As an author and homeschooling mom of almost-grown kiddos, Shannon Acheson believes as I do that home is the most important place on earth. It’s where we go to be refreshed, to be our true selves, and to both give and receive the love we all need. In her new book The Clutter Fix, Shannon reveals that a cluttered home is about more than just the stuff. With wisdom and grace, she teaches why and how embracing the art of simplicity can help you create the peaceful home your heart and family long for. It’s a grace to welcome Shannon to the farm’s table today…
For the last decade, I’ve written about home. How to decorate it, how to keep it organized, how to create projects, how to host holidays, and overall, how to make the home a place to love on friends, family, and neighbors.
Over that time, I’ve had many conversations with women about what their biggest struggles are with their homes. And time and time again, the answer has been clutter.
Repeatedly, women have shared with me how they feel overwhelmed, depressed, lack confidence, and are generally unsure of where to begin tackling the mess in their homes.
“clutter isn’t just about the stuff.”
All of this makes sense because clutter isn’t just about the stuff.
It’s about how we feel in our homes and how we live out our lives. It’s mental and emotional, not just physical. It’s about being good stewards of the time, resources and space God has given us.
But even when we are desperate to declutter and organize our homes, it can be hard to find the momentum to get the job done. We can get distracted, frustrated, and overwhelmed because we often make a bigger mess before we can actually make it better.
“It’s often difficult to keep the end in mind in the middle of the mess.”
It’s often difficult to keep the end in mind in the middle of the mess. Our mind and spirit will need help along the way.
One of the ways to do this is by creating and practicing affirmations.
Affirmations do not have to be weird. They are simply a way to remind yourself to think good things along the way. They are a valuable tool to help you reach your peaceful home goals.
Affirmations help you because they:
- Make you more aware of your negative thoughts
- Have the potential to change what you think and believe about yourself and your home
- Help you feel more positive, energetic, and motivated
Affirmations help us rewire old thought patterns and create new, more positive thought pathways. These in turn lead to better habits and actions in our lives.
The Bible emphasizes the importance and power of being aware and careful of what we think about.
“The scriptures encourage us not to get sucked into negative thinking but to bring our minds back to just, pure, and lovely thoughts, deliberately!”
“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8 ESV)
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV)
“As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7 KJV)
The scriptures encourage us not to get sucked into negative thinking but to bring our minds back to just, pure, and lovely thoughts, deliberately!
We do this when we study scripture and read uplifting stories of faith and perseverance. And we can also do this by creating and focusing on positive words of affirmation regularly.
Words are powerful. And we can use them to help us with the clutter in our homes, just as we can use them to help us with finances, faith, and even encouraging our loved ones.
So, what are affirmations?
Affirmations are simply words that will help you make positive changes in your life and home – a few words strung together into a sentence or phrase that you find meaningful. They can be Bible verses, song lyrics, or quotes from your favorite author or book.
Once you’ve decided on the phrases or sentences that encourage you where you are in your season of decluttering and organization, keep them front and center.
- Write them out daily in your journal
- Put them on notes where you’ll see them throughout your day (like on your bathroom mirror, your desk, or your car’s dashboard)
- Keep a list on your phone or by your bed and simply read them before you fall asleep or when you wake up each morning
To get you started, here are a few verses that make great affirmations:
- “God is within her, she will not fall.” (Psalm 46:5)
- “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
The way you begin the work of creating a clutter-free home, is to begin here:
What kind and true and gentle words of God can you make a home for in your heart?
The words you make a home for in your heart — will be what makes real beauty in your home.
The words of God that live in your heart — will change the way you live in your home.
The best way to begin decluttering a home — is to first let God’s Words & truth fill our hearts.
Shannon is a mostly self-taught decorator and the editor and designer behind HomeMadeLovely.com. Her happy place is in the suburbs of Toronto, where she is a Homebody with a capital H, a Jesus girl, a happy wife to Dean, and a mom of three grown (or nearly grown) kiddos.
Shannon’s newest book, The Clutter Fix: The No-Fail, Stress-Free Guide to Organizing Your Home, is the only guide you’ll ever need to get your entire home sorted and organized for good—in a way that makes sense for you and your family’s unique, God-given personalities. With step-by-step instructions and checklists, you can discover your Clutter Personality and your Organizing Personality and create rhythms and routines to keep your home decluttered. Clutter is about how you feel in your home—and in your mind. And it’s about being good stewards of what our Father God has given us. This book will give you the peaceful dwelling you’ve always hoped for.
[ Our humble thanks to Bethany House Publishers for their partnership in today’s devotion ]