Friday, August 9, 2013

When rearranging a few boxes taught me something about priorities

The dust still settles on the stacks of books on my nightstand and my husband's matching stack of non-book stuff on his nightstand.Yet, aside from those nightstand bundles, the rest of our bedroom has been recently cleared of clutter.

I prepared our home for a stay-cation where my husband & I celebrated 20 years of marriage at home alone without children. I took many boxes out of our room. I wish I could say that I truly decluttered rather than merely moving them to another room.

Nevertheless, taking the clutter out of our bedroom has helped me so much. Not just for a 20th anniversary week but also on a daily basis whenever I walk into our bedroom. It has given me clarity about priorities in the midst of undone projects.

Last summer I began helping our girls tidy their room.  Since they come from parental pack rats, it was a big job. We were unfinished sorting their stuff when we needed the dining room to host a baby shower for a dear friend. So we put the boxes of their stuff into our bedroom instead of theirs -- to help them.

Then, as life flew on by, a medical crisis took our lives by storm. I never got back to the girl's room project. After awhile the extra boxes just became part of the scenery and attracted even more boxes into our bedroom. We have a small house. In an effort to make room for people to come over, I moved more boxes in our bedroom. And here it is -- one year later.

It symbolized our life actually.

As we made room to take care of other people, we shifted the focus of our priorities. Last year my husband and I were called to  emergency foster care, and a father-in-law in the hospital for four months.We gave up a little time for one another during a demanding season of pouring out for others.

It has been a great opportunity to grow-up emotionally and spiritually. Yet, it pushed our focus away from each other. It had to. We are finite beings with limited energy.

It happens gradually this collecting of clutter,  to-do lists, and pressures to be responsible. And yes, there are times to put the boxes in the bedroom and host the shower.

Yet, now is the time to refocus on our marriage. That is what moving a few boxes has taught me.

I  have a visual reminder that I can make our marriage a priority even though pressures remain.

To do-lists, the clutter, the boxes never really go away. It was a season of pouring out for others that demanded more of our attention. Now, the challenge is to go back the focus of one another even though other pressures remain. To realize the pressure of projects and to-do lists is not the same as a father in the hospital struggling to breathe.

We need to keep it all in focus and not let the habits of the demanding season set the standard for the normal way of life.

I do this by taking time for a walk with my spouse even though there are boxes in the dining room that have needed attention for over a year. He is more important.

That is what I am learning by rearranging a few boxes in my house.

What have you been learning lately?
Linking up with Emily at Imperfect Prose.


  1. Thanks for the great thoughts! We are in process of moving Laura (our oldest) to NDSU in a few weeks. She just told me she asked the people at work to save boxes for her. She said they have 15 already. I asked her if she thought that much would fit in her dorm room. She said "Well, your turning my room into a spare bedroom so I thought I should pack up all my stuff" I realized I was more focused on logistics rather than feelings. My plan was to just move out her loft bed and get one big enough to squish grandma and grandpa on so they can finally come visit. Not for her to pack up and move out of our lives. Spending more time on these changes will consume us for the next few weeks. Although putting Grandma and Grandpa on the single loft bed might be fun, I think the bigger bed still has to come our way. Now if you know of a bulldozer for rent for Joshuas room.... let me know. :) Doesn't seem like it has been 20 years for you guys! We hit 22 on the 30th.
    Oh and since this doesn't recognize me and likes to call me annonymous...signing off Christi Brose

  2. I understand. For me the cluttering boxes are activities. I take on too much of "my" things and leave little time for others. So decluttering means say "no" to this or that to leave room to say "yes" to other things the Lord sees as more important :)Congratulations, by the way. How awesome! 20 years!!!

  3. You've always got such great insights! Thank you for sharing your stories and your life.


Thanks for being part of the conversation...I love hearing from you. Kathleen

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