Clutter is KILLING me!

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Too much stuff, not enough space!” Have you heard that tag line for a product being sold on television right now? Basically, you buy these big plastic bags (think huge zip lock bags), and stuff all your clutter that you want to store away into them. Then, you attach a vacuum hose and it magically gets reduced by about 100,000%, freeing up space in your home for the important stuff – MORE clutter!

That is honestly my favorite commercial at the moment! First, because I feel like the contents of my household are about to burst out from every corner and threaten to explode our home from the inside out! Second, because I so fervently wish there were “space bags” for my brain!

I read a few lines recently from a book called From Clutter to Clarity by Nancy Twigg. I haven’t finished yet so I am surely not trying to endorse it or recommend it here. But from what I’ve read so far, it is making some definite sense in these disorganized places of my home and my mind!

The book begins by offering a definition of clutter that I had not considered before. In a nutshell, Twigg states that clutter is “…anything that complicates your life and prevents you from living in peace as you live out your purpose.” In other words, clutter (whether physical or mental), keeps us from living out our divine calling from God. Doesn’t that make perfect sense?!

She follows that up with this beaut: Even noble pursuits become clutter when they endanger our sanity and leave us with no time to connect with God.” Lord have MERCY! Can I get an AMEN, sisters?!

Our calling, our purpose in this life (which is secondary to knowing and having a relationship with God) generally unfolds over time and requires a lot of faith, patience, and listening before acting. When we get in the way of that – like WHEN WE CLUTTER IT UP with things like unproductive thinking, wastes of time, too many possessions, our own agenda etc. – we have willfully walked off the path God lovingly paves for us.

Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us to get rid of “everything that hinders” us and the “sin that so easily entangles” us. Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the perfector of our faith.” Cluttered minds and cluttered surroundings remove our eyes from Jesus and onto the things and thoughts of THIS world, not HIS world. For our calling to be clear to us, we need to return our gaze and our minds to Him and away from the clutter!

As Lysa TerKeurst beautifully said in her video segment for this last session of our study, when God calls you to Him, He is asking for more. Not necessarily for you to DO more, but to BE more. Be with Him more. Listen to Him more. Walk through your whole day with Him – not just a short period of prayer in the morning. She challenged us in this video to live one day completely in His presence. I say we try it and see what clutter falls away in the process. I triple dog dare ya to join me! (Oh, and if you have an extra moment or two to come clean out a corner or closet in my house, I’d appreciate that, too!!!!)

If you are following along with our study at home, please complete days 1-3 in your Participant Guide for Session Six (can you believe we are on the LAST session?!). Rewrite or memorize our scripture for this week (Philippians 4:8, NLT). Comment on the blog this week for a chance to win a cool, roll-up water bottle with a sweet scripture written on it (congrats to Jill W. for winning the prayer journal last week!). Listen to Starts with Me, by Tim Timmons for a little kick start on thinking about your calling! And, as always, have a blessed weekend!

Up Next Week: What I learned from salty popcorn and a nightlight!

Peace and love,

Wendie

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8 responses »

  1. Triple dog?!
    So sitting here drinking my coffee, surfing the net reading blogs, texting, listening to my tunes, my bags full of books, and my art supplies is too to much to expect to accomplish in an hour and a half?! Who knew?!
    Tomorrow on my “road trip” I will only take one thing to do in the car! Oh the stress of trying to decide what to take!
    Seriously….thank you! I need the reminder to slow down and simply “be” in the day. I get so focused on trying to “see” I miss “living” in the moment.
    I’ve put down my pen. The books are back in my bag. Phone is on silent. Going to take 15 minutes off the grid and simply enjoy my coffee. ……..maybe tomorrow I will make it 30 minutes!

  2. Could not agree more!! And perfect timing as I embark on a massive clean-out / reorganization of my house next week. Thank you for giving me more purpose and perspective as I conquer the clutter. As clear away “stuff” I want to focus on how I can be more vs. having more.

  3. If only we could simultaneously live monastic lives and enjoy our calling as women with families!

    The readings and your posts these past couple of weeks have got me thinking that it might do me some good to go back to the high school & college days where everything was so structured with built in transition times: 7:28-8:20 Period 1 (and I thought St Pet’s started early!!!) 8:25-9:15 Period 2, etc… I knew what I was doing when and that was the time I had to accomplish that part of my day. Instead of squeezing things in around carpools and laundry, I could carve out time for things that are most important to me.

    Right now, I have my time after lunch, once the little guys are napping. And I’m doing okay with that, but things creep in. And the more I think about it, I find that I’m craving more time for quiet, more time with God, but also more time for other things… more time to read to my kiddos, more time to transition from one thing to the next, more time to breathe, more time to enjoy making meals, more time to create… I’m sure if I sat down and looked at how I’m spending my day and how I’m spending my thoughts, the time and energy is there. I’m just poorly managing it by only dealing with what’s currently on fire.

    While my calling is certainly not a nun’s, I’m sure their days are structured with times for everything (and nothing.) I could emulate a bit of their life and do the same for mine. And I bet most days it would do me and my family a great service.

    Thanks, as always, Wendie, for sharing your perspective and insight! You always make me want to do better.

    • It’s God loving on you that makes you want to do better! I love that quote from “As Good as it Gets” when Jack Nicholson says to Helen Hunt, “You make me want to be a better man!”. Everyday I think, “God, you make me want to be a better woman!” And it’s always a good thing – never a chore! Love ya, sister!

  4. Thanks for this post Wendie. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about changing my “thoughts”. I seem to be able to curb what comes out of my mouth sufficiently – but curbing my not so great thoughts – now that’s sooooo hard to do!!! But, I think, like you said, we need to start spending time on what’s truly important, and let God take over our lives. If I can do that, I bet my thoughts will just naturally change on their own – don’t you think? I never thought about it that way. Thanks again for making me see things in a new way!

    • It IS hard, isn’t it, Kim?! Giving up control is so hard for me! But everyday we get the chance to try it again – and I pray each day that I’m getting a little better at it! I’ll pray for you, too! Love ya!

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