Clutter 

We have been spending Saturday afternoon having a bedroom clearout. My wife (who has more shoes than Imelda Marcos) has found dresses she forgot she had. Never worn! With the price tag still on them!! Likewise the amount of loose change that we have recovered has been akin to getting paid to tidy up. There is no greater incentive for a lazy husband the weekend before pay day.

The end result is that we can now make it to our actual bed without having to negotiate an assault course which would challenge your average Navy Seal or SAS unit. When I step out of bed tomorrow morning my feet will actually make contact with a wooden floor as opposed to a two inch layer of odd running socks. 

It has been hard work but necessary work. The room was getting far too cluttered and we had to brutally address our innate hoarding instincts. As a result we have a much more streamlined and tidy living space. It reminded me a bit of my head these last few days. I haven’t blogged and haven’t felt like blogging, making me feel that I have been to the creative well once too often.


I have felt flat and a bit listless, devoid of ideas. I realised that I had fallen foul of the subject I have recently written and warned about – spiritual dehydration. Practice what you preach indeed Stephen. This has made me feel like a hypocrite and I have reacted by throwing a bit of a pity party inside my head. It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.

Fionnuala has been asking me all week what has been wrong with me and I honestly haven’t been unable to put my finger on it. She then suggested that perhaps my blog material in recent weeks hasn’t helped. I have written a lot about my past and revisited a lot of dark areas. I believed that writing about my experiences would be cathartic and help others. And they have, but at a cost.

The feedback from our blogging community has been fantastic but facing old adversaries has been draining and unsettling. Instead of clearing the cobwebs from the corners of my mind it has allowed unwanted memories and vulnerabilities to take hold and begin to clutter up the channels of light and positivity I have been working hard at maintaining. They have been unwanted tenants.

There is merit in flagging up the pitfalls of your past for fellow travellers on the same road. But I need to take better care of myself as well. You need to understand your past in order to plan for your future but not to the extent that your present self becomes bogged down and helpless. 

I will blog about my past again. I feel it is important and if I can act as a beacon for those in similar peril then all the better. But there is so much more around me in the here and now that I can also write about. It is time to open my eyes and look around me and in front of myself. If you always look back you will invariably stumble over the baggage of the past. 

All the more reason for a clearout.

Jeremiah 29:11 – ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

When was the last time you had a spring clean? What forgotten treasures did you re-discover?

Do you think revisiting your past is a healthy pastime? Or can it clutter up your present?

What do you do when your blogging mojo is absent?

25 thoughts on “Clutter 

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  1. Hey! Thank you for the lovely blog post. You are right about how tiring it can be to entertain the ghosts from the past. I just find that thinking and talking about my past brings light IF I discuss it with God in the room. And when I go into it with the idea that I want to find healing from those bad events. It hurts to revisit but then the Surgeon comes, cleans out the wound and stitches it up with grace. He’s taking the sting of death out of my past bit by bit. It is a smelly affair and can get quite unnerving, but He is gentle.

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  2. Yes Brother, I dug up some issues I haven’t had in years but writing about it. I thought it would be helpful for others, and some said it was, and I am thankful but the side effect were not what I expected. My mom says it’s BECAUSE it helped others and that the evil one doesn’t like that, so he will kick into overdrive and try to attack in all directions. I’ve been praying, talking, praising God, it’s the only thing that I know to do :):) Praying for clarity for you moving forward. God Bless you 🙂

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      1. Well, I don’t know if it happens with you but I notice that before something good happens, it seems there are bad events that try to divert us from that good outcome. I don’t now how many times I have heard someone say, I’m just not going, I’m canceling, I really want to do this but since I started its been one thing or another. I always think, omgoodness there is a blessing waiting on you because there are too many things happening to keep you from it. And not the good things to keep them from doing it but frustrating, where is this coming from things. Never fails you hear from them later, and it’s, “I’m so glad I didn’t give up this is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, or enjoyed this more than anything, etc.” Not saying that is what it is, but you are doing good things here, do you think the evil one is happy about that?

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  3. Hey friend, I’m sorry to hear that bringing up your past has caused present difficulties… But, I can completely understand… Dwelling on my own past, often causes my present to become more difficult… But I want to thank you for taking time to sharing some of your struggles, your past… They have certainly made a difference in my life!! 😉

    My most recent “spring cleaning” was back in February/March this year before moving to Utah for a new start. I downsized about 75% of what I owned. I came across many things unused, like-new, and simply unnecessary. It was therapeutic, but also brought up memories from the past of what I had hoped the future would look like… A future I’m now in that looks nothing like I had anticipated as a kid/youth…

    So, I think the benefit of revisiting the past is realizing how it has made you to be who you are today, in a positive way… How it has developed your character, your strengths, your ability to relate to others… And, being reminded of ways in which God has been faithful to you along life’s journey… For me, this gives the hope for future goodness…

    Sometimes I do stress when my blogging mojo is missing, but as of late, I’ve tried to just give myself a little grace and wait for the right time instead of trying to force something insincere or rigid… And, inevitably, it comes… Sometimes after the silence comes a rain of new insight… Wait for it. 🙂

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      1. Oh, I moved to Utah about 6 months ago after my time abroad. God opened the door here… long story, but all to say, God is good!

        Running is going ok… I caught a bad cold about a month ago, so it’s taken a bit to get back into it. But I’m planning to sign up for a 5k next month. How is yours going?

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          1. Wow, that’s really good even still! I don’t think I’ve ever even run 15 miles! My longest race was a half-marathon a couple years ago. Hoping to one day do another, but gotta strengthen my knees first! Keep up the good work! 🙂

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  4. I think you’ve done quite an amazing job covering some dark places of your past. A lot of times, things need to be gradual, otherwise it’s like we’re facing a stream and a hand shoots out of the water. Ready to pull us down.

    It’s unexpected. Aren’t we doing what Christ wants us to do? I think the answer is yes, but there is a way to do it.

    Anchor yourself in deep prayer, along with a defense of scripture when you want to talk about dark issues. I’ve noticed when we talk about dark issues there’s a tease, a pull, to explore deeper than what we originally thought.

    The enemy will try to catch us off guard when we aren’t expecting it. But with Christ as our foundation, the enemy will fall against us. Jesus stands in front of us, behind us, and stands beside us. Cling to Him with every thing you have, 🙂 and then more (faith).

    Peace, grace, and mercy be upon your shoulders. 🙂

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  5. If things in the past are festering like an injury that has scabbed over than yes. I find that it’s necessary to rip the scab off so to speak and clean out the wound. I can only do this in a safe place, like with a skilled therapist, so that it doesn’t effect my current life. Also, for me, I can only do a small amount at a time.

    I’m good at organizing but these two guys really helped me downsize to a more reasonable and manageable environment. I didn’t do it to the extreme like them but their TED talk really helped. http://www.theminimalists.com

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  6. Though I’ve only been blogging for about a month, I do blog about my past. Sometimes it’s painful, but it also helps me see how far I’ve come in terms of dealing with my mental health — and how far I still have to go, which I find useful. I haven’t received much feedback directly on my blog, but have had positive feedback from Facebook readers about how my posts have helped them. If I can help just one person, that’s good enough for me.

    As for spring cleaning — ha! I’m at autumn cleaning at this point. I’ve come across objects from past hobbies that I can’t even identify! Lol

    Thank you for your post 😊

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      1. Oh it can be an over crowded cabinet, a drawer full of unfolded tshirts, kids toy bins…. I’ll find something and it seems to help me feel like a weight is lifted. I’m sure after your clean you know what I mean!

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