I distinctly remember sitting in my Christianity and Culture class during my junior year of undergrad, eager to discuss the book assigned to us, “Life Together” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I had notes scribbled throughout my book. Underlines, smiley faces, boxes, arrows, and random phrases jotted in the margin-I couldn’t wait for class discussion. The professor opened the room for discussion. Approximately three minutes of discussion ensued and we moved on to the next topic for the day. I was dumbfounded and disappointed. I was looking forward to riveting dialogue and an exchange of ideas for application. Boo!
I should have known then I was destined to be in book clubs.
I love discussing books with people, sharing books with people, and you guessed it-reading. All my book club experiences thus far have been within the community and believers and it has always been a good experience. However, a new opportunity has shown itself to me, and I am now part of a book club outside of the church, and I am thrilled!
The first book assigned was “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. It’s a New York Times bestseller, and I can see why. When I picked up the book this morning to begin reading, I didn’t think I would finish it in one sitting. It is a book on de-cluttering after all. How interesting could it be? BUT it was an easy and engaging read. It wasn’t monotonous or redundant. Kondo had an arsenal of anecdotal experiences that kept the pages moving. And I was surprised at how often I found myself comforted by her experiences, realizing that I’m “not alone” in the battle against clutter.
But I’m not here to talk about her methodology and helpful tips-though I found them to be both inspiration and helpful. (I’ll do that in the book club!) I can’t wait to implement some of her strategies (though I can’t BEAR to implement her ideas about book de-cluttering).
I’m here to talk about how my faith influences how I read this book. Our faith should influence everything we do, permeate every circumstance we encounter, and alter every perspective we have. Marie Kondo’s faith clearly permeates her life passion of tidying and organizing. She talks of tidying being a spiritual experience for her-a place of meditation, fulfillment, and peace. She speaks to the items she owns and thanks them for her investment in her life.
How do I, as an evangelical Christian, read this and infuse my faith into its pages? I have a few ideas:
- I recognize that my worth is not in how organized or disorganized my house is. My worth is found completely in being a loved child of the Perfect King.
- I realize that true inner peace will NOT come with a purged home or properly folded clothes. Abiding peace comes when I fully understand who God is and apply those truths to my life
- I do not need to thank the things I own. Instead, I can thank the Giver of every good thing.
I’m thankful for Marie Kondo’s life work, her passion for her craft, and the excellence in which she wrote this book. Since we differ in worldview, however, there are things that I cannot agree with nor apply to my life. Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Do you have any questions or comments about the book in general?
Like most college students, I changed my major after my freshman year. I switched from Music Education to Music Performace, and I can vividly remember the conversation I had with Dr. Bigley about the decision. Well. Not really that vividly, it was 10 years ago. But I do remember the concluding sentence. He told me,
“Betty, it doesn’t really matter what you choose. If God wants you to teach, he will have you teach. And if God wants you to perform–it doesn’t matter what your degree says-you’ll perform.”
Now, here we are a decade later, and I am fulfilling that very “prophesy”. I don’t have a degree in Education (I wish!), and I don’t have any real classroom experience, but God has wonderfully, graciously, and randomly made a way for me to be a teacher.
On Monday, I start teaching fulltime at East Hill Christian School! I am a 6th grade Science, Math, and (my favorite subject) Bible teacher and I am pumped! Oh, and terrified. I am very aware of my lack of knowledge when it comes to classroom management, lesson plannings, and let’s be real-6th-grade science.
But, depending wholeheartedly on the Holy Spirit, I am going to joyfully, humbly, and creatively teach my 6th graders. And by teach, I mean guide, learn from, love, encourage, challenge, pray for, evaluate, and disciple the dear students God brings my way. I am excited to learn from other teachers, learn from my many mistakes, and grow in knowing how to best guide young people to understand and treasure truth and intellect. I am very passionate about Christian education and cannot wait to interweave the character of God into our lessons to help cultivate children who delight in their Creator.
I am very grateful to God for giving me this opportunity, and as aforementioned, completely dependent on Him to use me and teach me to be a master teacher! And from y’all I welcome any resources/tips/words of wisdom/encouragement/etc. that you may have for me!
