At the end of 2021, everyone in our house was sick and Kai had been hospitalized for the first time. I felt overwhelmed with all of the things. Parenting, marriage, adoption, trauma, school, my own struggles, ministry, friendships. It was a time when everything felt really hard. So we decided to rent a dumpster and work on our attic. We have lived in our home for almost four years. When we moved, we shoved stuff into the attic. Maybe we’ll need this one day, maybe I’ll get around to selling something. The attic became overrun with stuff.
The process of decluttering the attic turned into clearing out the basement and kitchen cabinets and every bedroom and linen closet. The past 3 months, I have put all of my extra time into organizing and getting rid of excess. Cue the Home Edit books and Netflix, Pinterest and google searches on how to organize. All of this, plus my cricut and some writeable vinyl have created a monster.
It feels great to have some of these projects done. It feels empowering to know what’s in our house. It is a relief to have a place for things. I love a project and this has been satisfying. I want our home to be peaceful, I want our kids to learn how to be good stewards of their things.
It’s easy for our homes to have clutter. But I think our minds and hearts can hold even more. We live in a world where intake is all around. Not only is there abounding information, but now information is pared down to 30 second videos. Hot takes, diet fads and wellness tips, parenting hacks and decorating ideas come at us like a steady stream. We’re less willing or able to be still, to take inventory of our hearts and minds. Our emotional and spiritual well being, so often unaddressed. So many things can clutter our hearts and minds. Unconfessed sin, bitterness, criticism, judgment, assumptions, broken and strained relationships, irritability, fear, shame, guilt. These can linger in our hearts and cause us to not live in freedom. Sometimes it’s our own sin, at times our suffering and often a combination of the two fill our hearts and minds. When left unaddressed, the clutter impacts the way we relate to others and most importantly how we relate to the Lord.
Take a moment, be still before the Lord. Assess what things you can let go of, what things God wants you to work through with Him. What sin do you need to confess and what suffering you need to lament? It’s a hard and ongoing process that will last throughout our lives on earth. But the freedom and fruit it produces is beautiful. The closeness with the Lord is spawns is something that will last into eternity.
Maybe it would be good to address the clutter in your home. But for certain, it is of your utmost good to address the emotional and spiritual clutter in your heart. God is faithful and will bring you through it all. The result will be even more life-giving than a color coordinated, beautifully organized and labeled home.