Sunday, April 22, 2012

Making Space Monday, Link Party #3

This Monday is TLC time! TLC stands for Tedious Longsuffering Care and is by far the toughest clutter to get rid of.

I had an entire post prepared about TLC, and then set it aside for this one. I want to journal a little today about just one of my TLC items that I’ve had trouble getting rid of. It’s 5 bottles of really great prenatal vitamins.

I had quite a number of prenatals handed down to me by a mother who had just had her baby when I found out I was expecting. They were the best, but they made her feel quite ill so she had to change. They were the same I had used with both of my previous pregnancies and I used them again…this time without having to pay the enormous price tag. I was grateful and now I have 6 leftover bottles.

I knew that it wouldn’t do any good to donate them just anywhere because they might just get thrown out if someone ignorant about these sort of things got ahold of them, so I carefully chose to donate them to my friend Michelle who works with Crisis Pregnancy Centers. But…as most TLC (Tedious Longsuffering Care) clutter goes, it is taking quite the time. First I needed to check with her about if they would even accept them since they were a consumable item and of course, she also had to check with the right people. Questions came back about if they were sealed and they were, etc. That part took about two weeks of back and forth to church conversation.

Then there’s the ‘it slips my mind’ phase, where week after week we go to church and at that very moment that I see Michelle or her family, Bam…it hits me like lightning that I have yet again left for church in a hurry and haven’t grabbed the vitamins. Two months goes by like this and it fades into the back of my mind where most other clutter does, except that I clean out the entryway furniture and find it here just waiting patiently to hitch a ride with me to church.

This morning it came to mind as I was sitting down for coffee while the kid’s got ready for church. I finally remembered and I wasn’t going to take the chance. I stuffed it in my already full bag and it made it’s way with us to church.

We don’t go to a small church, so I keep my eyes opened in every hallway and look around during service for her. Maybe I’ll snag a glimpse at her and finally pass them to another caretaker. No such luck.

But then Joshua starts getting fidgety during service and I have to leave. I only took with me the diaper-changing necessities just in case and left all other items by my husband’s feet. And, what do you know. Michelle happens by! (True story—this was just this morning). At first I was excited. I get her attention as she waves my way and let her know I have it with me but not actually with me since it’s in the sanctuary. Then she lets me know her husband will be in class so I can give it to him then. I sigh relief and stop worrying about it.

Class comes and I see him there, but I’m in the middle of a deep conversation with some ladies and keep glancing toward the bottles trying to signal Josh to pass them on to him. Wasn’t happening, but I think Oh well, I’ll just give them to him after class.

After class comes and no such luck. He left early without ever having a clue that I had anything of importance for Michelle. Ugh!! I could’ve screamed.

This is how TLC clutter goes. TLC clutter is haaaaaarrrd to get rid of. And normally the longer it takes to get rid of the more important it is. It could be small; two pages that need to be filled out for your insurance to be paid. It could be very large, like a car parked in your driveway that needs to be fixed before returning it to your parents. But it always takes the one thing we all lack—time.

The thing about TLC clutter is, you can’t just tuck it in some trash bag and haul it away.

If those two little pages don’t get filled out, I could owe big money to my doctor. So, it takes weeks on end to get rid of two pages.

If we just had the car hauled away, I’m pretty sure that would have serious relational repercussions.

And, if I decided to just donate those 5 bottles of prenatal vitamins to the easiest stop on the way to my next destination…then they might be thrown in the trash instead of being used by a brave women who chooses life for her growing baby instead of termination.

These are not things that take decisions like “keep”, “toss” or “donate”. It really can be more complicated than all that. Books about clutter can make it sound so simple as if there is something seriously wrong with you if you don’t just throw something casually into one of those boxes.

Getting rid of clutter can be a climb as hard to do as climbing up Mt. Elbert in Colorado—and I’ve done just that. It really is a climb. It really takes effort and work. Hard work. Time consuming, hard work. But every step you take, even the ones that take all of your energy, all of your resolve, and all of your Saturday off to accomplish…are in the end, worth it.


So, did I get those prenatal vitamins to Michelle?

Nope, but hopefully soon. But this TLC item was finished today!
Linking Up at these amazing blogs:
A Bowl Full of Lemons
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