As always, thanks for taking the time to read and hear my heart!
Mrs. Bacon 🙂
I think that guys playing video games gets a bad wrap. Though it can be bad-it doesn’t have to be! Here are my thoughts on the subject!
5 Reasons I Love My Husband Playing Video Games
1.) He gets to hang out with his long distance friends– My husband and I are currently living in Portales, NM, and almost all of our closest friends are living in Western PA. That means that we get to find creative ways to stay connected despite the hundreds of miles in between us. For me, that’s facetiming coffee dates with my friends- and for Nathaniel, it’s chatting & killing zombies via PS4 & a headset with his friends. I love that! Just like I ask and make sure a particular evening is free/good for us if I facetime Amy, so he will also check and make sure it’s good for him to spend some time with Tim on a particular night to play video games. It’s not about permission, it’s just respecting each other’s time. And on those nights, I love that while I’m making dinner, I can hear my husband laughing with one of his groomsmen, asking about his life and marriage, all while killing zombies.
2.) I find joy in his joy!– Just like I do, my husband stays busy and has lots of hobbies. Japanese woodworking, reading Tolkein, riding motorcycle, etc. I’m happy that he enjoys things, and I think it’s important that we both have our primary joy in Christ, our secondary joy in each other, and plenty of other joys in life separately! We are one, and yet still individual people, and we need to live in that juxtaposition even in our hobbies!
3.) I value how differently we’re wired– It’s not my jam–but I love that he relaxes and enjoys playing different characters and saving the entire world/civilization! I love that he loves strategy, and bravery, and heroism, and sci-fi– and all that is manifested in his hobby of gaming.
4.) He invites me into his hobby- I never feel like gaming is “his time” or “his thing”. I get to snuggle up next to him, and do things I enjoy with him by my side. He also is convinced that I will enjoy playing Mass Effect, so we have created a character and I’m going to give it a go sometime soon 🙂
5.) He invests appropriate time into it- He doesn’t play often-so it’s easy for me to not be bothered by it. But I can totally understand a person’s frustration if their s/o a.) plays a game that Christ would hate to watch, OR b.) if-by playing it- they’re ignoring their God given responsibilities (of loving their wife/family, providing for their home, being spiritual disciplined, investing in the local church, etc.). BUT Nathaniel does neither of those things. For example, this morning, Nathaniel made us breakfast, we read a chapter in a book on marriage together, did some yard work, took our dog on a walk, then ran some separate errands. So when he played a game while I baked and spent some time on my computer- there was ZERO room for frustration about time.
What are you thoughts on video games?
What’s a chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate chips?
What’s a halloween party without a costume?
What’s hanging mistletoe without someone to kiss?
And what on earth is Mother’s Day when your mom isn’t here anymore to celebrate?
I know that I can still celebrate her legacy and her life, even though she is in Glory-but it’s not the same, you know? I want to get her a gift. I want to write her a card. I want her arms to wrap around me in a tight embrace that is better than any other hug I’ve known.
I know and believe truth. I know and believe she is in a better place, that God has purpose for all the pain, that he took her at the perfect time-though I don’t understand why. I know how fortunate I am to have had her in my life for 28 years and how grateful I am for all God did in and through her.
But it still sucks.
I don’t like it.
So this motherless, Mother’s Day, I am going to feel the incredible weight of that sadness, with the soothing peace of that truth. I am probably going to cry, and that is sooooooo okay.
But, because of my faith in Jesus, I am not going to stop there. I want to be what he would want me to be. I want to have his heart. So I am going to pray to be used on Mother’s Day. I am going to pray that God puts on my heart and mind, other people who need encouragement or love that day. Mothers with children who are not emotionally healthy enough appreciate them the way they deserve to be appreciated. Mothers with children who are not older enough to understand the constant sacrifices they are making. And mothers who are mothers and grandmothers themselves, who, though months or years have passed, will still be feeling the still of missing their own moms.
Join me in aiming to love these women well, and let me know if you have any thoughts on Motherless Mother’s Day ❤
With Tears of Heartache & Gratitude for the Gospel,