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Clear the decks

Columnist Wanda Smith writes about decluttering
On the Front Porch by Wanda Smith

“Clear the decks! In other words, get rid of everything that's slowing you down, tie up loose ends and get things in order. I want you ready and able to engage with what is about to come your way.” This is a word that Rebecca King shared recently and when I read it, it leapt in my spirit. 

Presently, I have been working on purging and “clearing the decks” in our home. God seems to work in patterns and cycles, and I see a common thread amongst my friends and contacts. The common thread is that we are on a mission to bring order to our homes. We are simplifying our lives, getting rid of what we do not need for the next season. We desire to have a refuge where we can live, heal, rest and be recharged for the days to come. 

“Clear the decks” came from an old naval warfare term that meant to finish off what the crew was involved in and get ready for something new. Rebecca suggests to “...Take your fingers out of pots that they don’t need to be in. Let go of things that may be a good idea but really are unproductive and not bearing fruit. Step away from the things that are now nothing more than involvements that take up valuable space and time in your life and make sure the lane that you are called to run in is clear and ready. Prepare the way for the Lord - this is a ‘John the Baptist’ type clarion call. Prepare for a new course of action.” 

As I ponder what “clear the decks” could mean specifically, there are unfinished projects staring us in the face, cupboards, closets, rooms, garages, sheds and storage buildings that are bulging at the seams and schedules filled to overflowing. Clutter not only takes up space in our homes, but it also takes up space in our minds. Clutter contributes to struggles in mental health, relationship challenges, financial cost, lack of sleep, stress, pressure, distraction, and inability to focus and concentrate. As we tackle clutter one drawer at a time, we will begin to see the fog lift, our homes will become a restful, peaceful place to be and our relationships will become deeper and stronger.

Terri Savelle Foy suggests that “our outer world is a reflection of our inner world.” She goes on to state in her book, “Declutter Your Way to Success,” that “psychologists believe that our homes mirror our emotional state. When (our) surroundings are out of order, it causes us to feel less productive and less energetic.”

You may feel your life is in a constant case of chaos. You may wonder “where do I begin?” The first step is to acknowledge that you want to clean up the clutter and clear the deck.  Begin to desire to address the clutter one step at a time because you want peace and order in your life. You may not even know what that looks like, but I encourage you to ask God to begin to put that desire in you and then allow Him to guide you in your journey to clean up and clear out.

This week start the ball rolling and clean out a drawer, your car or a cupboard. Stay tuned next week for practical steps to declutter your way to success. Let’s prepare for a new course of action and clear the decks!

1 Corinthians 14:40 "Let all things be done decently and in order.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.