When the Clutter Piles Up

The kitchen island gets a lot of traffic in my home.

Piles of mail.

Car keys.

My husband’s wallet.

Dirty coffee cups.

My daughter’s latest craft supplies.

School papers.

It doesn’t bother me if just one of the above items gets plopped down. But usually it’s a combination of these items together that drives me bonkers!!

After coming and going in different directions, things begin to pile up. And finally it gets to where I just can’t take anymore!

In that moment I am on a mission. (And anyone who is in the room is strongly encouraged to help me in this mission.)

It’s time to clean up the clutter. Time to put things away in their rightful place.

The wallet and keys need to go somewhere else, but not here. The dirty cups need to go in the sink. Pieces of scrap paper need to be trashed.

And junk mail? That’s a no-brainer…in the trash!

Once that’s accomplished, I feel better and can function again.

Just maybe this is a powerful picture of what we do with the clutter of LIFE.

Things slowly begin to pile up.

First it’s one thing. And then another.

One emergency to throw us off. An unexpected episode that sets you in a tail spin. A forgotten commitment. Someone asking you to do something else. People and projects pulling you in opposite directions.

Just one of these things might not be so bad by itself. But when they start to pile up, you can feel it coming. When you go from full to empty with no time to fill up. And before you know it, your life is full of clutter.

I can’t take this anymore!

And one by one, we can start to tackle the things that clutter us up. Not a clutter we can see. But the clutter on the inside. The clutter of our negative thoughts. The clutter of our distorted perspective.

The clutter of our soul.

Some things just need to be put in a different place. (Do I need to delegate something to someone else? Do I need to say no to a request of my time?)

Some things we need to get rid of. (The feelings of hopelessness. The toxic thinking that spirals out of control.)

And some things we just need to accept. (That person we want to change is out of our control. The season of life we must go through to get to the other side.)

And once we start to clean up the clutter, we can breathe again. We receive clarity.

We feel hope.

We can even invite others around us to help. People to hold us accountable. Friends to walk alongside us.

To help us sort through the messes of life.

I will probably continue to lose the ongoing battle of keeping my kitchen island cleared of clutter.

But I can most certainly win the war that stirs in my soul.

It’s a constant battle.                       Day after day.                                 Moment by moment.

But when I surrender to God and reach out for help, the clutter of life gets put in place. Not an overnight fix. But a gradual victory over time, through each season of life.

I think it’s okay to want an uncluttered kitchen. But I most certainly need to be more aware of the clutter of my soul.

What about you? Are things piling up in your world? Feeling overwhelmed with the clutter?

Let’s reach out and call on the One who can help us sort through it all. I believe with all my heart that Jesus is waiting for us to ask Him to clean up our clutter.

The less clutter there is, the more room He has to give us PEACE.

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. ~Psalm 25:4-5

Blessings to you!


Check out my devotional book, Embracing The Race


Time to Clean Out Your Clutter?

With school out and more free time on my hands, I’m in the midst of cleaning out the clutter in my house. Outgrown and outdated clothing, broken toys,expired coupons, junk mail and items I don’t even recognize! And this is just the beginning of the stuff I’ve come across. As I attempt to go through each room, closet and drawer, I have to decide which category the item in question needs to go.

Trash it? Give it away? Move it to its proper place?

So I literally have three plastic bins in which these items will be tossed.

Trash: These are obvious and don’t take long to figure out. Something that’s broken, used up or never should have taken up residence in our house. Where did this come from? Why did we not throw this away sooner?

Give it away: This takes a bit more thought. Maybe the item is still of value but it doesn’t fit anyone in our household. Wrong size. Not our style. Someone can get some use out of this! Maybe a single mom in need of clothing for her growing children. A toy for a child who has nothing. I feel relieved as I bag these things up, knowing I’m getting rid of the clutter in my home but passing on something useful for someone else.

Put it where it belongs: These are the things simply out-of-place and need to be put back where they belong. This screwdriver doesn’t belong in the laundry room; it goes in the garage. This book needs to go back on the shelf instead of under the bed. Sometimes I laugh at where things end up and I think How did this get here?

Similarly, I often find myself going through a season where my mind is crowded with too much clutter. And I sense some junk growing in my heart. I can decide which category these things belong in. The thoughts, feelings and behaviors in question can be filtered through God’s perspective before I intentionally put them where they go.

Trash: These should be obvious to me, but unfortunately I’ve often held on to things for way too long that should have been trashed. Ugly thoughts. Prideful actions. Selfish behaviors. Yuck! Into the trash you go. These are the sins Christ died for. These are things destructive to my life. They should have no place in my heart or mind.

Give away: Sometimes I have those thoughts that need attention, but I shouldn’t dwell on them. Issues requiring concern aren’t destructive. But when the concern turns to worry or anxiety, it’s time to give it away. Who am I giving these thoughts to? God tells us to bring every thought captive to Him. To bring them straight to the throne of grace. The concerns about my child don’t go in the trash. The pain in my heart over a strained relationship doesn’t get thrown out. I give it to God. And sometimes He uses other people to help us carry our burdens.Maybe after I pour my heart out in prayer I should call a friend and ask for support.

Put in the proper place: Now this is where I really need wisdom and discernment! Some thoughts, attitudes and behaviors don’t need to be thrown out or given away. But they most certainly need to be prioritized…put in the right place in my life. Spending time with my friends is a blessing, but if I put it ahead of my relationship with my husband, it’s not in its proper place. Date nights with my husband are a top priority, yet if I focus more on this than my time with God, it’s not in its proper place. Posting on this blog is important to me, but if I ignore my daughter consistently while working on it, my calling as a mom is not in its proper place.

So, what about you dear friend? Is it time to clean out the clutter in your mind? Time to get rid of the junk in your heart? Is God calling you to a season of honestly looking at your priorities through His eyes? Toss the ugly stuff in the trash. Give away the concerns weighing you down. And put the blessings He’s lavished on you in their proper place.

Freedom washes over me as I watch the garbage truck take my trash out of sight. Peace comes to me when I drop off the bags of stuff at Goodwill. Confidence perks me up with everything in its proper place in an orderly home.

But none of these compare with the JOY I experience when I truly put God first in all I do. This happens one thought, attitude and behavior at a time.

2 Corinthians 10:5 “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”


Blessings to you!

Lisa Preuett