De-Cluttering Me

My personality – wanting to not “miss out” on anything and be at harmony with everyone, constantly surrounding myself with people often to the detriment of my room/car/house/finances. Wanting what’s next, new and exciting – whether a hobby or a trip or a relationship or a new city or even a new accessory.

At our staff retreat for work, we did an assessment and my behavioral tendencies according to LIFO (Life Orientation training) – put me in the Adapting/Dealing quadrant. There are many great qualities that go with that… enthusiastic, ready to adapt to change and new ideas, etc…

But what hit me about it were the difficulties of this tendency – lack of focus, lack of steadfastness, tendency to take up too many hobbies, not finish tasks easily, use  of humor as a distraction from task (well, I like this about myself…)

I am already beginning to lose focus because I’m so distracted by the tasks ahead today. I tried to “keep it simple” and only commit to one appointment and some work so I that I could clean out the car and the room but then again the US Open is on and I want to watch that too and already made banana bread and put green beans in the crockpot… I wish I hadn’t started writing this!!

If only life were this simple. (An excuse to add a picture of baby Willard… my newest and favorite distraction!)

Let’s get to the point so I can get on with it.

I discussed with an advisor this past week how I felt unable to keep my obligations to the church body– not because of a lack of time, more like priorities/desire – and then always having that feeling of anxiety about the things I’m not doing/finishing.

With all this in mind I thought it best this morning to read in Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline on the discipline of simplicity. Just spend an hour, sitting, with a book and a latte. Lots of jewels in there but here are a few…

Simplicity is freedom. Duplicity is bondage. Simplicity brings joy and balance. Duplicity brings anxiety and fear.”

“Simplicity begins with an inward focus and unity….”

“ We are trapped in a maze of competing attachments… Because we lack a divine Center our need for Security has led to an insane attachment to things…”  (I think I will write about this in the near future but not today!)

“Simplicity is the only thing that sufficiently re-orients our lives so that possessions can be genuinely enjoyed without destroying us.”

According to Richard Foster… Well, first it came from Jesus… the simplicity we are talking about here is the Matthew 6 simplicity of seeking first the Kingdom.

Foster says… “The person who does not seek first the kingdom does not seek it at all. Worthy as all other concerns may be, the moment they become the focus of our efforts they become idolatry.” Ouch!

A sign that we are practicing this kind of simplicity? Freedom from anxiety. (Matthew 6 again here).

There is more to say about this, but rather than recounting the whole chapter (that I didn’t finish because I suddenly felt the need to write about it, ha), I will leave it here.

Lord, thank you for providing all my needs and I pray I can see all of it simply as a gift from you and not bog myself down with concerns outside of your kingdom! And that I can “de-clutter me” so I can be more filled with you!

(Sigh) I feel better now – Better get going on that to do list!




5 thoughts on “De-Cluttering Me”

  1. Bekah! You just described my day! I loved this! I would go into exactly how I related to it, but I am doing this on my phone and that would be so annoying to type out. And no one wants to hear about it!

  2. Nice! I relate to you…longing for simplicity. Simplicity seems like it should be simple by its very nature, right? But I don’t find it so simple (-:. Maybe the problem is that I try to de-clutter everything except for me. Keep writing! Love hearing from you.

  3. As a some_what new mom, I’ve found simplicity, or perhaps, singularity of thought, to be the most illusive trait. But I desire it so much. All of these mom blogs that I read talk about the skill of multitasking. How supermoms have developed the adeptness to toss laundry in the air and have it land folded, bake sugar cookies, feed four children peacefully and answer work email all while vacuuming backwards. All right. They never make it sound that easy, but that’s how I interpret what they say! It sounds impressive but exhausting to me. What I find most disheartening during the day is when I feel mentally divided by two competing obligations. When I feel like I can’t completely focus on reading to Jakob because of a conference call or putting groceries away or cleaning up dog vomit or dot.. dot.. dot. The more peaceful days are those when I can focus on one thing at a time. Watching Jakob discover the leaf that fell onto the sidewalk… and nothing else. Having a devotional and time in prayer… and nothing else. Finishing a writing project for work… and nothing else. Preparing dinner for Kostya before he gets home… and nothing else. It all sounds impractical and unrealistic but when it happens, how glorious. Maybe that’s one of our inner longings that makes us eagerly anticipate the eternal. And a desire that earth will never fulfill… by design. But here’s to finding simplicity where and when we can!

    1. Shannon – so beautifully put – and true! I, too… although I don’t have the excuse of being a busy mom… find that when I try to focus too many things (which is my natural tendency) I cannot fully give my heart to any of them. I think we have to find simplicity in those brief moments where we can just look at our lives and smile and realize what a true gift we have been given!

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