Friday, August 29, 2008

From Clutter to Clarity

Clutter--got it? Want to get rid of it? This problem seems to be one that many people deal with. In fact, I wrote a post today on my homeschooling blog that is part of the Heart of the Matter's meme about how to control clutter.

Nancy Twigg has written a book that cuts right to the heart of clutter. In fact, she sees clutter as an outward symptom of a heart issue. From Clutter to Clarity: Simplifying Life from the Inside Out creates "a new definition of clutter: anything that complicates your life and prevents you from living in peace as you live out your purpose."

Nancy's book is innovative in that it deals with clutter, not just as the physical things that crowd our spaces, but as the attitudes and mindsets that prompt us to collect these items. In addition, Nancy states that clutter for Christians is even more problematic than for other people. She says, "We simply cannot make room for him [Jesus] when so many other things are in the way." Wow, that's convicting, isn't it?

The structure of the book makes it easy to read. Its 17 chapters are divided into three distinct sections: "From Cluttered Thoughts and Attitudes to Inner Clarity," "From Cluttered Lifestyle to Outer Clarity," and "From Cluttered Money Matters to Financial Clarity." Although Nancy includes many Bible verses throughout the book, the touchstone verse for the book is Hebrews 12:1-2:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

When I had read this verse before, I concentrated simply on the race metaphor. I had not thought of this verse through the lens of simplification, but this view is so liberating!
Nancy's personal stories and those from others which she includes at the end of each chapter are inspiring. I lack the innate gift of clutter control--physical, emotional, or spiritual--and it was encouraging to read accounts of others' success in purging their clutter.
Although all the chapters contained wisdom, the one that made the biggest impact on me was "Letting Go of the Untrustables." Seeing misplaced trust as clutter that gets in the way of our One True Source of trust has been transforming for me.
Beginning a new school year seems to bring out the need to organize. Why not read Nancy's book and get to the root of our clutter?


Kathryn said...

Good Morning, Celly. I've not read that book yet, but I really want to. I've recently seen it favorably reviewed on someone else's blog, too. Thanks for the recommendation! said...

Great post. Do you want to come help me declutter? Check out my new site

Shane said...

Thank you for this! I am in DEEP! and need a SOS! This book might be the key!