You know how it is. The demands of life, work, family, and responsibilities crowd out other things that need to be done but are not urgent. In the end, you realize you just can not stand it, you can not keep putting off things to the”I’ll get to it sometime” category. That is often where we relegate housework and other dull chores.
Here is the problem. Your environment impacts your peace of mind. Your living and workspaces don’t only reflect your attitude, they affect it. Crowded, dusty, cluttered spaces contribute to edgy, unsettled feelings.
David knew how essential the environment was. As a shepherd boy, he directed his sheep to verdant surroundings with loads of water, food, and rest. He kept the flock well provided and protected. When he wrote Psalm 23, he equated his care of the sheep with God’s care of us. Of his personal environment, he wrote, “Surely goodness and mercy follow me. God restores my soul. My cup runs over!”
Can you feel blessed, surrounded by goodness and peace in your personal environment? Can you feel content and at peace with your environment?
When God made space for His loved ones, He declared it was “very good! God wants His children to live in beautiful, peaceful surroundings. Part of the peace and contentment comes from the inner attitudes but another part comes from your own atmosphere. So how can you make your own piece of Eden?
Look up. First, understand that peace is in fact an inside job, and you may have it regardless of what is happening around you. Jesus said, “My peace I give to you… do not let your heart be troubled or afraid.” To put it differently, let go of all of the’stuff’ that bugs you. Rather, seek peace and pursue it (Ps. 34:14). Pursue a way to chase it, to go after it as something valuable and desired.
My husband has aggravated at’stuff’: traffic, people, tools, his computer, the remote controller. In a very real sense, he practices being mad and upset. None of those things are purposely trying to upset him but he lets them. He succeeds to pursue peace. It’s possible, but to treat negative emotions and tell yourself, “No, I seek peace. I won’t allow myself to get angry.”
Here’s a revelation: the devil knows exactly what buttons to push in your life for you. He sets you up for you mad! Do not give him that much power. You’re in the middle of your personal environment. Focus on God’s blessings and banish all those negative emotions.
Look around. Does what you see bless you? Does this make you smile or feel’hugged’? Or do all of the things’ mix together into… clutter and chaos?
My mother collected birds and angels… and plates, and… When she passed, I inherited’ her collections. I brought them home, set them on a shelf (well, more than one!) Then had to dust them regularly. They were not things that lucky me-they were my mother’s and that I was not certain how to let them go.
From time to time, we create emotional ties to physical things that become substitutes for relationships or spiritual peace. Letting go of my mother’s things did not alter the connection or the memories. Eventually, I gave away the majority of the collections, maintaining just a few important pieces that really touched my heart. Now there’s less maintenance, less clutter, and the bits I’ve made me grin.
Clutter is an outward sign of inward turmoil (and an out-of-control schedule). Just how much of what you have do you actually need? Imagine if you down-sized, reorganized, and removed some of the mess. Consider It. Do not you feel better after you have cleaned the house? Does not the fresh smell and visual appearance make you grin?
Lookout. The things you’re committed to influencing your environment too. As an example, I am on several committees for various organizations. Each of them involves documents, meetings, To-Do lists, and at times, personality conflicts. It’s easy to allow your calendar to get so cluttered with other people’s projects that you do not have”me time”, peacetime.
Here is a hint: if what you are doing no more inspires you, it may be time to get out. There’ll always be groups and organizations that do great things and require both money and time. Perhaps you got involved as a friend asked for your help. Maybe what you are doing is a hold-over from long ago. Perhaps it’s time to assess the blessing vs. stress of that specific commitment. Perhaps it’s time to let go.
Look over. Walk into your house or office and look it over as if you’re a stranger. Pretend you have not seen it before. What would you change? Perhaps a brand new coat of paint or a new pair of curtains would brighten the air. Rearrange the furniture. Insert some ambient lighting. Place a new image on the wall. Do something which makes your heart say, “Wow!” When you walk in the space.
Never underestimate the power of the Wow Factor. It is inner contentment that states, “This is amazing. I am comfortable here. This is my Eden. I wish to spend some time in this space.”
Hubby and I contribute to many charities. One of these is Habitat for Humanity. Why” Because I think everyone should have and love their home as much as we do ours. House is a harbor, a personal Eden, and I know it’s a blessing from God. The Bible says He gives us richly all things to enjoy (I Tim. 6:17). I try to keep a feeling of peace and blessing, a comfortable place I wish to come home to and friends wish to go to.
Look In. Finally, your personal environment and your personal peace are an inside job. Your choices, or lack of them, moment by moment, create your life and environment. You can opt to sit on the sofa, or get up and do the dishes. You may ignore the clutter on the dining room table or make a decision to clear up the mess-and keep up it! Take responsibility for those things that you do and should not… or the things you do not do and should.
I enjoy playing games on my tablet. It is relaxing and drowns out the clamor of anxieties and responsibilities. Problem? I can spend hours playing solitaire, and then realize that I actually wanted to do the laundry and clean up the kitchen. My selfish choice now means I will have a filthy kitchen to look at when I get up in the morning and no clean socks! And nobody to blame but myself.
Your personal environment and your peace of mind are a direct result of your own choices and activities. Look over your attitude and give up worry and turmoil. Look around you and make adjustments that are consistent with serenity and contentment. Eliminate clutter in your environment and in your calendar. Then look around and announce, like God did, “This is extremely good!”