A Different Kind of Clutter

March 2, 2012

I was sitting on the sofa at the end of the day when my husband asked me if I was feeling all right.  “No,” I admitted, “I’m not.  And I have no idea what’s wrong.”  We’d had lots of sickness in the house at that point, and I just attributed it to “maybe I’m starting to come down with something.”  I let it go.

As I lay in bed later, though, it finally hit me.  I’d had no time alone in….let’s see….I began to count back.  I hadn’t been alone in the house for almost three full weeks.  I’d had something to do, places to go, or the kids had had days off school for three weeks.  As a full-fledged introvert, it’s no wonder I was feeling so “off.”  Once I’d made that realization, I immediately started feeling better; just knowing what was the matter helped me improve, and I could start thinking forward to when I could make “alone time” a possibility in my future.  (Even knowing it was almost a week away gave me something to hope toward.)

I realize there are millions of Type A people out there, who thrive on “lots to do” and “busy-busy-busy!!”  I am not one of them.  So when I got to that point of being overwhelmed, I didn’t even recognize it for what it was.  I had too much “stuff” in my life:  not material, tangible possessions, but “stuff” on the calendar, which had filled up so gradually I hadn’t really noticed it.  I’d joked with other moms about how each “kid-free” morning had filled up with something to do; how quickly it went from “Gosh, both the kids are in school!  Freedom!” to “Gotta run!  Too much to do today!”

When things get too bad, too busy, I try to remember a quote referenced in Celebration of Discipline:  “I find He never guides us into an intolerable scramble of panting feverishness.”  (pg. 128; from Thomas Kelly.)  I need to remember:

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”  (Psalm 23:2-3)

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.”  (John 14:27)

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”  (Isaiah 26:3)

“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”  (Psalm 34:14)

I challenge you to evaluate your calendars.  Do you see “peace” or an “intolerable scramble?”  I pray “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Philemon 1:3)

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One Response to “A Different Kind of Clutter”


  1. Thank you for this Jen. I, too, sometimes feel PLOM (Poor Little Old Me), and I just can’t quite put my finger on it. But when I do, that’s when things start to look up 🙂

    I, too, get overwhelmed by things, but I am one of those Type A personalities 🙂 My husband and I are out 2 nights a week with our Youth Group (Jr. and Sr. High), plus I do Brownies, etc. It is overwhelming. We’re looking forward to March Break where we’ll be taking some time to ourselves. But you really must guard that time, or else it will sneak away from you. Thanks again!!! ~ Liz

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