Friday, April 15, 2016

Decluttering the Heart

One of my classes this past week had an assignment to write a detailed description of our room and then attach photos with our account. Simple enough and a great exercise for what we've been studying in class... only I didn't want to take photos of my room because it was a wreck. 

I remember being relatively organized as a child and pretty good about tidying my room the moment it got messy. But somehow, over the years, my attention to order has greatly decreased.

So I stood there in my doorway on Monday afternoon, trying to decipher the best way to start organizing. 
How did it get this dirty? 
I survey my prospects. 

There's a pile of clean clothes in front of my closet that I have yet to organize and put away. 
Oh yeah, I did a load over the weekend while in Staunton. Forgot to put those away.
My bed is a tussle of sheets, blankets and pillows. 
Danget, I'm always in such a rush in the morning that I don't make time to make my bed.
My dirty laundry basket is overflowing.
Oh, right. I tried to do it the other day but someone else was doing their laundry and I forgot to try again.  
Multiple pairs of shoes are jutting out from under my desk, bed and chair.
Why...? Ah, I took them off and didn't make it a priority to put them in the right place. 
There's a massive pile of random papers on my desk, a coffee mug half full that's been sitting there for a number of days, bills, checks, stamps, notecards, my retainer and it's case and random samples of Proactiv skincare.  
Gosh... how did this happen? Actually, come to think of desk has looked like this for several weeks, hasn't it? I just keep putting off going through what I need to throw out and what I need to organize. 
My side table with makeup is the worst. It's dusty from all the cover up powder that has coated it over time. Make up brushes, pencils, perfume, skincare products, moisturizer and deodorant lay in a perfect catastrophe. 
Seriously, Sarah! How does it get this disgusting? I'm sure if I cleaned it a little each day it would never get coated like this. 
Each outfit I wore last week has found some spot on the floor, claiming its own territory. 
Scarves are interspersed with a random jacket, purse, in class handout, book I've been meaning to read, my journal, sweaters, gum, candle lighter... it's a mess. 
I guess... I guess I just haven't taken the time to declutter.

And why? I ask myself, Why didn't I make it a priory? Because now it's an incredible mess. 

I go about cleaning, organizing, throwing out, decluttering... all the while still rhetorically asking myself why I waited so long. 

But I know why. 

It is so darn easy to be careless, isn't it? It is so easy to come into my room after a long day and fling all my clothes aside and rid myself of the day. It is so easy to keep piling clothes on top of clothes and say that "I'll do it tomorrow" so as to shirk myself out of work in the moment that I don't want to do.

It's easy to be lazy. To be thoughtless. To numb our present worries. To be careless. To allow everything to pile up and say, "I'll worry about it later."

But later always hits you like a sucker punch.

Isn't this what we do with our lives?

I don't want to deal with that relationship. I don't want to have that conversation. I don't want to reconcile. I don't want to think about the situation. I don't want to try to change. I don't want to listen to what God is trying to tell me. I don't want to deal with life.

Why? Because it's painful? Because it makes you uncomfortable? Because you don't know if the outcome will be good? Because you don't know if you'll be happy in the end?

Sooner or later, it all piles up when you don't deal with it. The hurt, the misunderstanding, the conversations in your head that you wish you could have had, but didn't; the frustration, the stress, the anxiety, the depression, the pride, the bitterness... it all gets messy.

And when it gets messy, we blind our eyes from seeing Gods vision for us, and we plug our ears to His promises for us in that vision.

Sometimes, especially now as school is coming to a closing and finals are piling up, we find our identity in business and decide to deal with the real problems later. Life can wait... but the turbulence of school can't. Sometimes this seems easier to deal with, even though in our minds we say it's harder.

"Studying is so hard. School is so hard," we say.

But I promise you, it's nothing short of easy when compared to dealing with problems of the heart. When we listen to God and His plans for us, it is indeed harder because it's often not what we planned for ourselves, but it is so much better and truly worth our attention.

Although this season may be busy, although all hope may seem lost, although we may feel incapable on our own, we cannot ignore the messy rooms in our lives and we cannot allow them to keep collecting dust and filth. God uses these messy things to draw us closer to Him, not push us further away. He wishes to show us His plan, so don't use business as an excuse to not have an ear for His purpose.

Friends, during this season of exams, finals, tests, caffeine highs, long nights and weary bodies, let's not allow our souls to grow weary too. Address the issues at hand, pursue resolutions, declutter your heart, draw close to Him and seek His plan. He desires to bless us so deeply, if we would only uncover our eyes and unplug our ears to witness His grace.

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’

Jeremiah 29:11-14

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