Congratulations! We’ve made it to Day 15 of our Clutter-Free Challenge.
As we end this series, I have a few more thoughts to share with you. Mainly because I know how defeated you might get in this area. Keeping a home de-cluttered and organized is an ongoing challenge. Life keeps changing. What worked last month, might not work this month. And just when you think you’ve got this de-cluttering thing conquered, something will happen to you (or me) to make us feel like giving up and accepting clutter. What we’ll need in that moment is perspective. Imagine this …
You’ve just cleaned up the kitchen and family room and sat back with a Diet Coke to relax for a minute, when along comes a high school wrestler who will dump his stinky shoes and sweaty shirt on the counter. Not long after that, backpacks will get dropped in a line from the door to where you are sitting. Papers will be tossed on the dining room table. Later, a tall day-worn man walks in, kicks off his shoes, drops a briefcase on the floor, and sets a notebook and travel mug next to the wrestler’s dirty shoes. And five people will ask you what’s for dinner within a 15-minute time span. Four will come back to ask if they can have a snack.
And you will look at the mess, and sigh. And it’s right here, right at this point, you have a choice.
Do you blow your stack? It would be easy to do. Don’t these people appreciate how hard I work???
Or do you huff and sigh and pick up the shoes and drop them with a little too much force on the ground? And then pick up the coffee mug and place it in the dishwasher just a bit too hard, rattling the other glasses? Saying nothing but speaking volumes.
I’ve reacted both ways before.
But I’ve also lost some people I loved much too soon. And there’s nothing like that type of loss to give me perspective.
Maybe it might give you some perspective too.
And hopefully … just maybe … with God’s strength and wisdom … you will pause before attempting to make everyone feel guilty for unloading all their stuff and messing up your hard work.
Could you pause with me just a few seconds?
And in that pause, before unkind thoughts can take root, or angry words can be spoken, God’s Spirit will give you a “hug” and remind you that life is messy. Really. Messy. And people are more important than clean counters. And this won’t last forever. And LOTS of people would give just about anything to have someone they love walk in the door and drop their stuff.
Then, after you’ve thanked God for stopping your gut reaction and giving you perspective, you will get up and hug that wrestler and tell him you are SO HAPPY he is home. You will kiss those little backpack-wearers on the forehead. You will cut up an apple and wash some grapes. You will kiss your husband and put his travel mug in the dishwasher gently. And realize that this is much more important than having a perfect home.
Oh how perspective has saved me from doing and saying so many regrettable things. You see, our highest calling is to love God and love others. Yes managing our homes and schedules is important. Obviously I believe that strongly. But maintaining a heart of love should always supersede our desire for a clutter-free home. So when the interruptions come (and they will) … and when someone messes with your plans (and they will) … remember to keep perspective. Keep first things first. And Jesus’ commands always come first.
Let’s say you keep perspective, and you avoid a meltdown, but in the quiet of your heart you feel like a failure in managing your time and home. And maybe you signed up for this challenge thinking, I’m really going to get it together now. But three weeks have gone by and you haven’t made one change. If the truth were told, you are actually further behind because now you’ve spent way too much time reading those long blog post by that wordy Whitwer.
If that’s you, and you are even more discouraged than before, please take those thoughts captive, and hear what I have to say. God is accomplishing HIS purposes for you through this challenge. God’s ways are not our ways. You might have signed up with the intent of de-cluttering, and God had another purpose altogether. I learned long ago that I can sign up for one “class” but God had already scheduled me for another. Be open to what God wanted to do during your time on this challenge. If God did something completely crazy like heal a relationship or light a creative spark inside you that’s going to mean even more crafty clutter, please let me know.
Just one more thing. Really. And then I’ll end. I hope you’ll consider staying on as a subscriber to my blog. I will continue to write one or two times a week about my passions: home, family, organization, time management and productivity. I occasionally write about general faith topics, usually when I have a devotion running on Proverbs 31.
But if you decide to unsubscribe, I understand. I’m always trying to manage my email inbox. So, if this ends our time together, I want to thank you for joining me for this study. Your time is valuable and your trust is precious to me.
That’s it. I’m done. At least for today. I’ll look forward to sharing more with you in the future.
Grace & Peace,
Heavenly Father, I worship You for Your goodness and faithfulness. Even though my life feels out of control at times, You never are. As I continue to bring order to my life, I know I’m going to need Your help. I get so easily discouraged and want to quit. Help me to persevere. But I also need to know when to let things go and just rest and enjoy my messy life. Please help me know the difference, and have the courage to do the right thing. I love You, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.