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  • Lea Hartline

Opening Drawers, Closing Chapters: A Journey to Joyful Spaces

As I began the task of creating a space that was solely mine – an office filled with inspiration and hope – I encountered an unexpected challenge. It was a simple drawer, seemingly inconspicuous, yet laden with emotions. Inside, I found notebooks that Robert and I had filled together. Each page whispered half-formed wishes and dreams of books we had planned to write but never did. These notebooks, untouched for so long, were like silent guardians of a past filled with aspirations and love.

As I sifted through them, tears welled up. These weren't just pages; they were fragments of a life shared, a testament to a love that deeply intertwined our souls. Yet, as I held them, a poignant question echoed in my heart: "Why are they still here?" The truth was stark and clear. Robert was in these pages, yet he wasn't. They were a physical reminder of his absence, a paradox of presence and loss.

I realized then that what I was holding onto wasn't just notebooks; it was the memory of a dream that would never come to fruition. Most of our important notes had already transitioned to the digital realm, leaving these physical remnants as mere echoes of what used to be. I acknowledged a hard truth – I would never read through these notes again. They had become relics of a past that, while precious, was no longer my reality.

The Bible reminds us repeatedly to look forward, not backward. Philippians 3:13-14 resonates deeply with me in these moments: "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." These words are a balm, soothing the turmoil in my heart.

It was time to make space for real joy, to embrace the life Robert always believed I could live. A life not shrouded in the remnants of what once was, but shining brightly with possibilities of what could be. I realized that holding onto these notebooks was not just holding me back, but would one day be a burden for my children to bear. The thought of them grappling with these remnants of sorrow spurred me to action.

So, with a prayer and a heart full of memories, I decided to let them go. It's a step towards healing, towards creating a space that reflects who I am now and who I am still becoming. It's a step towards living fully, authentically, and joyfully.

As I clear out these drawers, I find comfort in Ecclesiastes 3:6, "a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away." This journey of decluttering is more than just physical; it's a spiritual act of trust, of embracing the future God has in store for me, and of finding joy in the spaces I create.

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Life on Faith and Fumes

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