Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….
This past Friday night was the first football game at our only high school in our very special little town. By the excitement in the air you would have thought we were home to one of the biggest NFL teams. A helpful hint, if you want to eat out without having to wait for a table and dine while having a quiet uninterrupted meal, plan on eating out on Friday night any time after 7:30 during football season. You’ll be assured of a peaceful dining experience in any local restaurant.
With the very first ball game I start to get “fall fever”. Even as the end of August is in sight the mornings have gotten a bit cooler and the smell of fall is in the air. Sure, it’s between 7am and 7:15am, but at least it’s there. I am ready to drag out the decorations, go pumpkin shopping and try every fall recipe that I have found on Pinterest.
The problem with my dreams of fall leaves dancing in my head is the summer dust bunnies dancing around my feet! It never fails when I choose to focus on one area of my life (recovering from surgery is my latest excuse) everything takes a back seat.
I like to compare my life to a juggling act. Sometimes I am able to keep everything running smooth; dinner on the table, floors swept, dishes done and laundry washed folded and put away (all the balls in the air). Then I notice other things around me that I have neglected and the balls start to hit the floor one at a time until game over and the monster “overwhelmed” raises her ugly head and begins to laugh.
To overcome this dilemma we developed a list of chores. Some need to be done on a regular basis while others a few times a year. This has worked like a well-oiled machine and has been a life saver however right now I’m having a hard time getting it going again. I guess I’ve done it so long that it has become second nature so I assume I no longer need my list. Then, I have one of those days when I just don’t have enough energy to get everything done. So the next day I try to catch up and thus begins the downward spiral in to the pit of “overwhelmed” .
Once I realize I’ve dropped the ball it’s hard to convince myself I just need to start over. Before I know it, I wind up filling my time with other things just to keep from facing the clutter of unfinished stuff. Anyone relate? Many times we fill up our time with great and honorable things like helping others, cooking meals for those in need and volunteering. Anything to keep our mind off of our mess and our need for order. The best way to avoid things that need to be done……..focus on something else.
When I finally have enough of the “poor pitiful me party” and accept that the cleaning fairy is not going to arrive, I find one thing that I need to get in order. Somehow it lights my organizing fire again. I really can get a rush from finishing a project, even those that I was reluctant to jump in and slay the clutter dragon. I don’t know, maybe it’s the smell of cleaning products that clears my mind so that I can see the task that needs to be done in a new light or the feeling of satisfaction from a job well done. Whatever it is it makes my heart beat faster and my body feel lighter and I love it!!! In fact, I sleep better, eat healthier and I am sure I can leap tall buildings in a single bound.
I will commit to focusing on one area of my house that needs attention. I will not finish in one day, but I will persevere! I know once this area is in proper order I will be ready to move on. My first project, is an area I use on a daily bases, really almost hourly – the area over my washer and dryer. It’s the family catch all, the place to put anything that will fit that you don’t know where else to put. I will treat it like a treasure hunt, a seek and destroy mission, I will overcome. In fact, I may even paint it, I have a color running around in my head that I may use when we redo the living room. This would be the perfect place to try it out and see how it sits with me. Oh my, just making plans gets me all excited!! I will let you know how it all works out and if I am brave enough to post some pics— we will see.
As the women’s ministry person at our church I find myself getting overwhelmed when I realize how much needs to be done to meet the needs of our women in our church and community. It really grieved my heart when I realized I cannot do it all nor do I have the funding to solve all the problems that I find every day. At times I have gotten so down about the whole mess that I send myself into a tail spin.
After doing the pity me party thing, God pointed out that I had taken my eyes off of the reason I was called to do this; to disciple women, to teach them to disciple others and above all to bring glory to Him in all we do. Yep, just smack me around a bit. Sometimes I feel like the disciple Peter when Jesus called him out of the boat to come to Him. He was asked to do something he saw as impossible but when he kept his eyes on Jesus, he was able to walk on water, to do what no one can do except in the power of Christ. As soon as he took his eyes off of Jesus, he started to sink. As soon as he realized where he was, doing something he knew he couldn’t do without the power of Christ, he started to panic and focus on what was going on around him instead of ignoring it and staying the course.
How many times have I been so excited to do what the Lord called me to do only to allow those around me to distract me with words of discouragement? It is in these times I realized I had taken my eyes off of my sweet Jesus, worried about pleasing those around me instead of the One that called me. I can’t promise this won’t happen again. However, as I grow I know I won’t be distracted so easily. The closer I grow in my walk with Jesus the louder I will hear His voice above all the other voices in my life.
May we learn to focus on the things that are important in our home and in our walk with Jesus!
Love you to Jesus,