Are you in a season of clearing the clutter? Everywhere I look I seem to be getting messages on how best to clean and clear, how to become a minimalist, or the importance of getting rid of things before Christmas is here. Just me, or you too? It seems that even our social feeds and inboxes are ironically full of wonderful books, inspiring podcasts, and…the pictures. Yes, the pictures of the Pinterest-perfect homes.
Aaah. But as I reminded myself not to compare my worst with others’ best, I’ve decided a good goal this season (and maybe even into the next) is to minimize the clutter in my home. And from there, good things will come forth.
And so I started with a bit of electronic clutter. In order to update my phone to the newest software, I needed to make space. Yes. I’ve taken so many pictures and messaged them to so many people that nearly 3 Gigs worth needed to be backed up and kicked out.
The funny thing is, as I glanced through those pictures painstakingly one by one, I realized how many of them I no longer needed. With three kids, I often take ten shots to get the best one. I could now eliminate nine. There were countless pics of our shopping lists on the dry erase board. Those could go. Fuzzy attempts at selfies by my daughters – most of those can go. Duplicate pics or old gifs hiding in my message app? Those could easily go.
It was harder to let go of some of my favorite moments. The kids in high chairs. My son before he grew 6 inches in one year. The rare pics of just my husband and me. …And nature. Oh, my attempts to capture God’s beauty in a single shot. Impossible, but those attempts can still take my breath away. Those of you who know me, know that I’m in love with sunrises, sunsets, and everything in between. It was so hard to let some of those moments go. Mostly because I’m waiting for the right moment to share them with YOU.
Keeping my goal in mind though, I pared down those pics, and made sure the backups were nestled safely in an external storage space. And after a few hours sacrificed to this task (over the course of a few days), I managed to recover 1.7 Gigs of space. Enough for my update, but I still have more to sort through.
And as I worked through this process, I couldn’t help but think how LIFE is often the same. Our hearts can get so full of clutter. We fill it with so many things, we often lose sight of our purpose, or our goals. We don’t have the space for an update, a reboot, a reset – or even the thought of one.
Maybe we hang onto a grudge. The kids left their mess out yet AGAIN. Maybe we were wronged so many years ago, yet we still find it hard to let go and forgive. Maybe we are worried about our finances, our jobs, our children, our safety, our future. Maybe we have so many things piled on our plates, we become overwhelmed just thinking about it and can’t even begin to address them all. If you are feeling any or ALL of this, I’m so right there with you. I’m in this very moment.
My dear friend, let’s take the time to focus on clearing out our heart clutter, our spiritual clutter this month. I’m not saying we do this all at once. No, this is going to take some slow and steady work. But as we pick up and recognize each item, much like the pictures on my iPhone camera roll, we can begin to let things go, or put them safely where they belong. Why? Because we need to make space for the One who really matters. The One who this whole Christmas season is all about. The One who can take our clutter and give us the peace we are wishing for, hoping for, praying for.
If this is something you would like to do, I’ll be starting a new email series this month, entitled Heart Check: Reducing the Clutter, Restoring the Peace, aimed at taking us step-by-step to declutter our hearts, slowly replacing the unnecessary items with pieces of encouragement, empowerment, and peace. I want to invite you to sign up on the link below if you’d like to join us. We’ll start on December 1, so be sure to sign up by then.
(And yes, I’m moved by the irony of decluttering by ADDING to your inbox, but I promise each message is meant to be meaningful and life-giving, rather than draining and life-taking.)
And so, I pray that as we head into December, and wrap up 2017, you find the peace God so desperately wants to give you. Let us open up our hearts to His most precious gift that He has given to each an every one of us this season.