Decluttering the Heart

This post originally appeared in Smyth & Helwys’ Reflections on September 21, 2016.

“Come near to God, and he will come near to you.”  – James 4:8

When my daughter Meredith was home from college on break she became inspired to put her organizational skills to work decluttering my laundry room and my kitchen cabinets.  I can’t tell you how many bags went out to the trash can that week or how much money we spent on baskets and bins and command hooks.  I can’t tell you why I had entire shelves of expired cold medicines or jars of whole vanilla beans older than my youngest daughter, but it is now safe to both eat and get sick at my house, though hopefully not in that order.

It may not be biblical that cleanliness is next to godliness, but decluttering has been a spiritual experience.  My house is brighter and my spirit is lighter.  Not only is it now possible to find the things that I’m looking for, but it turns out I have enough bottles of carpet cleaning spray to keep my life stain and pet odor free for many years to come.

Our lives get filled with junk and it weighs us down.  Bad habits.  Hurtful words.  Judgmental thoughts.  Toxic beliefs.  Some of it we collect.  Some of it gets dumped in our laps.  Some of it we have pushed so far to the back of the cabinet that we don’t even know it’s there anymore.  But it is taking up space in our lives; physical, emotional or spiritual space that God wants to fill with himself.

“Come near to God, and he will come near to you.”  Declutter your heart and your mind and your soul.  Maybe especially your calendar.  Make room for God in your life.  You just may find what you’ve truly been longing for.


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