Years ago, when the clutter in my life was at its worst in my life, I can’t tell you how many times I wished for all the junk in my life to just magically disappear. I felt like I was drowning,… unable to catch my breath. It felt as though EVERY space (filled with clutter) taunted me every day.
I would try to move forward… decide to “pick things up”… tell myself it would be okay if I just cleared out the obvious clutter… you know, just enough so things looked hopeful…
I thought I was doing the right thing, but looks can be deceiving (especially when it comes to clutter), and what I didn’t realize then was that the more I focused on making things look okay on the outside, the less okay I was becoming on the inside.
As I tried to get the clutter in my home and schedule under control, I ignored my “inner demons”, put God on a shelf, and allowed the hidden spaces in my mind, soul, and heart to continue to fill with pain, shame, and guilt that kept me stuck in a never-ending vortex I couldn’t control.
All the effort to make things look better, weren’t making me feel better because I was aiming at a target that had nothing to do with really fixing the problem because when you “pick up” the obvious clutter in your life and ignore the clutter inside, it’s like mowing over the weeds in your yard…
A freshly mowed lawn might look nice at first glance, but without dealing with the roots, those weeds are gonna keep comin’ back. Likewise, when dealing with clutter, if you don’t get to the root of the pain, shame, and guilt in your life, it won’t matter how much (or how often) you pick up, clean, organize, de-clutter, toss, or give away the obvious clutter because you’ve only dealt with the “surface weed”… and it will only be a matter of time before the clutter returns because you never dealt with the reasons behind the clutter plaguing your heart, mind, and soul.
The definition of a weed is, “a plant in the wrong place” and that’s exactly what clutter is! Anything that doesn’t belong in your heart, mind, body, or soul is clutter… it’s in the wrong place because you weren’t created to keep it there. Things like…
- or comparison… (just to name a few).
DIGGING UP WEEDS
God doesn’t want your life to be choked out by anything that was never meant to be a part of you, but digging up the weeds in your life can be a painful process when they’ve been hiding out so long and latched on so deeply. You may not even recognize them for what they really are because they’ve become a part of you in a way they were never meant to be and you’ve become blind to the suffering they’re causing in your life.
Then I will lead the blind along a way they never knew; I will guide them along paths they have not known. I will make the darkness become light for them, and the rough ground smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not leave my people. Isaiah 42:16
No matter what the clutter is that’s taken root in your life… whether you recognize it or not… God knows what’s supposed to be there… and what isn’t. He created you for more than you can imagine, and He WILL guide you through the clutter you’ve been hiding, and out of the uncertainty you’re facing. He will turn YOUR darkness into light… the road that you’re struggling to walk every day will be made smooth…. and He will NOT leave you while taking you to places you never even knew existed.
If you want to be clutter-free, focusing on what looks clean or pretty or organized isn’t the answer. You have to go to the root of why you have the clutter, and then remove the weed. “Mowing your lawn” is only a temporary solution for a permanent dilemma, so if the obvious clutter in your life has taken over… it’s time to dig up some roots!
No matter what clutter has grown deep inside your mind, soul, or heart… you can break free. Nothing is impossible for God! You might think you’ll never escape, but no matter how long clutter has been wrapping its roots around you, you can get rid of it… if you allow God to guide you through it!
What weeds have taken up space inside your heart, body, soul, and/or mind? While having a clean, organized, or picked up space to live and work in is a great feeling, getting to the root of your clutter is the only way to truly be clutter-free.
This week, write down what clutter needs to go in your life. Ask God to reveal any that you’ve been blind to (this is SO important because pride and selfishness will make excuses and keep you captive). Make four sections and list your clutter below each one:
- MIND (mental clutter): thoughts that have been keeping you from becoming what you’re created to be. This includes lies you’ve been telling yourself, or the lies that have been spoken over you as truth.
- SOUL (spiritual clutter): beliefs that have been keeping you from getting closer to God and accepting the grace and freedom Jesus came to give you. This includes any rules you’ve created to live by or boundaries you’ve drawn to keep yourself within what you believe to be “right” in the eyes (and acceptance) of God. This also includes anything you’ve believed or accepted as correct, that actually stands against who God is.
- HEART (emotional clutter): feelings that you’ve been carrying from past experiences that have been keeping you captive and continue to convince you that you need it in order to be happy, successful, accepted, worthy, or good enough (even though it’s making you miserable).
- Note: while you may not always realize what you’re carrying inside, emotions that show themselves like anger, bitterness, fear, outbursts, and depression are the result of something deeper going on inside of you, so keep digging until you get that root removed!
- and BODY (physical clutter): things that can be seen that are keeping from who you were created to be. These aren’t always viewed as “problems” until they’re out of control; weight, stuff in your home, and debt are all things that have manifested in a very obvious way as a result of spiritual, emotional, or mental clutter. While these issues need to be dealt with by getting rid of the clutter in your home, going on a diet, eating right, or creating a budget… none of it will get under control until you’ve dealt with the reason(s) WHY you feel, think, or believe the way you do.
Continue removing the weeds that have taken root inside your mind, heart, body & soul. Begin taking the steps to live a more healthy, clutter-FREE life and remember that dealing with the outside is only a part of getting rid of the clutter. As you move into the new year, ask God to reveal anything that you have blind to and unwilling to accept as clutter so this will be YOUR year to break free from the clutter that’s been holding you back!
I’ve tried to get things picked up, bought things to organize, and spent time and effort to make things look nice but it’s never enough, and it’s never stayed “pretty” for long. I realize now I need to quit addressing the obvious and start dealing with what’s deep inside me.
Help me to see my clutter for what it really is. Remove any weed that’s taken root inside my mind, heart, or soul. Reveal anything to me that I’ve been blinded to and unwilling to accept as clutter. Make my darkness into light. Give me hope and restore my life. Free from the clutter that has been consuming me, and guide me through it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
YOUR NEXT STEP… Making Time for Something More in Less