Hebrews 12:1 says, “Let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, our leader.” TLB
I like this picture of running a well-paced race with nothing holding me down, all my training pushing me toward Jesus at the finish line.
However, so many days as I try to keep my eyes on Jesus, everything else crowds in and shoves him out of my vision. I end up struggling to just stay on my feet, let alone finish the race. So much slows me down.
In February I discovered an online Mom’s Night Out webinar each month held by Susan Seay. Please check it out if you’re a mom at any stage of life. She shares so much godly wisdom from her heart. As I listened to her teaching on spring-cleaning our hearts and homes, she said something that resonated with me.
“Clutter is the sign of a delayed decision.”
Hello! The reason I’ve struggled my entire life to establish good habits with my chores and routine and even my stuff. I care more about being with people and being comfortable than I do about making those little daily decisions to take care of seemingly insignificant tasks. That’s my excuse. Yours might be different.
As the oldest in my family, I thought housekeeping would come easily for me. But I found I hated all the “mundane” household chores. And keeping things tidy has never been my strong suit. Last year we moved into a lovely rental home where we have a lot of redecorating and renovating liberty and my list of household projects began to accumulate.
So by this spring, I felt completely overwhelmed. My kitchen was always piled too high with dishes. Our home was always messy (beyond what the kids created). And I couldn’t stop thinking about all the jobs that needed to be done.
When I realized the heart of my struggle, something as simple as putting things off, I began to slowly change. For years I’d been saying, “It’ll do,” to a myriad of things, far beyond household chores, that clouded my mind. But living a mediocre life isn’t good enough. I want to be at peace! By taking two extra seconds to hang up the shirt instead of throwing it on the floor, and twenty extra minutes a day to do a dishwasher load, and making a list of projects to slowly chip away at, I began freeing myself of the negativity filling my brain.
Have you ever made a list of all the negative thoughts that plague you? What slows you down every day? What decisions are you delaying?
Maybe it’s stuff you need to release emotionally. Maybe it’s people you need to forgive. Maybe it’s circumstances you need to surrender.
See, by doing my dishes daily, my messy kitchen rarely even crosses my mind, even when there are stacks to scrub. To turn off that mental track stuck on repeat, decide to release that frustration to God. Seriously, let it go. Make the needed change.
One day I was whining to Nate about my stress over the dishes and he said, “Why don’t you just try doing the dishes once a day and see how it goes?” So I did. And it was amazing. And I’m never going back.
Just do it. This is about more than physical clutter. It will clear your heart. And maybe even your kitchen counter.