I am in the process of decluttering my life, starting with my home and moving onto my soul! It's a refreshing process and I am positive at the end I am going to have a prettier home and a more peaceful soul.
After getting back from holiday last week and feeling tired only a few days later I realised that something had to change. Before the holiday I was totally shattered! The holiday was amazing and I came back refreshed. (the photo above is towards the end of our holiday when we were all nicely refreshed, although Daniel looks like he still needs a bit more rest he he) I quickly jumped back into real life! You guessed it, back to shattered again. This is not the way to lead a healthy balanced life hence the decluttering! I figured that less is more, if I can do a few things well I will be effective in what I do and more satisfied with my life. Doing too many things badly or even mediocre is not the way I want to do life and living with a tired and stressed me is not what is best for my family. Being an excellent wife and mother has always been my #1 priority, if anything is hindering me in this area then it has to go.
Jesus said 'My yoke is easy and My burden is light.' - Matthew 11:30
When something is either too hard or too heavy to carry it must mean that God didn't give it to me. I have decided that de-cluttering my home helps me understand how to de-clutter my soul! Here are some guidelines I wrote for me, hopefully it can help you too.
Firstly remove everything that is not needed... whatever can go must go.
Household clutter is obvious but soul clutter can come in the form of too many responsibilities, too much time on the computer, too many things that cause negative emotions and loss of peace. Busyness for the sake of it is not effectiveness. Jesus mentioned this when he commended Mary and not Martha. Read Luke 10 verse 40 "...but Martha was distracted with much serving..." and verse 41 and 42 "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part..." To have a restored soul we need to eliminate things that distract, worry and trouble us and spend time sitting with Jesus.
Secondly stop and rest.
Psalm 23:2-3 is a great help on how to work towards a restored soul. "He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness". To have a restored soul there needs to be some rest involved! This is where most people fail, they find it impossible to rest so never get to the place of having a restored soul or to walk in paths of righteousness. To have a restored soul we need to allow Him to lead the way. After rest paths of righteousness will follow.
For more on this point I recommend reading my book, He Restores My Soul, which is a look at God's way to live our life, which is after all so much higher than our ways. Press the pause button, take a deep breath, and uncover a much better way to live your life.
Thirdly prioritise - what is important and what is not?
Before picking things up again make sure you know who you are. All that you do should be an overflow of who you are. Your identity is key to what you do with your life. The reason you probably got in a mess in the first place was because you were trying to do everything (um yes that's me) instead of resting in who you are and seeing what overflows naturally. God made us the way we are because He also has a plan for what He wants us to do... Psalm 139 : 3-16 explains so beautifully how God made us and planned our life before we were even born! Another way to look at is like this. A car manufacturer makes a car because He plans for the car to drive.... if the car tries to be a washing machine it would be in serious trouble as it wasn't designed to wash clothes! Perhaps an over simplified illustration but I do hope it helps. We really need to understand the importance of knowing who we are so we can do what God make us to do. To me that is the key to a great and satisfying life.
I have begun this process already and I challenge you to join me, the worst that can happen is that you will have a very tidy home and a very peaceful soul. These are just a few tips off the top of my head, if you have anything to share please write your ideas in the comments box below, I would love to hear your thoughts.