Share Four Somethings—May 2023
—Grace & Truth Linkup

Near the end of each month, I share four somethings at Jennifer’s linkup that I’m loving, reading, learning, and eating. 

And last month’s One Second Everyday video . . . 

[click here if you can’t see the video]

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What I’m Loving


We’ve had only blinds on our bedroom windows for over 20 years. Last year an incredibly bright street light was installed that shone right in our bedroom window. This year we finally put up blackout curtains. We should have done it years ago. It’s been fantastic these past few months.

We were at the beach last week on vacation, which was wonderful, but the bedroom there had a bright light shining right into our room every night.

On the morning we were packing up to leave and return home, I checked the drawers to make sure we’d gotten all our stuff. What did I find?

This portable set of blackout curtains we could have used. Oh, well. 

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What I’m Reading 


I don’t have tons of clutter, but I do have some. Periodically I like to read books about decluttering to keep my clutter in check.

This book by Matt Paxton is a very helpful one, both for practical ideas and for philosophical ones: Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff: Declutter, Downsize, and Move Forward with Your Life.

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What I’m Learning


Some suggestions from Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff on reducing clutter are:

“If you know you’ll use it within one month (unless it’s a seasonal item), keep it. Not six months, one year, or two years. One month. If you won’t use it within one month, the odds are you won’t use it at all.” 

“When you find an item in the attic that you bought hoping one day you’d use it, remember that it was a stepping-stone to the person you are today. When you got it, you needed it. Even if you never used it once. Now you are ready to move on, because you’ve grown.” 

Create a Maybe Pile for items you’re not sure about getting rid of. It offers breathing room when the going gets too tough to make snap decisions about what to keep and what to discard. Wait a few weeks, and see how much easier it is to empty the Maybe Pile then. 

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What I’m Eating


After our beach vacation of yummy but junky food, I came home determined to eat a little healthier. I’ve done fairly well, for me. I’ve swapped my daily biscuit and syrup for toast and oatmeal; my Diet Coke for sparkling water; my two cookies a day for just one. At least until the weekend. (I’m obviously not going too extreme with it.) 

What’s something you’re learning or loving this month?  

Share your thoughts in the comments.

I’m linking at these blog parties


Grace & Truth Featured Post

Do you know when to stay silent and when to speak up?

Most of us aren’t in a situation where bears would be involved for this decision, but Natalie applies her lesson from bear country to our everyday lives.

“Whether we want to avoid a wandering bear or a prowling lion, we need to make some noise.”

Read all of Natalie’s post here to remind us that “We strengthen spiritual muscle every time we use spiritual muscle. And we use spiritual muscle every single time we take even a small step in a faith-filled way.”  

How to Be Prepared: Make Noise

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Review the rules here about adding your most recent Christian Living posts and how to be the Featured Post. Visit all four hosts social media here or websites here: Maree Dee, Lisa notes, Lauren Sparks, Tammy Kennington.

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22 thoughts on “Share Four Somethings—May 2023
—Grace & Truth Linkup

  1. Pam Ecrement

    I have not been a collector (except books that I don’t give up) and yet a lifetime results in accumulation and I like things neat. Without neat organization, I can’t relax or focus as well. I haven’t read the book, but have been following a little-by-little of letting go or giving away. I made a chunk of space in a bedroom closet recently when our daughter was here and took her boxed and preserved wedding dress home. (Now she has a much bigger house than we do, had room in her car, and has been married nearly 29 years?.) One of my big challenges is the collection of my parents’ photos that I have done a little work on several times since they died in 1995. They are largely disorganized and site up memories and curiosity and give me pause when I throw any away, but…

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m like you, Pam…I can’t think as clearly or feel as relaxed in a cluttered environment. I appreciate outer order so I can have inward calm. I still have quite a bit of my children’s things at our house too. I’m not sure what to do with some of it, as you’ll understand.

      After my parents both died, I was surprised to discover how much of my own stuff was still in their attic…including my old unicycle! 🙂 So I brought it home and now it rests in my attic for my children to find one day when I die. lol.

      My crazy obsession to hang on to photos is the reason I picked up the book (he has a whole chapter about photos). It made me feel better when the author said that photo organization is the number one question he receives. So we’re not alone.

  2. Barbara Harper

    I always love the second-a-day videos. I never saw blackout curtains in a hotel room before, but that’s a great idea. They must have gotten complaints about the light before.

    Sentimental stuff is the hardest for me to get rid of. I’m more motivated now that we’re “older,” not wanting my kids to have to go through things, knowing that much of my stuff won’t mean anything to them. I try to tell myself even with sentimental things that they served their purpose, so it’s ok not to hang onto it all.

