Decluttering Heart + Home

Two scripture passages and a podcast I found a common thread in this past week.

about special spaces 

about making things simple for the sacred

about decluttering heart and home.

I'm subscribed to for my daily Bible reading plan. I've been using the plan for a few years now in addition to reading other Christian non-fiction books and attending church services, it has been a great tool for me. Thanks Molly Smith for the tip! 

This week in my reading I came across 2 passages in 1 Kings that made an impression on me; about the ark of the covenant.

The priests then brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. 7 The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowed the ark and its carrying poles.
— 1 Kings 8:6-7
9 There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.
— 1 Kings 8:9

These may seem random, but they spoke to my 2nd trimester-pregnant-nesting-mode-heart right now. Call it a stretch; but it did! Let God's word speak to you about the practical and the divine. Why not?! Makes it more fun and personal for me at least.

These passages affirmed the feeling in my heart that God values dwelling spaces, both the physical and the spiritual. Heart and home. He is a God of order and purpose; He didn't just set the ark of the covenant anywhere, but in the inner sanctuary of the temple, beneath the wings of the cherubim. 

And then there was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets. It was not put in the ark with lots of other writings or special treasures and trinkets. What God wanted them to value he kept clutter-free to help them focus. Oh how my mind and home easily get cluttered, but how I've come to really value margin; white space.

With a baby on the way and back-to-school season starting I'm wanting to form healthy habits and create a decluttered home and heart.

Now that Oliver is in Kindergarten during the day I have been going on long walks with Maggie, my cute cockapoo dog. Sometimes I listen to music or a podcast, but often I let the walk be a time to declutter thoughts by giving myself some quiet. I've noticed my mind has a tendency to drift towards ruminating over worries or to-do lists or nagging negative memories/moments. This made me want to have a few scriptures, prayers, and mantra's for this year that I can hold sacred space for and come back to as an anchor for my soul for times like this. My Dad has his phone set to send him specific scriptures or encouraging words/prayers given to him by friends everyday at a certain time. I love this idea also, in addition to meditating on them during my walks. 

The weather this week was unusually wonderful for Tulsa in August! A breeze and cooler temps made it glorious to be outside. While Maggie pulled me along, I walked through Sun Meadow, our neighborhood and listened to the podcast Simple with Tsh Oxenreider, episode 141 Literary London here's the description;

A few weeks ago I tried a new thing in my work: I led a group of 6 other women to London, exploring a tiny scratch of the literary soil there — the footsteps of Jane Austen, CS Lewis, Dickens, Shakespeare, Chesterton, and more.

It was the most gratifying and fulfilling thing I’ve done in my career in a long while. And I tried this whole beta-test of an experience with a dear friends, Emily P. Freeman, who co-led the group with me.

I led the travel logistics, spearheaded the vision of where we went and explored, and why — and Emily led the group dynamics, the conversations we had, helped us think through our next right thing in our work and life. I led the outer work of our time, and Emily led the inner work.

In this episode, Emily and I talk about what it was like for the two of us to lead Literary London for the first time.

And though I won't be going to London or on a big vacation anytime soon, I enjoyed listening to them talk about things becoming more meaningful when they are experienced in worthwhile meaningful places, and about spaces we encounter on the inside of ourselves. Basically; the importance of spaces and places; spiritual and physical. 

It was what I had been thinking about this week anyways, and I felt even more encouraged to keep on cleaning and decluttering; being intentional to value both heart space and home space...and hopefully I can adventure to some new places near or far too!

With that on my mind I also wanted to share some inspirational resources I am using or have found to help with this goal;

Resources for Decluttering Home + Heart

For the heart

The Next Right Thing Podcast by Emily Freeman 

Sacred Ordinary Days Planner

When the Soul Listens by Jan Johnson

Daily Lectio Bible Reading Plan 

For the Home

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The Clutter-Depression-Anxiety Cycle: How to Stop It by Rachel Jones @ Nourishing Minimalism

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

Cozy Minimalist Home; More Style, Less Stuff by Myquillyn Smith (well this one I haven't read yet, but it's on my wishlist, and I know I'll like it because I loved her first book The Nesting Place; It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful)