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Women Living Well Blog: Drowning in Clutter

Women Living Well Blog

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Drowning in Clutter

If you are drowning in clutter that means you are so blessed! God has given you an abundance of stuff BUT all this stuff does not feel like a blessing when it is not managed. And managing clutter is a daily chore.

When we say we are "drowning in clutter" what we are saying is that it's overwhelming us, stressing us out and literally affecting our peace of mind. Stuff can be a blessing and it can be a curse. It's a lot of work to manage it.

When I look at the Proverbs 31 woman I see in verse 15 that she gets up very early - "while it is still dark and provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls." Don't we wish we had servant girls!!! Well, guess what some of us do...our maids are called...dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, sprinklers, swiffers, fast food, voicemail, computers...we have a whole host of home helpers in our lives...yet we are still drowning in our clutter! How can this be?

Could it be that we are not rising while it is dark? You see rising early begins a entire chain of benefits. There is time for a quiet time with God, time to make a tasty breakfast for the family rather than slipping them pop tarts, time to get organized with your lists for the day. The Proverbs 31 lady knew this morning time was a precious necessity to her day.

I read of the "broken window effect". It's a study that was done in neighborhoods where there were broken windows. It seemed that if there was a broken window found there was even more disarray in the area including graffiti, trash and theft. The look of the broken window invited these things. Do we have that effect in our home? A little clutter invites more clutter. The lack of piece of mind leads to quarreling and complaining in the home. The clutter may lead to an overwhelmed tempermental mommy!

Not only did the Proverbs 31 lady rise early but it says in verse 18 "her lamp does not go out at night." And it appears that she used her evenings to sew. We need to evaluate our evenings - use them wisely. A whole host of excellent things can happen in the evening - you can clean out a closet, iron, organize coupons, write your grocery list, make some freezer meals, go shopping, and clean up ALL that clutter!!!

If you feel like you are drowning in clutter - it may be because there is some time in your day - specifically early morning and late at night (when the kids are in bed) - that you are not taking advantage of. You may be able to find an extra hour in your day that you can devote to digging your way out and as a result find more peace in your home.

In the end of Proverbs 31, both her children and husband arise and praise her: "Many do noble things, but you surpass them all." Where will her praise come from? Not from climbing the corporate ladder, not amongst the women at church or elsewhere - but from her own family. Honor comes through hard work and love poured into our home and into families. Do your family a favor today and invest your time wisely in digging your way out of the clutter.

Walk with the King!



Blogger Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

This was such a well-written post. A lot to think about. :)

July 15, 2009 at 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed reading these posts on the Proverbs 31 woman!! I work outside the home, so I wake up at 5 am to get in my quiet time, exercise and house cleaning. I would like to say though that we as moms need to be careful how much time we spend cleaning/ organizing!! I taught pre-K for 10 years and every mother's day I had the children fill out a "mom survey". One of the questions that I asked on the survey was what does your mom like to do? 90% of the kids said "she likes to clean". At first I thought it was cute until my own son said that about me!!! I want my boys to know that I like to do things other than clean!! Like play with them, and knit, and run!! If they only see us keeping the house, I am afraid that isn't the best thing!! But, it is so easy to get caught up keeping the house clean and organized (esp if you work outside the home!). There is a delicate balance when it comes to cleaning and organizing!!! We just need to be prayerful about it!!

July 15, 2009 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Thorn said...

Love this post. I have recently admitted to myself that I am good at wasting time. I need to become more disciplined, but this is hard to learn.

July 15, 2009 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Dear Anonymous - thank you so much for sharing your story AND for your survey results! Very interesting. I guess I have two thoughts on the children's assessments...

1. I asked my kids what they think my favorite thing to do is - and they said (without prompting) "read" and "lay in the sun" I guess I'm in the 10% category. And I kinda wish they had said - cleaning cause now I wonder why all the other kids say that about their mom - and I sound like the lazy one!!! Lovely! hehe!

2. At the young age of a pre-Ker, I think that is how children see their mommy - they see her working, cleaning, cooking, washing clothes, doing dishes etc. So at that base level - they don't understand that cleaning may not be our passion - but it is certainly something mommy does everyday. I'm not sure if they are assessing "cleaning" as a vice or a virtue.

It is a vice if we are perfectionistic. If we are angry when a child spills milk, angry when a child does something childish like getting sand on our kitchen floor, fight with them to do chores, and push them away so we can get our work done.

But it is a virtue when a mother learns how to take her housework and turn it into a bonding time with her children. It is fun for them to sort laundry if you make it a game (this is applies to a pre-Ker not an older child necessarily!), it is fun for them to plant seeds in a garden, weed it and water it and watch them grow - especially when they begin to bloom (which is happening right now with our tomatoes and sunflowers - very exciting!). It is fun for them when they get to play in the sudsy bucket of water and help me clean the outside furniture. It is fun for them when I include them in making pizza for dinner or pudding for dessert. It is fun for them to have a feather duster in hand while I'm dusting or to get to push the vaccuum a few times.

Wow - I could go on and on - so I might just have to blog on this thought! Thanks for bringing it up! And keep on sharing - I appreciate your thoughts - I admire your discipline to get up at 5am!!! Keep it up!!!

July 15, 2009 at 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great points Courtney! And this is Melodie... I have posted on your blogs before, but cannot rmember my log in info!!! lol

It could also be that most children in Pre K have moms that work outside the home, and it is very tempting if you are a working outside the home to spend the evenings and weekends catching up on laundry and cleaning!! I have been there!!!

So, for any working outside the home moms out there... rising before the sun is honestly a great way to solve this problem!!

It took me a good year to get in the habit, but it does become addicting!! And makes evenings and weekends so much fun!! If you delegate certain tasks for certain mornings, you don't have a ton to do on Saturday and Sunday!

And your ideas for doing chores with your kids are great!!

Love your blog so much!! I read it every morning at 6:30!!!


July 15, 2009 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Melodie! Thanks for balancing out my thought - and speaking where I can't - to working women. You set an EXCELLENT example of diligence for us ALL!!! Thank you!!!

July 15, 2009 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Kari said...

Very good post today. Learned or relearned stuff I needed to know...

July 15, 2009 at 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Julie@comehaveapeace said...

I'm glad I had set my alarm early before I read this post. :) I don't always do that, but there's so much truth here. The broken window effect is a really strong visual.

July 15, 2009 at 11:35 PM  

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