Sisters in Christ, grab a cuppa tea and join me for a few. If you’re like me, you love to read. In fact, nothing appeals more than snuggling up with a blanket, a cuppa, and a good book. Have you ever read an author whom you just automatically identify with? They speak your language and feel like a kindred spirit. Let me tell you about one of mine.
I first discovered Kathi Lipp at a writers conference. She was the keynote speaker, and a particularly good one at that. I picked up one of her books, and the rest is history. I bought her books, signed up for her blog, and followed her on social media, eager to read her truthful tidbits that encourage me in my walk with Christ and in my journey as a writer.
Kathi reigns queen of “Hope, Humor, and How-To’s.” She manages to be real and challenge her readers without ever seeming judgmental or preachy. Her wise insights and practical applications from her own experiences and struggles inspire introspection and action.
In June, she introduced a “Five-Week Fling” on her blog to declutter both material goods and bad habits so her readers could focus on God’s purpose for their lives rather than being distracted by the things of this world. I eagerly read each article she posted, hungry to rid my little world of distractions.
Buuut there was a disconnect. While Kathi’s advice was to fling only during bite-sized periods of time each day, I couldn’t seem to squeeze even that into my full schedule. I put the projects on a back-burner until a more opportune time arose.
Eventually, I cleaned out my closet and dresser. Five brown paper bags full of clothes later, it looked like I hadn’t done a thing. (Except that the rod in the closet didn’t bow anymore – my husband was happy about that!) But I felt good. And, I was ready for more! That is, when a more opportune time arose.
Last weekend, my husband went camping with friends. All. Weekend. Long. So, I had a cleaning party! I rushed home from work on Friday and set to work cleaning out my desk. After getting married, my desk was one of the few things that never got organized when I moved in. It felt like too big a project, and I just wanted to spend time with my husband. But now, after a year and a half of marriage, my desk had grown into a nightmare.
By 9 p.m., I had only gone through one drawer. Papers surrounded me. Exhaustion overwhelmed me. I started to cry. Yup, that’s right. I cried. Not embarrassing at all. Thankfully my only audience at the time was my cat and my dog. I promptly gave myself permission to pack it in for the night (after I unearthed my bed from under a mountain of papers).
I slept eleven hours. In the morning, I didn’t want to face my desk again, so I focused on knocking a few other projects and errands off my list. To-do lists that had plagued me for months were now things of the past. I felt good all day long…until I thought about my desk that night. So, of course, I dealt with the situation by watching Netflix.
Sunday morning loomed. My husband would return that afternoon. I tentatively picked at a stack of papers on top of my desk. Before I knew it, I was immersed again, eagerly tossing things into the recycling bin and organizing important paperwork into file folders. Then, I was done!
But…what does any of this have to do with God? Everything in life has to do with God. The Bible speaks to every situation, even ones that are as mundane as housekeeping. Am I being a good steward? Is my attitude bringing glory to God? Am I being a good helpmate to my husband? Am I wasting precious time and energy because of disorganization? These are all relevant questions.
Now that I’ve taken care of some of life’s business, a weight has lifted off my shoulders. I feel enabled, even empowered, to live God’s best life for me. God used Kathi Lipp to help bring this around for me. And from now on, I will only declutter in bite-sized chunks for the sake of my sanity.
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
What burdens are weighing you down? Who has helped you alleviate those burdens? Share in the comments below!
Family Radio Staff