Craving Simple

I keep throwing things away. I did two trash bags worth of damage this past weekend, and I’ve got more innocent closets on my radar. Currently, there’s a tab open on my computer entitled “18 Five-Minute Declutter Tips,” and I sold $80 worth of clothes to Plato’s Closet this month.

I want our house to be rid of everything unnecessary. I want clean shelves, empty closets, and bare surfaces. I want less.

Funny how my home is resembling the desires of my heart and soul these days. With a court date looming that will determine the future of our foster son, my mind is cluttered, my heart is burdened, and my soul is anything but restful. I want less there, too.

This world is full of so much sorrow—the Lord even told us so (“Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrow.” --John 16:33). At the end of that verse, though, He promises us that He has overcome the world. But what about right now? What about this moment? Though I trust He has eternity in His mighty hands, I’m so crazed and busy and overwhelmed and restless that His power of right now doesn’t feel sufficient.

(In case you were curious, being a writer is unfortunate because you have to admit things like the above. Anyway. Carry on.)

I’m terrified to get into a habit of “too much”—too much stuff, too much scheduling, too much going on, too much stress, too much thought, too much, too much. But it’s this awful conundrum—I don’t want “too much,” but I want to fill my life with “too much” to ease the pain of the “too much.” I’m certain you just followed that, right? (It’s a hot mess, truly.)

So I hurt, I cry, I stress, I worry, and I throw all our stuff away. And then I search around like someone blinded, trying to touch something that will distract me from the sole soul issue: I just don’t trust that He knows what He’s doing.

My husband and I sat by our fire pit last night as we began to bid summer goodbye. It was a rough season, defined by anxiety and hurt and fear. But, as the spring is known for, fall to us is a new beginning. Fall is answers. Fall is the end of this waiting. Fall is closure, one way or another.

We sat before the hot coals, stoking them every few minutes to get more time out of our little fire. We came outside with nothing—no phones, no books, no nothing—but simply a desire to simply be with the fire. To sit in silence, to talk about the future, to just be. It’s like we were purposefully decluttering our hearts, preparing for a new season.

That’s how I want to sit before Jesus. Simple. Bare. Silent. Listening. Full of less for His more.

I don’t know what to call this stage of life. Is it a season? A funk? We’ve committed ourselves to this orphan care thing, so I can only guess this is our new normal. We will forever have a million thoughts and a million worries crowding our minds, but my prayer is that those never make their way down to my soul. God is too trustworthy for me to forget to trust Him.

So don’t mind me. I’ll be ridding my closets of excess, and ridding my mind of it, too. It’s just not important when I know who Jesus is. When I know His character, the blur of this world clears. That peace isn’t reserved for eternity. Eternity begins now, because He’s here. He’s here in my mess, begging me to be silent, begging me to know that He’ll fight for me.

Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.
— Psalm 27:13