August 14, 2008

I'm Still Going

It's been a while since I've posted about my pursuit of peace & simplicity this year. I've spent a lot of time focused on the simplicity part of this journey. It was easy to see the physical changes taking place. The soul and spirit transformations have been a little tougher to put my finger on, but they are there nonetheless.

Here's the update:

~Physical Clutter - not much going on. I've gone through the majority of the house & the attic. I plan to finish those up this fall. After pushing myself to the limit earlier in the year, I needed a break. Summer was the perfect time to relax a bit. I have found, though, that since I have cleared out so much clutter, I get antsy when things start to clutter up again. I'm much better about cleaning out as I go. Realistically, I may not finish everything in 2008, and I'm okay with that. It's going to be an ongoing process. I want to get to the point of just having to do maintenance instead of major projects, but I'm not going to work myself into a frenzy to get there.

~Temporal Clutter - I've been trying to spend my time more wisely. TV hasn't been a problem (until the Olympics!) Perhaps I'm reading more than I should, and I'm trying to strike a balance there that will keep everyone in the family happy. Then there's the whole not-overscheduling-myself thing! Although I still struggle with this a little, I'm giving myself permission to have white space on my calendar. It is freeing, indeed. I keep reminding myself that a full calendar doesn't translate into a full life. In fact, for me, it's quite the opposite.

~Relational Clutter - This has been a biggie lately, though I didn't see it that way at first. As I posted here, this summer I ran smack into my need for love and acceptance. I want people to like me. Not necessarily a bad thing, but being driven by it led me to serving God based upon the praise and expectations of others (or, more accurately, what I thought others were expecting of me). I wanted to use my gifts/talents to honor the Lord, but I was bent on teaching Sunday School because others have said I have the gift of teaching. I might argue that point, particularly in light of the whole speaking/serving revelation. You see, I'm a communications major. I've competed in and won speaking competitions. I should be able to speak well. I know that He called me into teaching several years ago, but it doesn't mean I'm to camp out there permanently. I was allowing my relationships with others to take precedence over my relationship with My Father. (Please hear me when I saw this was all MY doing...not anyone else's!) Once I stopped worrying what others would think and stopped fighting against God's leading, the peace that passes all understanding washed over me. I've been renewed and energized. The weight of frustration and depression has been lifted, and I can breathe again.

Clearing out the clutter - physical, temporal & relational - has led to peace. Beautiful, wonderful peace. Reading over my posts during this year, I see the threads of the Holy Spirit woven throughout. He's speaking peace over me, and it's the sweetest thing I've ever known.

I will listen [with expectancy] to what God the Lord will say, for He will speak peace to His people, to His saints (those who are in right standing with Him)--but let them not turn again to [self-confident] folly.
~Psalm 85:8 (AMP)

4 comments:

Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

This:

I know that He called me into teaching several years ago, but it doesn't mean I'm to camp out there permanently.

is so true. I think of that too when I think about what God has done for me. Yes, he's done amazing, marvelous things in the past. But he's also done amazing, marvelous things for me yesterday.

We need to keep our ears attuned to his voice today--in this moment--rather than camp out on what he said last month or last year.

His mercies are new every morning--and while his mercies never get stale, he always has something fresh and new for us if we will open our eyes and ears to see and hear.

Love you!

Joanne

The Small Scribbler said...

Melissa,

You show such a sensitive spirit to the lessons that the Lord has for you. I love the areas that you have chosen to attack to remove clutter. And I understand about the Olympics. We are a bit under the influence here too.

Kate

much2ponder said...

Looks like I showed up here right at the right time. I too have been struggling with many similar issues. Struggled with depression and confusion over the past couple of years partly for reasons you speak of here. Thank you for you honesty.

His Girl said...

I love the way your heart works- it's so cool to hear that God is faithful to help you declutterize (what? that's totally a word) and inspire me to do it too. so so so awesome.