Thursday, May 26, 2016

Decluttering for the Home, Heart and Soul

Spring is a time of renewal, the time of year when life springs forth, the old is gone from the journey through winters' chill.

Spring is also a traditional time for renewing our homes.

When I was a little girl, spring was the signal for curtains and bedspreads to be stripped and washed. Walls and floors were scrubbed clean, drawers were emptied and rid of clutter. Once the room was sparkling clean linens were returned to beds and windows. And all was well in our world. This process was repeated In. Every. Room.

When I grew into an adult with my own home this was the only way I knew how to operate. I'd been taught the value of a clean, tidy home. To this day, I love the smell and satisfaction of washing curtains and bedspreads. My childhood is reborn through the practice of homemaking.

I've tried to continue this through the years, but as the years have increased, so has the size of my house. It's been impossible for me to clean every room, every year, and have a life apart from Windex and Lysol.

I've been in the process of decluttering due to reading a book called, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Condo. The fact that my house is for sale is another motivating factor.

I call myself an organized hoarder. My children's artwork was too precious to part with more than two decades ago. The boxes are now in the garage, four of them. Toys from long ago, Lego projects, dishes, dolls, and trucks of all sizes and variety were neatly packed away. But, the time has come to face the future without the baggage of the past.

The task seemed overwhelming when I began removing my life from the storage room. Everything was divided into three piles: Keep, Yard Sale, and Giveaway. I had to fight the urge to send everything to the Keep pile.

As I was sorting and reminiscing my thoughts ventured into contemplative mode. What if we could sort our experiences of life into three piles: Memories to Keep, Memories to Share, and Memories for the Trash? The life changing magic of decluttering the soul, mind, and spirit.

As one who's carried burdens way too long, the practice of decluttering my soul would put a skip in my step.

The Bible says in Lamentations 3:22-23, "His mercy is new every morning." Each day the sun rises in the eastern sky is an opportunity to begin again, to ask for mercy in the hard places, to share with someone the love I've experienced, and give thanks for my blessings.

Every day brings a new challenge all its own. If I drag the worries of yesterday, or last month, or decades past, I'm throwing the mercy of my Savior back in His face. I'm saying the mercy He offered wasn't enough.

I don't want to refuse a gift like that. I want to clean every nook and cranny of my heart until it sparkles clean. I want to experience the joy and satisfaction of living to the fullest, not berating myself for the failures of life. On my own, I'm not capable, but with Christ all things are possible, and through Him I can do all things.

In His strength, I can sort and throw away the clutter of my soul. He will be faithful to put the sparkle on the rooms of my heart.

Are there places in your life in need of decluttering? Join me in your heart and home and clean out anything that doesn't belong or bring joy to your life. We can all stand to lighten our load in every area of our lives,