thought I’d given him a package full of puppies wrapped in rainbows! He literally tilted his head and said, “Aw, you! You’re just too…” as he looked at me and grinned. “That is so…!” he couldn’t even finish the sentence he was so touched.

Itdoge-meme-blank-05 occurred to me that he might actually chuck my chin😊! I made a side-eye “doge face” (so scare), wished him well and high-tailed it out of there. I saw him in the rearview, mouth agape, watching as I drove away.

It’s unusual to see genuine gratitude these days, isn’t it? Maybe we’re used to having our needs met on a consistent basis, and we forget that’s not something everyone in the world can say.

Many of my son’s friends have come to our house through the years, and they’ve become like part of the family. One young man was over for breakfast, lunch and dinner one summer and my grocery bill increased by $50 a week! One day, he showed up, handed me a wrapped gift and politely said, “Thanks for the hospitality, Miss Ruth.” I thanked him for the gift and cocked my head. “Your grandmother made you do this?” He nodded sheepishly. “It’s okay, son. You still get the points for it. Come on in!”

That’s the way I think of prayer. Sometimes it’s asking for something. That’s the “please.” Sometimes it’s appreciating what you’ve got. That’s the “thank you.” Just a very small nod to a very big God.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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