Thursday, December 4, 2014

Clutter in the Stable

Stuff. We can't seem to get away from it. We're so blessed with stuff yet we trip over it at the same time.

It's this paradox I struggle with. The boxes of Christmas decorations on my kitchen floor, the piles of dishes in the sink, the endless mountains of mail and paperwork, the tornado aftermath of glitter and glue and cardstock from my attempt at making Christmas cards.

It's driving me crazy. All this clutter.

And it's driving me crazy that it's driving me crazy! Because I'm thankful too. I really am. The stuff is also the blessing. I'm thankful for holidays and festive touches, for the time and money to cook at home, for the sweet cards people send in the mail, for the fun hobby of crafting.

Of course, let's not even talk about the clutter of my mind. You know, all those woman-thoughts we juggle every day as we plan, ponder, worry, and solve everything in the world. I'm pretty sure I live everywhere but the present moment. (Well, and there's the wedding planning perpetually on my mind. There's the little-girl-princess dreaming of a fairy tale wedding but also the adult-saint-in-progress overwhelmed by the materialism of it all and trying to keep it simple and holy!)

Even this post is clutter-y as I lay it all out there in no form of organization. (Has anything I've said yet really made sense?!)

So. I'm wondering.

Does the outer clutter cause the inner clutter? Does my cell phone, my social media, and my own perfectionist expectations cause the messy mind?

Or do I need to clean my heart out before I clean my house?

It's Advent, friends.

So I'm thinking about these things. About the my own messy stable. The manger of my heart. Is it clean? Is it comfortable?

More than anything, is it available?

Or is it full of stuff? So full to where I too often reply to Jesus like a crowded innkeeper? Too much going on today, no room to speak to Him, to see Him in others, to receive His love and listen for His voice. My stable is cluttered. My manger is messy. I need help this Advent.

Lord Jesus, my Savior, help me please. Help me make room for you this month. Help me quiet my space, simplify my schedule, prepare my heart, and invite you in.



  1. Ah, what a good topic for Advent! Personally, I've found that the social media clutter highly contributes to my mental clutter. I go from article to article without really reading it in depth, and don't truly appreciate the story and people behind everything I read. And for me, it takes time away from things that are more important in life to spend time on. It's a hard habit to break, which I've been trying to figure out.

    When I go to adoration and pray more, my internet usage is better. When I slack off on the inside stuff, the outside stuff definitely doesn't improve on its own. So I would say the internal transformation is probably an important aspect of making a change. At the same time, though, getting rid of a lot of stuff might force an inner transformation. Being a poor college student helps me with that :-)

    Creating guidelines for internet usage might help too, so that you have time for other things (ha! Not one to talk. I've been needing to do this). Maybe you can look at the "stuff" you're talking about and decide what is good to keep, and if there's any excess you could use as a blessing for someone else's life. We are blessed with so much, but I've found recently how nice it is to have less. It forces me to focus on people and God more. Of course everyone is on their personal journey, so that's my two cents. Would love to hear if you make plans, especially with social media, because I feel so much clutter there too.

    1. Okay. So THIS realllllly hit home with me: "I go from article to article without really reading it in depth, and don't truly appreciate the story and people behind everything I read."

      Because I do that too!! And I didn't used to do that before the influx of great articles on the web. Now I find myself even skimming great books...

      hmm...I'll keep in touch on how to overcome this...

      Thanks for your in depth reply. I loved your thoughts!

  2. Beautiful post! So amazingly true! Thank you!

  3. Laura...I have been following you for awhile now and just wanted to say that you are a HUGE inspiration to me. I am currently a 31 year old single Catholic missionary teacher serving in Honduras and your desire to love, serve and share Christ's love with others make me want to do the same. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so others can be filled with His great love! May the Lord Bless you in this new exciting chapter of you life!

    1. Jenny, thank you SO much for your comment! I absolutely love 'meeting' readers. It makes me so grateful that sharing my heart and journey has encouraged you in your own walk!

      Thank you also for your beautiful ministry as a missionary teacher! That's so awesome. What an impact you are making. God bless you and keep you, new friend!!