by Debbie Altman
Let’s see…something on my “Summer Bucket List”…well, one thing comes to mind…so simple…so boring, so unspiritual…so pathetic…to clean out my closet!
The problem is, this has been on “my list” for about 5 years now! My Spring Cleaning List, my During the Holidays List, my New Years Resolution List! It has become this big monster hanging over my head! I just can’t do it! I have cleaned out every other drawer, small closet and nook and cranny in my home over the last couple of years, but I just cannot conquer this one. This closet is not just my clothes…that’s not even the part that’s overwhelming me. This is my main storage closet in my home. This one will entail getting rid of things! I’m not good at this. I’ve always been frugal, and it’s hard for me to “waste” anything. I just know I can use that down the road in 15 years when I have grandchildren! (That’s what I said 15 years ago and now I do have a grandbaby! And now we don’t use VCR tapes anymore!)
This one will require a whole day. This one entails picture albums, and collected greeting cards from loved ones, a few college nursing textbooks, wrapping paper, leftover material…and it will mean I will sit on the floor in the mess and start looking and remembering and reading and probably crying. This is a big project! It will require deciding, do I throw this away? Do I give it away so it is not wasted…but who would I give it to? Do I save this? I just read a quote, “Mess is stress.” But you also want to save memories, and sometimes deciding what is mess and what is memories is just not that easy. Especially for me. I’m kind of an over-thinker, and a saver, and sentimental…you know the sort…
So, I’ve thought about having someone help me, but that wouldn’t work either, not with this stuff. I know that can be a good idea, but these things are more personal than that. This is something I must conquer by myself! It is going to take a whole day of concentration, and I never seem to have a whole day! I am a busy girl and out and about!
I will get thinking about doing it and I’ll go in and look and I’ll see even one section and think of the decisions that section will entail, and I just turn away and think of all the other things I need to do or would rather do! Like write a blog about it! Or I get busy with children, grandchildren, ministry, friends and just life, and I think “what does my messy closet matter in the scheme of things!…” But it is hanging over my head…
So there it is. This big “monster in my closet” that IS my closet! I’ve always had to have “the spirit move me” when it comes to projects like this. Hmmm….
Life is funny. It just “keeps on coming” as I like to say. So many hang-ups we have, so many priorities we make, or don’t make. There are things in our lives that are like my closet. We know they need to be addressed, they bother us, but we’re not at a crisis point yet! We don’t want to take the time. We don’t want to make it a priority. We look at it, but then walk away. And our lives are a little less “clean” than they could be. But then when we press in and take care of things, we feel “free” and like a weight has been lifted. I pray that we would all continue to allow the Spirit to move us to ever increasing places of simplicity and freedom in Christ. And I need a big move of the Spirit to get this closet cleaned out! He cares about the smallest of our prayers… “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
Jesus, don’t allow me to put off the really important things. Don’t let me walk away from the hard things. Help me to desire to be “cleansed” and at peace with you.
Is there a specific task that you’re putting off? What scriptures help you stay at peace with God when life just “keeps coming”? Share your comments below!
Debbie is the wife of Pastor Craig Altman, and together, they founded Grace Family Church 18 years ago. She is a former RN and mother of a 27 year old married daughter and 26 year old son. She is also known as “Nona” to her precious granddaughter. Debbie enjoys family, reading, the beach, and is inappropriately competitive at board games.