Yesterday I talked about learning to slow down, to rest and find time to spend with God. To ease out of the busyness of life and find some quiet and solitude. To get back to the simplicity of life and take some time to declutter.
God has been pressing on my heart in such a real way, how important decluttering is to my life right now. When clutter invades our lives we can struggle to see God’s bigger picture, to Hear his voice above the clatter and and recognize His direction amongst all of our stuff.
And let me tell you….we can have some stuff! It can build and build to the point that it overflows…and honestly, It can be an exhausting way to live life. Maybe that’s why I find myself longing for the simple life. I love the old shows that depict a simpler way such as “The Waltons” and “Little House on the Prairie.” Was life perfect? No. Was life Hard? Absolutely. But I think what appeals to me is that much was done with little.…Relationships trumped stuff and schedules….Family was life and Life was family.
I’ve heard it said that “The state of your house determines the state of your heart.” If that’s that case, I have a bit of cleaning to do.
Now I would have to say that I have always worked to keep a clutter free house. I decided a long time ago that I would rather spend my time doing other things then dusting my stuff. But despite that decision things still build up in my home.
For example, I have these two cabinets that hold all of my storage containers and tupperware. And honestly, it has gotten a bit out of hand. Part of the problem lies in the fact that I love…and I do mean love…a good yard sale, thrift store or bargain bin. Who doesn’t? And often, in my scouting missions I come across perfectly good tupperware. Now ladies…honestly…how many of you turn away from good tupperware? I mean, can we really have too much?
According to my husband we can! And if we have had one place of contention in our marriage…this would be it. He doesn’t see the need and I do. Though If I was honest…and I do mean really honest…I haven’t used half of that stuff in my cabinet since the day I bought it.
But what I do have is the knowledge that I could…If I wanted to….be able to store 20 years worth of leftovers in our freezer in case the need would ever arise. Of course at the moment we have four growing children that have a tendency to consume all the food in the house before it even makes it to the leftover stage. So now, in reality, all I really have are glorified shelf warmers that look pretty when you open the cabinet.
And then there is my closet. Ahh, yes…a ladies closet. Need I say more? Where we have hangers full of clothes that don’t look right, fit right or have mysteriously shrunk when we were not looking. Where our dreams of smaller waistlines and pre-kid clothes reside.
Yes, I have those clothes too. In fact, I used to have a box full of clothes that I promised myself I would get back into one day. It sat in my closet for five years. And honestly, it might have sat longer had we not been moving at the time.
I think it gave me comfort to think that maybe one day I could revisit the days of my youth, prior to marriage and kids. A revisiting of my athletic days where energy was boundless and my thighs didn’t meet. Where clothes shopping was a joy not a form of torture.
You know what I mean? I know you do. And yet we hold onto that stuff. Why? Why do we hold onto the clothes and the tupperware? Why do we hold onto things we don’t really need only to go out and accumulate more?
Do we hold onto it for fear of not having enough? Do we worry if we give something away that we might finally need it? Maybe we hold onto old memories that…in all honestly…it’s time to bury and move on.
That is why I have to ask myself ….what does my “stuff” say about me? What is it saying about the inner condition of my heart? Is that why God presses me to keep a check on my “clutter?” In my home and in my heart? Maybe because He knows the tendency it has to build up and how it can push Him out.
So my challenge to myself this week? I plan on cleaning out those tupperware cabinets. (Husband rejoices) And I will find the courage to sort my clothes…embracing who I am now and not what I was then. It may take a couple hours or a few days….but my prayer is that as I declutter my home…I will slowly declutter my heart.
Philippians 4:12 – “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”