I have been participating in this 91 day declutter challenge online. Each week we tackle a new room and that room is divided up amongst the days. Every cabinet, drawer, and crevice is to be cleared out and reorganized. Purging the non-essential items that have accumulated over time is the ultimate goal of this challenge.
This summer my house flooded so I had a head start on the kitchen part of the purge, or so I thought. I didn’t think that I really needed to follow the pull everything out part of the instructions because I did that six months ago. I was wrong.
I decided that some wire baskets were necessary to house the potatoes and onions, but I would need to measure the cabinets first to ensure that I purchased the correct size. While I was shuffling around in my well maintained cabinets, I noticed that three Christmas platters had mysteriously appeared. I swear I had them put up with the rest of the decorations! Alas. I was wrong again.
It reminds me of the times that I have tried to rush through other things only to figure out later that the plodding had a purpose. I had to practice my scales to understand proper finger placement on the piano. I had to get a firm grasp of algebra before I transitioned to trig. I can’t expect to know God’s will when I don’t spend time in his word.
Before I developed a schedule that always includes quiet time with God, my life was chaotic. I could never understand why God never seemed to answer me. I would hurry from one worthwhile project to another focused on my to-do list and desperately seeking God in the clutter of the crazy world. Somehow, I never heard him speaking. All I heard were the demands of the world and my unreasonable desire to be the perfect mom. It’s easy to do that when you have several, active children and a job, my free time was devoted to them not my God. If I could tell my younger self anything it would be to stop and breathe once a day.
Stop. Breathe. Believe. Listen. Once I started including quiet time in my day, every day, so much fell into place. On days when the alarm doesn’t go off or my schedule is switched around, I notice that I haven’t spent time in the word the way I should. I get out of sorts and irritable. Then I feel the gentle nudge of the holy spirit telling me it is time to press in close to the great comforter so he can smooth my rough spots and calm my nerves.
God’s voice has become so much clearer now that the clutter of the world has been pushed aside. I am a lot less likely to overlook his direction like I did those platters when I spend time with Him every day. The thing is, when I look at the things that took precedence over quiet time with God I am amazed. I could have gotten in some scripture reading during soccer practice instead of playing games on my phone. I could have been praying waiting to pick up kids from band instead of checking statuses on Facebook. My mind was cluttered with empty time-sucks that don’t matter at all in the kingdom of God. I can’t imagine that God is going to look at me when I get heaven and say “Good job! Good and faithful servant, you made it to level 681 in candy crush! You get another jewel for your crown!” And the more I look at what takes up my time, the more I realize just how much of my life has been wasted pursuing worthless goals.
So I am only 12 days into the declutter challenge for my house and I am learning there are no short cuts. I think decluttering my life and not getting caught up in the distractions the world offers is a slightly longer challenge. I just need to remember to rest like Elijah so I can hear the still, small voice of God while the world swirls around me.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, and a part-time basket case who wants to be a full time writer.