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


Taking a Wrong Turn

Psalm 25:4-5 “Show me your ways, Oh 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.”

While vacationing on a beautiful beach in Florida, I planned on running three miles. The first two were under nicely shaded shops along the boardwalk. But then I wanted to enjoy the scenery of ocean waves crashing upon the beach. I’ll run my last mile along the shore and call it quits. Sounded like a good plan to me. I trudged over across the sand to the edge of the shore where I could run on solid ground. My plan was to run for half a mile out and half  a mile back to make it an even three. But that’s when I got off course.

I was ready to head back the last half mile and cut back through where I thought I’d entered the beach area. But what I didn’t know then was that I’d turned too soon. As I jogged back to where I thought our condo was located, the scenery around me didn’t look familiar. I kept looking for the sign that bore the name of our condo. But I didn’t see it anywhere. My persistent jog slowly turned to a sluggish stroll. I finally had to humbly admit the truth: I had taken a wrong turn and was headed in the opposite direction.

The sweltering sun ushered streams of sweat running down my back…. joined with tears of frustration pouring down my face. No longer underneath shaded shops to shelter me, I could not escape the blistering sun.

I sensed God gently speaking to my weary soul: Yes, you are turned around. But that doesn’t define who you are. 

As I continued to walk (not running at this point!) one step at a time closer to my condo, I asked God to show me some truth from this situation so it wouldn’t be a total waste. (Of course the obvious lesson is to figure out where you are before running an extra mile!)

Sometimes we think we know exactly where we are in life. We head off in a certain direction without evaluating where we really are. We make plans and think we have it all figured out. But then we suddenly realize we are not where we intended to be. We have to admit we took a wrong turn. We have to set our pride aside and accept the reality that we missed something.

But the cool thing about God is that even when we’ve taken a wrong turn, He’s still right there with us. Even when we are way off His intended course, He is still our rock. We may have to take a longer route to get back on track, but He promises to never leave us.

Although I was running in unfamiliar territory, I still felt the effects of the sun. In fact, it was the only thing recognizable at the moment of realizing I was lost. Whether I’m running at home in Kentucky or on a beautiful Florida beach, it’s still the same sun shining down upon me. And in the same way, God is always with us whether we’re in a predictable routine or right smack in the middle of something frightening and unfamiliar.

READY? Have you found yourself off course when you thought you were on the right path? Did you take a sudden turn not realizing it would bring you to a place you didn’t want to be?  If you find yourself on a path you didn’t intend to walk, humbly ask God to help you get back on the right course. Yes, you might have to experience some consequences but He will be with you every step of the way. He’s never left your side. He’s still there.

GET SET. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

GO! Heavenly Father, show me in my life where I’ve gotten off course. Reveal to me anything I need to confess in going the wrong way. Thank you for your faithfulness to me even when I’m going the wrong direction. Help me run back into your loving arms and walk confidently in your forgiveness and love. Amen.

path along the sea


Blessings to you!

Lisa Preuett