Encouragement for Today 13 January 2022
Letting Go of Clutter and Holding On to Peace
BRENDA BRADFORD OTTINGER
“The LORD rules over the floodwaters. The LORD reigns as king forever. The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace.” Psalm 29:10-11 (NLT)
The Carolina clay has housed our family roots for over a decade now, but prior to settling here, we moved many times across many years.
As exhausting as those moves were, they lent timely opportunities to shed excess belongings.
Yet as we settled into long-term living, I began to sense an unexpected weight of weariness. Amidst the bustle of a growing family, without those frequent moves forcing fresh starts, I felt overwhelmed by the re-accumulated stuff of life and the stress of tidying around it.
I’d spend all my energy managing the simple tasks of daily maintenance, never feeling like I could get ahead. Then I’d collapse into bed each night, sinking further into the floodwaters of inadequacy.
Quieting my environment helps quiet my spirit, yet my environment felt like a thundering flood of chaos. Feelings of failure, fault, weakness and regret stole my very peace. Yet I had no idea how to summon the time and energy to change my situation.
One evening, as I searched Scripture for a hint of calm in the chaos, God brought me to Psalm 29. David wrote this psalm while watching a storm rise above the Mediterranean Sea and sweep across the land.
I felt like I was swirling in my own personal storm, and these words spoke hope and comfort to my weary soul: “The LORD rules over the floodwaters. The LORD reigns as king forever. The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace” (Psalm 29:10-11).
I knew something needed to change, so I prayed for wisdom to create boundaries and freedom to let go of clutter that no longer served us. And one small step at a time, I began moving toward a life of less stuff and more peace.
Friend, if life feels like it’s swirling around you, creating whirlwinds of chaos in your home, take heart; there is hope! God is more than able to meet you where you are with His abundant strength, for He rules over the floodwaters of your storm and longs to bless you with His peace.
Here are five practical suggestions and accompanying scriptures to tuck into your heart as you seek to declutter and restore order in your home:
- Lay your struggles bare before God. Ask Him to guide you toward His best for your household. “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, NLT)
- If you live with others, brainstorm ways you can work together toward balance. “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my God and my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (Psalm 25:5, NIV)
- Break down big tasks into small goals. Don’t discount the big difference that small efforts can make. “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin …” (Zechariah 4:10a, NLT)
- Consider how much stuff you want to manage, and donate the rest to someone who needs it. “All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.” (Acts 4:32, NLT)
- Don’t let one difficult day derail your progress. Accept God’s grace for the process and begin each day anew. “The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23, NLT)
Sweet friend, your desire for a manageable home is a worthy desire. Today is a great day to begin again and, one step at a time with God, create the calm your heart craves for your home.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
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For more encouragement, connect with Brenda Bradford Ottinger at her website.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (NIV)
What small step can you take today to bring more order and peace to your home? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
© 2022 by Brenda Bradford Ottinger. All rights reserved.