What’s in YOUR purse?

Hurry!  What’s in your purse?

Alka Seltzer (the kind for colds AND the kind for stomachaches), an empty checkbook snugly tucked inside a checkbook holder.  Cool wallet my mom got me, 4 pay stubs, car insurance bill, cool bag that holds my makeup, napkins (of course), a nail file, a few cards I wrote to friends and never mailed, a grilled cheese sandwich (not kidding), a couple of pens, 2 business card holders, sunglasses, a cell phone, keys, gum, a mini bottle of tylenol, about 3 slips of scrap paper on which I’ve made various notes and lists, plenty of crumbs in the bottom, a happy meal toy, and an old flight itinerary.

I snickered the other night as I tossed my overly filled, albeit adorable, Vera Bradley onto the passenger seat and headed home.  Long famous for lugging around a purse that I could live out of for extended periods of time, I made a resolution when I purchased my new Vera.  I wanted to keep it nice.


So I tossed my adorable purse onto the seat and giggled at its ridiculous contents.  A grilled cheese?  I mean, seriously.  I spent a couple of minutes when I got home “resetting” my purse.  Grilled cheese, crumbs, and any used napkins were evicted.  Bills and cards went their appropriate directions, and my Levi was delighted with the happy meal toy.

Truly, I HAVE been pretty good about keeping my new Vera looking lovely.  The grilled cheese wasn’t even stale! My little clean-out got me thinking about how my life is often like my purse in its random clutter and overly full nature.  It only took a quick moment to re-set my purse and get it back in the right order.  I think you’ll agree, many of the items I have in there ARE handy and useful.  Just not when they can’t be found because they’re buried under unmailed cards, old pay stubs or grilled cheese sandwiches.  It only took a short time to clean out the useless items so that the useful ones could actually be used.

As I considered this, I noticed a couple of things:

1) Regular, small clean-outs keep the purse (and the life) clean and functional.  The trick is not to let it get so full that it becomes overwhelming.  I have three still-cluttered purses sitting on my closet floor as proof of the fact that once it reaches a certain point, I’m much less likely to actually clean anything out and I lose functionality.  Same goes for my schedule, my brain, and my to-do list.

2)  Some things aren’t worth keeping and carrying around.  Grilled cheese sandwiches, while they are delicious, do not belong in a purse on a long term basis.  They don’t keep forever, you know, and they tend to get in the way of finding that set of keys or cell phone.  Same goes for my life.  Some unnecessary worries, fears, or even “good” things can seriously get in the way of finding those most important things, like ready smiles for my husband, patient words for my children and clear thinking at work.

I want to be more purposeful about letting go of those nagging things that are of no real use or worth to me, but still get in the way of my life’s functionality.  Some time to pray, to breathe, and to weed out the things that don’t belong in my heart and mind is definitely on the daily must-do list.

If you’re a grilled cheese carrier too, may you find that same time to “re-set” your life today and every day.

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