My pastor husband spoke so well about “cleaning house” yesterday. Of course he didn’t mean our literal house, although he supports my closet reno enthusiastically. He was challenging us all to be transformed, tossing out anything that stands in the way of God’s best for us.
Caustic relationships, nagging habits, dependencies and addictions, jobs that leave us too exhausted for life, convincing lies of this world, our past baggage that threatens our present joy…
I’m calling this soul clutter.
Clutter has been described as “not just the stuff on the floor- it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living.” – Peter Walsh
In the fall I was wrestling with that very thing. I was not living the life that I desired. I was working full time and often over-time while trying to be a wife and mother of six. In my heart, I knew I was coming up short at work and at home. I was miserable.
As my husband watched me struggle, pray, and fall apart several times, he said to me, “life is too short.” We agreed that my students could get a new teacher, but my children could not.
Financially, we will be challenged, but in every other way, we will thrive. It was a good decision.
Have you ever had a drawer crammed full of stuff that you tried to reorganize and reorganize, but no matter what techniques you used, chaos returned quickly? It is because there was too much stuff for that space.
I quit my job because it was too much. You can’t organize too much stuff in too little space, and it’s the same with our minds and our souls. Some things just need to be purged.
What is overwhelming you that needs to go? What is standing between you and the life you want to live?
It could be your laundry or it could be your “dirty laundry” that is cluttering your life. It could be the mess in your garage, or it could be a messy relationship that needs to go. It could be the piles on your desk that need organizing or your priorities that are out of order.
If something is not being used or adding beauty to your home, consider it clutter and let it go. This isn’t just referring to junk in your closet, but this could be a principle for life.
It’s true that clutter in your house can cost you a lot of time and even money, as you lose things that have to be replaced and spend countless hours searching for lost items among the chaos.
Soul clutter can cost you even more. As I type this, I am thinking of the list of house clutter that I have already made plans to purge this month. Yet a list needs to be made and prayed over as I think about my mind and soul. There are things that need to be tossed and discarded.
Letting go can be scary. Just as I would recommend getting a friend to help declutter your closet, Jesus teaches us to confess our sins to each other, to throw off what easily entangles us so that we can run the race marked out for us.
It might be hard but freedom is waiting on the other side. Your life, the one you want to live is waiting.
What needs to be tossed?
- unrealistic expectations/perfectionism
- fear and worry
- unhealthy relationships
- baggage from your past (can’t be just forgotten, but dealt with in counseling)
- need to control
- sharp tongue and sarcasm
- self-medicating (seeking comfort in food, TV, etc)
- disrespect for spouse
We become comfortable in our messes and cleaning out is not easy, but so worth the work!!! Do not be discouraged if you feel helpless to do this yourself. You are not alone! Go before the Lord and lay it down. Let him be the grace and strength you need
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews12:1-2