    Good work on eating healthier. I make a stab at it at times but need to be consistent.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I figure the condo owner must have known that the light outside the bedroom window was a problem. If we stay there again, I’ll know to look for those curtains on the first night! 🙂

      I have the same dilemma with thinking I need to let go of things now because I know that my kids won’t want our “treasures”, especially if it’s things I barely want myself. lol.

      We made it through the week with eating healthier but decided we’d eat what we want on the weekends. We’ll see how it goes again come Monday morning. 🙂 Consistency will be hard for me, too.

  3. Suzette Katopodes

    I love blackout curtains, too. After years of blinds, we put blackout curtains & room-darkening shades when we redecorated our bedroom. It’s a game-changer for sleep and reducing inside heat from our west-facing bedroom. Decluttering is on my list this year, too, as my husband and I retired this year. Also, another reason to eat healthier (ugh! so hard).

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m hoping that our blackout curtains will help with the heat in the summertime too. I wonder if it’s even helping by reducing noise of barking dogs in the neighborhood. It’s definitely helping with my sleep!

  4. Lynn

    I think it’s a great idea to read books on subjects we’ve read before to help keep us in check! I’m in the slow process of merging my 18 plus year household with another’s, and could use help! I’m off to look up Matt’s book right now!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      How fun–but a lot of work!–to be merging your stuff together in one house. I remember when my husband and I got married and did that. I remember keeping more of his things to be “nice” (like his toaster) when I should have kept my better one! lol. (And he wasn’t even aware or could have cared less whose toaster we kept.) I was young and naive. ha. I’m sure you’re using much better judgment deciding with your household merge than I did. 🙂

  5. Aritha

    Thank you for your nice blog.

    The answer to your closing question: This month or week, I am learning to live more slowly. I am learning that I am still valuable even when I don’t “do” much (do less) because it’s no longer possible.

    And I am cherishing and really loving those small, golden moments in my everyday day life now. Thank you, Lord.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      How beautiful, Aritha. I love your example of living more slowly. I think it’s something we’d all benefit more from. On days when I try that, I’m much more at peace. Our worth is certainly not dependent on how much we “do” even though we sometimes feel that way. Good for you!

  6. Lisa Blair

    I have been pondering blackout curtains since they installed a street light near our house, Lisa, but I haven’t taken the plunge. It sounds like you highly recommend using them. Decluttering and eating healthier are great goals! Thanks for inspiring us!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I definitely recommend blackout curtains. It’s amazing the difference it’s made! I was really surprised. I just bought a pair sight-unseen from Amazon but thankfully they look nice too.

  7. Paula Short

    I adore your 1-sec videos. You know you can see so much within your videos. And I’ve got to tell you, I have migraines a lot, and black-out curtains have been a lifesaver.
    Visiting today from Share Four Somethings #13

  8. Linda Stoll

    A Maybe Pile makes a whole lotta sense. Some things you can’t wait to toss. But other stuff gives us a bit of a cause for pause. It’s all good. At least we’re thinking about it, right?

    I hope you’re having a lovely weekend, friend …

  9. Gayl

    Lisa, I never thought of a second-a-day video before. That must take some discipline, but it was fun to watch. Speaking of clutter, we have a lot and you found some good tips. We are making a little progress. 🙂 Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #InspireMeMonday!

  10. Lois Flowers

    Your daily video recap always makes me smile, Lisa. After bemoaning the sad state of my drought-riddled hosta patch for the last few days, seeing your hosta cheered me up. Apparently it’s raining somewhere. 🙂 I appreciate the decluttering suggestions. I have been meaning to go through my kitchen cabinets and maybe even start thinking about a garage sale. (Maybe not, though.) And now I’m wondering if blackout curtains might help with my sleep problems? Definitely worth a try. 🙂

  11. Kym

    My husband thinks we need blackout curtains in our apartment, and I guess we probably do, but I’ve been putting off finding some. I’m interested in the book you mentioned – looks like a more practical version of Marie Kondo! LOL Visiting from SFS

  12. Cindy Davis

    I love blackout curtains. I am very light sensitive so I use them in my bedroom, plus blinds. I also use a sleep mask when we are traveling. I loved watching your one-second video. The Lego Vespa is awesome!

  13. Laura Thomas

    So good! I think I need the decluttering book as one of these days we are going to have to downsize… and after our vacation in Maui, I’m definitely going for the healthier options! 🙂

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