A Multi-Purpose Mentality
I love things with a dual purpose! Maybe it’s because I want to declutter, and find ways to live a bit lighter. Or, it may have more to do with my desire to make the most of what I have and be a good steward of I’ve been given. Whatever the case, here are some examples of practical ways I’ve found to incorporate this love into my life.
My favorite kitchen appliance is my Rice Cooker, which I use to cook oatmeal, boil eggs, bake potatoes, steam veggies, and also as a crock pot. The stand under our television unfolds and serves as a buffet table for family gatherings. Our antique drop left table makes an excellent desk. We use a round, wooden game table with rolling chairs as our cozy dining room table where we have spent many hours enjoying the company of friends. The Ford Transit Connect, a van we bought for a delivery business, doubled as the family car, which came in handy on many adventures with our boys, their bikes and snowboards. And yes, I am the woman who always wore the purse that turned into a backpack when I was a homeschool mom. When I found dual purpose jewelry, where I could wear reversible necklaces as bracelets, I fell in love. Even the home we bought five years ago, is a duplex with a detached garage, that has been remodeled as a tiny home or mother-in-law quarters.
I don’t like repetition, wasting energy, space or resources. I am not a neat freak by any means, but I desire to stream line the process, eliminating unnecessary energy spent wrestling with my things. I remember when my boys were in high school, I threatened to get rid of all our forks and spoons and buy sporks to eliminate the kitchen clutter. I never did that, but I am thinking about following through on it just for fun!
Recently, I became aware of how this motivates me in emotional and spiritual areas of my life. When I do something necessary, like an errand at the mall, time set aside for writing, painting a room, or eating a meal, I often invite others to join me. I get so much more from a shared experience, than I do from simply meeting someone to talk. My emotional connection with those who are willing to connect while doing something else is much deeper and richer than those who take a pass on it. For me it is less about what we do, than the fact we are doing it together. My kids know this about me. In fact, a memorable moment one Mother’s Day was getting picked up for a joy-ride around town in my son and daughter-n-law’s new car, and finding just the right place to drive-thru for an ice cream treat. In this simple act, they were speaking my language.
So, it should come as no surprise, I am drawn to areas in my spiritual life that have a multi-impact as well. One way I experience this is in the simple art of praise. Since I have always been musical, the act of singing spiritual songs has a great impact on my soul. I was content to simply sing a song of praise to God, I needed no other reason or motivation than gratitude for all He’s done, and awe for who He is. But, through my experience, I have discovered the multi-effect this has. Singing a spiritual song to the Lord, as part of my daily meditation and devotion, has an effect on me. Although my purpose is to bless Him, He blesses me. (On a side note, whenever I have tried to give to God, I find He always out-gives me!) My day runs smoother, I physically and emotionally feel better, and I hear His promptings clearer throughout my day. But there is another dynamic I experience with praise. When I have no agenda, emotionally lay everything aside, and focus on giving adoration to God through a simple song, He shares His heart with me. When this happens, and I get a glimpse of His passion and desire in a specific way. I am suddenly filled with a passion that is not my own, and I come into agreement with His will. I do this verbally, and sometimes I do this musically, with the inspiration of a new song. For this multi-purpose loving gal, I value the art of praise. It turns my focus from myself to The One, who is above all. It brings health and healing to many layers in my life. It aligns me with God’s heart, and I am able to pray effectively for people and specific situations from the vantage point of His victory. Although I only have one purpose when practicing the spiritual art of praise, it truly becomes multi-purpose when I follow where God leads me in this area.
“Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in the hand…” Psalm 149:8