I think her subtitle sums up the theme of this book, "simplifying life from the inside out." The clutter that surrounds our lives begins in our hearts.
"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." ~ Proverbs 4:23When we guard our hearts from clutter, we are guarding our homes and lives from clutter. Guarding my heart is the first and most important thing I can do in bringing about clarity in my life and reducing the clutter I feel and see.
Clutter is more than just a stack of papers sitting on my kitchen counter - it is anxiety, thought patterns, desire for more, financial habits that I allow into my life. It is taking my eyes off of Christ and focusing them on something else.
I loved the definition of clutter that Nancy provided early in the book, "From now on think of clutter as any possession, habit, thought pattern, attitude, or activity that (1) you don't need or use anymore, (2) doesn't fit or work for you like it used to, or (3) doesn't add value or meaning to your life as it once did."
Those words are really very simple ~ if it isn't adding to my life ~ it needs to go! Simple to understand ~ but do I truly take them to heart and carry them out? What does Scripture say about this?
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."Throw off hindrances...
Run with perseverance...
Fix our eyes on Jesus...
We have responsibilities to carry out in this battle against clutter. We must choose to take action and choose the right things.
What are the things I need to throw off - what is hindering me as emotional, financial, spiritual or physical clutter? Am I fixing my eyes on Jesus or on other things that remove my focus from Him? Am I free of hindrances so that I can give of myself, time, treasure, talent without being weighed down or burdened with clutter?
I am very interested in this topic of simplifying life and living without clutter. I think that Nancy's book is unique because she is a Christian and the perspective she brings in relation to our spiritual life is something we don't see in lots of other books on this topic.
I hope you will get an opportunity to read this book ~ it was refreshing to me as well as encouraging and challenging. Thank you, Nancy, for sharing of yourself and for the opportunity to read your book!
Please visit Carrie's blog for her perspective on the book!