By Carolina Henriquez
It took a year and 5 days to clear off my dining table. A figurative year since the Covid19 crisis disrupted the regular routines of life and a literal 5 days of “staycation”. It’s not like I did much entertaining before the pandemic but occasionally my sister’s family of three would join the two of us for a meal and I’d be motivated to clear off my narrow tabletop to accommodate five plate settings so we could eat in a “proper manner”.
With two adults and a dog in a 600 square foot apartment, we easily have more gear and books than can reasonably be contained so inevitably the dining table begins to collect the elements without an assigned place. My husband and I have become accustomed to eating while standing, our plates resting on the kitchen counter or balanced on our laps when we sit on the couch. I think for Thanksgiving and Christmas I managed to clear half the table, piling things to one side or tucking them out of sight on the floor so we could share a holiday meal semi-civilized across the emptied edge. I made sure we dined by candlelight in an attempt to hide the messy chaos beside us under the cover of darkness.
I knew it needed to be tackled but at the end of exhausting days and tiring weeks, I just couldn’t bring myself to complete one more chore that wasn’t absolutely necessary. Laundry and dishes took priority when it came to my depleted energy bank. I was short-sighted and made some poor choices when it came to stewarding my time and health. Five days into my staycation, without deadlines or agendas, and peppered with mid-day naps, I finally felt ready to battle the task of decluttering my table. One of the podcasts I listened to included this quote which hit home; “It is not the things we do that make us tired, but the things left undone that wear us out”. The clutter in my life was silently screaming about undone actions and postponed decisions. Four hours later, the stuff was sorted, the table cleaned, a pressed linen runner ran down the center, weighted in place by a pair of beeswax candles in cast iron bases. I smiled as I took a seat in a space of peace. A sense of relief and clarity was returning.
It’s easy to find ways to ignore the clutter in our lives but procrastination can only delay not eliminate necessary action. What areas in your life need a detox? It could be an overfull schedule, dysfunctional relationships, damaging habits, or holding on to negative attitudes. What is in your way of prioritizing an overhaul? Here’s the good news – you have access to supernatural support and strength when you’re ready to calm the chaos in your life. “Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23) and remember God’s goal and intent is for His people to “abide in peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and quiet resting places” (Isaiah 32:17-18)