Cleaning up the Mess
My first instinct as a mom experiencing the chaos of summer was to put everyone to work, including myself. We (well I) decided that the key to peace was to clean up the mess around us. A couple of things have really not helped the situation. First of all the vent tube behind our dryer somehow wore out and ripped making a doorway for mice to enter our house. They set up camp in the back of the laundry room under a bunch of stuff that I have been meaning to get rid of and traveled into the kitchen each night to feast on whatever they could find, chewing their way through a couple of boxed food items in my lazy susan. Another thing that hasn’t helped is the fact that one by one my appliances seem to be killing over including our washer, garbage disposal and dishwasher.
I am not grumbling about that though. Actually I found that doing the dishes by hand is a great time to think while looking out the window at my blooming roses. I keep starting with that which somehow motivates me to get to the laundry and then to everything else. My kids have been working hard too getting things organized and getting rid of as much as possible.
De-cluttering our lives has been freeing on so many levels and has definitely brought a sense of peace to our home and our family. How many other areas of life need to be de-cluttered? What about emotional clutter (baggage)? Could junk food fall into this category? Is there such thing as spiritual clutter? I’ll leave those questions for another day.
The decluttering is still happening. Actually at the moment I'm only taking a needed break from organizing the office.
When I set out to go through the house, get things ready for a garage sale and deep clean I had a feeling I was in for some hard work. I really didn't anticipate exactly how hard it would actually be. I am feeling a little overwhelmed by how much stuff we have vs. how much we need and how to know the difference.
As hard as this is though, I know I am doing the right thing. A lot of our blessings have become burdensome and I am looking forward to dumping the weight of them down.
While I've been working on this I have thought some about the other areas of clutter that can burden us, weigh us down and keep us from being productive. Spiritual clutter happened to be the biggest mystery and the one I've been thinking about the most.
I'm sure there are more than few answers to what could fall into the catagory of spiritual clutter, but the ones that I've been thinking about are self-righteousness, having a critical spirit and being judgemental. At first glance most people, inluding myself, are likely to think "surely not me". I have to ask myself though, how many times do I notice someone doing something wrong and judge or critisize rather than pray? Also, how often do I see myself as spiritually superior because I'm in church every Sunday or have a lot of scriptures memorized? What about all the times that I hear a word from the Lord and think, "Yes, that is exactly what ___________ needs to hear." What about the times that I've looked at that list from above and thought, "Yep, that sounds like ___________."
Titus 3:5 (NIV) says "[H]e saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of [H]is mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.."
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
"Nurture" is the first book I've read by Lisa Bevere and I absolutely love it. Her writing is lovely to read and I believe she has, in her book, answers to some of the main problems facing women today in regards to their relationships with each other.
Lately I've heard over and over that women are looking for best friends, that they are longing for that Anne of Green Gables/Dianna Berry relationship. Not only that women are looking for mentors/mothers and they are hoping to mentor women/daughters.
This book responds to that longing and has really inspired me to continue seeking those relationships because God is doing something significant in the church today; gathering us together in order to grow us in our gifts, help us in our weaknesses and "strengthen [our] hearts so that [we] will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones." 1 Thes. 3:13
Also, Lisa Bevere will be speaking next February at Christian Family Center on Camano Island, Wa. I'll post more information when it becomes available.