I have a quote on the wall in my kitchen, it is a scripture that reads:
I have always thought of this scripture in the context that all of the little things I do as a wife and mom, are important and will make a difference for good, for example, because my kids have clean underwear they’re going to turn out great, things like that. But today, as I thought about spring, and fresh starts and gleaning out the unnecessary in my life, I found a new context for me: By simplifying my life, I’ll have room/time for the greater things to happen.
Typically, this time of year along with tulips and daffodils and hyacinth, (oh how I miss spring in Pennsylvania!) brings a desire to deep clean, not just the “normal” stuff, but everything. Please tell me the following scenario is not unique to me..
It’s a gorgeous breezy clear spring day. I throw open the doors to air out the house. I want to clean and refresh…everything. So, feeling ambitious, before bed, I make my list. I list all the big things I’ll clean “tomorrow”, which make me think about the medium things, so I add them to my list, then the small things come to mind and by the time my page is full, my enthusiasm is gone. It faded completely out while adding the last few tedious things to de clutter and clean to my dang list. I wake “tomorrow” get the kids out the door and sit with Flossie in my sweats and watch judge Judy and the Chew and eat captain crunch for breakfast and snack on stale humidity stricken cookies from the disorganized pantry for the rest of the day.
The clutter stays and neither my house nor I feel refreshed or aired out. What happened?? I was so motivated! What happened was this, I was thinking too big. It’s been a year (let’s be honest, more than a year for some of those jobs), for stuff to accumulate and get cluttered. I need to choose one job and finish it, then look to the next, and so on. I found I need to start small, get a few successes under my belt, success begets desire to do more because it’s a satisfying feeling to do something good. So I like to start with a drawer or a small cupboard or closet. When I am done I must show it off and the unveiling must be met with sufficient oohing and ahhing, that kind of praise helps inspire me to keep plugging away.
I find great satisfaction filling bag after bag for the thrift store, emptying my home of unnecessary stuff that requires my time and attention, If I work at it, consistently, and not be buying/acquiring new stuff to fill the newly empty spaces, I’ll be getting ahead, while simplifying.
So, what are the greater things I hope to happen in my life by this process of simplifying? Well, when my home is not in order, I don’t feel good about myself. Like the scenario I posed above, I lack energy or desire and simply feel incapable. So the first greater thing is confidence, feeling happy within, wanting to get up each day. The second is that having less things to care for, I can use my time how I choose, things do not dictate to me. I can help at the school, or spend time with a friend, and know I’ll come home to the order I left. Lastly, and perhaps the most important for me is, I can feel closer to God when my life is in order, when I have less distractions.
Currently, I have a lot of distractions in the form of clutter, so, with or without my fragrant hyacinths, I’m throwing some doors open, (unless it’s hot and humid, then I’ll just turn the AC down), getting my box of black bags marked thrift store, and heading into a couple of closets and drawers over the next few weeks.
Goodbye stuff that is unnecessary, hello Freedom! I can’t wait for the “greater things”.