After my blog about materialism (see previous post), I got to work on the clutter all around the house. My problem wasn't organization, my problem was hanging on to things that had no function or value. Now, when I walk through our home, there is a sense of peace coming from true order. I haven't felt this for a long time. Our living space actually feels beautiful to me, and I am thankful.
I cleared my dining room table except for a tablecloth and a decorative bowl. I used to avoid the dining room because of the clutter that was growing on top of the table--piles of papers, objects I didn't know what to do with and plain junk. Now, it is a space that invites me to sit down with my Bible and journal and enjoy God's company.
While moving through our family room between the basement and the garage to get ready for the yard sale a few weeks ago, our carpet got stained from dirt and oil spots. It was discouraging and I didn't want to hire a carpet cleaner for one traffic area. While going through cleaning products in our laundry room, I ran across a spot remover that was left behind by the Oreck carpet cleaning guys and I forgotten about for several months. So, what the heck, Dennis and I used it and it worked beyond our expectations. The sight of the stains on the carpet was creating a lot more stress on me than I realized.
The desk that I am sitting at is clear of clutter and a functional reading and writing space. I feel as though I can concentrate without getting distracted by junk in a pile sitting next to me. I still have a list of things to get more organized, but it doesn't feel overwhelming. In college, I read a book called "Ordering Your Private World" by Gordon MacDonald. I'm re-reading it now, intrigued by his insights about John the Baptist, since I've been focusing on him in the Gospel of John for the last week.
MacDonald essentially gets to the heart of one's character by the cultivation of the inner person, or what seems to me to be the soul. It marks the difference between the driven or the called person. When your inner life is disorganized, it shows up in your environment and in your relationships; what is private manifests itself in the public eye.
So, my problem isn't about an ordered home, but an ordered heart.