Friday, June 22, 2018

Grace 2B Free

Grace is my middle name, but I never much thought about it's meaning until the last few years.  My favorite definition is from Max Lucado who says, "Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off."  That is pretty much exactly how I ended up where I am right now.

I've always been a really decisive person and I love to check things off a list.  So at age 4 I decided I was going to be a nurse and I didn't stop until I got a doctorate degree with a 17-year career at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC in pediatric oncology.  Along the way I bought a house, got married, traveled every chance I could and felt content and accomplished while checking off my life boxes. 

Needless to say, my world got turned upside down when I found myself separated from an emotionally abusive, bi-polar husband and moving home to the bedroom I grew up in.  I had to question everything I ever thought I knew about myself and wonder where my decision-making psyche went wrong and if it would ever right itself again.

I'll be honest, I rolled over and played dead for a few weeks, but I had this overwhelming sense of opportunity in the midst of the chaos.  I prayed a lot during that time and found that God really does speak if you actually take the time to listen.  And the things I heard were to accept grace, pour out love, and essentially go make lemonade out of my lemons.  I knew I had a lot of soul-searching to do and I was more than a little bit afraid of what I might find!

Ever since middle school I remember not being able to do my homework or start on a project until my room was perfectly clean and organized.  So, I actually started my soul-cleanse with a physical object cleanse.  It was easy to get rid of all the stuff I no longer needed in my new one-bedroom living establishment, but it was harder to let go of hurt, anger, fear and resentment.  The hardest part was to let go of all my ideals, my life plans and all of my control.  For the first time in my life I didn't have a plan and it freaked me out, but I also felt utterly free! In what felt like an instant, I knew I was going to start a professional organizing business, Grace 2B Free.   

I've always been one to color inside the lines, follow the rules and rarely show any sign of vulnerability.  The choice to suddenly launch myself into the world of entrepreneurship has never felt like my own, but rather where Grace has called me, and so far it has indeed given me the power to pull it off.   I'm starting this blog to link my business with my life so I can share the impact of living by grace.  Hopefully you'll laugh, maybe you'll cry, and every once in awhile you might learn something about organizing!  Hence the name, life...with a side of organizing.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


For the past two years, at least, I have procrastinated about starting a blog, but I never really voiced my disappointment in myself before.  But, you know how sometimes you just speak something into the universe and then it boomerangs back in your face??  That was me tonight.  Speaking this thought and then somehow finding myself promising my friend that I would have four blog posts to her next week.  But I still had no idea where I would start.

Low and behold, I return home where I co-habitate with my parents (more on that later) and listen to a message on the physical answering machine connected to the landline ( a whole separate post!!!) and find a message directed to me from “George.”  Apparently George was shopping at Goodwill today and bought a shiny new, though obviously used, folder of some sort.  I don’t know how in the world he connected my documents to my parents answering machine, but by George (LOL), he did it!  He tells me he found in said folder, my birth certificate, car title and “several other things," along with a number to reach him at.   Bless your heart, George!  OMG!!!   

This would be bad enough on any given day but what makes it absolutely ridiculous is that I am a professional organizer with my own organizing business!!  (go check out—or maybe I shouldn’t even tell you that right now!)  I get paid to help people get rid of things like old folders and make sure there is not still valuable information in them!!  I recently returned from the annual NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) conference and felt really motivated to start offering some new services—one of them being a disaster-preparedness package, making sure that all of your documents are in order, copied, and in secure places known to your trusted family in case of emergency.  My first step was to make sure my own disaster preparedness plan was in order—thanks for the wake-up call, George!

What’s really the most ridiculous is that I was so excited to hear this message, not because my documents would be returned safely, but because A) I knew that Goodwill actually sells the things I drop off every day AND that people actually buy them and B) because I knew I had my first blog post!  Today, by letting go of my own embarrassment I was able to accomplish a long-time in the making goal of getting something on paper to you.   I hope you enjoy and stay tuned to my stories of life...with a side of organizing.

Grace 2B Free

Grace is my middle name, but I never much thought about it's meaning until the last few years.  My favorite definition is from Max Lu...