Lessons in Motherhood: Learning to Embrace the Excess

Home organization does not come easy for me. I like the idea of simplicity, and a clutter-free home sounds like the answer to all my problems. But nothing about minimalism comes natural to me.

I like options.

I like choice.

Right now I’m reading 6 different books. I have 18 tabs open on my phone that I intend to come back to later. Perhaps I should stick with just 1 book but that’s boring. I’m ever finding new ideas that I’d like to delve into but, alas, a child is crying or the pot boiling over. So I plan to come back to them … eventually.

Having children doesn’t help with the clutter either, especially mini hoarders like some of mine.

Even after spending an entire week going through the toys, books, clothes, art projects, and random life accumulations in two children’s one bedroom, even after tossing the huge plastic toy box and filling up 5 garbage bags with countless unplayed-with toys and worn out clothes, I see that I am never going to have a clutter-free home while there are five girls and 2 adults under our roof.

It’s futile.

And, most days, well, I kind of like my girls more than I despise the excess.

I’m on the slow road to learning contentment. It’s easy for me to compare and envy that friend with the neat and tidy home (you know who you are!), but when I do, no one benefits.

My children hear me grumble and become exasperated by my attempts to overhaul their precious treasures.

My heart rankles with bitterness, and I shore up bad feelings toward a wonderful friend.

God calls us to be content with what we have (Hebrews 13:5), not envious, not embittering our children (Colossians 3:21). That means being okay with the little trinkets, the “special” art work, and the favorite outfits that are a tad gaudy for my taste. It means humbling myself and accepting their all-to human desire to have possessions.

And so, I will joyfully resign myself to an annual (maybe bi-annual) declutter when I will bag it all up, give it away, and enjoy the fleeting moment of the neat and tidy.

And I will learn, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to embrace this season with all its messes and dust and dirt and excess because one day, in the not too distant future, it will just be Daniel and me.

Then we can throw it all away, right?

 How do you handle the clutter? Do you have a system that you could share with me? Or have you learned to embrace the excess?


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