Be a peaceful parent, stop looking for stuff around the house.

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Originally published as a podcast for The Journey.

It’s a great Christian show with input on Scripture, healthy marriages, parenting, stuff for young people, inspiring bits, fun bits, and thought-provoking bits. I’m honoured to be involved. Check it out!

 

The other night, after our children’s bedtime, I kept finding cupboard doors open. I went looking for the culprit and found one of my daughters, wandering around, crying, and peering into yet another cupboard. “What are you looking for?” I asked her.

“My choir sheet,” she answered. “I need it for tomorrow.”

“Where did you have it last?”

“I left it at the front door.”

“You mean you left it on the floor? It could be anywhere now.”

There is usually a jumble of school bags, sports bags, lunch boxes, and assorted papers and plastic folders on the floor just inside our front door. Occasionally in a fit of tidiness I pick it all up and put it all – somewhere – basically just shifting the clutter to another cluttered place.

We went hunting everywhere, in and behind bookshelves and cupboards, in drawers and folders and books. Eventually she found it in a pile of random papers on my desk.

It was annoying. She’d got all distressed, and my husband and I had lost half an hour of our free evening time. The other children were getting to sleep late too, since they’d been listening to all the riffling and rustling.

There is a whole industry formed around home organisation and decluttering, and it is really important, especially if you have a family living with you at home, to get your physical space in order. I do a big clear-out about twice a year and it’s amazing how much stuff we accumulate which we don’t need and don’t use.

Physical clutter definitely leads to increased mental clutter, and can impede us from being able to hear the still, small, voice of God in our daily lives.

How can we remain peaceful and keep God in mind throughout the day if we are forever needing to look for a thing or rush out to the shops to replace something that’s lost and is needed? Some people spend their lives doing stuff like this – rushing about from one crisis to another, tending to things which are not terribly important in the big scheme of things, like Hannah’s choir sheet, though it was important to her.

A lot of this running around can be avoided by making sure we only have what we need or really want to keep – especially when we are busy parents with young children. And then we need to make sure we have a place for everything – in our case we need some dedicated storage space for school stuff near our front door.

The only sure way to do this is to set a specific goal and to plan how we’re going to get there – as in, by the end of the month there will a place for the school things, and I will start looking at the furniture shops and online trading websites.

God shows us what is important and cares about every aspect of our lives, even the way we operate our homes. We only have to pay attention. This job was way down on my priority list until God used my teary-faced daughter to show me that it’s now time to tend to it.

Let’s pray for more order in our homes and our hearts.

Do you have any lifestyle hacks which help you to run things more smoothly at your home? Please share them in the comments, we always need new ideas don’t we?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sue Elvis says:

    Marilyn,

    I was writing about decluttering not so long ago! Yes, it’s a topic that’s been on my mind. I originally thought the answer to our clutter problem was better storage, but now I think we just need to get rid of stuff and use the storage we have more effectively. I’ve made a start but still have lots of throwing out to do.

    “Physical clutter definitely leads to increased mental clutter, and can impede us from being able to hear the still, small, voice of God in our daily lives.” That is so true!

    Like

  2. Thanks for your comment Sue, yes I think a two-pronged approach is often needed ie. better use of storage and getting rid of stuff or passing it on to someone else. Clutter is a monster that can eat up our days!

    Like

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