Day 21: antidote#4

HURRY!!! Hurry is definitely a contributor to CLUTTER (Day 17). Along with laziness, procrastination, and exhaustion, HURRY takes it’s toll on our homes. HURRY is also a bi-product of the others. It seems that in our haste, because of our waste of time, we don’t take care in the things we do. And it shows. And we feel it: exhaustion!

Hurry! We are constantly trying to keep up. We try to rush things to fit it all in. In-order to get dressed so we make it on time, clothes get tossed. In order to eat and run, dishes pile up. The list goes on and on. We are rushing because we are in a hurry to get somewhere or to do something, and we may not be taking care of the things around us. We are also not taking care of ourselves either.

This fast pace world we live in is a challenge. How do we slow down? How do we give are attention to one thing at a time? Are we even supposed to? Isn’t multi-tasking the way to go?

And then there is technology. With all the latest smart stuff that demands our attention (don’t you get the feeling it is DEMANDING), how do we ignore it and do what we ARE DOING? Isn’t there always something dinging, ringing or screaming at us for attention.

Priorities. We have to make serious decisions and choices before stuff starts ringing and our heads start spinning. We need to know what is important to us and how we will respond to demands that arise that may quickly take us off course.

When addressing hurry and the distractions that lend themselves to hurry, the Word offers us light.

Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5;37

We decide what we will and won’t answer and stick to it. I will only check my phone between this and that time. I will not answer it every time it makes a sound. I will do this or that, but I won’t do this other thing. We have to make these decisions and be clear, otherwise we will be taken off course.

James 1:2-8 says to:

 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

May we continue to seek God for His will for us each day. May we set boundaries with the technology in our lives. May we make good decisions and stick to them. May we not be tossed around by doubt. May we ask the Lord for his wisdom for how we can slow down and experience LIFE to the fullest!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

 

Day 17: Clutter

How does clutter happen and how can it be avoided? Can it be avoided? I have tried, and as I look around, I see that at this moment in time, I have failed. Clutter is present. I see clothes without homes, a table covered (ok, I can’t really see the table for the stuff!),  and miscellaneous items I’m not sure I even need.

CLUTTER! It is sneaky. And it is a symptom. A symptom of: laziness, procrastination, exhaustion, hurry, greed, control, fear, being overwhelmed….let’s break this down.

Laziness: I don’t feel like putting that away.

Procrastination: I’ll put that away….later.

Exhaustion: I am too tired to put that away.

Hurry: I don’t have time to put that away.

Greed: I don’t need this, but it is mine. I want to keep it here with me. I don’t use it, need it, or wear it. But you can’t have what’s mine.

Control: It’s mine, and I will do what I wish with it. Even leave it on the floor.

Devalue: That used to mean a lot to me and I took really good care of it, once. But it is old now and it doesn’t mean as much so therefore I will no longer take good care of it.

Fear: I may need this one day, and then what. What if I don’t have it anymore?!

Being overwhelmed: I can’t keep up with all this stuff! It never ends!!! I give up!!

Clutter. Is it a losing battle? It may seem that way, but I am convinced there is an answer to each symptom. An answer that brings abundant LIFE. After all, clutter is a LIFE-drainer. It is a BIG distraction and waste of time. If we could take the time to do the right thing, clutter would be a thing of the past.

So what are the opposite behaviors for each of the above symptoms as they relate to clutter? Perhaps: Productiveness, Assertiveness, Being energized, Preparedness, Generosity, Freedom, Gratefulness, Love, Trust

Productiveness: I will put that away.

Assertiveness: I will put that away right now.

Being energized: I am filled with energy. I have the strength to do anything I need to.

Preparedness: I have not waited until the last minute. I have written out lists of what I need to do and I have prioritized the list. I will not be taken off-guard. No need to toss everything around in haste.

Generosity: I can freely give what I do not need or use.

Gratefulness: I am thankful for everything I have, regardless of how old it is.

Freedom: I don’t have to find freedom in controlling everything. It leads to a rebellion to do whatever I want. I am free, therefore I can make good choices.

Love: I am loved. I understand that if there is a need, a provision will be made. I don’t have to keep things I think I may need.

Trust: I trust that I will be cared for no matter what.

Not only are these great attributes to overcome clutter, but they are also great ways to live LIFE. They line up with the Word of God.  In the days ahead, we will look at what scripture has to say about each of these attributes.

In the meantime, may we seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

May your heart and home, and mine say goodbye to clutter as we seek God’s Word to combat it. May your day and mine be filled with LIFE abundant.