Faith and Family

What Sparks Joy in You?

woman holding balloons | Photo by Catalin Pop on Unsplash

I am mildly obsessed with all things organizational—planners, office supplies, boxes, baskets, bins. If it can make my life more efficient or cleaner, I’m all in. The disconnect, however, comes in the execution and use of those products.

Back in January, I promised myself that I was going to straighten up and organize our house. Well, I didn’t, and now it’s April—and I’m rationalizing that spring cleaning is the real time to get organized. I mean, the whole season is about a fresh start . . . right?

So it seemed providential when recently, as I was scrolling through Netflix looking for something to entertain me while I undertook the thankless and painful job of matching socks, I came across the series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. I had heard about Kondo and her master organizational skills before and had even picked up her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up at the library not long ago. Unfortunately, I never got to read it because it got lost under a stack of school papers and Girl Scout cookie order forms and, by the time I uncovered it, it was due back.

Intrigued by yet another organizational opportunity, I started watching the first episode. I then may or may not have proceeded to binge-watch the entire first season.

Identify Your Blessings

As I watched, I found that what really drew me into the show wasn’t necessarily how Kondo folded the clothes or arranged the closets. What attracted me were the less concrete aspects of her organizational process.

At the beginning of each project, Kondo takes a moment to greet and thank each home or space in which she will be working. She encourages her clients to join her and reflect on the many blessings the house provides them. What a concept! I thought.

Another practice Kondo introduces is that of determining which of your possessions “spark joy ” in you. She encourages people to take the items in their hands and see what reaction it elicits within them. If it brings you joy, keep it. If not, thank it for what it has given you and let it go.

(This is the point where my husband, Mark, entered the room and rolled his eyes at the concept of thanking things such as books and clothes. I quickly told him that if he wasn’t in there to help match socks, he should probably leave. Not surprisingly, he did.)

When the final episode of the series ended, I found myself looking around and thinking about my own home. I could certainly stand to do some organizing myself, but I also started thinking even broader than the four walls surrounding me. I thought about what in my life sparks joy in me. I reflected on whether or not I’m thankful enough for the many blessings I have.

Ultimate Joy

As Catholics, we should be well versed in being able to find joy in our lives—and not only in our homes and possessions. In fact, the word joy appears almost 300 times in the Bible. Our faith also gives us much for which to be thankful—especially this time of year.

The fact that this all happened during the season of Lent—a time of reflection and preparation—was not lost on me. This month, as we celebrate Easter, we remember that Christ was willing to die for us in the ultimate act of love. What could spark more joy than that?

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